ATLANTA -- For years, a Metro Atlanta man kept a secret from his neighbors about his past.
They are only now finding out he's been wanted for crimes-of-violence overseas, crimes that date back 25 years.
This week the man was deported out of Atlanta after a long legal battle, and he is now facing serious charges in his home-country of Bangladesh -- charges that include a violent attack, years ago, on the home of a woman who is now the Bangladesh Prime Minister.
"It comes as a shock," said the man's former neighbor, David Okou, Wednesday night.
What a shock – a Gwinnett County suburbanite, who moved to the U.S. in 1996, who lived for several years with his family in a house off of Jimmy Carter Boulevard in the Lilburn - Norcross area, turns out to have been a wanted man all those years.
His name -- Nazmul Maksud Murad.
Murad has been fighting deportation to Bangladesh almost from the time he arrived in the U.S.
He was arrested in February, 2012 and has been in custody since then, continuing to battle deportation. But this week Murad lost that fight. And the Atlanta-based ICE Fugitive Operations Team loaded him onto a plane at Hartsfield-Jackson and took him back to Bangladesh, where Murad is big news. He is accused, with others, of a hit-and-run grenade attack in 1989 on the home of a political leader, Sheikh Hasina, who now just happens to be the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
David Okou said in all the years Murad lived next door to him and his wife, Murad never talked about Bangladesh or his case.
"Oh no, we never knew anything about the case until it was brought up today," Okou said. "You don't really sense that there was trouble in the past because they were, like, good neighbors."
The spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta, Vincent Picard, told 11Alive News that Murad never tried to hide during his years in the U.S., he was openly attempting to gain permanent residency in the U.S. However, Picard said, Murad did use four different aliases from time to time.
According to news reports in Bangladesh, Murad had been trying to convince the U.S. Government that he should be granted political asylum in the U.S.
But Murad is also the suspect in an unrelated murder case in Bangladesh.
11Alive News was not immediately able to find out if Murad had attorneys in Atlanta trying to win him political asylum, attorneys who could explain Murad's version of events – a version he will now argue in the courts in Bangladesh.
Here is the announcement of Murad's deportation, as released Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta:
A Bengali man wanted by law enforcement authorities in his native country for a 1989 bombing attack targeting a prominent politician was returned to his home country Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Nazmul Maksud Murad, 43, is accused of participating in a 1989 grenade attack at the home of Sheikh Hasina, who was the head of a rival political party at that time. Hasina is currently the prime minister of Bangladesh.
In February 2012, an ERO Fugitive Operations team based in Atlanta arrested Murad in Lilburn pursuant to an arrest warrant issued in October 2011 by a judge in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and his unlawful status in the United States. Murad, who had entered the United States in 1996, was already subject to immigration removal proceedings at the time of his arrest by ERO.
"Fugitives from justice will not find safe haven in the United States," said John P. Martinez, acting field office director of ERO Atlanta. "Mr. Murad is accused of participating in an attempted political assassination, and thanks to the diligent work of our Fugitive Operations Team he will be held accountable for his actions in Bangladesh."
ERO officers escorted Murad on a commercial flight that departed Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Monday. He was turned over to Bangladeshi law enforcement authorities Wednesday at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 720 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE's Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.