Vol. 4 Num 184 Sun. November 30, 2003  
Front Page

Man with 'Mosad links' held at ZIA

A man was arrested at Zia International Airport (ZIA) yesterday morning on his way to Tel Aviv for his alleged Mosad connection.

A leader of Bangladesh chapter of 'Iflaq', a Haifa-based organisation, Salauddin Shoib Chowdhury was carrying compact disks (CD) and papers containing write-ups on some sensitive issues including 'minority repression and the al Qaeda network in Bangladesh', police said.

Shoib was managing director of the planned Inquilab Television until he was sacked last year.

Members of different law enforcement agencies and ZIA immigration officials apprehended him at the immigration counter minutes before he was to leave for Bangkok by the Biman flight, BG-084, at 10:30am.

"He introduced himself as the editor of the 'Blitz', an entertainment magazine published from Dhaka, and said he was going to Bangkok," a top police officer said yesterday on condition of anonymity.

"Searching his luggage, we found a number of CD-formatted write-ups and papers that clearly proved his contact with Tel Aviv," he said. "He was going to take part in a conference in Tel Aviv scheduled to begin on December 1," the police officer added.

It was however learnt that Shoib's movements were being monitored for quite sometime on suspicion of his connection with the Israeli secret service 'Mosad'.

"He was going to Bangkok first and was scheduled to fly for Israel, a country Bangladeshi citizens are barred from travelling to," he said.

A correspondent of Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Shoib was sacked from his job but soon joined now defunct ATV owned by Aziz Mohammad Bhai. During his job there, he was arrested on charge of smuggling information out of the country and was awarded a three-month term in the case.

Shoib later joined Inquilab Television as managing director. But he was sacked from his job on allegation of fund embezzlement last year.

He joined the Bengali daily Inquilab as special correspondent, but is no longer there for reasons unknown.

Though Bangladeshis are forbidden to go to Israel, Shoib visited the Israeli capital last month, sources said.

He published a number of write-ups in 'Cine Blitz' against anti-Israel sentiment across the world. In an article titled 'Midwest Opinion Forum Incubating Ultra Radicalism' published in the magazine in the November 12 issue, he wrote about the rise of al Qaeda fundamentalism in Bangladesh.

Police sources said a sedition case would be filed against Shoib.

Members of different law enforcing agencies, taking Shoib along with them, were learnt to have been raiding different parts of the city till filing of this report at 8:00 last night for others having connection with Israel.