Islamic State in Bangladesh

On August 9, Islamic State (IS) released new video as part of its ongoing video series "The Best Outcome is for the Pious" which showed four Bangladeshi IS fighters renewing their pledge of allegiance to IS emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Two of the militants are seen wearing suicide vests.

Cover photo of the video

Cover photo of the video

Screenshot # 1 from the video

Screenshot # 1 from the video

Screenshot # 2

Screenshot # 2

Screenshot # 3

Screenshot # 3

The video also features several attackers from past IS attacks, including Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, who injured four people on a train near Würzburg with an axe before he was shot by police on 18th July 2016.

Calibre Obscura, MENA weapons specialist, commented on the new IS video from Bangladesh, saying:

So this latest IS release from Bengal (#Bangladesh) has the fighters armed with faux AK-12, obviously copied from the cancelled prototype version. ~20 round mags too, the area has a thriving craft-made illegal firearms industry.

Earlier this year, IS appointed Abu Muhammed al-Bengali as the new emir of IS in Bangladesh. Around the same time, IS also threatened to carry out more attacks in Bangladesh. Three posters carrying the same message were released by Al Mursalat, an IS affiliated group, in English, Bengali and Hindi.


Background of IS in Bangladesh: Attacks and Propaganda

IS Bangladesh (ISB) is the provincial division of the Islamic State in Bangladesh, that has claimed responsibility for attacks in Bangladesh since late October 2015. IS refers to the state of Bangladesh as “Bengal”.


In July 2016, the first female unit of the breakaway faction of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was discovered after the detention of Mahmudul Hassan Tanvir, a neo-JMB commander for the southern region in Bangladesh. On 24 July 2016, four female operatives in Masumpur, on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s Rajshahi division, who were undergoing military training, were detained by local police. During the raids, police recovered crude bombs, explosives, and propaganda material.

A second cell was discovered 16 August 2016 in Dhaka where four more women were arrested. Three were the students of Manarat International University (MIU) and one was a trainee doctor at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. By September 2016, seven more were arrested while undergoing training for suicide missions.


In December 2016, in Dhaka, a female suicide bomber detonated her vest while pretending to surrender to the police when an IS safe house was besieged. The bomber, Shakira, was the wife of Rashed ur Rahman Sumon.


As with many other women in jihadist groups, many of these women combat members are family members of male operatives. Some female members enter the cell to immediately marry an established member. They’re typically known as ISIS wives. The preferred methods of communication are: Facebook, Threema and Telegram.


Proponents and recruiters affiliated with the Islamic State began appearing in Bangladesh in September 2014, shortly after the fall of Mosul and the proclamation of the Caliphate. A British citizen of the Bangladeshi diaspora named Samiun Rahman was arrested in Dhaka for running an IS recruitment ring. His computer files contained links to the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). Earlier in August 2014, a group of Bangladeshi nationals pledged their loyalty to Islamic State and vowed to organize Bengali Muslims under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Soon after in October 2014, suspected Jund al-Tawheed wal Khilafah (JTK) members pledged support to al-Baghdadi and encouraged Muslims to take up armed jihad and also contribute financially to the cause. Not much is known about JTK, mostly because of the lack of government transparency and also its denial of the growing IS problem in Bangladesh. The little that is known about JTK is that they recruited Bangledeshi nationals to fight in Syria. Around late May 2015, Bangladeshi police arrested a JTK operative and former JMB member Aminul Islam Beg. Beg was charged with sending at least 20 Bangladeshi nationals and JMB members to Syria to fight and join Islamic State. The attacks on the Shia community and foreigners were most likely carried out by JTK members and the ones mentioned in the Islamic State's magazine Dabiq, as the “Khilafah’s soldiers in Bengal” (also translated as the Soldiers of the Caliphate in Bangladesh).

Islamic State stated its intent on spreading through Bangladesh in November 2015, after a streak of attacks in Bangladesh, including:

  • the murder of two foreigners [28th September 2015 and 3rd November 2015], and Italian and a Japanese expatriate,

  • followed by two separate attacks on the Shia community (on 23rd October 2015 and on 26th November 2015); one targeting a procession during the Ashura holiday while the other targeting a Shi’ite mosque.

  • an attack targeting a Bangladeshi police checkpoint near Dhaka (2nd November 2015).

