Monday, January 31, 2005

BANGLADESH: Islamic Groups 30-31JAN [ 2 News Clippings]


01. Cultural outfits, NGOs JMJB's new target
02. Bangla Bhai men circulate leaflet calling for jihad

01. Cultural outfits, NGOs JMJB's new target
Arrested Bangla Bhai man tells police
Our Correspondent, Bogra

Operatives of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) will continue their bomb attacks on 'anti-Islamic' social and cultural organisations as well as NGOs, including Brac and Karitas, an Islamist militant arrested in Bogra told police yesterday.

JMJB has organised and trained a bomb squad from among its 50,00 countrywide operatives, according to information given by a JMJB operative Shafiqullah during an interrogation in police and JIC (Joint Interrogation Cell) custody.

The 26-year-old, arrested from a Jamatul Mujahidin's operative's house with a huge amount of explosives on January 16, claimed JMJB responsible for carrying out the bomb attack on a jatra (folklore drama) show at Laxikola village of Shahjahanpur upazila on January 14, in which one was killed and 40 wounded.

Shafiqullah, who fears being killed by JMJB's 'killing-squad' if released, also told police that only selected operatives were chosen for the bomb squad and received training on how to make and use explosive devices.

Although Shafiqullah denied his involvement in making the bombs hurled on the jatra show, he admitted while in police custody that he connected the electrical circuits to the bombs, police said.

He was even scolded by JMJB explosive expert Joynal and another operative Osman for his failure to fixing the circuits properly, said Shafiqullah. The bombs were supposed to explode within four seconds after throwing.

Shafiqullah, the eighth son of Maulana Azibullah of Courtpara village at Bandar upzila of Narayanganj, said Osman lives at Mirpur. Shafiqullah assumes from Osman's accent that his origin is Rahshahi.

The arrestee also told police that a good number of operatives from the Chapainawabganj, Bogra and Jamalpur units are capable of making bombs.

Shafiqullah also named a couple of Joynal's close associates, including one Hamid, his neighbour, and a female student of Arabic department in Rahshahi University. Both are members of the militant organisation Jamatul Mujahidin, the former name of JMJB, Shafiqullah said, adding that he himself is a newly recruited member of the group.

On training camps, Shafiqullah named a Charshi Madrasa at Nayapara under Jamalpur district, formed by JMJB chief Abdur Rahman. Although Shafiqullah himself took yoga lessons at another madrasa, he said many operatives were trained in Charshi Madrasa.

A top Bogra police official said they are certain of the presence of a strong JMJB camp at Bogra, which is located in the east of the district.

The police official also told reporters that some JMJB operatives, arrested while making heavy explosives at the Bonarpara Rail Station in Gaibandha, named a teacher of Bogra Government Azizul Hoque College as a JMJB operative. The teacher is kept under police watch, he added.

The arrestees said under interrogation that they were making the bombs to hurl at a music concert of Mamtaj, which was supposed to be held at Bogra Stadium.

Police could not file a case against Shafiqullah and others under the explosives act, since they have failed to receive a report from the army on the explosives recovered from Gabtali village on January 16.

An explosives expert team last week examined evidence on the Gabtali Police Station premises and confirmed that materials found there were explosive.



02. Bangla Bhai men circulate leaflet calling for jihad
Staff Correspondent, Rajshahi

Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) cadres in Bagmara have been circulating leaflets for the last two days calling for the Muslims to prepare for a jihad.

The leaflets headlined 'Qurbani and Jihad Fi Sabilillah' (Sacrifice and jihad for Allah) said organisations committed to jihad like in many other countries had flourished in Bangladesh as well to fight the 'conspiracies of Kafirs' and retain 'the glory of Muslims'.

People were leafleted also to come up with any sort of help for these organisations to accelerate the preparations for jihad.

"Muslims are cornered everywhere in the world because they are not resorting to arms," the leaflets read.

Hinting at the United States, it said Kafirs (infidels) are now out to wipe Muslims off the face of the earth. The jihadist organisations across the world are working relentlessly to fight the infidels, it continued.

The leaflet circulation by the JMJB has caused widespread fear among the locals that Bangla Bhai men might start atrocities afresh.

Meanwhile, JMJB men failed to hold a scheduled rally at Hamirkutsa Primary School field yesterday morning as police, already tipped off, cordoned off the area, said locals.

Later over 100 JMJB cadres from different areas sat a meeting at the house of Mostafizur Rahman Montu at Hamirkutsa Bazar, said a witness.

ABM Golam Kibria, officer-in-charge of Bagmara Police Station, however, said they were deployed in the Hamirkutsa Bazar for hartal, not for any scheduled rally of any outfit.

JMJB Bagmara chapter chief Abdus Sattar Mastar and 24 others, who were arrested on January 24 for assault on police, were taken on a four-day police remand from Saturday. Earlier on Friday, the second in command of Bangla Bhai's operations squad Mustafizur Rahman Mustaque was arrested on charge of the assault.