DHAKA: Bangladeshi police have arrested a Bangladeshi-born British citizen wanted in London on allegations of financing Islamist groups, Dhaka's police chief said Friday.
Golam Mostafa, who police say has links to a number of South Asian militant groups, was arrested late Thursday in the north-western district of Sylhet, A.K.M. Shahidul Haq said.
‘Mostafa is wanted in London under the Terrorist Financing Act as they found he had been collecting money for the Afghan Mujahedeen and for Bangladeshi militants,’ Haq said.
The Bangladeshi-born 45-year-old fought in the Afghan war alongside the mujahideen against Soviet forces, Haq said, adding that Mostafa had been under surveillance for years and his Dhaka house was raided in 2007.
The Bangladeshi police believe he is also the head of the British arm of banned militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI).
The information used to arrest Mostafa was provided by two recently detained suspected militant financiers: a Bangladeshi-born British citizen Faisal Mostafa, and the founder of HuJI Bangladesh, Mufti Abdus Salam, Haq said.
Salam now claims to have renounced militancy, left HuJI and founded the Islamic Democratic Party with the aim of competing in Bangladesh elections, although the country's election commission refused to allow him to register.
Faisal, 45, who owned the Britain-based Green Crescent charity, was arrested in Bangladesh in April 2009 after police raided a Islamic school, or madressah, on the remote southern island of Bhola, which was run by the charity.
Police seized a cache of weapons and explosive devices from the school, as well as jihadist literature urging Muslims to take up arms.