Security officials in Bangladesh have noted 15 terror attacks to IS over the period of 2015-2016, setting the stage for a previously unlikely but a wider expansion of the Islamic State’s operations. The expansion of IS activities in Bangladesh was further ascertained when Singapore police announced the capture of 8 Bangladeshi citizens who were planning to commit acts of terror in their native country of Bangladesh. The 8 individuals worked in the marine and construction industries and were detained and questioned under the Singapore's Internal Security Act (ISA). These 8 had also raised money to purchase firearms which was also seized during the raid. The group was set up by a Singapore Passport holder Rahman Mizanur, aged 31, who was found with a document titled "We Need For Jihad Fight" which set out a detailed list of military and civil targets (including the Police Forces Air Force and the Navy and the Border Guard of Bangladesh, as well as Rapid Action Battalion, Bangladesh's elite counter-terrorism force).


Shaykh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hanif (former emir), Tamim alias Abu Dujanah (former Military Operations chief), Tamim Chowdhury (alias Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif and Abu Dujanah al-Bengali).



ISB in the 12th issue of Dabiq boasted of a new ISB “regional leader” was in place in Bangladesh, and suggested that local jihadist factions were uniting behind him: “The soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal . . . unified their ranks, nominated a regional leader . . . and hastened to answer the order from the Islamic State leadership.”

Following this claim, Dabiq 14 carried the interview of the leader of Islamic State in Bengal (ISB), Shaykh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hanif, who stated the importance of Islamic State’s presence in Bangladesh and how that worked into the goal of larger jihad that the Islamic State intends to carry out. It also made clear that ISB has its sights set on attacks in India and Bangladesh. Al Hanif stated, “Bengal is an important region for the Khilāfah and the global jihād due to its strategic geographic position. Bengal is located on the eastern side of India, whereas Wilāyat Khurāsān is located on its western side. Thus, having a strong jihād base in Bengal will facilitate performing guerrilla attacks inside India simultaneously from both sides”.

An article appeared in Dabiq 14 vowed to intensify and deliver the fight deep into Bangladesh: “The soldiers of the Khilafah will continue to rise and expand in Bengal and their actions will continue,” it stated.



ISB’s inroads into Bangladesh were partly a by product of the success of Prime Minister Hasina and her government’s successes against multiple local terror networks and partly because of Islamic State using the already present social fault lines and attacks on foreigners and religious minorities to cement its spread and gain domestic appeal. The dismantling of local terror networks created a vacuum which was quickly filled by ISB . Many members of the disenfranchised groups within Bangladesh like Jamaat ul-Mujahideen and Jamaat e-Islami saw the value in allying with ISB and re-brand in order to gain a stronger position against their perceived enemies within Bangladesh. ISB has gained the support of some of the local disenfranchised Islamist groups such as Jamaat ul-Mujahideen and Ansar al-Islam giving it an easy inroad and control of the narrative when it comes to Islamist ideology and the “crimes” being committed against the faithful in Bangladesh.

The spread of ISB’s ideology through attacks on foreigners, non believers and apostates of the faith has gained them a certain strain of popularity that is springing up multiple terror cells in Bangladesh.

The biggest competition that ISB faces in Bangladesh is the presence of Al Qaeda (AQIS) in the area and the support AQIS enjoys among many Bangladeshi jihadists. The escalation of the Islamic State attacks in Bangladesh has set the stage for a future standoff between ISB and AQIS.

Attacks claimed:

On 1 July 2016 at around 9:30 P.M, a group of 7 gunmen entered the Holey Artisan Bakery, which is a popular cafe located in the Gulshan 2 District of Dhaka. The gunmen started firing indiscriminately on entering the cafe, which is a favorite among foreigners, middle class families and diplomats, while hurling “crude bombs” outside, beginning a long siege. The gunmen took 33 hostages of various nationalities when they entered the area with guns, explosives and sharp weapons, and the siege lasted for almost 13 hours.

The Bangladesh army along with commandos started its operation to flush out the attackers and rescue the hostages at 9:15 A.M, in which 6 gunmen were killed while 1 gunman was taken into custody. The operation concluded in the rescue of 13 hostages which included two Sri Lankans and a Japanese national. 20 of the hostages were however killed, mostly with sharp weapons and were of various nationalities including 9 Italians, 7 Japanese nationals, 2 Bangladeshi, 1 U.S citizen and 1 Indian student. 2 police officials were also killed in the siege and the gunfight that ensued.

