The Bangladesh government, for the first time, officially endorsed a fact that, a hidden link between the local militants and Taliban terrorists has been established during the past several years. The Government also said that a large number of militants were recruited in the country’s law enforcement agencies and the armed forces during the past BNP-Islamist Coalition government.
Earlier, the Commerce Minister, retired Lieutenant Colonel Faruk Khan, told reporters that militants penetrated into the country’s border security forces, who were liable for the February Massacre that took place at the headquarters of the Bangladesh Riffles [BDR] killing a large number of army officers, and the rape and physical abuse of several people. The minister claimed that the Islamist militancy group JMB had a hand in the entire conspiracy of the February Massacre.
However, the Law Minister, Barrister Shafiq Ahmed, rejected the comments of the Commerce Minister saying, “It will not be proper to accuse anybody until a full investigation report is available. On the conclusion of the investigation, the names of persons involved will be made public.”
On Monday, retired Lt. Col. Faruk Khan reaffirmed his previous comment about the militant connection with the February Massacre inside BDR headquarters, which once again claimed that militants have penetrated inside law enforcement and other agencies in the country.
Meanwhile, intelligence agencies in Bangladesh have sent a report to the Prime Minister about the existing militant groups in the country. According to the report, at least 12 militant outfits are active in Bangladesh; and have foreign funding links and relations with local political parties. The 12 militant outfits are: Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh [JMB], Harkatul Jihad al Islami [Huji], Hizb Ut Towhid, Ulama Anjuman al Bainat, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Islamic Democratic Party [IDP], Islami Samaj, Touhid Trust, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh [JMJB], Shahadat-E-Al Hikma Party Bangladesh, Tamira Ad-Din Bangladesh [Hizb-E-Abu Omar] and Allah’r Dal [Hezbollah]. The report however did not mention names of other militant outfits such as Zadid Al-Qaeda, Khatmey Nabuat Movement and Khatmey Nabuat Andolan.
Bangladesh government has so far banned four Islamist militant outfits named: Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh [JMB], Harkatul Jihad al Islami [Huji], Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and Shahadat-E-Al Hikma.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on February 16, 2009 directed the intelligence agencies to work in a coordinated way to thwart recurrence of incidents like the February's massacre at the Bangladesh Rifles [BDR] headquarters. Bangladesh presently has five intelligence agencies named National Security Intelligence [NSI], Directorate General of Forces Intelligence [DGFI], Military Intelligence [MI], Special Branch [SB] and Detective Branch [DB] of Police.
The present government is set to reorganize the activities of the intelligence wings gradually. It recently changed the director general of National Security Intelligence [NSI]. Retired Brigradier General Manzur Ahmed has been placed in the post replacing Major General Shaikh Monirul Islam.
The Taliban connection with Bangladeshi militants has been claimed since 2003 by a number of local analysts in the country. It appears that 64,000 Madrassas as well as Kindergarten Madrassas [mostly funded by Afro-Arab sources] are breeding grounds of Jihadists. Anti-Semitic and anti-West hatreds are planted in the minds of Talibans [Students of Madrassas] in by the Islamist clergies and religious teachers.
Shoiab Choudhury is a journalist, author and peace activist. He is also editor and publisher of Weekly Blitz.