Tuesday, 9 August, 2022
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‘Al-Qaeda operative’ who was planning to recruit Rohingya youths held in Delhi

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Police say Samiun Rahman visited Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Bangladesh and India for training in terror activities.

The special cell of the Delhi Police claims to have arrested an al-Qaeda operative, who was allegedly planning to recruit over a dozen youths, including some Rohingya Muslims, to join the terror outfit. A 9-mm calibre pistol, a laptop and some mobile phones have been seized from him.

Samiun Rahman, a British national who was residing in Delhi as Shumon Haq, was arrested from Vikas Marg Sunday. His father was from Bangladesh, but later moved to London and started a business there.

According to the police, Rahman visited Morocco, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Turkey, Syria, Bangladesh and India for training in terror activities and had now been asked to recruit Rohingya Muslims from near Bangladesh border.

The special cell had received information in July 2017 that a man named Raju Bhai from al-Qaeda was trying to set up a base in Delhi to recruit cadre. After this, searches were conducted and police informers were activated.

“On 17 September, we received specific information about Rahman visiting Shakarpur to meet one of the probable Jihadi recruit, following which a trap was laid and he was arrested,” P.S. Kushwah, DCP (special cell), said.

According to sources, Rahman had been an active militant of the al-Qaeda since 2013. “He has fought in Syria as a member of Jabhat al-Nusra (an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria) against Syrian government forces,” Kushwah added.

According to the police, Rahman was born and brought up in England. In 2013, he joined the al-Qaeda and underwent three weeks of training in their camp in Syria till 2014.

“While being in Syria, their group found out about the ‘atrocities’ on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. He was selected to raise a group of fighters there. In 2014, he arrived in Bangladesh to radicalise youths to join the al-Qaeda with the help of a man named Yasin,” Kushwah said.

Rahman allegedly visited Sylhet, Dhaka and other places in Bangladesh and radicalised dozens of youths in Bangladesh for their entry into Myanmar from Chittagong. He was, however, arrested there for terrorist activities in 2014 and after imprisonment of about three years, he was released on bail in April 2017.

He was in contact with his al-Qaeda members through Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram.

“After his release, he contacted Mohammad Jowlani (a Syrian), head of al-Qaeda (al-Nusra front), who further directed him to go to India. In July 2017, he entered India with the objective of setting up base in Mizoram and Manipur to fight for Rohingya Muslims, raise funds and incite youths to fight for their cause,” Kushwah said.

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