Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rohingya trained HuJi and JMB terrorists group

Rohingya rebels trained JMB men

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Investigators glean it from Boma Mizan; Huji too received training from the RSO

Boma MizanJulfikar Ali Manik

Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) had close links with Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), an insurgent group in the Arakan state of Myanmar, JMB's explosives expert 'Boma' Mizan revealed in interrogations.

Sources close to Rab interrogators said Mizan and some other JMB operatives received training from RSO arms experts in a camp near Myanmar border in 2002.

Now executed JMB chief Shaekh Abdur Rahman sent them for the training. In exchange for the firearms lessons, JMB trained Rohingyas to improvise and set off bombs.

Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami (Huji) Bangladesh, another outlawed Islamist outfit, too had strong connections with RSO.

Officials from the police, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and some intelligence agencies have been quizzing Mizan, who was captured by Rab on May 14, and is now on a seven-day remand.

The sources said JMB military wing's former chief Ataur Rahman Sunny and activist Galib are among those trained by the Rohingyan arms experts.

Sunny was executed in March 2007 along with five other militant kingpins including his brother Abdur Rahman and JMB operations commander Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai. Galib is behind bars.

"Mizan said the training by RSO was conducted somewhere in Chittagong hill tracts and lasted 10 days. He has yet to give further details," an investigator told The Daily Star in return for anonymity.

Mizan and the others, who took training from RSO, later trained JMB operatives across the country, said the investigator.

Shaekh Abdur Rahman himself used to be in charge of liaison with RSO. He would also maintain ties with Huji.

Lately, some individuals claiming to be former Huji men told this correspondent that in the late 80s and 90s many of their fellow operatives took arms training from Rohingya rebels.

They said the RSO men trained the Huji operatives in greater Chittagong, particularly in deep forest of the hill districts.

RSO had some make-shift camps for their shelter and training. A good number of RSO-trained Huji cadres, they added, went to Myanmar to fight for the Rohingyas, ethnic Muslims of northern Arakan.

Sources said Huji took RSO help also in securing weapons and funds. The Rohingyan group had extensive supplies of arms, and for funds it would count on a number of Muslim-majority countries especially those in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, an investigator said Mizan had received explosives training from JMB bomb expert Shakil alias Mollah Omar, and in turn taught around 25 JMB operatives how to make and detonate bombs.

Omar got killed in a shootout with Rab and three of his family members in explosions meant to resist the raid on their hideout in Comilla town on March 13, 2006.

He was trained by Shaekh Rahman, who had received training in explosives from militant organisations in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Monday, May 18, 2009

US State Department notes linkage of Rohingya to terrorist group for the first time

US State Department
Countries Report on Terrorism - 2008
Issue Date: April 30, 2009


a.k.a. Harakat ul Jihad e Islami Bangladesh; Harkatul Jihad al Islam; Harkatul Jihad; Harakat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami; Harakat ul Jihad Islami Bangladesh; Islami Dawat-e-Kafela; IDEK

Description: Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 5, 2008. HUJI-B was formed in April 1992 by a group of former Bangladeshi Afghan veterans to establish an Islamic social system based on the “Medina Charter.” The group was banned by Bangladeshi authorities in October 2005. In May 2008, HUJI-B members formed a new organization, the Islamic Democratic Party (IDP). In November, government authorities rejected their application for registering as a party that could participate in elections. HUJI-B has connections to the Pakistani militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad-Islami (HUJI) and Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM), which advocate similar objectives in Pakistan, Jammu, and Kashmir. The leaders of HUJI-B and HUM both signed the February 1998 fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Ladin that declared American civilians to be legitimate targets for attack.

Activities: HUJI-B may be responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in India, including an October 2008 attack in a shopping area in Agartala, Tripura that killed three and wounded over 100 people. The Agartala attack may have been conducted jointly with a local Indian separatist group. HUJI-B has trained and fielded operatives in Burma to fight on behalf of the Rohingya, an Islamic minority group. Three HUJI-B members were convicted in December 2008 for the grenade attack on the British High Commissioner in May 2004 in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Bangladeshi courts issued warrants in December 2008 for the arrest of eight HUJI-B members for the bombing at a festival in April 2001 that killed 10 and injured scores of people. In May, Indian police arrested HUJI-B militant Mohammad Iqbal, a.k.a. Abdur Rehman, who was charged with plotting attacks in Delhi, India. HUJI-B and its detained leader, Mufti Hannan, are also suspected in a 2000 assassination attempt on Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Strength: HUJI-B leaders have claimed up to 400 members are Afghan war veterans, but its total membership is unknown.

