Bangladesh arrests suspected ISIS militant back from Syria

Bangladesh's counter-terrorism police have arrested a suspected "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) member who returned to the country after fighting for the extremist group in Syria, AFP reported Wednesday (May 8th).

Police said Motaj Abdul Majid Kafiluddin Bepari, 33, joined ISIS in Syria after he travelled there from Saudi Arabia, where he was born to a Bangladeshi parent.

He returned to Bangladesh in February and made contact with a new faction of local ISIS-inspired extremist outfit Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), blamed for a series of attacks, said counter-terrorism official Wahiduzzaman Noor.

Officers arrested Bepari near a mosque in Dhaka's Uttara neighbourhood on May 5th, and he has been charged under anti-terrorism laws for alleged plans to establish a "caliphate", Noor added.

"He went to Syria in 2018 and fought for ISIS," he said.

Bepari's arrest came after counter-terrorism police alerted airport authorities about the possible return of more than 50 Bangladesh-origin ISIS extremists after the group's defeat in Syria, deputy commissioner of Dhaka police Mohibul Islam Khan told AFP.

This is the latest in a series of ISIS-related security incidents in Bangladesh.

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