Cops hunt for more suspects
Detectives are now on the hunt for those who met the alleged ISIS recruiter, arrested in Dhaka, after he arrived in Bangladesh in February.
“We could not arrest all of those who met the British citizen [of Bangladesh origin]. We need to arrest all of them to learn more about his mission in Bangladesh,” said an official of the Detective Branch of police.
Samiun Rahman alias Ibn Hamdan, who was arrested in Dhaka Sunday night in connection with trying to recruit jihadists for ISIS, was sent to jail on completion of his three-day remand yesterday.
The DB produced him before the court but did not seek further remand.
DB has so far arrested 10 people with whom Samiun had meetings. It also claimed that Samiun convinced all of them of join jihad and that they were preparing to leave the country for Syria with the help of the UK citizen.
“We interrogated him thoroughly during the three-day remand and extract some information, including his meetings with people who went into hiding following the arrest of others,” Additional Deputy Commission Saiful Islam of DB told The Daily Star.
ADC Saiful, however, said they would seek fresh remand of Samiun when needed.
Samiun's lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder said his client denies the allegations brought against him. He claimed that police had arrested him wrongly.
“Samiun told me that he came to Bangladesh to solve some disputes related to his family's land. He is not involved in any terror outfit. Police arrested him on suspicion,” Masud told The Daily Star last night, adding that police had failed to produce any specific evidence against him in court.
In a statement to British advocacy organisation, Cage, which BBC Bangla Service picked up last night, Samiun's wife said, “It's a shocking time for all of us. We are very stressed and worried. We don't know where he is or how he is being treated. Bangladesh is known for torture and as a British citizen, we expect the UK not to allow any mistreatment.
“My husband is a good and kind person who wants to help others. But he is portrayed as some sort of felon or gang leader which is really not the case,” she went on, adding, “Now the media are harassing us and we don't even feel at peace in our own home.”
Sources in DB said Samiun was not placed on fresh remand so that people from the British High Commission in Dhaka, which had sought consular access, could meet and talk to him.
None can meet an accused under remand, they said.
The High Commission requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consular access on September 29. The matter is now pending with the home ministry.
After entering Bangladesh on February 25, Samiun allegedly held meetings at Gulshan Azad Mosque and the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) in Sylhet to convince people into joining a jihad, said detectives after his arrest.
He was able to convince some youths and was planning to send them to Syria to join the ISIS, they said.