Location/Area of Operation: The group operates primarily in Bangladesh, India, and Burma. HUJI-B has a network of madrassas and conducts trainings in Bangladesh.

External Aid: HUJI-B funding comes from a variety of sources. Several international Islamic NGOs such as the South African-based Servants of Suffering Humanity may have funneled money to HUJI-B and other Bangladeshi militant groups. HUJI-B also can draw funding from local militant madrassa leaders and teachers.

RSO rohingya jihad movie caught in Afganistan

Bangladesh- Breeding ground for Muslim terror

Bertil Lintner

Source: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/DI21Df06.html

Among the more than 60 videotapes that the American cable television network CNN obtained from al-Qaeda's archives in Afghanistan in August this year, one marked "Burma" (Myanmar) purports to show Muslim "allies" training in that country. While the group shown, the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO), was founded by Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar's Rakhine State and claims to be fighting for autonomy or independence for its people, the tape was, in fact, shot in Bangladesh.

The RSO, and other Rohingya factions, have never had any camps inside Myanmar, only across the border in Bangladesh. The camp in the video is located near the town of Ukhia, southeast of Cox's Bazaar, and not all of the RSO's "fighters" are Rohingyas from Myanmar.

The Rohingyas, who are Muslims and speak the same language as the population in the Chittagong area of Bangladesh, are not regarded by the government in Yangon as an indigenous race. Hundreds of thousands of them fled across the border to Bangladesh during a crackdown in 1978, and militant groups soon emerged among the refugees. The UN eventually intervened, and most of the Rohingyas were repatriated to Myanmar. However, in 1991 and 1992, another wave of 250,000 refugees came across the border, and while most of them have also been repatriated, more than 20,000 remain in United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) supervised camps southeast of Cox's Bazaar. An estimated 100,000 Rohingyas live outside the UNHCR's camps, and it is among these destitute and stateless people that various Islamist militant groups have found fertile ground for recruitment.

The RSO was set up in the early 1980s when radical elements among the Rohingyas broke away from the more moderate main grouping, the Rohingya Patriotic Front (RPF). Led by a medical doctor from Arakan, Muhammad Yunus, it soon became the main and most militant faction among the Rohingyas in Bangladesh and on the border. Given its more rigid religious stand, the RSO soon secured the support of like-minded groups in the Muslim world. These included the Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-e-Islami in Afghanistan, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) in Jammu and Kashmir, and Angkatan Belia Islam sa-Malaysia (ABIM) - the Islamic Youth Organization of Malaysia. Afghan instructors have been seen in some of the RSO camps along the Bangladesh-Burma border, while nearly 100 RSO rebels were reported to have undergone training in the Afghan province of Khost with Hizb-e-Islami Mujahideen.

The RSO's main military camp was located near the hospital that the Rabitat-al-Aalam-al-Islami had built at Ukhia. At this stage, the RSO acquired a substantial number of Chinese-made RPG-2 rocket launchers, light machine-guns, AK-47 assault rifles, claymore mines and explosives from private arms dealers in the Thai town of Aranyaprathet near the border with Cambodia, which in the 1980s emerged as a major arms bazaar for guerrilla movements in the region. These weapons were siphoned off from Chinese arms shipments to the resistance battling the Vietnamese army in Cambodia, and sold to any one who wanted, and could afford, to buy them.

The Bangladeshi media gave extensive coverage to the RSO buildup along the border, but it soon became clear that it was not only Rohingyas who were undergoing training in its camps. Many, it turned out, were members of the Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), the youth organization of Bangladesh's Jamaat-e-Islami, and came from the University of Chittagong, where a "campus war" was being fought between Islamist militants and more moderate student groups. The RSO was, in fact, engaged in little or no fighting inside Myanmar.

