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Bangladeshi workers plead guilty for financing terrorism

2 Bangladeshi workers, Mamun Leakot Ali, 30 and Zzaman Daulat, 34, who were earlier detained under Internal Security Act (ISA) had pleaded guilty for financing terrorism on Tuesday (30 August).

Mamun and Zzaman were among eight Bangladeshi nationals arrested between late March and early April 2016. The two came to Singapore to work under work permits.

Six of the eight detained were charged under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act for money laundering.

Four out of the six had pleaded guilty when they were being charged. Rahman Mizanur, 31, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment; Miah Rubel, 26, and Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar, 31 were sentenced to 30 months imprisonment; and Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader, 29, were sentenced 24 months imprisonment on 12 July.  At that time, Mamun and Zzaman denied the charges and claimed retrial.

Mamum Leakot Ali is accused of contributing $500 and collecting funds of $300 for terrorist acts. However, he previously denied contributing money to the Islamic State in Bangladesh.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) claimed that Rahman was a ringleader. Mamun was the group's deputy leader. Zzaman was in the group's security council. Miah and Jabath were the group's treasurers. MHA states that Sohel donated $300 to the group.

MHA claims that the eight were members of a clandestine group set up by Rahman Mizanur in March 2016 in Singapore. The group was named “Islamic State in Bangladesh” (ISB) and the members intended to join the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as foreign fighters.

According to MHA, the ISB had identified numerous individuals as possible targets, including ministers, police and media personnel in Bangladesh.

MHA states that it had recovered names of possible targets in a document titled “We Need for Jihad Fight” found on ISB founder Rahman Mizanur.

MHA also stated that other documents including instructions for weapons and bomb making, as well as ISIS and Al-Qaeda radical material seized from him.

Money raised by ISB members has been seized by MHA. MHA claims that they had raised the money with the objective to purchase firearms to carry out their planned terror attacks in Bangladesh.

The MHA reported that eventually, the ISB had hoped to establish an Islamic State in Bangladesh.