The attack was claimed by Islamic State Bangladesh (ISB) via Amaq Agency during the siege. This attack marked a severe escalation in the tactics and methods of the group in Bangladesh. Abu Jandal al-Bangali (ISB) was extremely active within Bangladesh over the past few months prior to the attack with attacks on Hindu and Buddhist minorities, secularists and homosexuals. This attack, which was coordinated and planned with the goal to secure maximum publicity while undermining the government, also stated in no uncertain terms that Islamic State is in fact present in Bangladesh, contrary to what the government has been stating. In the past two days, two separate assassinations of 1 Hindu temple worker and 1 Buddhist political leader were claimed by ISB propagandists in addition to this hostage attack.

Amaq statement on the Bangladeshi cafe attack

Amaq statement on the Bangladeshi cafe attack

Translation: "By the grace of Allah, and after accurate monitoring, five inghimasiyyin (may Allah accept them) set out towards a gathering of citizens of Crusader countries in Dhaka city. They managed to kill 22 Crusaders including 7 Italians, in addition to the killing of 2 Bengali police officers, and wounding more than 50 others. Let the citizens of the Crusader countries know that they will not be safe from the mujahideen attacks, as long as their aircraft kill the Muslims. So wait for what is to come. Indeed it will be harsher and more harmful, Allah permitting. "And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know.


On 4th October 2016, the IS propaganda magazine Rumiyah in its second issue profiled the Holy Bakery attackers.


Abu Rahiq , leader of the ve inghimasiyyin sent to terrorize the Crusaders in the Holey Artisan Bakery, was a close friend of Abu Jandal al-Bengali3 . Despite being raised in a secular murtadd family linked to the ruling ta- ghut government of the Awami League, he was among the rst muwahhidin in Bengal who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State as soon as the Khilafah was declared, walhamdulillah. Although he was a relatively young brother, Abu Rahiq had all the qualities of a military commander within him, by the grace of Allah. He was nicknamed by his mili- tary commander as “one-man army” because of his bravery and his uncompromising baraah towards the ku ar. As soon as he was given the good news that he was selected for an inghimasi operation against the Crusaders, he immediately shouted “Allahu akbar” and fell into prostration out of hap- piness, thanking Allah for the great blessing and asking for acceptance. He was a very obedient and disciplined soldier. Abu Rahiq was a young man known for his piety and worship. He was always focused, busy with the dhikr of Al- lah. One would sense that his heart was always attached to his Lord and the Hereafter. During his training for the operation, he used to recite Quran daily and pray the night prayers regularly, despite the tiredness from the heavy work- out session at night and the obligatory fast in the days of the blessed month of Ramadan. He used to get very moved by the famous Islamic State nashid “Qariban, Qariban” and would read the lyrics during the training period and say, “ is is exactly what we will do to the Crusaders, bi idhnil- lah.” He was truthful to Allah in his words and deeds, so Al- lah was truthful to him. We consider him such, and Allah is his judge. May Allah accept his shahadah and inspire many more mujahidin through his words and deeds.


Abu Muharib  was a young muwahhid who came from an a uent Bengali family and had the dunya at his feet. Although he was known for his lavish lifestyle among his peers before his return to his religion, he came to realize by the mercy of Allah that faith and guidance from Allah are the most important treasures for a believer in this world and not appearance, wealth, educational background, and other material criteria that people who are attached to this lowly world compete over, as the Prophet  said, “Indeed Allah looks not at your appearances or wealth, but rather He looks at your hearts and deeds” (Reported by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah).

After the declaration of the Khilafah and call to hijrah from the Islamic State leadership, Abu Muharib tried to perform hijrah to Sham and then to Libya but was unable to reach either land. Nevertheless, he got the reward for hijrah without actually performing it, as his steadfastness in jihad is a testimony to the sincerity of his intention, in shaallah. e Prophet  said, “Whosoever endeavors to perform a good deed, but does not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a completed good deed. And if he endeavors to perform it and completes it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as ten good deeds, to seven hundred fold, or to many more times multiplied” (Reported by al- Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn ‘Abbas). Before he joined the Soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal, Abu Muharib’s father wanted to hand him the reins of his garments business and buy him a car. In addition, his rela- tives and associates began pressuring him to “settle down” and get married. However, Allah protected Abu Muharib from falling into the various temptations of the dunya. By the mercy of Allah alone, he was able to choose the eter- nal gardens of the Hereafter over the petty pleasures of this worldly life. Abu Muharib had a strong connection with his Lord as was evident from his regular dhikr and recitation of Qu- ran. He was also very brave and was known for his patience throughout the training for the operation. As he was select- ed for the inghimasi operation, he chose his kunyah to be “Abu Muharib” because of his love and admiration for the mujahid brother Abu Muharib al-Muhajir, also known as “Jihadi John” in the Crusader news and media. He wanted to slaughter the Crusaders and the apostates like his brother “Jihadi John” who terrorized the ku ar of the world with his knife, alhamdulillah. He was truthful to Allah, so Allah was truthful to him and fulfilled his noble wish of terrorizing the kufar of the East and the West before achieving shahadah. May Allah accept him and his deeds. Amin.


