Three ‘Ansar Al Islam Operatives’ Arrested

They tried to infiltrate Rohingya camps: CTTC

Members banned militant outfit Ansar Al Islam attempted to recruit Rohingya refugees in guise of providing aid in camps in Cox's Bazar, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit claimed yesterday.

Md Asaduzzaman, chief of CTTC unit and additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said they found the information after the arrest of three members of the extremist group on Saturday night.

As per directives of the outfit's top leadership, its member Maruf Chowdhury alias Farhan even stayed near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border for three months in 2017, Asaduzzaman said.

Based on information, a special action group of CTTC conducted a drive in the capital's Rampura and arrested the three, he added.

The other arrestees are Md Foyzul Morsalin (32) and Sayed Taimia Ibrahim alias Anowar (30).

Addressing a briefing, Asaduzzaman said, "In primary interrogation, the arrestees admitted that they were working to strengthen Ansar Al Islam's organisational base by recruiting new members through online and offline campaigns, and collecting fund."

He said members of the outfit used to collect charity and zakat money from the country and abroad in the name of public welfare or charity, and used it for militancy.

 "They have even stayed on the border in Bangladesh-Myanmar after the Rohingya influx in 2017 and tried to spread extremist ideology under the guise of providing aid," he said.

The CTTC chief, however, said that they are now trying to get details of who have helped the group to work in the coastal district.

"We would also interrogate arrestees taking them into remand to know whether they have succeeded to spread any activities in Rohingya camp," he said.

Asaduzzaman further said, "Currently, the outfit members were carrying out organisational activities by secret cells or modules of three to five people. These cells recruit members separately. As a result, members of different cells or modules do not recognise others."

Regarding the arrestees, the CTTC chief said Ibrahim joined the outfit in 2015 after completing his BBA from a private university in Dhaka. In 2016, he was given charge of a cell.

Farhan also completed BBA from a private university in Dhaka and got a job in a private company. He later joined Ansar Al Islam in 2015, said the officials.

Arrestee Morsalin passed secondary and higher secondary from Dhaka Alia Madrasa and graduated as a computer engineer from a private university. He worked as a freelancer.

CTTC officials says he joined Ansar al-Islam in 2016.

 A case was filed with Rampura police station against the arrestees under the anti-terrorism act.

 "The arrestees gathered in the capital with a plan to conduct subversive activities. For this, they were recently looking for recruiting members for its military wing, who have no attachment to family members and can came out of home anytime for the outfit," Ahamedul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of CTTC unit, told The Daily Star.

"We have got some information and are now analysing those to get details," he added.


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