Online radicalisation: Bangladeshi arrested in Italy over ties to terrorist group

Faysal Rahman is allegedly associated with Al Qaeda-linked Tehrik Taliban Pakistan, which aims to turn Pakistan into an Islamic state

Published : 5 Nov 2023, 09:10 AM
Updated : 5 Nov 2023, 09:10 AM

A Bangladeshi national has been arrested in Italy due to his suspected links to terrorism.

The arrestee, 21-year-old Faysal Rahman, had been living in Genoa for more than two years, according to Italian news agency Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI). He was employed as a nautical worker at the Sestri Ponente shipyards.

It is alleged that Rahman is associated with a terrorist organisation known as Tehrik Taliban Pakistan, which has ties to Al Qaeda. The group's stated objective is to overthrow the Pakistani government and establish an emirate governed by its interpretation of Islamic law. The organisation has previously carried out attacks on the Pakistani military and assassinated democratically elected politicians.

Rahman's arrest underscores the dangers of online radicalisation, as he propagated the group's violent ideologies through various internet and social media platforms. His affinity for 'the Group of 20', a known proponent of strict Islamic principles, drew the attention of the authorities. He identified himself as "Warrior" or "Soldier of" god and "Al-Qaeda Lover" on his Facebook accounts.

The arrest was carried out by the district's anti-terrorism directorate as a precautionary measure following several months of investigation initiated in 2021.

Authorities revealed that Rahman had taken steps to acquire the flag of his affiliated terrorist organisation. He also disseminated information related to violent actions associated with terrorist groups through online platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram.

Moreover, he was found to be self-training for violent activities, including the use of firearms, particularly the AK-47.

Two other Bangladeshi citizens are also under investigation.

In response to the situation, Taijul Islam, vice consul of the Bangladesh Consulate in Milan, said, "We are in the process of gathering additional details through diplomatic channels. Actions will be taken by the consulate office in accordance with diplomatic protocols."