Abu Salamah  was the youngest of the ve inghima- siyyin that was selected for this blessed operation. He came from an a uent Bengali family, the majority of whom were murtaddin who opposed his religion, mocked it, and exert- ed their utmost to prevent him from manifesting it. After he left his family and performed hijrah to the Soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal with the intention of jihad, his murtadd family sought help from the taghut government and put his picture out in the media in order to force him to return. However, that only increased Abu Salamah in his steadfast- ness and conviction, as Allah  said, “ ose to whom the people said, ‘Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, ‘Su cient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of a airs’” (Al ‘Imran 173).

During his training for the operation, Abu Salamah was known for his patience, obedience, and truthfulness. He never complained a bit, no matter how di cult the workout sessions or the living condition became during the training. He was very eager to ght the Crusaders who lead the war against the Islamic State. We ask Allah to accept him among the greatest shuhada. Amin.


Abu ‘Umayr  was known to be a soft-spoken, humble brother and yet well-known for his harshness towards the ku ar. Before taking part in this blessed inghimasi oper- ation, Allah  gave Abu ‘Umayr taw q to participate in several covert operations that involved targeting and killing Hindu priests, Christian missionaries, and other ku ar and murtaddin. He was a very dedicated mujahid, in addition to being a keen seeker of knowledge who would strive to study Quran and Hadith whenever he would get free time between his training and operations. May Allah accept him among the greatest shuhada and inspire many more mu- jahidin and seekers of knowledge to follow his footsteps. Amin.


Abu Muslim  was a very loving and kind brother who was well known for his generosity, service to brothers, obe- dience, and noble manners with others. When the Khila- fah was revived, he left the dunya behind him and joined the Soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal. He was very serious about listening and obeying. He would ask forgiveness for mistakes he might have committed in obeying orders. He was very soft and easily moved. Whenever he attended any discussion of the religion, his eyes would ll with tears. His family did not teach him how to recite the Quran very well, which hurt him very much. Once, he even cried because of this in front of everyone and it was such that he could not stop his tears from owing. He used to strive to perform every exercise required in training with diligence and never give up. As the training session occurred during the blessed month of Ramadan, he used to raise his hands at every iftar asking Allah to grant him thabat and shahadah during the planned battle. He was truthful to Allah, so Allah was truth- ful to him. We consider him such, and Allah is his judge. May Allah accept him among the greatest shuhada. Amin.

Poster glorifying the Bangladesh cafe attackers released by IS

Poster glorifying the Bangladesh cafe attackers released by IS


On 28th September 2015, a group of three men shot and killed an Italian aid worker, Cesare Tavella, in the diplomatic areas within Dhaka. The attack took place in the early hours of the day at around 6:15 a.m in the morning when Tavella was going out for a jog, but was accosted by the three men who were waiting by the side of the road. Tavella was shot with a silenced pistol three times and then the men got on a motorbike that was parked on the side of the road and escaped to the north. Cesare Tavella was a project manager for ICCO, an NGO working to eradicate poverty in South Asia. The attack on Tavella marked the first official attack against a foreigner by IS in Bangladesh, amid the violence towards secular and atheist bloggers in the country, showing more extremist and Islamist ideology is taking root in the otherwise secular and democratic society.

The killing of Cesare Tavella was only the first killing of foreigners in Bangladesh, only five days after Tavella was gunned down IS carried out another attack on a foreigner, this time a Japanese farmer. Kunio Hoshi owned a farm in the Rangpur district which produced grass, and was gunned down by two men on bikes. Three shots were fired and killed Hoshi in the Mahiganj village, and IS claimed responsibility for the attack. IS in their claim warned of more attacks on foreigners saying, “There will continue to be a series of ongoing security operations against nationals of crusader coalition countries, they will not have safety or a livelihood in Muslim lands”.

