The High Court yesterday granted bail to Asif Adnan, who according to detectives was plotting to oust the government through subversive activities by building an Al-Qaeda network in the country.
The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Abdul Awal and Justice Abu Taher Mohammad Saifur Rahman granted permanent bail to Asif, son of former HC judge Abdus Salam Mamun, after hearing the bail petition filed by him.
The grounds on which the HC granted the bail could not be known since the full judgment was not released yesterday.
“The HC granted Asif bail as the allegations brought against him were based just on SMS retrieved from his cell phone after he was arrested,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star over the phone.
A team of Detective Branch (DB) of Police arrested Asif, 26, and Fazle Elahi Tanzil, 24, in the capital on September 24. A case under the Anti-terrorism Act 2009 was filed against them with Shahbagh Police Station.
The DB paraded the duo before the media during a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre the next day. They also seized a computer, three cell phones, two pen drives and three CDs from the arrestees.
At the briefing, DB Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam said they retrieved text messages that Asif and Tanzil had exchanged. The duo had also sent text messages to different cell phone numbers to encourage others to join jihad.
Monirul claimed that Asif in a text message to Tanzil wrote: “I just want to be in the land of jihad. Among the Mujahideen. Living a life only for Allah.”
According to another message, Asif was waiting for instructions whether to leave for Syria or Myanmar.
“It depends on the directives of AQIS [al-Qaeda in Indian Sub-Continent] and Nusra [al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, al-Nusra Front],” the message read.
A DB press note, provided at the briefing, suggests that the arrestees, after being inspired by a video message of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, planned to go to Syria to be trained up by Nusra brigade and return to Bangladesh to launch an AQIS network here.
Although the DB claimed Asif to be an ISIS recruit, the content of the text message provided by the officials clearly suggests that he was waiting for al-Qaeda directives.
International media reports indicate that ISIS and al-Qaeda widely differ from one another in views and strategies.
During yesterday's hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, the allegations against the accused should not be taken lightly.
He said his office would file an appeal with the Supreme Court within a day or two for cancelling the HC order that granted bail to Asif.
On November 10, the HC also granted ad interim bail to Asif, which the SC stayed later.
Asif's counsel AF Hasan Ariff told reporters that there is no legal bar to his client's release from jail following the HC verdict.
Asif's father Abdus Salam claimed his son to be innocent.
“My son was not involved in any work other than studying and singing. He is a victim of conspiracy,” Salam told The Daily Star.
Asked about the bail of a person whom they claimed to be a militant, DB Additional Deputy Commissioner Saiful Islam said it was solely an HC judgement and they had nothing to say about it.