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2019-05-11 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Security forces in Lahore picked up four suspects during a late night raid on Thursday in Lahore's Garhi Shahu area soon after agencies investigating the Data Darbar bombing traced the alleged jacket wallah to the locality.

Twelve individuals bit the dust in what officials had described as a suicide kaboom targeting an Elite Force van detailed to the security of the Data Darbar shrine on Wednesday.

Agencies investigating the bombing said they had identified the cycle of violence rickshaw used to transport the suspected bomber to the shrine.

The suspect took the rickshaw from near the railway station. Video footage obtained by the agencies reportedly shows that the rickshaw driver approached the bomber as the latter approached from Garhi Shahu.

Meanwhile,
...back at the shootout, Butch clutched at his other leg......
law enforcement agencies said they had shifted their focus to three major terrorist networks of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain (TTP) in Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

to uncover handlers/controllers of the attack.

Talking about the ongoing investigation into the suicide kaboom, a police brass hat told Dawn that two high-profile teams had been assigned the task to go after three offshoots of the TTP and their controllers.

He said the major focus was on Hizbul Ahrar, which had grabbed credit for sending the teenage suicide bomber to Data Darbar on Wednesday.

He said the law enforcement agencies were using available resources to track down handlers who dropped the boy (suicide bomber) at the shrine.

The official further said that the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab had examined the records of three terror groups, including the Ghazi Force and Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
He said Hizbul Ahrar, which grabbed credit for the attack, was a splinter group of Jamaatul Ahrar headed by Muqarram Shah from Afghanistan.

Hizbul Ahrar had separated from Jamaatul Ahrar due to some internal rifts. It started operating separately to target primarily the law enforcement agencies in various parts of Pakistain.

In addition to that, the CTD, which is leading the entire investigation process, is also following other leads, like the possibility of the involvement of ISIS as well, he said.

The official further said the probe was being conducted along the lines of the 2017 Mall Road blast investigation, in which LEAs had successfully locked away
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
the controller who dropped the suicide bomber near the target site a few minutes before the blast.

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2019-05-10 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] With the corpse count in Wednesday’s Data Darbar shrine blast rising to 11 on Thursday, law enforcement agencies shifted focus to three major terrorist networks of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain (TTP) in Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

to lay their hands on handlers/controllers.

Among the four critically maimed, Elite Force man Saddam Hussain departed this vale of tears at the Mayo Hospital, though he underwent complicated surgeries.

Saddam, a resident of Kasur, had sustained multiple head and chest injuries in the suicide kaboom carried out on Wednesday morning at the gate of Hazrat Ali Hajveri shrine.

Other three critically injured at the Intensive Care Unit of the teaching hospital were not yet out of danger.

Talking about investigation into the suicide blast, a police brass hat told Dawn that two high-profile teams of the law enforcement agencies had been assigned the task to go after three offshoots of the TTP and their controllers.

Particularly, he said, the major focus was on Hizbul Ahrar which grabbed credit of sending the teenage jacket wallah to hit the target at Data Darbar on Wednesday.

He said the law enforcement agencies were using available resources to track down handlers who dropped the boy (suicide bomber) at the shrine.

The official said the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), Punjab, had examined the record of the three terror groups, including the Ghaiz Force and Jamatul Ahrar.

He said the Hizbul Ahrar, which grabbed credit for the attack, was the splinter group of Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
headed by hard boy Muqarram Shah from Afghanistan.

Hizbul Ahrar had separated from Jamaatul Ahrar due to some internal rifts. It started operating separately to target primarily the law enforcement agencies in various parts of Pakistain.

In addition to that, the CTD, which was leading the entire investigation process, was also following other leads like the possibility of involvement of ISIS as well, he said.

The official further said the probe was being conducted on the pattern of the 2017 Mall Road blast investigation in which the LEAs had incarcerated
Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'!
the controller who had dropped the suicide bomber near the target site a few minutes before the blast.

As many as 14 people, including two DIGs and other personnel of the police, had embraced martyrdom when the suicide bomber went kaboom! on The Mall in February 2017 when the officials were holding a dialogue with protesting traders.

