CTTC trying to identify IS militant Motaj’s cohorts

Nuruzzaman Labu
Published : 12:06, May 09, 2019 | Updated : 23:47, May 11, 2019

Mutaz Abdul Mojid Kafil Uddin Bapari, 33, was arrested from capital Dhaka on Sunday (May 5)Dhaka based Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC) is trying to identify the cohorts of Syria-returned IS militant, Motaj Abdul Majid.

A process has already begun for the forensic analysis of the phone while interrogation of Motaj is underway.

CTTC officials say that Motaj can only speak in Arabic and is trying to evade answering many questions.

On Sunday (May 5), Motaj Abdul Majid Kafiluddin Bepari alias Motaj, 33, was arrested by CTTC. Bangladeshi citizen, Motaj, went to Syria to fight from Saudi Arabia. In February this year, he entered Bangladesh through Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. After being arrested, he was presented to court, taken to remand and interrogated.

CTTC Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Saiful Islam said: “Motaj is being cagey but we are persistent and will carry on interrogating him.”

Relevant people say that after inspecting Motaj’s phone, contacts in several countries were found.

But it could not be ascertained if the foreign contacts are Foreign Terrorist Fighter or FTF.

One official of CTTC says that Motaj tried to contact neo JMB in Bangladesh and efforts are underway to find them and get an idea about Motaj’s visit to Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi Canadian citizen, Tamim Chowdhury and British citizen, Samiun Rahman also contacted local militants, said CTTC officials.

Motaj grew up in Saudi Arabia and his father Abdul Majid is Bangladeshi while his mother, Halima is Pakistani. His father hails from Kandi village in Shariatpur under Sokhipur thana. In Dhaka, Motaj was residing in Uttara.

Officials say that Mutaz made a Bangladesh passport in 2014 through the Saudi Embassy and used that to travel to Turkey in 2016, where he was indoctrinated with the IS ideology.

He made several failed attempt to enter Syria, eventually returning to Saudi Arabia. Later, in 2018, he entered Syria through Turkey and took part in conflict on behalf of IS.

CCTC got information of Mutaz from a foreign intelligence unit and later analysed CCTV footage at the airport to detect him and then trace him to an address in the city. 

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