Delhi Police arrest British al-Qaeda operative
NEW DELHI: A British national, identified as Samiun Rahman, has been arrested for his alleged affiliation with the international terror group al-Qaeda, Delhi Police said on Monday.
According to the Special Cell of Delhi Police, Rahman, alias Shumon Haque, had set up camp in India with the objective of setting up a base in Mizoram and Manipur to raise funds and incite youth to fight for the cause of Rohingya Muslims and facilitate their entry from Mizoram and Manipur side.
Rahman had earlier been to Syria and fought against the Syrian government forces, alongside the Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorist organisation.
Meanwhile, police are now trying to ascertain whether the accused successfully recruited anyone from India into the terror outfit.
The arrest comes on a day when the Centre filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue of deportation of Rohingya Muslims from India.
In its affidavit, the Central government had told the apex court that the presence of Rohingyas in the country posed national security threats, while pointing out that intelligence inputs suggested links of some Rohingya immigrants with terror groups.
On Sunday night, Rahman was arrested from Shakarpur near ITO in Delhi, on a specific tip-off.
Delhi Police said they also recovered a pistol of 9 mm calibre, laptop, mobile phones etc from Rahman's possession.
During spot interrogation, he told cops that his name was Shumon Haque, alias Raju Bhai, and was a resident of Dhantola Thakurganj, Kishanganj Bihar.
He also produced a voter ID card as identity proof.
However, police did not find his answers convincing. Eventually, during sustained questioning, it came to light that he is a British national, residing in London.
"He was found to be an active militant of al-Qaeda, since 2013. He is a trained militant and has visited Morocco, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Turkey, Syria, Bangladesh and India for terrorist activities." DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah told media persons on Monday.
Police said that Rahman had visited several places in Bangladesh – the country of his origin – including Sylhet, Nabiganj, Dhaka among other places, and radicalised dozens of youth and facilitated their entry into Myanmar from Chittagong side.
However, he was arrested in Bangladesh for terrorist activities in 2014. After being in prison for around three years, he was released on bail in April 2017. Delhi Police said that he was in contact with his members of his outfit via Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram.
After his release, he contacted Syrian national Mohammad Jowlani, founder of the Al-Nusra front, who 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.
Rahman a trained soldier, had fought in Syria: Police
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Monday said that Samiun Rahman is a "trained soldier who has been given training to fight in a combat," with sources claiming that he had fought against the Syrian Army of the Bashar al-Assad in Northern Syria's Aleppo.
In 2013, Rahman was influenced by the al-Qaeda ideology and joined the group and underwent a three-week training in their camp in Syria and fought there upto 2014.
While in Syria, their group came to know about the 'atrocities' on Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar.
On account if his Bangladeshi origin, Rahman was selected to raise a fighter group there.
In 2014, the accused arrived in Bangladesh to radicalise youth and persuade them to join al-Qaeda, with the help of one Yasin, a resident of Bangladesh and an old al-Qaeda cadre).
According to sources in Delhi Police, Rahman was first jailed for traffic violation in London in 2011. While in jail for this violation, he undewent radicalisation.
After he was released from the jail after spending eight months, Rahman went to Mauritania in Africa.
It was there that he joined al-Qaeda.
From Mauritania, he went to Bangladesh, where he was arrested in 2014 and released in 2017.
He was on bail when he crossed over to India, with the purpose of recruiting and radicalising youth to fight for the cause of Rohingyas.
Sources also said he was in touch with some of the top leaders of Al Nusra front. "However, we have not found people in India whom he had recruited. We are still monitering his social media accounts," said a senior police officer.