SM Imtiaz Khan Babul is the father of Rohan Ibn Imtiaz, one of six Islamic terrorists who killed 20 people. He is a member of the ruling party and holds important posts. He started his career as a teacher, but acknowledges “I have not been able failed to educate my son." The government continues to deny any connection to the Islamic State group. Police arrest the father and brother of one of the attackers.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – "I failed as a father,” said a sorrowful SM Imtiaz Khan Babul, whose son, Rohan Ibn Imtiaz, was one of the six attackers (five of whom have been identified) who perpetrated last Friday’s massacre at the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Dhaka, killing 20 people, mostly foreigners.
Mr Khan is a member of the Awami League, Bangladesh’s ruling party, with important administrative functions. Yesterday he went on national television to apologise for his son’s crime.
"I apologise to the whole nation and to the victims' families,” he said. “Many innocent souls lost their lives because of my son. All this for me is very sad, hard to bear and embarrassing".
Rohan Ibn Imtiaz is one of six Islamic terrorists who, shouting "Allah is great", stormed a well-known restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic district.
The country and the world are still dismayed by the action of the young men from some of the city’s well-to-do families, who led a satisfied and comfortable life. They all attended the best schools, had friends, romantic relationships, and used social media to post pictures about their fun-filled life. Yet, something happened, and they were won over by extremist preachers, as experts told AsiaNews.
I learnt from social media that my only son was among the bombers,” SM Imtiaz Khan Babul said in front of the cameras. "At first I could not believe that my son was a militant."
The politician is full of regrets. He began his career as a teacher, and his wife still teaches in the exclusive school which their son attended.
"I taught many students and many of them are now established people who contribute to the good of the nation. But I have not been able to educate my son. I am a failed father."
Khan has held important posts in Dhaka. Currently, he is the deputy secretary general of Bangladesh Olympics Association and general secretary of the Bangladesh Cyclist Federation.
He said that his son had never travelled abroad, although he and his wife were planning to send him to the US to study. He added that he had never hurt anyone, not even a fly.
"How could he handle those heavy weapons? Who gave them to him? Who trained him and who gave him money? I want the authorities to find these people."
Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi police yesterday arrested the father and brother of Shafiqul Islam Uzzal, another of the attacker. The two were taken from their homes in the village of Dhunat in Bogra District (northern Bangladesh), and were mved to Dhaka.
Bangladeshi authorities continue to deny any connection between the attack and the Islamic State group, which has instead claimed responsibility for the bloodbath.
Home Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday confirmed that all the attackers at the coffee shop in Gulshan were Bangladeshi nationals and members of local extremist parties.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali chaired a meeting with about 50 diplomats and high commissioners from various countries, to whom he expressed his country’s strong condemnation of the barbaric act of terror and extended its sympathy to the relatives of the victims.
He concluded the meeting saying that terrorism is a global challenge and Bangladesh will continue to work closely with other countries, regional organisations and UN agencies to defeat this menace.