Meer Sameh Mobasheer, one of the seven terrorists, was a regular boy with a religious bent of mind. But he was far from being a fanatic, said his father. The last time he was seen by his father was when he was munching popcorn while heading to an examination preparation class. That was February 29th.
The family had been looking for him since then until yesterday when his photo emerged in the ISIS-affiliated site that identified him as one of the attackers in the deadly attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka.
Hysterical, his father broke down crying: "That's not my son, that's not my son", Meer Hayet Kabir said. He further added, "Had I known he was going there, the first thing I would do is stop it -- with my life. This cannot be."
Clueless what went wrong
Mobasheer's family belongs to the upper echelons of the society. His father is an executive in a telecommunications company. The family is Muslim, but not as devout. His father reveals that Mobasheer was always interested in religion, but his family did not discourage his curiosity in his faith. Mobasheer was instead given an English translation of Quran so that he explored about the religion and got the essence of it. "I wanted him to learn th etenets of Islam directly from its source, and not through a warped interpretation elsewhere."
Kabir said that the 18-year old son was impressionable and he didn't have too many friends. His father rues that the Islamic recruiters could have taken advantage of that.
He further added,"I don't know what they said to him exactly. But I believe they took advantage of his self-esteem issues and Islamic faith, gave him a sense of belonging."
It is rather surprising that like Mobasheer, two other terrorists Nibras Islam and Rohan Imtiaz also went to private universities.
Not a surprise
Experts say this should not come as a surprise as youth, wealth and education are the three biggest factors associated with violent radicalization, says a study by Queen Mary University of London.
Mobasheer's father, however, could not bring himself to see his son's body. "This cannot be". "It will not give anything to those families, but I just want to say that, whether they're listening or not, this was not my son's conscious decision. I still want to believe that Sameh is not in that body. I still want to wait and hope."