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‘I thought everyone forgot about me; grateful to NSI and PM for bringing me home alive’

Bangladeshi UN official Lt Col (retd) Sufiul Anam, who was abducted by Al-Qaeda in Yemen in February 2022, returned to Dhaka today after being rescued by the National Security Intelligence (NSI).

An Emirates flight, carrying Sufiul Anam, landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 6 pm.
Sufiul gave a harrowing account of his captivity to journalists at a press conference following his arrival. He thanked the prime minister for taking the initiative to rescue him and bringing him back home, UNB reports.

“The NSI officers rescued me under the direct instruction of none other than Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Sufiul said.

He expressed his gratitude to National Security Intelligence (NSI) officials at the press conference.

“I thought everyone had forgotten about me. But when I met the NSI members, I was assured that I have not been forgotten,” the UN official said.

“I did not think that I would be able to return home alive after being abducted by terrorists. Over the last 18 months, I was in a very dangerous environment. I thought the terrorists would kill me at any moment,” the UN official said.

At the press conference, Sufiul appreciated the professionalism of the NSI officers who rescued him.

“I will not forget their professionalism and their sense of responsibility,” he said.

Talking about how he was abducted, Sufiul said, “I was abducted a year and six months ago when I was returning from my professional duties…Every day in captivity, the fear of death loomed large. It can’t be described in words.”

“The terrorists kept us in the mountains and in the desert. I was blindfolded all the time. The terrorists changed our location of captivity 18 times. Fortunately, they didn’t torture me,” he added.

Sufiul was working as the Field Security Coordination Officer (Head) of the UN Department of Safety and Security in Yemen’s capital Aden when he and four of his Yemeni colleagues were abducted from Yemen’s Mudiah province by members of al-Qaeda. The international terrorist group later asked for $3 million as ransom for his release.

After one-and-a-half years of captivity, Sufiul Anam was rescued by the National Security Intelligence (NSI) working under the direct instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.