British citizen detained in Dhaka over IS link

Staff Correspondent
Samiun Rahman

Samiun Rahman

Detectives have arrested a Bangladeshi origin British citizen on charge of marinating connection with international militant organisation Islamic State and trying to recruit militants from Bangladesh.
Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Asaduzzaman Nur on Monday remanded the British citizen, Samiun Rahman, also known as Ibn Hamdan, in police custody for three days for interrogation after the Detective Branch of police produced him before the court seeking him in custody for 10 days.
The Detective Branch at a briefing on Monday claimed that they arrested Samiun Rahman, also known as Ibn Hamdan, in the capital’s Kamalapur rail station area on Sunday night.
Samiun, however, told reporters in the courtroom that he was picked up by the police five days ago from Sylhet without any charge and kept in a cell.
‘They brought me out of the cell, took me to a train station on Sunday and forced me to sign a sheet of paper,’ said Samiun.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police joint commissioner (DB) Monirul Islam at the briefing said that Samiun was planning to recruit youths for militant outfits IS and Nusra Brigade.
A Detective Branch official said that Samiun had come to Bangladesh in the last week of February after a series of communication with some educated youths here.
Using social networking website Facebook, he communicated with people interested to join militants in Syria, said Monirul.
He said that the British citizen promised that he would take the interested Bangladeshis to Syria where several militant groups including Islamic State, al-Qaeda and al-Nusra Front were fighting against the government.
Monirul said, ‘He went to Syria in September 2013 and took part in the fighting against Bashar al-Assad. He also went to Morocco and Mauritania. But we are yet to know the reason behind his trips.’
Samiun served in jail in Britain for few days for taking excessive alcohol and while in jail, he decided to join the militants, Monirul said.
Samiun, however, said, ‘I am not an IS member. To know more about me contact the UK embassy.’
Detective Branch additional deputy commissioner Saiful Islam said that Samiun at first communicated with Asif Adnan, militancy suspect now in custody, through postings on facebook.
Then Samiun arrived in Bangladesh and met some youths. In a series of meeting, they planned to go to Syria. They decided that they would at first go to Turkey with Tablig Jamaat and then migrate to Syria, Saiful said.
With his motivation, some 10 youths started to learn Arabic Language, he added.
Asked about his visit to Syria, Samiun replied that he went to Syria for humanitarian aid in 2013. ‘I went with a friend. I proved to them that I went for humanitarian aid. They let me go after five hours interrogation.’
He claimed that he came to Bangladesh to settle land dispute within the family.

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