It is unclear when the now-famous videotape was shot, but it presumably dates from the early 1990s, since by the late 1990s the RSO's training camps southeast of Cox's Bazaar were taken over by Bangladeshi Islamist militants. Bangladesh's main militant outfit, the Hakrat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), was formed in 1992, allegedly with financial support from Osama bin Laden himself. HuJI now has an estimated strength of 15,000 followers and is led by Shawkat Osman aka Maulana or Sheikh Farid in Chittagong. Its members were recruited mainly from students of Bangladesh's more than 60,000 madrassas (religious schools) and called themselves the Bangladeshi Taliban. The group has become notorious for masterminding violent attacks on Bangladesh's Hindu minority, as well as on moderate Bangladeshi Muslims. In a statement released by the US State Department on May 21, 2002, HuJI was described as a terrorist organization with ties to Islamist militants in Pakistan.

The existence of firm links between the new Bangladeshi militants and al-Qaeda is established through Fazlul Rahman, leader of the "Jihad Movement in Bangladesh" (to which the HuJI belongs), when he signed the official declaration of jihad against the United States on February 23, 1998. Other signatories included bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri (leader of the Jihad Group in Egypt), Rifa'i Ahmad Taha aka Abu-Yasir (Egyptian Islamic Group) and Sheikh Mir Hamzah (secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan).

HuJI sent its own people, as well as Rohingya recruits, to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The Rohingyas, especially, were given the most dangerous tasks in the battlefield, clearing mines and portering. According to intelligence sources, Rohingya recruits were paid 30,000 Bangladeshi taka (US$525) on joining and then 10,000 taka per month. The families of recruits killed in action were offered 100,000 taka. (While these appear to be small sums in dollar terms, they are princely amounts in a country where the annual per capita income works out to a bare $380.) Recruits were taken mostly via Nepal to Pakistan, where they were trained and sent on to military camps in Afghanistan. It is not known how many people from this part of Bangladesh - Rohingyas and others - fought in Afghanistan, but the number is believed to be quite substantial. Others have gone to Kashmir and even Chechnya to join forces with Islamist militants there.

In an interview with the CNN in December 2001, American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh relates that the al-Qaeda-directed Ansar (Companions of the Prophet) Brigades, to which he had belonged in Afghanistan, were divided along linguistic lines: Bengali, Pakistani (Urdu) and Arabic, which suggests that the Bengali-speaking component - Bangladeshi and Rohingya - must have been significant. It is now also becoming clear that some militants fleeing the American strikes in Afghanistan in late 2001 have ended up in Bangladesh. With the heavy American presence in Pakistan, many militants who fled Afghanistan in October and November 2001 have found it safer to hide in third countries. In early 2002, a ship reportedly sailed from Karachi to Chittagong carrying assorted militants from Afghanistan.

On May 10-11 2002, nine Islamist fundamentalist groups, including HuJI, met at a camp near Ukhia South and formed the Bangladesh Islamic Manch (association). The new umbrella organization includes groups purporting to represent the Rohingyas and the Muslim Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA), a small group operating in India's northeast. By June, Bangladeshi veterans of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan were reported to be training members of the new alliance in at least two camps in southern Bangladesh.

An internal document from HuJI lists no less than 19 "training establishments" all over Bangladesh, but it is uncertain how many of them actually offer military training. What is certain, however, is that since a new coalition government led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) took over in October 2001, Bangladesh's Islamist militants have become more vocal and active. The coalition includes, for the first time, two ministers from the Jamaat. The four-party electoral alliance that brought the new coalition government to power also includes a smaller Islamic party, the Islamic Oikya Jote, whose chairman, Azizul Huq, is a member of HuJI's advisory council.

The Bangladeshi authorities have shown no sign of being willing to crack down on these groups and their activities. On the contrary, after some adverse international publicity about the rise of Islamist fundamentalism in Bangladesh earlier this year, the government cracked down on the most moderate of the Rohingya factions, the Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO), in Chittagong and Cox's Bazaar. ARNO has no known links to al-Qaeda or any of Bangladesh's groups of Islamist militants. It issued a strong statement condemning the crackdown and disassociating itself from the militants. The RSO, on the other hand, was not targeted by the Bangladeshi authorities.

For many years, Bangladesh was seen as a moderate, even liberal, Muslim country. This is evidently changing, and the formation of the Bangladesh Islamic Manch in May this year clearly indicates that cooperation between the country's Islamist militants is becoming closer. The presence of trainers from Afghanistan and the arrival of more militants with al-Qaeda connections, demonstrate their participation in an international terrorist network.

