Hidden alliance of Jihadist groups in Bangladesh
By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Notorious Jihadist group Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh [JMB] has changed its name to Jamiatul Muslemin Bangladesh and is forming alliance with ‘like minded’ groups in the country for last four years. According to information disclosed by captured JMB member Saidur Rahman, who told interrogators that, Jihadist groups like Allah’r Daal [Allah’s Party], Harkatul Jihad, Ulema Anjuman Al Baiyiniyat, Jadid Al Qaeda, Hizb-Ut Towhid etc have already aligned with the ‘Jihadist Grand Alliance’ which plans to make offensives on Western nations.
JMB member Saidur Rahman said, “… rulers in the Muslim nations are puppets of United States. So, USA is the main enemy of our alliance. We are gaining strength to make offensives on this country. Our initial plan is to target Western missions, establishments and individuals in Bangladesh.”
It may be mentioned here that, Jihadist groups are continuing various forms of instigative propaganda through some newspapers and periodicals in Bangladesh with the aim of drawing attention of mostly un-educated and Madrassa educated people in the country, thus finally recruiting them as Jihadist cadres of these outfits. Several newspapers and periodicals such as Monthly Rahmat [Blessings], Daily Al-Baiyiniyat, Daily Al Insaniyat, Daily Al Ihsan etc are amongst the publications supporting Jihadist ideology. Moreover, the Jihadist groups in Bangladesh manage in getting published instigative stories in several so-called mainstream newspapers in the country, which also helps in attaining attention of potential Jihadist recruits. These so-called mainstream media mostly run anti-Israel articles and editorials, which is aimed at generating hatred against Israel and United States. In Bangladesh and several Muslim countries, publication of anti-Israel and anti-US propaganda are rather encouraged by the state machinery, as these nations refrain from recognizing the State of Israel and openly extends support and solidarity towards Palestinians and notorious terror outfits like Hamas.
While Bangladeshi government is continuing offensives on JMB and Hizbut Tahrir, there is visible reluctance of the State Machinery in taking any actions against other Jihadist outfits like Hizb-Ut Towhid, Allah’r Daal and Khatmey Nabuat.
Khatmey Nabuat is a radical Jihadist group formed under the leadership of Moulana Mumtazi and Mufti Noor Hussain Noorani in 1995. It came into open activities, mostly targeting Ahmadiyas since 1996. Dozens of Ahmadiya mosques were demolished and burnt by the members of Khatmey Nabuat. It claims to declare Ahmadiyas as ‘non Muslims’. The then Islamist Coalition government in Bangladesh banned religious publications of Ahmadiyas in 2002 at the demand of Khatmey Nabuat.
Hizb Ut Towhid [HUT] came into open activities since 2009 with its agenda of rejecting democratic system and institutions, thus replacing it with self-styled Sharia Law. Wazed Khan Panni alias Selim Panni is the mastermind of this notorious Jihadist outfit. He denounces participation of women in politics in one hand and continues to recruit female Jihadists in his group.
According to Rapid Action Battaion [RAB], Hizb Ut Towhid is continuing its orientation courses, publications and recruitments in Bangladesh. The government is yet to take any action against it.
HUT head office is located in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka at House No. 4, road no. 18, sector no. 7, Uttara. Kingpin of this notorious group Mohammad Bayezid Khan Panni, claims himself to be ‘imam-uz-zaman’, by placing him just behind the prophet of Islam. Panni although operates HUT from his Uttara residence, there are now a number of branches of this notorious militancy group in a number of places in Dhaka as well as other parts of the country. HUT has extended its activities within Barisal, Feni, Kushtia, Madaripur, Tangail, Gazipur, Meherpur, Jhenidah, Noakhali, Khulna, Chittagong and Narshingdi districts under the patronization of its active members and donors. Funds of this group are collected in the name of ‘Zakat’ [Islamic charity].
The HUT chief, who left Bangladesh after the independence and returned in the ‘80s, published a book titled “This Islam is not at all Islam” in March 1996, which the government banned on May 10, 1998. He also wrote another book named ‘Dajjal’, where he said that Jews and Christians are the evils who should be eliminated by the Muslims. Besides, there are several leaflets and booklets on the HUT ideologies and objective. Followers of HUT do not believe in democracy and traditional government system. HUT activists use iron hammer and tobacco dust when they attack.
Selim Panni terms working women and women in politics as ‘prostitutes’ and gives his own ‘Islamic Code’ for men to marry any number of wives. His interpretation is, “women are created only for sexual pleasure of men and this is their only task”.
He projects Jews and Christians as true evils and preaches killing them or raping female members of Jewish and Christian societies as “divine task”. He also teaches his followers to wage any type of offensives on the West.
Panni considers secularist forces as ‘enemies of Islam’ and encourages his followers in killing seculars for “buying heaven”. In his interpretation, Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh [JMB] and other Islamist militancy groups are “sacred forces of Allah” and he terms Shaikh Abdur Rahman as the “Hero of Allah”.
According to sources in Rapid Action Battalion [RAB], activities of Hizb Ut Towhid are under active surveillance of various law enforcing agencies in Bangladesh. It said, “the group operates under various tactics, one of which is continuing activities under the cover of ‘business establishments’. There are specific allegations on a number of such establishments aligned with HUT.”
Bangladeshi government should not allow the Jihadist groups in growing any strength either by continuing activities independently or in alliance. Massive offensives should immediately begin against such outfits.