Four Bangladeshi Muslims plead guilty to financing jihad and terrorism


They were workers by day, but by night, they were planning to kill their fellow countrymen.

They even had specific job responsibilities, such as handling finances, media, security and legal matters.

Their aim was to use violence against the Bangladesh government back home and bring it under the self-declared caliphate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

They might have succeeded if not for an anonymous tip-off to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) that scuppered their plans.

For four months, eight radicalised Bangladeshi nationals here got together over a terror plot.

The authorities swooped and arrested them under the Internal Security Act.

Yesterday, four of them pleaded guilty to financing terrorism here.

Leader Rahman Mizanur, 31, along with Miah Rubel, 26, Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar, 31, and Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader, 29, were charged last Friday.

They were accused of providing or collecting money to fund terrorist acts in Bangladesh.

Two others – Mamun Leakot Ali, 29, and Zzaman Daulat, 34 – have claimed trial.

Two more men, Sohag Ibrahim, 27, and Islam Shariful, 27, remain in detention.

Court papers said Rahman had developed a fascination for ISIS in 2014.

He became radicalised in April last year after meeting a Mr Jahangir Alam, who gave him ISIS-related documents, in Bangladesh.

He also tried to join ISIS on three occasions, but failed because he could not get a visa to travel to Turkey and Algeria.

Rahman arrived in Singapore on Dec 3 to work as a draftsman in a construction firm, having worked here on and off since 2007.

In January, he met Miah, Zzaman and Sohag at a Sembawang HDB void deck and convinced them to join and support ISIS.

He also suggested forming their own group that would operate in Bangladesh as part of ISIS.

The four men swore they would follow Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, until their death.


The group met at parks in Boon Lay and Woodlands as they planned an armed jihad to fight and kill non-believers back home.

Rahman also explained they needed money to buy weapons and food, and everyone agreed to contribute part of their salaries.

Court papers said each man allegedly contributed between $200 and $1,660.

In March, they officially formed the Islamic State in Bangladesh (ISB) to overthrow their government via an armed struggle, with a view to eventually join up with ISIS.

Rahman also came up with and distributed an organisational chart detailing each member’s role in ISB.

He even discussed the use of false names and shared a five-page document on counter-surveillance techniques.

The group agreed they would begin in the Panchagarh district in Bangladesh as there were many Muslims there.

Rahman was arrested on March 29. Documents on weapons and bomb-making, as well as ISIS and Al Qaeda-related material, were found on him.

Even after Rahman’s arrest, the ISB continued to meet.

On April 3, deputy leader Mamun took over the group while Miah replaced him as deputy leader and Jabath agreed to handle the finances.

They were all nabbed later that month.

Yesterday, Rahman, Miah, Jabath, Sohel and Zzaman were taken to the State Courts in three armoured vehicles.

Each was escorted into the dock in the courtroom and closely watched by two Gurkha officers.

Zzaman denied the charges – claiming he did not know what the money would be used for – while the other four men pleaded guilty to between one and two charges of financing terrorism.

A pre-trial conference for Zzaman and Mamun, who had denied the charges last Friday, was set for next Thursday.

Rahman and the other three accused will be back in court on June 21.

The maximum punishment for each charge of financing terrorism is 10 years’ jail and a fine of $500,000.

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