Bertil Lintner is a senior writer, Far Eastern Economic Review

Published with permission from the South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal

Arakan Rohingya Nationalist Organization (ARNO) and Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) are terrorists groups

Rohingyas trained in different Al-Qaeda and Taliban camps in Afghanistan

By William Gomes - Bangladesh


Bangladesh is terrorized by Islamic terrorism. Islamic terrorism has created a culture of fear in Bangladesh. Our main objective is to bring out the nation from this culture of fear. Afghanistan is noted with the notion that "a nation at war and some time a nation engulfed by the "Taliban".

In 1990s, 70,000 to 120,000 Muslim youth trained to fight in Asia, Africa, and in Middle East in different Al-Qaeda and Taliban camps in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda highly trained a notable number of Islamic groups and indoctrinated them with the mission of "Jihad" that influx all over the world the message of fear and violence.

Arakan Rohingya Nationalist Organization (ARNO) and Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) were among the groups who were trained in Afghanistan camps and were and are active in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Every single Islamic terrorist attack from 9/11 to Bangladesh or else where in world is direct or indirect curse of the mushroom growth of Islamic terrorism. Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami-Bangladesh (HuJI-B) and Jamaat-ul-Mujaihdeen Bangladesh (JMB) have had a strong relation with the Afghanistan based Islamic terrorist networks. Bangladesh witnessed a mass bloodshed in the name of bloody Islam. Roads of Bangladesh were shacked with the slogan “We are Taliban and Bangla Will be Afghan”.

Bangladesh is experiencing the highest challenge in controlling political Islam and Islamic terrorism. The scenario has changed now Bangladesh becomes the highest threat before world peace and security.

As a multifaceted phenomenon, terrorism is a reason to fight regionally and jointly. The experience of Afghanistan in fighting the Islamic terrorism has been pivotal. Afghanistan can lead the south Asia in fighting the Islamic terrorism with their all experience.

Present Afghanistan Government and the people of Afghanistan is major ally of the International community in fighting the Islamic terrorist. The articulation and pursuit of Afghan foreign policy had made it clear the intention and ability to defend the Islamic Terrorism in or by Afghanistan. However, in a world of diversity, the solution we are looking forward to bring an end to the culture of fear and violence does demand a regional united effort.

International community should guide to bridge the gap between inadequate aspirations of Afghanistan’s foreign policy in fighting the Islamic Terrorist with People and government of Bangladesh based on the spirit of friendship and co operation.

International community should inspire the politicians and policy makers to mobilize the people of the south Asian region to make an open platform that the normal people can lead the movement against the culture of violence and fear that the movements become people’s movement against Islamic Terrorism and a vibrant campaign for Justice and peace. This initiative will play a central role in helping the people and government of Afghanistan and Bangladesh in their mission towards insuring stability of the south Asian region and the world.

William Gomes is an independent human rights activist, a Catholic ecumenical activist, and a political analyst. He is also the Executive Director of the Christian Development Alternative (CDA), a national organization against torture and human rights violations.

- Asian Tribune -

Rohingyas formed the backbone of the Bangladeshi terror groups often known as the Bangladesh Taliban

The Bengali Taliban: Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 10
May 15, 2008 05:06 PM Age: 1 yrs
Category: Terrorism Monitor, South Asia
By: Wilson John

The April 30 sentencing of four cadres of the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 26 years of hard labor for throwing bombs at a local court in 2005 returned the focus to Bangladesh’s struggle against pressing odds to contain the rise of Islamic extremism (Daily Star [Dhaka], May 1).

The government has been hunting down JMB leaders and cadres ever since the group carried out an audacious series of blasts in 63 districts of a total of 64 across Bangladesh, planting 458 locally-made bombs while distributing leaflets which declared, “We’re the soldiers of Allah. We’ve taken up arms for the implementation of Allah’s law the way the Prophet, Sahabis [companions of the Prophet] and heroic Mujahideen have done for centuries…it is time to implement Islamic law in Bangladesh” (Bangladesh Observer, August 18, 2005). In the crackdown that followed, two top leaders of the group, Shaykh Abdur Rahman and Sidiqul Islam (alias Bangla Bhati), were executed in 2007; several hundred cadres have also been arrested from different parts of the country. Many of these have since been given tough sentences by a judiciary which was once high on the list of JMB’s potential targets.

