Saturday, October 23, 2004

Assam: ULFA joins Islamic Council in Bangladesh?


In its bid to revive its terror clout it had lost after the Indo-Bhutanese military offensive against them in December, ULFA has sought help from Islamic fundamentalist groups based in Bangladesh. The latter have their own game plan, a senior security official said on Tuesday. He said the Jamat-e-Islami and other fundamentalist organisations of Bangladesh want to convert the country into an Islamic state by 2011. The objective is to make this region the new hub of pan Islamic front "to oppose the US and other western nations atrocities in Iraq and Israel's in Palestine." To fulfill this objective the game plan visualizes unifying all the anti-India disgruntled groups like the insurgent groups of the north-east under their umbrella. The ULFA which had lost the most convenient base in Bhutan where it had strong base with scores of training camps, had to fall back on Bangladesh and Myanmar. The prior contacts of top ULFA leaders with ISI and DGFI helped in their escaping before the Bhutan army operation.


ULFA joins 'Islamic Council'
BISHESHWAR MISHRA

NEW DELHI: Security agencies here are concerned over ULFA and other insurgent outfits in the north-east joining hands with the Islamic Council created by fundamentalist organisations in Bangladesh.

In its bid to revive its terror clout it had lost after the Indo-Bhutanese military offensive against them in December, ULFA has sought help from Islamic fundamentalist groups based in Bangladesh. The latter have their own game plan, a senior security official said on Tuesday.

He said the Jamat-e-Islami and other fundamentalist organisations of Bangladesh want to convert the country into an Islamic state by 2011. The objective is to make this region the new hub of pan Islamic front "to oppose the US and other western nations atrocities in Iraq and Israel's in Palestine."

To fulfill this objective the game plan visualizes unifying all the anti-India disgruntled groups like the insurgent groups of the north-east under their umbrella. The ULFA which had lost the most convenient base in Bhutan where it had strong base with scores of training camps, had to fall back on Bangladesh and Myanmar. The prior contacts of top ULFA leaders with ISI and DGFI helped in their escaping before the Bhutan army operation.

"The ISI and its Bangladesh counterpart, the DGFI, too were happy to assist them as they had got disgruntled anti-India elements whom they could use to fulfill their mission and so the dye was cast," a senior security expert here said. However he said the ISI, DGFI and Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh had to seek support of ULFA, NDFB and other insurgent groups in the north-east as they are yet to develop the support structure they will need to carry out their plan.

The recent attacks on former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka indicate the beginning of their mission. The chief objective of Islamic fundamentalist organisations is to eliminate Sheikh Hasina and other top Awami League leaders as they are viewed as pro-India and therefore a hurdle in fulfilling their dream of Islamic Bangladesh.

Soon after the formation of the present government in Bangladesh there were two major arms and ammunition hauls. One at Bogra in June 2003, and the other at Chittagong in April 2004. Inquiries into these arms hauls has not yet been completed but security agencies suspect the cache could be part of the fundamentalist terror plan.


TOI 22/10/2004