Bangladesh Police arrest woman whose sister is held in Australia on terrorism charges

Police in Dhaka have arrested a woman whose sister was arrested in Australia on charges of stabbing a man in his sleep in an ‘Islamic State-inspired’ terrorist attack five days ago.

Chief Crimes
Published : 13 Feb 2018, 03:03 PM
Updated : 13 Feb 2018, 09:53 PM

A team of the Counterterrorism and Transnational Crime or CTTC unit of the police arrested the woman, Asmaul Husna Sumona, 22, at Kaziparha in the capital’s Mirpur on Sunday.

CTTC Additional Deputy Commissioner Saiful Islam told on Tuesday Asmaul attacked the police with a knife when the law enforcers went to enquire about her sister at their home.

Saiful said one police official was injured in the attack.

Police seized the knife, a laptop and two mobile phones in the drive, he said.

A Dhaka court granted the police five days to grill Asmaul in a case started at Kafrul Police Station under the Anti-Terrorism Act later on Tuesday, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Anisur Rahman said.

Saiful said they needed to know who else were ‘involved in militancy along with the two sisters’ and how they had sourced the money they used.

Melbourne police arrested Asmaul’s elder sister Momena Shoma, 24, on Friday after she stabbed a man in his sleep.   

Dhaka Metropolitan Police said on its news website that Asmaul admitted she was an active member of the revived edition of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh or Neo-JMB militant group, which was blamed for the 2016 attack on a Gulshan cafe.

Middle East-based radical group Islamic State claimed responsibilities for the Gulshan attack, in which 17 foreigners and five others were killed, but the authorities blame home-grown militants for the massacre.

A ‘rough’ woman

Asmaul lived in the house with her parents after her sister Momena went to Australia recently to study at a university with scholarship.  

Momena graduated from North South University in English after studying in English-medium Mastermind School in Dhaka.

Asmaul enrolled at the University of Development Alternative in Dhaka after competing General Education or GED course last year as she failed in the HSC examinations after passing SSC tests in 2014.

According to the case dossier, her father Moniruzzaman cooperated well with the police during the two-hour enquiry about Momena, but Asmaul was ‘very rough’.

CTTC officer Saiful said, “Everything was alright, but when the police officers were leaving, Sumona surprisingly launched a knife attack, shouting Allahu Akbar.”

“She also said, “You are Kafirs (disbelievers). We must establish the rule of Islam in the country. We must do jihad if necessary’,” he added.     

An assistant commissioner was injured in the attack and received first-aid at a hospital, according to Saiful.