Jihadist conglomerate in Bangladesh preparing for offensives
by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
After many months of being virtually cornered by Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies through massive offensives, a number of Islamist groups in the country recently have formed a conglomerate with the objective of 'giving a proper response' through series of destructive activities within the country. According to press report, notorious Jihadist group named Harkat-Ul-Jihad [HUJI] has aligned with other Islamist groups named Hizbut Tahrir [HT], Hizb Ut Towhid [HUT] and some other extremist militancy groups in Bangladesh. This Jihadist conglomerate has connections with international terror outfits like Al Qaeda, Lashkar-E-Taiba [LET], Sipahi Sahaba etc. They also have connection with Kashmiri militant groups and separatist outfits in North-Eastern part of India.
Bangladeshi authorities already banned activities of Harkat-Ul-Jihad and Hizbut Tahrir for having specific links with several terrorist activities. Another Islamist terror outfit named Hizb Ut Towhid is continuing activities inside Bangladesh and in a number of countries in the world, though Bangladeshi authorities have banned distribution of its Jihadist and anti-Semitic publications few weeks back. Hizb Ut Towhid kingpin Wazed Khan Panni alias Selim Panni is collecting members for his group from various parts of the country. This group also has created a ferocious Female Suicide Squad, which is being trained with the goal of making offensives mostly in Western countries.
According to Bangladeshi vernacular daily named Kaler Kantho, a secret meeting of this Jihadist conglomerate took place on May 28, 2010 under the leadership of HUJI leader Moulana Abu Bakr. During this meeting it was unanimously decided that the Jihadist conglomerate will publish a sermon in favor of establishing Sharia law in Bangladesh with the signature of at least one thousand clergies in the country. They also have decided to publish another document signed by Taliban kingpin Mollah Omar, with his instruction of waging Jihad in Bangladesh with the goal of staging 'Islamic revolution'. It is learnt from another source that, Iranian embassy in Bangladesh as well as representatives of PLO are closely coordinating and patronizing such notorious activities within the country. During this meeting, it was disclosed that, signed sermon of Mollah Omar has already been obtained by Bangladeshi Jihadist leaders.
In an investigative report, the Bangladeshi vernacular daily further mentioned that, a 3-member delegation of Jihadist conglomerates are already in Afghanistan, who will be arriving in the country with specific instructions from Taliban and Al Qaeda kingpins, right before beginning Jihad in Bangladesh.
HUJI started its journey in 1988 with repatriated Jihadist from Afghanistan and Palestine under direct patronization of a number of countries including Iran, Palestine and Pakistan. One of the top kingpins of this group is Pakistani national Saifullah Akhar, who was a commander in Afghan battle ground. Bangladesh national Abdur Rahman Faruki, who also was a commander in Afghan battle ground, was assigned as the leader of HUJI in Bangladesh. When Faruki was killed in a mine blast on 11th May 1989, another Bangladeshi national named Mufti Shafiqur Rahman became the head of HUJI activities in the country. This group took almost six year for taking preparations and training secretly and on 30th April 1993, it declared existence in Bangladesh through a press conference organized at National Press Club in Dhaka [Capital of Bangladesh].
Initial task of HUJI was to recruit Jihadists from Qawmi [Koranic] Madrassas in the country for sending them to Afghanistan and Palestine. After the end of Afghan war, HUJI started sending Jihadist recruits to Myanmar for getting them training by terror outfits operated by Arakan and Rohingya Muslims. Some of the commanders of Arakan and Rohingya terror outfits even came to Bangladeshi territory for secretly giving training to local Jihadists. On 19th February 1996, a group of Jihadists along with Myanmar commanders were arrested by Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies with huge volume of arms and explosives at Chittagong Hill Tract area. This was the first time; Bangladeshi authorities got evidence of Myanmar terrorists giving training to local Jihadists recruited by HUJI. According to various reports, presently more than 15,000 well-trained Jihadists only belonging to HUJI are hiding in various parts of Bangladesh. The figure will be much higher if the number of Jihadists under Hizbut Tahrir, Hizb Ut Towhid etc could be determined.
Several Islamist politicians in Bangladesh are giving silent assistance to such notorious Jihadist groups and conglomerate. This group is publishing a Jihadist monthly newspaper named 'Rahmat' [Blessings] in vernacular language under the active patronization of a leader of an Islamist political party.
While talking to the local vernacular daily, a member of the Jihadist conglomerate said, "We are set to wage war for establishment of Sharia rule in Bangladesh. We wanted to come into open politics. But, none of the governments ever gave us the chance of doing so. We have thousands of trained Jihadists in our conglomerate, and we never care about our lives. We want to stage Islamic revolution in Bangladesh, and we shall succeed."
According to sources, it was confirmed that this Jihadist conglomerate will target secular institutions and individuals in Bangladesh. Anti-Jihadist people and organizations are also on their hit list.
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