04 August 2016
When Bangladeshi authorities last month released the names of 261 men who have gone missing from their families, in an attempt to find militants hidden in this country of 160 million people, at the very end of the list was “Jilani alias Abu Zidal”.
He was not in Bangladesh. The young man, an engineering school dropout, travelled to Syria last year to fight for the Islamic State (IS). In April, IS announced he was blown to bits during battle by a 23-millimetre gun, the sort used to shoot down aircraft.
Asked why Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion, a domestic anti-terrorism agency, listed Jilani among the 261 names, its spokesman Mufti Mohammad Khan said neither the man’s family nor the police had notified the battalion of the death. “So we included him in the list.” A Google search for Jilani, whose real name was Ashequr Rahman, would have brought up an IS notification of his death.
… Regional terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore said his research, including interviews in Dhaka with fighters in custody, shows that militants in Bangladesh “received financing, instruction and assistance from IS”.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 04/08/2016