Two suspected members of the Middle East-based militant outfit, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), confessed to have contacted 500 people to join the ISIS through the social media. They also confessed to police detectives that 11 people recruited by them have already left the country to join the terrorist outfit till date.
The Detective Branch (DB) of police on Monday arrested Aminul Islam Beig, regional coordinator of JMB and also, information technology in-charge of a multinational company, and JMB member Sakib Bin Kamal, a teacher of an English medium school in Dhaka.
They were traced by the detectives while investigating the activities in Bangladesh of the militant outfit also known as IS. They had reportedly taken all preparations to join the militants in the middle-east.
DB source said the two suspected confessed to the police during interrogation that they were involved in recruiting people for the IS. They also targeted highly educated persons for joining the IS, the source added.
During interrogation of Aminul and Sakib, the detectives got information Saifullah a Bangladesh-born Japan expatriate, is also a member of the team. Saifullah had taken all preparations to join the IS militants in Iraq and Syria, an interrogator said.
The law enforcers are now trying to locate them, said Mahfuzul Alam Rasel, Senior Assistant Commissioner of DB. Although IS has no base in Bangladesh, its members are working in small groups. Detectives say at least a dozen such groups are active in the country.
"After his arrest, other top leaders are now trying to carry out their activities from their hideouts. We are now analysing the information that we have from the arrested persons and we will arrest their associates."
Another senior official of the DB police requesting anonymity said the IS recruits communicate with each other through internet by using codes. "None other than the members can decode these messages."
DB Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam said militants in Bangladesh now heavily depend on internet for internal communication.
"Our officials are on alert against such activities. We have already got some sensational information from the arrested persons about their activities on Facebook, Twitter and blog sites," Monirul said.
Monirul told the Daily Observer that the local militants have online contacts with international militant groups. The arrested militant, Aminul, had gathered a large amount of information about IS activities and was in contact with the network online, he said. "He then began recruiting people for them. Aminul also operated a blog site." Monirul added.
Many cultural activists, journalists, bloggers and others are potential targets of the militant extremists, DB source said.
Monirul said JMB has a nationwide network and its members are active, so selecting financially self-supporting candidates to fight abroad is a relatively easy task. He said the militants' objective is to establish an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and then to take the jihadist fight to the rest of the world.
"We are investigating whether the two were involved in the death threat letters sent recently to 10 important personalities of the country," Monirul added.