In the 12th issue of Dabiq, the group stated, “ they struck again, targeting Kunio Hoshi, a citizen of Japan, one of the member nations of the crusader coalition. He was closely tracked and eliminated in the city of Rangpur using a firearm.”


Mong Shwe Lung Marma was hacked around 9:45pm local time on 30th June 2016 in the Smshankhola area of Baishari union (of Naikkhangchhari upazila of Bandarban) while he was returning home from a local bazaar. There were no witnesses to the attack. A farmer by profession, Mong Shwe Lung Marma, 55, was a ward-level leader of the union. Islamic State Bangladesh (ISB) claimed credit for this killing via Amaq Agency.

On 1st July 2016, early in the morning the victim, Shaymanonda Das, aged 45, who was a volunteer at the Radhamadan Gopal Bigraha Math Temple, was hacked to death by three men wielding sharp weapons. The Radhamadan Gopal Bigraha Math Temple is located about 200 miles southwest of Dhaka. They approached him on motorbikes when he was walking near the temple where he helped lead daily prayers. Police stated that Das was hacked several times to the back of his neck. The tactics of approaching pedestrian targets on motorcycles for a quick escape is common in Bangladesh. Islamic State Bangladesh claimed credit for the attack via Amaq Agency.

On the morning of 10th June 2016, assailants hacked to death an elderly Hindu man during his morning walk (6:15 am local time) near the Ashram in Pabna. The elderly volunteer at the Thakur Anukul Chandra Satsanga Paramtirtha Hemayetpurdham Ashram was identified as Nityaranjan Pandey, aged 60. The police revealed that his wounds indicated that the militants attempted to decapitate him. Amaq Agency circulated a communique on 10th June 2016 from ISB claiming credit for the killing.


Translation: By Allah's success, in a covert operation the soldiers of the Khilafah managed to kill and slaughter a Hindu polytheist priest named "Anandu Kanjuli" in the Jhenaidah area in western Bangladesh. By Allah's permission, the knives of the Mujahidin will proceed to purify Bangladesh from the filth of the polytheists and apostates, and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

The Hindu community in Bangladesh is a minority that has specifically been targeted by Islamist terrorist outfits within the country with IS itself carrying out multiple attacks against Hindus. The first of the attacks against the Hindu community was perpetrated on February 21st, 2016 against a Hindu priest Jogeshwar Roy. He was attacked by 5 assailants who slit his throat while he we preparing and organising prayers at Deviganj temple near Panchagar in northern Bangladesh. The attackers shot a devotee who tried to stop the attack, before getting away from the scene of the crime. IS claimed credit for the attack saying, "In a security operation facilitated by the almighty God, soldiers of the Caliphate liquidated the priest Jogeshwar Roy, the founder and the head of the Deviganj temple that belongs to the infidel Hindus”. After the attack it was stated that there were up to three men arrested for the attack but not much has been reported since, while IS went on to carry out a second attack not more than 3 months later. This time the victim was a tailor, Nikhil Joarder, who was hacked to death in the district of Tangail in Central Bangladesh. The victim was inside his tailoring shop when two men on motorbikes drove up and attacked Joarder with machetes, leaving him dead within minutes.


Sunil Gomes was a Christian grocer of Bonpara village, which houses one of the oldest Christian communities in northwest Bangladesh. Gomes was hacked to death within his own grocery store near a church in Bonpara village. Half of his body was found outside his store; the other half was found within the establishment. Gomes was found killed on 5th June 2016. Abdullah Al Mamun alias Sabuj Ali, a truck driver, was arrested in connection with the attack on 6th June 2016. There was a claim of credit by ISB through an Amaq Agency Communique which was circulated via Telegram on 5 June 2016, and stated as follows:

Translation: “A source indicated to Amaq that Islamic State fighters carried out today an assassination operation against Sunil Gomes, a Christian, in the village of Banpara in the northwest of the country.”

This operation came as part of a string of operations repeatedly carried out in various districts of Bangladesh, among them the assassination of a Hindu businessman in the area of Gobindaganj, Gaibandha district, north of Bangladesh on the 25th of May. This was preceded by another assassination operation against a Buddhist monk in Baishari Bajar, Bandarban district, on the 13th of the same month.

The source also mentioned that the month of February witnessed the execution of several operations, one of them targeting a policeman with an explosive device, leading to his wounding.”

Gomes was not the first member of the Christian community to be attacked. There was a failed attempt on an Italian priest Piero Parolari on 18th November 2015 when he was shot by an unidentified gunman but he later recovered from his injuries.


