DHAKA (THE DAILY STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The police in the Bangladeshi capital said on Thursday (Jan 21) that they did not find that the 26 Bangladeshi workers who were deported from Singapore last month had any links with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda.
Mr Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), however said they had found that the Singapore returnees had been involved with local banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team.
"None of the returnees were found involved with any international militant groups including Al-Qaeda and Islamic State," the DMP official said.
"We have arrested 14 of the returnees. Most of them are linked with the Ansarullah Bangla Team chief Mufti Jashimuddin Rahmani and they are followers of war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedeed," Mr Monirul said while speaking to journalists at his office.
On Wednesday, a Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) press release said the authorities had arrested 27 Bangladeshis between Nov 16 and Dec 1 last year.
Mug shots of the 27, who used to work in construction, were also released.
According to the MHA, 26 of them were members of a closed religious study group that allegedly subscribed to extremist beliefs and teachings of radical ideologues like Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni Islamic lecturer alleged to have ties with militant group Al-Qaeda.
Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.