Four radicalised Bangladeshi supporters of the Islamic State terror group were on Tuesday convicted by a Singapore court for raising finances to launch terror attacks back home, becoming the first to be prosecuted under the country’s tough terrorism act.
The four men – Rahman Mizanur, Miah Rubel, Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar and Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader – pleaded guilty to one and two counts each of providing or collecting hundreds of dollars.
The convicts, employed in the local construction and marine industries, face up to 10 years in jail and are expected to be sentenced on June 21. Ringleader Mizanur, 31, pleaded guilty to two of four charges against him. The remaining two charges will be taken into consideration during sentencing, according to a ‘Channel News Asia’ report.
The four were part of a group of six charged under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act (TSOFA) – this is the first time the Act has been used for prosecution. Mizanur had set up the group called Islamic State in Bangladesh, in March this year after developing a “liking” for the dreaded ISIS terror group.
The court heard that Mizanur had tried to join ISIS three times, but was unable to obtain a visa allowing him to travel to Turkey and Algeria. He travelled to Singapore to find work instead, and recruited his five co-accused, four of whom pleaded guilty alongside him.
The prosecution said that Mizanur’s dream was still to join ISIS and become a fighter to destroy disbelievers’ activities through an armed struggle. The group met regularly to discuss waging an armed jihad to fight against non-believers.
They agreed that when they returned to Bangladesh, they would “find and kill” non-believers, the prosecution told the court. In January this year, the four had taken an oath that they would follow Abu Bakar al-Bagdadi, the leader of ISIS, until their deaths, the court heard. Another accused Zaman Daulat, who was also part of the group charged last week, denied the charges against him.