On March 13th 2016, a Shi’ite preacher Abdur Razzaq was hacked to death in Jhenidah district in Bangladesh. Razzaq was also a homeopathic doctor. His attackers followed him on his way home from his medical shop and his body was found at around 10 p.m later that evening. IS claimed this attack in the 14th issue of Dabiq where they stated, “ On the 4th of Jumādā al-Ūlā, they succeeded in eliminating the Rāfidī mushrik, Hāfidh ‘Abdur-Razzāq, who was one of the most prominent callers to the Rāfidī religion in South Bengal,and who worked as a physician in the Khomeini Medical Center. He was stabbed to death with a knife in the area of Jhenaidah and his killers returned safely back to base.”

The attacks on the Shi’ite community have been used as a recruiting tool for the disgruntled and Islamist youth within Bangladesh.

The largest proportion of attacks within Bangladesh has been against the religious minority population, which include Shi’ite Muslims, Hindus and Christians amongst others. In the 14th Issue of Dabiq, the leader of IS Bangladesh Shaykh Abu Ibrahim stated when asked about the deviance within Bangladesh, “Sadly, there are many deviant and apostate sects in Bengal. First, there is a small number of Rāfidah in Bengal who are funded and supported by the Iranian government. Secondly, there is a significant number of Qādiyāniyyah in Bengal. Thirdly, there is a large number of apostates who have converted from Islam to Christianity due to the deceptive preaching carried out by local and foreign missionaries… Finally, there are many grave-worshiping Sūfīs and false “saints” who call people to blatant acts of shirk.”

On November 26, 2015 a Shi’ite mosque (Imam Khomeini mosque) in the Haripur village in northwestern Bangladesh was attacked by three masked gunmen. 1 person was killed and 3 more wounded when the gunmen opened fire on the 20 people performing evening prayers. IS claimed credit for this attack first on social media and later in the 13th issue of Dabiq where IS stated, “On the 14th of Safar, they targeted a Rāfidī temple funded and overseen by the Iranian embassy. The attack took place in Bogra District and resulted in a number of mushrikīn being killed and injured after being hit by automatic weapons fire”. The attack on a mosque funded by the Iranian government shows intent of sending a message to the larger Shi’ite population around the world and especially in Bangladesh.

Infographic from al-Naba

Infographic from al-Naba

Another infographic from al-Naba

Another infographic from al-Naba

On 26th September 2016, Islamic State's al-Hayat Media Center released a nasheed in Bengali titled "Light of the Shari’ah".

Cover of the Bengali nasheed

Cover of the Bengali nasheed


In December 2017, an IS-inspired suicide bomber named Akayed Ullah failed to properly detonate himself in New York subway. Suspect was originally from Bangladesh. He moved to the U.S. 7 years prior to carrying out the failed attack. He also had a second device & reportedly made the bomb at an electrical company where he worked.

Akayed Ullah, the failed NYC subway bomber

Akayed Ullah, the failed NYC subway bomber

Shamima Begum (born in 2000) is a British woman of Bangladesh origin who left the UK in February 2015, aged 15, to join the Islamic State in Syria. She lived in the London area of Bethnal Green where she attended the Bethnal Green Academy. Together with her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, she left the UK in February 2015, at the age of fifteen. The trio traveled via Turkey, to join the jihad in Syria.

Shortly after her disappearance, Begum's family hoped to learn that she and her school friends had only traveled to IS territory to bring back their friend Shamina Begum (no relation), who had traveled there in 2014.

Ten days after arriving in Syria, she married Dutch-born Yago Riedijk, who had converted to Islam and arrived in Syria in October 2014. This marriage may not be recognised under Dutch law given she was underage at the time. She had three children. The elder two died. Her youngest child was born in a refugee camp in February 2019 and, in March 2019, reportedly had died of a lung-infection. Sources told The Daily Telegraph that Begum served in the IS "morality police", and also tried to recruit other young women to join the jihadist group. She was allowed to carry a Kalashnikov rifle and earned a reputation as a strict enforcer of IS laws, such as dress codes for women. Additionally, an anti-IS activist told The Independent that there are separate allegations of "Begum [stitching] suicide bombers into explosive vests so they could not be removed without detonating."

Shamima Begum

Shamima Begum

Her intention to return to the UK in February 2019 resulted in a public debate about the handling of returning jihadists.

Faran Jeffery