The official said some 93 privately installed CCTV cameras in addition to those of the Safe City Authority had led the Sherlocks to the handler, Anwarul Haq, who had dropped the suicide bomber on The Mall. He was arrested from a rented house in R.A. Bazaar of Lahore within 72 hours of the Mall Road blast.

The LEAs later arrested 13 more controllers of Jamatul Ahrar and dismantled the group’s network after it grabbed credit for The Mall attack. He further said the notorious group Hizbul Ahrar, which grabbed credit for the Data Darbar blast, had last carried out a gun-and- kaboom on a bus carrying personnel of a security agency in Attock in May 2018.

As many as six of them, including the controllers, were arrested later in a marathon intelligence-based operation by the LEAs, he said.

The CTD officials would also grill the Death Eaters of Hizbul Ahrar arrested in the Attock case in connection with the Data Darbar blast.

Sources said the Punjab government was also discussing a proposal to form a joint investigation team.

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2019-01-14 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
chief Shah Ahmed Shafi has claimed that his statement regarding women’s education has been "distorted," claiming that he is against the co-education system and not against women’s education.

His call made on Friday about not allowing girls to study had sparked widespread controversy, drawing criticisms from different quarters including government ministers.

In a media statement issued on Sunday, known Islamic hardliner Shafi urged the mass media not to "distort" his comments when publishing them. "Because that leads to confusion and misunderstanding among the general people... Do not spread lies against anyone."

"Reaching a conclusion without understanding someone’s remarks is a crime. And using a part of a remark for one’s own interest is a bigger crime," he said in the statement.

Shafi also claimed that a vested quarter was out to desperately make him sound controversial. "They are trying to present me as a person who is against women and women’s education.

"I have responded to that. Read that and try to understand. Do not spread lies," he said.

"I am saying again ‐ create a safe environment for women’s education and ensure security of their lives and honour. No one should send their daughters to an unsafe environment."

He said that his remarks were made in the backdrop of rapes and murders of women around the country that are taking place every day. These crimes and discrimination against women would not stop if people do not have any morale, he added.

The chief of fundamentalist Islamist group Hefazat also added: "The summary of what I said is that they [girls or women] should wear burkas if they go to colleges and universities for higher education and their teachers should be women too."

REMARKS AND REBUTTAL
On Friday, the 99-year-old had asked his followers to take oath to restrain girls from studying at schools and colleges, while addressing an annual religious gathering at al-Jamaatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasa, also known as Hathazari Madrasa, in Chittagong.

"Do not let girls study at schools and colleges. At best, you can allow them to study up to fourth or fifth grade. If you let them study any more... You have seen in the newspapers that... If you educate your girl up to ninth, tenth, MA, BA levels then that girl will not remain yours.

"If you educate your girls, other men will snatch them away," he said.

After media reports on his remarks led to controversy and harsh criticism, Shafi on Saturday had issued another statement, where had claimed that his comments were published partially in different media outlets.

He said: "In my speech, I tried to say that girls should not be sent to any educational institution which goes any against basic tenets of Islam. You should bear in mind that Islam is a complete code, which encompasses every aspect of life. Islam encouraged girls' education and every one of you knows that Bibi Ayesha (R) was a renowned interpreter of Hadith. If she did not receive education, then we would remain deprived from many valuable sayings of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him)."

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2018-11-07 Bangladesh
[DAWN] Bangladesh police on Tuesday said they had killed the chief of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an holy warrior group accused of murdering secular activists and inspiring a cafe siege that killed 22 people.

Khorshed Alam, described as the "emir" of Bangladesh's deadliest Islamist outfit, was bumped off early on Tuesday morning in the northern town of Shibganj, police front man Sonaton Chokraborty said.

"He died before we could bring him to hospital," Chokraborty told AFP of the 38-year-old myrmidon.

Police say Alam emerged after JMB's old guard was weakened by the execution of its former commander Sheikh Abdur Rahman, and five other top chiefs, in March 2007.

