PETALING JAYA: One of three suspected militants from Bangladesh deported back by the Malaysian government earlier this year for alleged links to Islamic State (IS) has gone missing and remains traceless in his home country.
Golam Rabbani’s whereabouts are apparently not known to his family, and police at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka where he was scheduled to arrive have claimed to have no knowledge about the deportation, the Dhaka Tribune reported yesterday.
His wife Nazia Ferdousi, who is still in Malaysia with their three children, claimed she had last spoken to him over the phone on July 19 when he was being sent back.
Rabbani had called her about 10pm from the cell phone of a fellow passenger on a Malindo Air flight before it took off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Dhaka, his family members were cited as saying.
His elder sister Nigar Sultana also talked to him by phone that night when he said he was returning home, they had said.
That was the last they had contact with him. He neither reached their home in the city of Bogra 200km north-west of Dhaka, nor made any further contact with his wife.
The Dhaka Tribune said an official at the Bangladesh police headquarters, seeking anonymity, had confirmed to the news daily that Rabbani was deported from Malaysia.
He however could not say whether any agency picked him up at the airport.
The report also quoted Noor-E-Azam, officer-in-charge of the airport’s police station, as saying that he was not aware of any such deportation.
No one had filed a general diary or a case about Rabbani going missing, he was quoted as saying.
The daily said Rabbani ran a coaching centre for school students in Bogra before he went to Malaysia.
It said he was also an honours student of the political science department at Government Azizul Haque College in the city.
The Dhaka Tribune added that two other nationals also deported from Malaysia were in Bangladeshi police custody since February.
They are Redwanul Azad Rana, alleged to be the mastermind behind the assassination of Bangladeshi blogger Rajib Haider in February 2013, and his colleague Md Ashraful.
The duo were arrested in the city’s Uttara precinct by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit which had followed them after they landed at the airport.
According to the CTTC, Rana was an organiser of militant outfit Ansar Al Islam, formerly known as Ansarullah Bangla Team.
He and Ashraf had planned to get training from the Abu Sayyaf Islamic extremist outfit in southern Philippines after their attempt to join IS in Syria failed. They were then arrested by Malaysian police following information given by Bangladeshi intelligence.
On Oct 13, Malaysia’s inspector-general of police, Mohamad Fuzi Harun, had named Rabbani, Rana and Ashraful as having had suspected links with the IS terrorist network.
He said they were among 12 suspected militants deported by the country.