Though the crackdown was ordered by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) government under pressure from the Bangladesh Army and public outrage, it was the caretaker government run by the Army which saw the increasing clout of groups like JMB as a direct threat to its authority. The Army is deeply skeptical of political parties like the BNP, its rival Awami League (AL) and the ultra-conservative religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), which aligned with the Pakistan Army during the independence struggle and opposed the creation of Bangladesh [1].

Political Connections

JMB drew its ideological and political support from JeI—both executed JMB leaders Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai were active members—which was the reason why the BNP government, which relies on JeI support, dragged its feet in taking a strong action against religious extremist groups despite credible evidence [2]. Both Rahman and Bangla Bhati were members of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), the student wing of JeI, during their college days and maintained close contacts with JeI leaders [3].

In fact, Bangladeshi intelligence agencies warned the government back in 2003 about JMB and the threat it posed to the state (Daily Star, August 28, 2005). The group was banned in February 2005 after a key leader—a university professor and ideologue, Dr. Mohammad Asadullah al-Ghalib—revealed the group’s plans to overthrow the civilian government through violence (New Age [Dhaka], February 28, 2005).

Set up in 1998, JMB is one of several extremist and terrorist organizations in Bangladesh waging a fratricidal war against the young nation-state with the aim of establishing an Islamic state. This type of political violence has existed since 1971, when largely Bengali East Pakistan wrested independence from Punjabi-dominated Pakistan. Though substantive evidence of the JMB’s links with global jihadi groups like al-Qaeda has yet to surface, JMB’s transnational terrorist linkages—ideological and material—are evident.

Creation of the JMB

JMB’s founder and spiritual leader was Shaykh Abdur Rahman of Jamalpur district in Bangladesh. Abdur Rahman studied at Madina University and worked as a translator and interpreter at the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka before traveling to Afghanistan to take part in jihad (Daily Star, August 28, 2005). He most likely followed in the footsteps of the 3,500-strong batch of recruits dispatched to terrorist training camps by Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami (HuJI), an al-Qaeda-friendly Deobandi group. His association with HuJI, widely regarded as al-Qaeda’s South Asia arm, could also be noted from his reported links with two foreign—likely Arab—trainers who came to Bangladesh in 1995 to train militants from the Bengali-related Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group fighting for independence from Myanmar (al-Jazeera, April 2, 2007). Rohingyas formed the backbone of the Bangladeshi terror groups often known as the Bangladesh Taliban and had considerable presence in the Korgani town of Karachi, one of HuJI’s key operational headquarters from where it assisted al-Qaeda and other groups.

These trainers had come to Bangladesh on the invitation of Asadullah al-Galib, a professor in Rajshahi University and head of the militant Islamist Ahle Hadith Andolan Bangladesh (AHAB). Al-Galib was a close ally of Abdur Rahman and part of the triumvirate—Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai being the other two—which ran JMB till 2005. Arrested in February 2005, al-Galib today awaits trial in scores of terrorism cases. The foreign trainers coached the Rohingyas for the Afghan jihad first and then trained local recruits for five to six years. In 1998, after returning from Afghanistan, Abdur Rahman and al-Galib decided to launch their own militant outfit in Bangladesh, calling it Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. There are also reports that one of Rahman’s close associates, Faruq Hossain (alias Khaled Saifullah), was a HuJI leader and had learned bomb-making in the terrorist training camps of Afghanistan (Daily Times [Lahore], January 24, 2005; Daily Star, March 2, 2006). The contours of the outfit were decided at a 1998 meeting the duo had at Chittagong, the nerve center for extremist activities in Bangladesh (al-Jazeera, April 2, 2007). The first meeting of the JMB commanders was held in early 2002 at Khetlal in Joypurhat, but a series of arrests of some senior leaders, including Abdur Rahman’s younger brother, Ataur Rahman—who was being groomed as the military commander of the group—forced JMB to go underground and expand their activities across the country (New Age, October 2, 2005).

The Political Agenda

JMB has a clear political agenda: It aims to capture power through armed revolution and run the country by a Majlis-e-Shur (Central Committee) under Islamic laws. The group also wants to rid Muslims of “anti-Muslim” influences, particularly those related to women, an ideology it shares with the Taliban. Abdur Rahman, however, denied any linkages with the Taliban and said in a May 2004 interview: “We are called part of al-Qaeda, Taliban or [an] Islamist militant organization. We are not like that … If the people of Bangladesh give us the responsibility of running the nation, we will accept it … We would like to serve people in line with Hilful Fuzul (a social organization founded by the Prophet Muhammad) to serve the destitute” (Daily Star, August 28, 2005).