He is accused of criminal masterminding a number of attacks across Moslem-majority Bangladesh, including most recently the murder of atheist writer and publisher Shahzahan Bachchu in the central district of Munshiganj in June.

He also spearheaded a daring ambush on a prison van in 2014 that allowed two senior JMB foot soldiers to escape, police said.

In recent years, a splinter faction inspired by JMB's earlier leadership
...known cleverly as “New Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)”...
grabbed headlines after five of its young members stormed an upmarket Dhaka cafe in July 2016 and murdered 22 people, including 18 foreigners.

Bangladesh police launched a massive crackdown on bandidos bandidos Death Eaters since the cafe siege, killing more than 80 suspected Islamists and arresting hundreds more.
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2018-09-21 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] As the new government in Islamabad starts work on addressing the concerns related to money laundering and terror financing, a US State Department report released on Thursday said that Pakistain criminalised terrorist financing through the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), but its implementation remained uneven.

Pakistain is a member of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering ‐ a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In June, the Gay Paree-based FATF placed Pakistain on its grey list of countries that could be marked out for economic sanctions if they failed to prevent Death Eaters from collecting funds within their domain.

The official US report ‐ released with the State Department’s country reports on terrorism ‐ also highlights FATF’s concerns about Pakistain.

"The FATF continued to note concern that Pakistain’s outstanding gaps in the implementation of the UN Security Council ISIS (ISIS) and Al Qaeda sanctions regime have not been resolved, and that UN-listed entities ‐ including Lashkar-e-Taiba
...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI...
(LeT) and its affiliates ‐ were not effectively prohibited from raising funds in Pakistain, nor being denied financial services," the report points out.

Last month, Finance Minister Asad Umar told the Senate that FATF had given Pakistain 15 months to comply with these requirements. The minister said FATF had identified 27 deficiencies in the Pak financial system, including "currency smuggling, hawala and terror financing of proscribed organizations".

The minister had told the house that the government would be addressing all the objections raised not only to satisfy the international community but also because it was in Pakistain’s own interest to get rid of terror financing and terrorism.

The US State Department in its report acknowledged that Pakistain’s laws technically comply with international anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism standards, but added that Pak authorities "failed to uniformly implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and individuals such as LeT and its affiliates, which continued to make use of economic resources and raise funds".

The report also refers to a Nov 2017 decision of the Lahore High Court which refused to extend the detention of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed
...founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its false-mustache offshoot Jamaat-ud-Dawa. The United Nations declared the JuD a terrorist organization in 2008 and Hafiz Saeed a terrorist as its leader. Hafiz, JuD and LeT are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Pak intel apparatus, so that amounted to squat...
as it judged the government had not provided sufficient evidence against him nor had it charged Hafiz Saeed with a crime.

The US report also examines the National Action Plan that the PML-N government gave to FATF in June this year, noting that the plan contains efforts to prevent and counter terrorist financing, including by enhancing interagency coordination.

The law designates the use of unlicensed hundi and hawala systems as predicate offences to terrorism and also requires banks to report suspicious transactions to Pakistain’s financial intelligence unit, the State Bank’s Financial Monitoring Unit.

The US State Department, however, notes that throughout 2017 "these unlicensed money transfer systems persisted throughout the country and were open to abuse by terrorist financiers operating in the cross-border area".

The report also identifies several major terrorist groups focused on conducting attacks in Pakistain, including the Tehrik-e-Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
Pakistain, Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, and the sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
al-Alami.

The report also mentions groups located in Pakistain, but focused on conducting attacks outside the country, included the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad
...literally Army of Mohammad, a Pak-based Deobandi terror group founded by Maulana Masood Azhar in 2000, after he split with the Harkat-ul-Mujaheddin. In 2002 the government of Pervez Musharraf banned the group, which changed its name to Khaddam ul-Islam and continued doing what it had been doing before without missing a beat...
(JeM).

The reports notes that in 2017, the Death Eaters used a range of tactics ‐ stationary and vehicle-borne improvised bombs, suicide kabooms, targeted liquidations, and rocket-propelled grenades ‐ to attack individuals, schools, markets, government institutions and places of worship.

