Police on Tuesday detained three relatives of Bangladeshi-born US citizen Akayed Ullah, who allegedly detonated a pipe bomb in a crowded New York tunnel on Monday.
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) Unit took Akayed’s wife Jannatul Ferdous Jui, 24, father-in-law Zulfikar Haider and mother-in-law Mahfuza Akter in their custody for questioning in connection with the blast in New York.
They were picked up from a house on Moneshwar Road at Jigatala in the capital at about 3:00pm on Tuesday, sources said. Additional Deputy Commissioner of CTTC Mohammad Saiful Islam confirmed the matter.
He said, “We picked up Akayed’s wife, father-in-law and mother-in-law for interrogation. Attempts are being made to know more details about Akayed from them.”
According to family sources, Akayed came to Bangladesh and married Jui in January 2016. Later, he became the father of a child on June 10 this year.
Hearing the news of his child, Akayed came to Bangladesh on September 18 this year. He returned to the USA after a month.
Akayed was born in Musapur village on Sandwip. In his childhood, he moved to the capital. Akayed’s father, Sanaullah Mia, moved to the US along with his son in 2011. Around a year later, Sanaullah Mia died in the US.
Akayed lived with his mother, sister and two brothers in Brooklyn and was a green cardholder, according to Shameem Ahsan, consul general of Bangladesh in New York.
On Monday morning, Akayed allegedly set off a homemade bomb strapped to his body in an underground pedestrian corridor between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal during rush hour. Four, including Akayed, were injured in the blast.
Bangladesh condemned Monday’s 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.
It said, “A terrorist is a terrorist, irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice.”
Our Chittagong correspondent adds: Akayed Ullah was brought up in the capital’s Hazaribagh area.
However, ancestors of Akayed had been living in the village Panditer Haat under Musapur union of Sandwip upazila in Chittagong district.
Musapur Union Parishad Chairman M Abdul Khayer Nadim told the daily sun over phone that Akayed’s father Md Sanaullah was a freedom fighter during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
Md Emdadullah, paternal cousin of Akayed, told the daily sun that he had no contact with Akayed for long.
He, however, said Akayed’s family used to call to his father over mobile phone to know whereabouts of the family.
Chittagong Superintendent of Police (SP) Noor-E-Alam Mina said Akayed’s family left their ancestral land around 30 years back.
He said they were yet to get any criminal record against any member of the family. “Akayed’s father and grandfather had clean image in their locality,” the SP said.
His family last time visited their ancestral home around one and half years back on the occasion of the death anniversary of Sanaullah, SP Mina said.