Bangladesh Jihadists Were Rich and Educated

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With the release of the identities of the terrorists behind the horrific restaurant attack and hostage taking in Bangladesh, it has emerged that the attackers were all Bangladeshis.

Moreover, “They are from rich families, they have good educational background," said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.

The gunmen made no demands during the 12-hour standoff with police and three of the six attackers were under the age of 22 years.

Although a link to the Islamic State is being investigated, Khan disputed any connection to the group. However, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, saying that its operatives were being directed to target citizens of “Crusader countries” whose warplanes were attacking Muslims.

Pictures appeared of five smiling young men holding assault rifles in front of an ISIS flag.  According to the SITE intelligence Service, the men were identified as the restaurant attackers according to police images released of the dead attackers.

The attackers singled out the restaurant’s non-Muslim patrons and tortured them before finally killing them.

In the UK, one of the most well-known female jihadi recruiters for the Islamic State has been identified as a former London student. Tooba Gondal, 22, is the daughter of a successful businessman. Her vitriolic ranting bespoke of a transformed young woman – from a successful schoolgirl on her way to college to a terrorist luring others to murder before fulfilling her desire to be a suicide bomber.

Gondal, who goes by the name of Umm Muthanna Al Britaniyah, is known to lure girls online to join her in Syria and become jihadi brides. After the Paris attacks, she wrote, “Wish I could have seen the hostages being slaughtered last night with my own eyes. Would have been just beautiful.”

Before she became radicalized, Gondal was known as a rebel. Friends talked about how she would take off her hijab on the way to school, smoke and have secret boyfriends. She loved boy bands and their music and was known to sneak out of her house alone.

About two years ago, friends noticed a change in her as she began posting verses of the Koran on Twitter and talking about Islam. They have no idea what would have made her change her views so radically. 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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