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     Volume 4 Issue 61 | September 2, 2005 |

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Anonymous leaflets
Bangladesh seems to be under attack of an anonymous person, who is sending anonymous messages to people and warning them of a disaster which is about to hit the country if the government does not act accordingly. A week after the recent bomb blasts, another batch of leaflets was distributed in the city, parroting the voice of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
These leaflets were distributed from a white microbus, speaking of the country's major militant organisations, which were developed from Asadullah Galib's Ahle Hadith Jubo Sangha. It seems that the JMB had originated from a militant organisation and the rise of Galib and his organisation. It says JMB is the militant wing of Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab).
"We feel the urge to inform the nation that JMB had carried out the near-simultaneous countrywide blasts on August 17," says the leaflet.
According to the leaflet, Maulana Abdullah Hel Baki came from India and started preaching the doctrine of Ahle Hadith in Pabna in East Pakistan. His son Dr Abdul Bari, former vice chancellor of Rajshahi University, took over as the head of the organisation, which over the year attracted a huge number of Muslims who became its members.
Galib had dedicated himself to establishing an Islamic state while he was a young student. In 1978, he formed Ahle Hadith Jubo Sangha in Dhaka University, emphasising the importance of jihad in parallel to dawats (inviting people to embrace true Islam). Starting from Dhaka, the Jubo Sangha spread fast in almost all the districts.
The government, in 1989, ousted Abdul Matin Salafi, one of the major organisers of Ahab. Before leaving the country, he made Galib its leader and handed over to him a huge fund. The leaflet also mentions Abdur Rahman as the chief of JMB and describes Dr Galib as a close associate of Rahman.
It says Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai of Jagrata Muslim Janata, Mufti Hannan of Harkatul Jihad, Kawsar Hossain Siddique of Shahadat-e-Al Hiqma and some other less known extremist leaders--all came from Ahle Hadith Jubo Sangha. Bangla Bhai was even arrested as a JMB member at Mollarhat in Bagerhat.
A word of caution to all the readers, look out for more leaflets over the next weekend.

Nine More Suspects Brought to JIC
Though it is a belated awakening, the government now is trying to cleanse the country of the elements that were behind the August 17 country-wide bomb blasts. Nine more suspects in the grisly incident were brought to the capital from Barisal and Satkhira on August 27 for interrogation in the Joint Interrogation Cell (JIC).
The JIC earlier quizzed 32 suspects and sent back 24 of them to their respective districts.
Even though the government is determined to crack down on the religiously inclined militants, the authorities are still showing slacks in many occasions. The official versions of the latest initiatives and investigations could not be known as the home ministry abruptly cancelled the scheduled press briefing on August 27 without explaining any reason.
Six suspects from Barisal were sent fort quizzing in the JIC. Three of them are staff of Al Ikram Kalyan Sangstha (AISKS), a non-government organisation. Ziaur Rahman Zia, director of AISKS is believed to be the mastermind of the series of bomb explosions that rocked the nation, is still absconding. Meanwhile, three of the AISKS men gave confessional statements to a magistrate stating their involvement in the blasts that rocked Barisal.
Meanwhile, three men were sent to JIC from Satkhira. They were arrested on August 24 for their suspected links to the country-wide bombing.

BNP Hard-liners Trying to
Derail Investigation

While Islamist extremists-- or Jamaatul Mujahidden Bangladesh (JMB) to be more specific-- appear to be emerging as the sure mastermind behind the 17 August's near simultaneous bomb blasts across the country, a rift is developing in the BNP, the coalition leader in the four-party alliance government. Policy decision in the BNP has more or less been ruled by the hard-liners, who clearly outnumber or sway more power than the relatively less powerful moderate group in the party. Though the government's security apparatus seem to working in full gear after getting the lead from the initial arrestees, the crack down appears to have come to a dead end or at least slowed down for the last couple of days. According to a leading Bangla daily, the hard-line group, of whom Salauddin Kader Chowdhury, advisor to the PM's Parliamentary affairs, is a top-ranking leader, has managed to re-affirm its hold on the government's policy making body. The hard-liners have argued that the mastermind of the serial bomb blasts is not to be found at home but abroad, hinting at the neighbouring India. So far this argument seems to be based purely on hypothesis and blind belief rather than on facts and evidence, so the onus is on the government to decide if they would suddenly change the track of their investigation based on a certain section's unfounded assumption or allow the investigation to follow its natural course. Common sense says, the government should do the latter.

The Recent BDR Seizure
Though the hill districts of Bangladesh have been known for the militancy that sought to establish self-rule in that area, lately it has been the place where gunrunners are having a hay day. The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in an especial operation on August 27 seized 32 German-made pistols and 5,000 bullets in Palongchhari in Naikhangchhari upizila of Bandarban districts.
Official sources said that a BDR team led by Capt Mahbub of Naikhachhari zone challenged a number of people carrying heavy goods. As they did not respond, the BDR opened fire, but the men immediately ran away leaving their belongings behind. The BDR later found the 9mm pistols along with 5,000 bullets and 64 empty magazines hidden inside their baggage. The border guards also arrested an indigenous man in this connection.
Official sources said that the special operation started on August 19 in Naikhangchhari, Thanchi and Alikadam border areas. The spokesman of Bandarban region BDR headquarters said, "About 2,000 members of Bangladesh army, the BDR and police took part in the operation."
"The forces in 50 groups are continuing the combing operation to seize more arms and ammunition and arrest criminals," the spokesman added.

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