March 16, 2017 - 3:46pm
The latest IS video revealed a Bangladeshi national as a suicide bomber for the terrorist group who died in a 2015 bombing in Tikrit, Iraq.
The latest Islamic State video features Bangladeshi youth Neaz Morshed Raja, a suicide bomber who appeared on RAB’s list of missing persons last year.
He was a student of Sunshine Grammar School and College in Chittagong, and later studied in Deakin University, Australia. He used to work for HAH Corporation, a buying house in Dhaka.
Raja’s name was mentioned at number 192 on the RAB list of 261 missing persons published on July 20 last year. RAB, however, dropped his name from the revised list of 68 persons on July 26.
RAB 3 officials acknowledged that Raja had been missing for a long time.
“We suspect that the person in the video is the missing Neaz Morshed, of Hathazari upazila in Chittagong,” RAB 3 Commanding Officer Lt Col Tuhin Mohammad Masud told the Dhaka Tribune.
“We knew that he is out of the country but could not trace his location,” he added.
Hathazari police OC Belal Mohammad Jahangir said that they had no idea about Raja and his activities.
Police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes (CTTC) is yet to make a formal statement on the matter.
Sweden-based Bangladeshi journalist Tasneem Khalil said Raja was known as Abu Maryam al-Bengali in Arabic and died during an attack on Shia Muslims in Tikrit, Iraq on October 12, 2015.
The video “Words Mixed with Blood” was first released early Wednesday via IS’ hidden service on TOR network and Telegram channels. It was later published by IS’ Bangla websites including At-Tamkin.
Raja, originally from Hathazari in Chittagong, was married and father to a daughter. They used to live in Dhaka’s posh Baridhara area.
His family members filed a general diary with Badda police station after he went missing.
Raja was last found active on Facebook on May 25, 2015. Geo-tagging revealed the post was submitted from Lusaka, Zambia.
The narrator in the latest video is Tahmid Rahman Shafi, as in the second video.
The latest video once again opens up the debate on the presence of organisational structure in the country, something the Bangladesh government has vehemently denied till now.
The government describes IS supporters as New JMB, a new faction of the Shayakh Abdur Rahman-led militant outfit, which surfaced in 2015.
The Syria-based Salafist group meanwhile claims their supporters in Bangladesh have carried out 26 attacks since September of that year.
Their last video, released in September, showed the five terrorists who carried out the Gulshan attack making statements to justify their stance, criticising the democratic system and political leaders.
In the first video, released only five days after the Holey Artisan Bakery attack, IS hailed the operation and called for jihad in Bangladesh. The video, which featured three Bangladeshi men including Tahmid Shafi, also threatened more attacks on “crusaders” and “crusader nations.”
On July 7, the Eid Day, New JMB militants linked to the Gulshan attackers swooped on police near the Sholakia Eid ground, causing a gunfight that killed two policemen and a woman. IS, however, did not claim responsibility for that incident.