Before the crackdown, the JMB was led by a seven-member Majlis-e-Shura, comprising its top leadership, including Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai. The group had 16 regional commanders and 64 district heads, besides hundreds of operational commanders. The cadre was organized in three tiers (Star Weekend Magazine [Dhaka], December 5, 2005). The first tier was known as Eshar, where the 200 members were full-timers and reported directly to the Central Committee. The second tier was Gayeri Easher and had about 10,000 members. The third tier was Sathis or Sudhis (assistants) consisting of younger foot soldiers. For operational requirements, the group divided the country into nine divisions—one division each in Khulna, Barisal, Sylhet and Chittagong, two each in Dhaka and Rajshahi (The Independent [Dhaka], September 22, 2005).

Training for Terror

A close ally of the group is the Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), considered to be a more radical and violent wing of JMB. The leadership, structure, objectives and operational methodology of JMJB were similar to that of the JMB. Both groups had strong bases in the northwestern districts—Rajshahi, Naogan, Joypurhat, Natore, Rangpur, Bogra—and the southern districts of Bagerhat, Jessore, Satkhira, Chittagong and Khulna. At the height of its activities, the group had networks in 57 districts working through madrassas and educational institutions and at least 10 training camps at Atrai and Raninagar in Naogaon, Bagmara in Rajshahi and Naldanga and Singra in Natore. The recruits were trained with the help of video footage of warfare training at al-Qaeda’s now defunct Farooque camp in Afghanistan, pro-Taliban videos and recorded speeches of Osama bin Laden. Recruits are also spurred by motivational speeches, leaflets and graffiti written and distributed across the country.

The JMB also had a suicide squad called Shahid Nasirullah Arafat Brigade; members had an “insurance policy” from the group (UPI, March 2, 2006). Bomb-making was a specialized task which was stressed during training, most of which takes place in open fields, mosque grounds and in wooded areas.

The group relies on the following sources of funding: Robbery and extortion, illegal tolls or taxes on traders and other businessmen in the areas they control, donations from local patrons, expatriate Bangladeshis and charities and NGOs based in West Asia. A joint 2005 report prepared by Bangladesh’s Special Branch, National Security Intelligence (NSI) and Defense Forces Intelligence pointed out that 10 Islamic charities and NGOs were promoting and funding extremist groups like JMB [4].

The massive crackdown and the harsh sentencing of JMB leaders and cadres since August 2005 have crippled the group considerably. But recent arrests of younger cadre members, media reports of regroupings in remote areas of Gaibandha District of north Bangladesh [5] and a continuing manhunt for the new leader of the JMB, Maulana Saidur Rahman—a former JI leader—raises fears about the possibility of JMB’s renewed attempts to make a comeback in a country which is vulnerable to the increasing spread of al-Qaeda ideology (Gulf Times [Kuwait], October 2, 2007; Daily Star, January 19).


1. A detailed analysis of the nexus between JeI and extremist groups like JMB can be found in: Hiranmay Karlekar, Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan? Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2005. See also Terrorism Monitor, January 13, 2005.

2. Selig Harrison, “A new hub of terrorism?” Washington Post, August 2, 2006. Refer also to: Maneeza Hossain, “The Rising Tide of Islamism in Bangladesh,” Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, Vol. 3, February 16, 2006, Hudson Institute; Ajit Doval, “Islamic terrorism in South Asia and India’s strategic response,” Policing, Vol. 1, 2007, Oxford University Press.

3. For a good reference to the politics of extremism in Bangladesh, see: Liz Philipson, “Corrupted democracy,” Himal South Asian, August 2006.

4. Chris Blackburn, “Terrorism in Bangladesh: The Region and Beyond,” Paper presented at the Policy Exchange Conference in London on November 14, 2006; New Age, September 22, 2005.

5. A report prepared by Dhaka-based NGO The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute; “Trend of Militancy in Bangladesh and Possible Responses,” quoted “a suspected militant commander, Mustafizur Rahman Shahin, who was arrested in Pabna, as saying that some 5,000 operatives are active across the country.” See also The New Nation, February 29; Bangladesh Today, February 29.