A man who was arrested in Bangladesh for being a suspected volunteer for the self-proclaimed Islamic State was rock singer and guitarist with a recording contract.
Asif Adnan was a singer with rock band Jahiliyyah, named after the period of history in Arabia before the rise of Islam, which was discovered by a British ‘death metal’ artist from the small company Kingslam Records, which gave them a recording contract for the UK.
The Telegraph reports that Adnan’s family have now submitted a bail application which describes him as having “brilliant academic and cultural records”, holding a first-class degree in economics. His family accuse “cultural rivals” for instigating his arrest “on the basis of baseless information and implicated him in a groundless case with a view to destroy his career, future and to harass him and his family”.
He was arrested along with Samiun Rahman, a former London minicab controller who police say recruited him to ISIS, and fellow recruit Fazle Elahi Tanzil.
They are now in custody and face life sentences if convicted.
Police said that Rahman turned to Islam after being arrested for being drunk. He soon looked for an Arabic teacher in the Middle East, before travelling to Syria and then arriving in Dhaka, Bangladesh to recruit new ISIS fighters among the local population.
Detectives claim to have intercepted text messages by Adnan to Tanzil in which he spoke of his desire to travel to Syria and join the ‘jihad’.
“I just want to be in the land of Jihad. Among the Mujahideen. Living a life only for Allah,” he is alleged to have written. He was also trying to decide where to travel to depending on which jihadi group accepted him: “It if is from Nusra, then probably to Khorasan. If it is AQIS [Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent] then the focus is on Burma, don’t know the details about that.”
Police say the men were about to travel through Turkey to Syria, posing as pilgrims from the Tabligh movement, a more moderate strand of Islam.