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Monday, December 3, 2012
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JMB back!

Rab claims the banned Islamist outfit regrouped, plans to kill top leaders

Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested five top-level leaders of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the capital's Mirpur on charges of allegedly plotting to foil the ongoing war crimes trial by destabilising law and order.

The leaders of the banned militant outfit were preparing to hold a secret meeting, Rab officials said.

One of the arrestees Shaik Rahamat Ullah alias Masum, 33, is a member of Majlish-e-Sura, the highest decision making body of the JMB, Rab sources said.

The other detainees are ehsar (full-time) members Shahinuzzaman Shahin alias Shafique, 27, Amit Hossain alias Ajmeri, 26, and Shariful Islam Shohag alias Milton, 23, and gayeri ehsar (part-time) member Saidur Rahman, 40.

A senior intelligence official of the Rab told The Daily Star that JMB men regrouped, targeting to kill BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni.

A good number of books, leaflets, CDs and pen drives containing the party's organisational directives were seized from the possessions of five arrestees.

During a press briefing at Rab headquarters, its Legal and Media Wing Director Captain M Sohail said the leaders of the banned organisation have been getting together under the umbrella of some religion-based political parties.

"In collaboration with these parties, the outfit members are trying to destabilise law and order, aiming to foil the war crimes trial and save war criminals," he said.

"Besides, JMB leaders and leaders of the like-minded organisations have targeted some top ranking leaders of the two major political parties," Sohail told reporters.

The militant outfit has targeted to recruit Rohingyas in Myanmar to conduct militant activities, Capt Sohail said adding that JMB men were trying to keep contacts with the detained war criminals.

Rab officials said Sura member Masum, who hails from Narayanganj, had been working as the second man to JMB's chief Sohel Mahfuz, who is now hiding in India.

"As per the directives of Mahfuz, Masum came to Bangladesh on November 10 from India through a border point in Rajshahi," said a Rab source.

Masum was convicted to 17 years' imprisonment in an arms case in addition to six years in an explosives case. He is also accused in several other cases, including a robbery in a Brac office at Gopalganj in 2005.

After he came out of prison on a High Court bail in 2011, he had fled to India.

Ehsar members Shahinuzzaman is the chief of Khulna district JMB, Shariful of Satkhira district JMB while Amit Hossain is the finance secretary of the banned outfit.

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As the national election is approaching and the modality of the interim government is not determined yet, the AL government will find JMB and others everywhere. Their gratuitous type advice to BNP on other day will increase day by day.

: Jumana Sarwar

If this is really the case, it is an ominous sign indeed. It goes without saying that people if this country is God fearing hence easily be convinced in the name of religion. I am no expert on the topic under question but I think such kind of militancy stems from ignorance about true nature of Islam. Our mainstream media by and large keep silence about religious matter. Can not media have some roles to play to counter militant Islam? Militant Islamic group's cash in on the void created media absence. Well some papers have pages on religion only to vaguely address this issue... all articles being about the hereafter.

: a garment worker





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