Members of Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) are plotting terrorist attacks during Durga Puja in Bangladesh. This newspaper has already obtained specific information on at least two of the members of the global terrorist outfit.
One of this suspected ISIS member is Mujahid Al Bengal, who is having an account on Facebook having 264 friends, majority of whom are suspicious figures. Other members of these militancy groups are Naimur Rahman Rafi, who claims to be studying Computer & Communications Engineering at the International Islamic University Chittagong and hails from Mirsarai, Chittagong; Muhammad Shahadat Hussain (Shanto), who claims to be studying Marine Science at University of Chittagong; Akhlaqur Rahman (Bryce); Mahedy Hasan; Jobayer Ahmed Abir; Shahriyer Alam Naim; and Mahdi Bin Salauddin aka Md Sadat Sami Tasin.
In one of his Facebook posts, Naimur Rahman Rafi wrote:
“Idolatry is a terrible crime in Islam. Therefore, no Muslim can make a “wish” in worship. It is haram to give greetings in puja, clear Kufuri”.
Entire wall of Naimur Rahman Rafi’s Facebook is filled with jihadist and anti-democracy statements, while there also are anti-Saudi, anti-secularism and pro-militancy posts.
On August 6, 2022, Naimur Rahman Rafi published a posts mocking ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
According to information, Islamic State and AQIS have recruited several youths in Bangladesh with the assignment of implementing terrorist attacks targeting Hindu temples and mandaps during the Durga Puja.
Few days ago, Md. Shafiqul Islam, Commissioner, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) told reporters, there is a risk of militant attack as well as online propaganda exploiting religious sentiments during Durga puja.
Asked whether there is any risk, he said, “There are two kinds of security risks. One is a militant attack; another is creating religious unrest by spreading propaganda. Our detectives are working to tackle the risk”.
“We’ve been working on the risk of militant attack. We’ve already learnt that about 50 youths have left their homes. We’re working to know where they have been given training but there hasn’t been much progress in this regard. We hope that we’ll be able to catch them before their field operation.”
Pointing to last year’s mayhem in Comilla, DMP Commissioner said there is a tendency of instigating communal unrest through fake social media accounts.
“Such things can happen this year too”, he said.
“We’ve held separate meetings with Home Minister and others. I hope, there will be no untoward situation. We’re on alert”.