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16 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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‘Internet radicalised Momena’

Staff Reporter

Bangladeshi student Momena Soma, 24, arrested in connection with the stabbing of a man in Australia, and her sister Asmaul Husna Sumona, 22, are not members of any militant organisation in the country. They have been radicalised through online militant activities, police have said. Monirul Islam, chief of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said this at the DMP Media Centre yesterday (Wednesday).

Sumona was arrested from her home at Kazipara in Mirpur on Sunday and then interrogated by the police. The two sisters’ involvement with any militant organisation in the country has not yet been established. Momena, the elder sister, was inspired by online materials spread by militant outfits, including the ISIS and Al-Qaeda, Monirul Islam said.

Momena was arrested by the Australian police on February 10. Bangladesh Police has been in touch with its counterpart in Australia.

Momena wanted to go to a university

in Turkey for studies. But after she failed to get visa, she went to Australia. Probably acting on her elder sister’s earlier instruction, Sumona attacked a law enforcement official with a knife when law enforcers went to meet her at her Kazipara house in Dhaka on Sunday to conduct an inquiry about Momena, said Monirul Islam.

“We have no evidence of their connection with any militant outfits in the country. Neither were they involved with the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, 2016,” he added.  Monirul Islam said Momena had an affair with a man called Najibullah Ansari, who had been to Syria and was involved in militant activities.

They were supposed to get married at the end of 2014. But their marriage did not take place, as Najibullah’s family was against it. Police suspect Momena became involved in militancy after she met Najibullah. After her mother died in 2015, Momena was actively involved in militant activities, Monirul Islam said.

After studying in the Rajshahi Cadet College, Najibullah went to the Malaysian Marine Academy. From there, he went to the US on a scholarship for further studies. His family last contacted him in 2016. Gazi Sohan, a former militant, told the police that he had met Najibullah in Turkey. But after that he lost touch with him.

He also said Najibullah might have been killed on the Turkish border with Syria. Momena was arrested for allegedly stabbing a man in Melbourne. The Australian police said that Momena was inspired by the ideology of ISIS.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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