Bangladeshi American arrested in US on Taliban-linked terror charges
By Arul Louis
New York, July 27 (IANS) A Bangladeshi American man has been arrested while allegedly attempting to travel to Pakistan to join the Taliban with the aim of killing US troops, according to officials.
Delowar Mohammed Hossain, 33, was charged on Friday with "attempting to provide material support for acts of terrorism, specifically in support of killing US nationals located overseas," officials said.
He is the fourth person of Bangladeshi origin arrested in New York on terrorism charges.
Alleged Taliban supporter Hossain's arrest came as US officials said they were close to a peace agreement with the terrorist group in Afghanistan.
"The lure of radical ideologies comes from many sources, and just because the Taliban may seem like an old and out of vogue extremist group, it shouldn't be underestimated," said William Sweeney, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) New York office.
According to the complaint filed in a federal court here, Hossain tried to recruit an FBI "confidential source" to travel with him to Pakistan and cross into Afghanistan to join the Taliban.
The complaint said that Hossain told the source he wanted to "fight the American government" and kill some kufars (non-believers) before I die."
He allegedly bought communication equipment and trekking gear for his mission and asked the source to save money to buy arms.
To throw off suspicion about his final destination, he was about to fly first to Thailand on way to Pakistan when the FBI arrested him at a New York airport.
John Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said, "The threat of terrorism at home and abroad remains, and the National Security Division is committed to preventing individuals from carrying out deadly plans such as this."
Another person of Bangladeshi descent, Ashiqul Alam, 22, was arrested in June in connection with a terrorist plot against Times Square, the heart of New York City.
In 2017, Akayed Ullah, who is also of Bangladeshi descent tried unsuccessfully to set off a bomb in an underground metro station in Times Square. He was injured in the attempt and was arrested.
In 2012, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, who is of Bangladeshi origin, tried unsuccessfully to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. But he had been under surveillance by federal agents and the 1,000-pound bomb he had acquired was a fake.
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)