(AFP) Bangladesh police said Monday they have arrested a British citizen suspected of entering the country to recruit militants for jihadist groups overseas such as the Islamic State organisation.
Officers said Samiun Rahman, a 24-year-old Londoner of Bangladeshi origin, was picked up from a railway station in the capital around midnight on Sunday.
He said Rahman, alias Ibn Hamdan, planned to send Bangladeshi militants to Syria and also wanted to set up an Al-Qaeda network inside Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar.
Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced plans earlier this month to launch a South Asian branch of the militant network.
Just last week, two other suspected militants were arrested for allegedly attempting to set up an Al-Qaeda network in Bangladesh.
Asif Adnan, 24, and Fazle Elahi Tanzil, 26, were members of the local Ansarullah Bangla Team, blamed for the murder last year of a blogger who was critical of Islam.
Several banned Islamist militant groups operate in Bangladesh and have been blamed for a series of deadly attacks since the late 1990s. But none of them have been linked to Al-Qaeda.
Rahman, dressed in a long robe, was paraded before the media at a police press briefing.
Police said he was born in London.