Akayed reached out to Rohingyas

AKM Moinuddin
Thursday, December 21st, 2017


 

Family wants smooth life for Akayed’s 6-month-old son Ajjam

 

Before Akayed Ullah reached New York from Bangladesh on October 22 this year, and tried to blow himself up with a pipe bomb in a crowded Manhattan subway station in New York, he had done one last thing. He availed himself of an overnight bus journey to Cox’s Bazar just to see and help Rohingyas in Kutupalang camp. He met them and distributed medicines for Rohingyas.

 

And the man accused of setting off a bomb in a New York subway passage has finally put his family back at home under tremendous mental pressure making them worried about Akayed Ullah’s six-month-old son.

 

“This innocent baby (Akayed’s son) didn’t see his father’s face over the last two days. They used to see each other through video chat every day. I don’t know whether he’ll be able to see his father anymore,” Akayed’s mother-in-law Mahfuza Akhter told Dhaka Courier.

 

Talking to this correspondent at her Jigatola residence in the city, Mahfuza said Akayed chose the name – Obiad Ullah Ajjam – for his only son keeping some similarity with his own name.

 

“I want to see Ajjam grow up in normal surroundings like other kids do,” Mahfuza said with tears rolling down her eyes.

 

Akayed’s uncle Abdul Ahad, who was nearby, said they do not want to see people label Ajjam as ‘son of a militant’.

 

Akayed’s wife Jannatul Ferdous Jui was too shocked to see her dream of a happy family shattered and was crying all the time since Akayed got hurt and caught after the New York bomb explosion. She was not in a condition to talk to the press.

 

Akayed met Rohingyas in Oct

 

Akayed Ullah last visited Bangladesh on September 8 and stayed for less than two months, Mahfuza Akher said.

 

“Akayed visited Rohingya camps then and distributed medicines for Rohingyas before he left for New York on October 22,” she said.

 

Mahfuza Akher recalled that during that trip to Cox’s Bazar, Akayed did not book a hotel there for his stay. In response to her query on this, she said, Akayed had told her, “I’ll spend the money for Rohingyas instead of staying in a hotel.”

 

She said Akayed travelled Cox’s Bazar by bus and during bus journey at night he had video chat with his only son and wife.

 

Talking to Dhaka Courier, Akayed’s father-in-law Julfiqar Haider said Akayed was a very gentle, polite and honest young man. “I have no doubt about that. And we chose the best person for our only daughter.”

 

He said Akayed used to offer Namaj in Shahi Mosque five times a day and Akayed’s wife says her prayers too.

 

“You already know, police found his no criminal link in Bangladesh. Only Almighty knows what happened after he has gone to the USA,” Julfiqar Haider said.

 

Akayed’s brother-in-law Hasan Mahmud Joy said her only sister Jui did her graduation in Accounting from the Dhaka City College.

 

He said her sister might have downloaded an e-book of Jasimuddin (leader of the banned militant outfit Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani).

 

“I don’t think her husband asked her to read this. So far, I know she only read two pages of the book. If she had any ill motive, she could have deleted it not showing to police,” said Joy, who had to leave his job on Wednesday as police asked him to remain prepared for anytime police interrogation.

 

Akayed reportedly gave a leaflet of militant leader Jasimuddin to his wife and asked her to read it in September last indicating that he was self-radicalised, said a top police official on Wednesday.

 

Chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Monirul Islam said Akayed might have been self-radicalised through internet after going to the USA as he had no criminal record in Bangladesh. Monirul also said police didn’t find Akayed’s link in any militancy activities in Bangladesh.

 

Quoting Jui, the CTTC chief said she also discussed the content of the leaflet with her husband.

 

Monirul said Akayed followed Islami dress code, rules strictly and offered Namaz regularly during his last visit to Bangladesh.

 

During his stay at home, most of the time he remained busy with his laptop, Monirul said quoting Akayed’s wife.

 

Earlier, police picked up Akayed’s wife Jannatul Ferdous Jui, his father-in-law Zulfikar Haider, mother-in-law Mahfuza Akhter from the city’s Jigatala area on Tuesday for interrogation.

 

Akayed Ullah ‘born and brought up in Dhaka

 

Akayed Ullah, who went to the US from Bangladesh in 2011 on a visa available to certain relatives of US citizens, was born and raised in Dhaka, villagers say.

 

“His father Sanaullah left Sandwip at the age of 22 and came to Dhaka. He got married here and his son Akayed Ulla was born in Dhaka,” said one of the villagers who wished to remain unnamed.

 

He said Sanaullah, who hailed from ward number 9 of Musapur Union in Sandwip upazila of Chittagong district, passed away two years back in New York. “He was buried there.”

Talking to Dhaka Courier, Musapur Union Chairman M AbulKhayerNadim said he visited Sanaullah’s village to get details. “This family doesn’t have any contact with their village. We came to know about them today,” he said.

 

Nadim said they heard that Akayed Ullah got married and he became a father 4-5 months ago. He, however, could not tell whether it was baby boy or girl.

 

Talking to Dhaka Courier, Emdad, cousin of Akayed Ullah, said Akayed Ullah’s family came to Bangladesh from the USA twice since 2011 and visited Sandwip once.

 

He mentioned that Akayed’s father had a grocery shop in Hazaribagh.

 

Emdad, son of BorhanUddin Bhutan, said Sandwip police asked him to meet in the afternoon.

 

He used to live in Kuwait but is now permanently living in Sandwip.

 

Bangladesh condemned the incident in New York which is seen as an attempted terror attack.

 

“The government of Bangladesh is committed to its declared policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism, and condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning’s incident in New York City,” the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington said.

 

In an instant reaction, it said a terrorist is a terrorist, irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice.

 

Sohel Mahmud, a Bangladesh citizen from Sandwip and now in New York, said AkayedUlah has a nickname – “Shapu” he is not well known in the big Sandwip community in the USA.

 

He said Shapu lived in Bangladesh until he was 20 years old and he has two sisters and one elder brother.

 

Shapu, along with his two sisters, mother and father, went to the USA in 2011 with the help of his brother Apu.

 

“We’re embarrassed. It’s a shame for all who are from Sandwip,” KaziIftekharul Alam Tareq, who is also from Sandwip, told Dhaka Courier.

 

A joint police team from Chittagong city and Sandwip police station visited Akayed Ullah’s village at Musapur Union and talked to his relatives.

 

“They stayed here for an hour and wanted to know more about Akayed Ullah. We shared what we know. But police didn’t find any criminal record against him,” Emdad told Dhaka Courier over phone.

 

He also said police also talked to another relative, Joynal Abedin, at the police station.

 

Late Sanaullah had a small grocery shop in Hazaribagh area and owned a building in Dhaka.

 

Akayed Ullah did not have any criminal record in Dhaka.

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