Attack Prof Zafar Iqbal
Who runs Da’wah Ila-Allah?
Published : Sunday, 11 March, 2018 at 1:25 AM Count : 773
Law enforcers have failed to find out the persons running the online-based militant activities of 'Da'wah Ila-Allah' whose follower carried out the attempt on the life of eminent academic Prof Zafar Iqbal during a programme at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet on March 3.
According to the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, the members of Ansar Al Islam, an Islamic religious extremist group that was previously known by the name Ansarullah Bangla Team, was involved in the killing of secular writers and bloggers.
The Neo-JMB (Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh) members were involved in the killing of professors, members of religious minorities and foreigners. Initially, secular and atheist bloggers and writers were targeted, source said.
Foyzur Rahman Faizul carried out the attack on Prof Zafar Iqbal. Faizul followed 'Da'wah Ila-Allah' forum's guidance to attack Zafar Iqbal. Faizul used the Telegram app for communicating with his followers, CTTC source told the Daily Observer on Saturday.
Da'wah Ila-Allah forum is run by members of notorious terrorist groups Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) and Ansar Al-Islam.
The ABT and Ansar Al Islam began gaining strength in 2013 and 14 and started selecting targets by monitoring social media and hacking them to death.
Militant outfits are taking full advantage of the dark web, the darkest corners of the internet. The dark web is the vast expanse of the internet, which can't be accessed by conventional search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
The CTTC source said elements belonging to Ahle Hadith and Salafism were indoctrinated through instigating speeches. Most of the Ahle Hadith and Salafism followers are involved in militancy in the country. There are six categories of Ahle Hadith and Salafism followers in Bangladeshi.
Foyzur Rahman alias Faizul has been put on a 10-day remand in the case filed in connection with the attack on Prof Zafar Iqbal. Apart from Foyzur Rahman, six, including his parents and brothers, were also detained after the attack. Of them, only Faizul was shown arrested in the case, police said.
Faizul was influenced by his paternal uncles, both of whom are followers of the Ahle Hadith.
CTTC source said, "Faizul belongs to a devout Muslim family. His behaviour began changing from 2016, as he started reading materials from the Ahle Hadith sect of Islam.
Several other CTTC officials, who interrogated Faizul, his parents and uncles, are determined to unearth every single detail of the attack on Zafar Iqbal.
Learning about the mechanism behind radicalization would help the law enforcers in the long-run to curb militant activities on Bangladesh soil.
"Faizul got admitted at Sylhet Alia Madrasa in 2016, but later abandoned his studies claiming that the path is not right. He later worked at two organizations- Moin Computers and Quran-Sunnah Research Centre, and both of the owners were followers of Ahle Hadith."
According to several CTTC officials, who are working to prevent the rise of militancy for years, many followers of Ahle Hadith or Salafi sect have a penchant for getting involved in extremist activities.
In Bangladesh, there is significant evidence that majority of the members belonging to banned militant groups Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), its new faction (New JMB) and Ansar Al-Islam are also followers of Ahle Hadith or the Salafi sect.
The movement advocated a return to the traditions of the salaf, who are the first three generations of scholars after the Prophet Muhammad.
Two Ahle Hadith organisations are currently active in Bangladesh- Jamiat Ahle Hadith and Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Muhammad Javed Patwary recently said at a programme, "As of now, we know that Foyzur Rahman Faizul, who attempted to kill eminent academic Prof Zafar Iqbal was a self-radicalised militant."