NEW YORK – It’s an anomaly: for all practical reasons, Bangladeshis should be the last of the majority-Muslim nations in the world to harbor hatred for the United States.
Bangladesh ranks third amongst nations in Asia to receive the highest aid from the US State Department, next only to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The US has come to the aid of Bangladesh umpteen times when the country faced a humanitarian crisis, ravaged by floods and drought.
The US is also Bangladesh’s largest trading partner, importing $1.1 billion in goods from America and sending $5.3 billion in products stateside in 2014, according to the State Department.
It’s no wonder that overall Bangladeshis have high regard and respect for the US, according to an annual Pew Research poll. They rank only next to India, in South Asia, for their favorable outlook on the US.
However, the truth is also that Akayed Ullah, 27, is the fourth terrorist from Bangladesh who entered the US as an immigrant, harbored hatred, intended to cause immense harm to his adopted country, kill and maim innocent people.
Breitbart reported that before Ullah, in 2015, 24-year-old Bangladeshi national Rahatul Ashikim Khan was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for providing material support to terrorists with the al-Shabaab terrorist organization.
Between 2011 and 2012, Khan worked to coordinate overseas travel for an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent whom he believed was a violent jihadist. Khan even made arrangements to place the undercover agent into an Al-Shabaab pipeline that was run by Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed and Mohamed Hussen Said.
Khan also led a group of Islamic terrorist-sympathizers in Austin, Texas, who pledged loyalty to then-Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
In 2013, 21-year-old Bangladeshi national Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was convicted and sentenced for planning what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan’s financial district.
Nafis entered the US on an F-1 student visa, with immediate intent to conduct a terrorist attack for the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, reported Breitbart.
After arriving in the U.S. in 2012, Nafis tried to recruit fellow Islamic extremists in New York to form a terrorist cell in the country that would regularly plot terrorist attacks against Americans. One of the individuals Nafis attempted to recruit was actually working as an undercover FBI source.
Between 2012 and 2013, Nafis planned the attack, seeking out several high-profile locations, including the New York Stock Exchange. The FBI ultimately thwarted the terrorist plan after the undercover agent supplied Nafis with a fake bomb and arrested him at the scene of the planned attack.
In 2006, Bangladeshi-born 49-year-old Mohammed M. Hossain was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison after helping an FBI informant with a plot to sell weapons to terrorists.
Hossain was the leader of a mosque in Albany when he was involved in a fictitious plot contrived by the FBI to aid foreign terrorists after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City.
Since 2005, the US has admitted and resettled 141,501 Bangladeshi nationals through the family-based ‘immigration chain’ system. In 2016 alone, more than 18,000 Bangladeshi nationals entered the US via that route.
The Bangladeshi government was quick to condemn the terrorist attack by Ullah.
“A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice,” a spokesman for the country’s embassy in Washington said in an emailed statement, reported Reuters.
According to a July 2017 Pew Research Center poll, 41% of Muslim-Americans are of Middle Eastern origin, 28% are from South Asia, and 20% are African-American.