Bangladeshi deported from Malaysia met suspect in Dhaka cafe attack

Bangladeshi policemen at a checkpoint in Dhaka on July 5, 2016, in a street leading to the Holey Cafe where 21 hostages were killed.
Bangladeshi policemen at a checkpoint in Dhaka on July 5, 2016, in a street leading to the Holey Cafe where 21 hostages were killed. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Bangladeshi man who was among four arrested in Malaysia for terror links had met the suspect involved in an attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, two months ago.

Sources revealed that the 37-year-old businessman used his restaurant in Bukit Bintang to meet with the terrorist, Andaleeb Ahmed, who was involved in the attack on Holey Cafe in July where 21 hostages were killed.

"The authorities believe that the suspect was planning attacks in his home country.

"He even had regular meetings with many of his countrymen," said the source.

The source added that the suspect was also responsible for smuggling AK-47 rifles into Bangladesh.

Andaleeb was linked to Monash University in Malaysia, having been in the country from 2012 to 2015 and later in Istanbul.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the businessman was among four men arrested by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division between Aug 2 and Sept 17.

"The (Bangladeshi) suspect was arrested on Aug 19. He was placed in Interpol's Red Notice and was deported on Sept 2," Mr Khalid said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 22).

Three others arrested in the special operation included a 38-year-old Nepalese businessman, a 26-year-old Moroccan man and a 34-year-old Malaysian man.


"The Nepalese was arrested on Aug 19 and deported on Sept 2,'' the police chief said.

"We discovered that he ran entertainment outlets and a hotel.

"We believe he was responsible for falsifying documents to facilitate the travel of terrorists," he said.

It is learnt that the suspect charged between RM250 and RM1,300 (S$82 - S$428) for his services in arranging the travels of Nepalese citizens to return to their home country.

The third suspect is a Moroccan welder, who fled to Malaysia to escape Moroccan authorities.

"The Moroccan man was previously arrested by Turkish authorities for trying to enter Syria.

"After his release, he managed to find his way into Malaysia in May," he said.

The suspect, he said, was arrested on Aug 2 and deported on Sept 21.

The IGP said the fourth suspect - the Malaysian - worked as a driver for a businessman and had links with militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi.

"We believe he has been promoting IS propaganda and ideologies through his Facebook account," he said, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

It is believed that the businessman whom the suspect worked for ran a car import business in Port Klang.

"He has been involved in IS since 2014," a source said.

To date, a total of about 240 militants have been arrested since February 2013.