The report also notes that the Pak government and military continued high-profile efforts to disrupt terrorist attacks and eliminate anti-state turbans. "Progress, however, remained slow on the government’s efforts to implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and enforce anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls."
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2018-04-30 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] Bangladesh Jamaatul Ulama Chairman and imam of Bangladesh’s largest Eid congregation in Sholakia, Kishoreganj Sheikhul Hadis Farid Uddin Masuud has expressed deep concern about the ongoing internal crisis in Tabligh Jamaat.

If the situation is not resolved soon, it will cause irrevocable damage to the Ummah, he said in a statement issued on Sunday.

"Everyone needs to come forward to solve the crisis and maintain unity among Tabligh Jamaat. It is necessary for the Ulama-e-Kiram to sustain a good relationship between themselves," Farid Uddin said.

"Everyone will need to maintain peace and order to keep the works of Tabligh active."

Urging all to solve the crises sensibly, the imam further said: "General people and the Ulama-e-Kiram have always helped each other. They cannot be competitors to each other. It is to be noted that the fatwa declared by Darul Uloom Deoband does not permit anyone to create chaos.

"In this case, we should limit our activities according to the statements made by Darul Uloom Deoband. Maintaining a strict position will not bring good results for anyone; rather, it will impede the works of Tabligh and Islam."

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2018-04-26 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
High Court (PHC) on Wednesday, wrapping up a petition submitted by the father of an Army Public School (APS) attack victim, ordered that former Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JuA) and Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain (TTP) front man Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, then the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
remain imprisoned while he is undergoing trial.

In the petition, the victim's father had asked the court to ensure that Ehsan is not pardoned as he had grabbed credit for the 2014 attack on Peshawar's APS in which at least 144 people, mostly children, were killed.

Ehsan, a TTP spokesperson until 2014, joined the splinter group JuA following a split in the TTP. The army in April 2017 announced his surrender to security forces and released a 'confession video' of Ehsan in which he claimed that terrorist organizations were being "used" by India and Afghanistan.

Fazal Khan, the father of another APS victim, had petitioned the PHC in 2017 against Ehsan's release as he believed the government intended to give clemency to the ex-militant who is reportedly in the custody of security agencies. Subsequently, the PHC in December last year barred the government from releasing Ehsan.

A two-judge bench comprising justices Qaisar Rashid and Ikramullah Khan today stated that if Ehsan had taken responsibility for the TTP-claimed APS attack, "the parents of the victims ─ and not the state ─ hold the right to pardon him".

During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General Musaratullah Khan assured the court that the government does not plan to release Ehsan anyway as he is already undergoing an inquiry.

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2018-03-07 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] After seizing around five hundred mobile phones from students, the authorities of Hathazari madrasa burned them on Sunday night.

On November 25 last year, Islamic hardliner Hefazat-e-Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi has said Jews spread mobile phones to destroy Muslims.
The smartphone sets were set on fire on the premises of the religious institute which is also known as al-Jamaatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasa located at Hathazari in Chittagong.

Uploading photos of the destroyed mobile phone sets to his Facebook account, Rizwan Arman, a student of Hathazari Madrasa wrote that the seized mobile phones were put into two sacks which were doused with petrol and set on fire after Maghrib prayers on Sunday.

The mobile phones were seized during a search operation by the Madrasa authorities in the student dormitories of the institution.

Senior teacher of Hathazari Madrasa Mufti Jasim Uddin told Dhaka Tribune that students were asked not to use mobile phones containing videos of song and dance.

"We have seized mobile phones from students which contain such videos. The students may use mobile phones in case of any emergency after obtaining permission from the authorities concerned, but mobile phones containing videos of song and dance hamper the academic environment," said Mufti Jasim.

On November 25 last year, Islamic hardliner Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
chief Shah Ahmed Shafi has said Jews spread mobile phones to destroy Moslems.

He made the statement while presiding over a religious congregation in Chittagong.

