Militants have been using a new technique to recruit female members. They primarily set up a 'love trap' for the target. Then convince them to leave home for getting married.
A good-looking and handsome male member of the group plays a key role in the process of introduction, relationship and marriage with the girl. However, several radicalised women orchestrate the so-called relationship from the very beginning as they choose the target, mostly religious-minded females.
The 'love trap' technique came to light as Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested a girl from a Barisal madrasa on Monday night and a youth from the capital on Tuesday morning.
The RAB officials also seized jihadi books, mobile phones and CDs.
The arrestees, Jannatul Naima, 22, and Md Afzal Hosen, 23, are active members of Ansar al-Islam, a banned outfit, said the elite anti-terrorism unit of the police.
According to RAB, militants are strengthening their female wings for a strategic reason.
How the trick unfolded
It all began with an investigation of RAB while a Chattogram girl went missing a couple of months ago. During the investigation, RAB received sensational information which led to the arrest of the militant duo.
The girl – Safia Akter Tanji, 22, a BBA student of the port city – met Jannatul Naima, the arrestee, on Facebook. Naima targeted Tanji and introduced her to the Barisal boy, Sohiful alias Saif.
It did not take long to soften Tanji and convince her to leave home for Barisal where she would meet her 'lover' and marry him.
Tanji left her home with Naima on June 26 to marry Saif.
According to RAB, Naima introduced a new condition for the game after they reached Barisal.
She asked Tanji to get into a local madrasa and complete the Quran hafeji (Quran memorisation) course. She also said Saif – the lover – would bear the expenses.
Tanji did exactly as she was told. During her stay at the madrasa, Saif and Naima began brainwashing her into extremism.
The relation took a dangerous turn – from Facebook friendship to militancy involvement.
"Tanji is lucky that she got rescued from the madrasa on Monday night. Her friend Naima was arrested while Tanji's lover, Saif, is still on the run," said RAB.
Based on Naima's information, RAB arrested Afzal from Dhaka's Demra area.
Naima, who was a student of a Chattogram madrasa, confessed that she became an activist of Ansar-al Islam via Facebook.
She said she had been recruiting women for the outfit via social media.