Sunday, June 26, 2005

ASSESSMENT: Renewed Thrust of ISI and Al-Qaeda in Northeast

While the political leaders of the state kept changing their stance over an issue of national importance, the ISI made constant effort to increase its activities in the state. Last year, Indian security forces had arrested Md Hasifuddin, a suspected ISI agent, who is believed to have supplied explosives to the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for the Dhemaji blast in August. This arrest brought to notice the effort of Pakistani agency to step up subversive activities in the region. It is also suspected that a huge quantity of explosives has been smuggled into certain places in Meghalaya. Agencies inimical to India have begun a “renewed thrust” in the Northeast. It is also evident from the activities in the madarssas along the Indo-Bangla border. Agents have been specifically asked to recruit cadres and expand their network in the region. After the US attack on Afghanistan nearly three years ago, reports have been appearing at regular interval regarding the presence of al Qaeda militants in Bangladesh . It is believed that Myanmarese Rohingya militants were trained in camps under the Taliban. Though Dhaka has always been rejecting allegations of a growing fundamentalist network in Bangladesh , a massive network of madarsas that impart religious and arms training to recruits have surfaced in the neighbouring country with the epicenter at Chittagong Hill Tracts. The Islamists from Bangladesh cross over to northeast India and West Bengal and maintain contacts with similar organizations in this region.

Read Full Commentary