Former East-London taxi controller Samiun Rahman, who has been described as a “Bangladeshi-origin British citizen” has been arrested in Dhaka on suspicion of being a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Rahman, 24, travelled to Syria in September last year and fought with al-Qaeda cadet faction al-Nusra for three months before returning to the United Kingdom to act as a proselytizer and recruiter. It is believed he has traveled the world performing this work on behalf of ISIS since.
Bangladesh’s detective branch of police reported they had arrested the man in the Kamalapur area of the capital on Sunday, and following his confession of recruiting work he has been remanded in custody pending trial, reports Sky News. If convicted he faces life imprisonment.
As more British passport-holders travel to the Levant and Iraq to fight for groups like ISIS and al-Nusra, the risk posed by returning radicalised and experienced fighters increased. It is now estimated by the European counter-terrorism bureau that there are 3,000 Europeans fighting for ISIS at the moment, however other estimates have put the number much higher.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria represents the present territorial holdings of a self-proclaimed ‘Caliphate’, which envisions encroachment upon North Africa, Southern Europe and Central Asia. ISIS has, in recent months pushed its territory further than ever and now is up against the ancient city of Baghdad and the Turkish border.
Western attempts to resist ISIS have been initially sluggish, revealing a clear war-weariness amid modern democracies who have just witnessed a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Efforts are now focussed on ‘low intensity’ aerial bombardment and arming of the Iraqi Kurds, who want to carve out a separate Kurdish state in the North.
Germany’s military, which has seen scant use since the end of the Cold War has faced embarrassment when trying to ship second-hand army gear to the Kurds in the past couple of weeks after two transport aircraft broke down en-route. After failing to move training troops to Iraq, Kurdish soldiers are now at training facilities in Germany.