"Mobile phones are ruining our otherwise complete social system. Keep our sons and daughters away from mobile phones," he said.

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2018-01-26 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The interior ministry was unable to brief the Senate on Thursday on questions seeking information about the detention and trial of former Tehrik-e-Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
Pakistain (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, then the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, and the nature of cases against him.

In a written response, following a question raised by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar asking if "Ehsan was under trial", the ministry said they had no information regarding this.

"Will the case of former TTP spokesperson be sent to a military court," Babar had asked.

The ministry said it had no clue pertaining to Ehsanullah Ehsan's trial, adding that the issue had been taken up with the civil intelligence agencies but they said "they weren't looking into the matter".

The interior ministry, however, said the case of Ehsan, who is reportedly in the custody of security agencies, would be put forward before a special committee as per the recommendations of the home department. "The case will be sent to a military court if the committee gives approval."

In December, Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
High Court had barred the government from releasing Ehsan, asking the authorities to continue investigating the former bully boy.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, who had been associated with TTP and later its splinter group, the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JuA), reportedly turned himself in April last year.

Apprehensions regarding a possible pardon for and release of Ehsan were raised after his interviews to local media were released and aired.

Observers had asked why authorities deemed it okay to allow the representative of one of the most notorious terrorist groups space on national media.

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2017-12-14 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] A Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
High Court (PHC) bench on Wednesday barred the government from releasing former Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, then the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, asking that authorities continue investigating the former bully boy.

The decision was taken by a two-member bench of the court headed by PHC Chief Justice Yahya Afridi. The bench has been hearing a writ petition filed by Fazal Khan, father of a student killed in the December 16, 2014 Army Public School attack.

The petitioner believes that the government is planning to give clemency to the ex-militant, who is reportedly in the custody of security agencies.

The directive was issued after the federal government submitted a second report about Ehsan's incarceration, but failed to satisfy the court.

In its written reply, the government had stated that it was still investigating Ehsan. Telling the government to continue its probe, the court forbade his release on any grounds.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, who had been associated with TTP and later its splinter group, the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JuA), reportedly turned himself in earlier this year.

Apprehensions regarding a possible pardon for and release of Ehsan were raised after his interviews to local media were released and aired.

Observers had asked why authorities deemed it okay to allow the representative of one of the most notorious terrorist groups space on national media.

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2017-11-16 Bangladesh
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] The theory and practice of Jihad, or Islamic holy war, will no longer be taught in school or college classrooms in Bangladesh, which houses the fourth-largest Moslem population in the world and is grappling with rising religious extremism.

Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina’s Awami League government has ordered madrasas, or traditional Islamic educational institutions, to drop certain chapters from textbooks, which will be distributed in 2018 to prevent impressionable youth from falling prey to fanaticism.

In July 2016, home-grown bully boyz stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave and bumped off 22 Italian, Japanese, American, Bangladeshi and an Indian hostage heralding the arrival Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
-backed terrorism in the South Asian country hemmed in by India and Myanmar.

Congratulating the government for revising the syllabus, Professor Anisuzzaman, President of Bangla Academy and one of the country’s most respected writers with a string of awards and laurels, said "it’s inconceivable how that concept crept stealthily into the curriculum in a democratic nation whose Constitution is based on the rule of law".

The 70-year-old intellectual who reportedly figures on fundamentalists’ hit-list said that madrasa textbooks should have been "cleansed" long ago but "it’s better late than never".

Curbing radicalization
According to leading Bangladeshi newspapers like Dhaka Tribune and Daily Star, the administration was spurred into action by the high-powered National Committee on Militancy Resistance and Prevention (NCMRP) tasked with curbing radicalization of young Bangladeshi men and women.

Madrasa textbooks define the concept as "fight against the enemies of Islam", which according to NCMRP fanned "slow radicalization" and "encouraged them to join violent groups in the country and abroad to fight the "enemies of Islam."

Abdullah Yousuf, principal of Alia Madrasa in Noakhali, told Dhaka Tribune: "To be fair to Islam, what's prescribed by our religion and holy warrior activity are entirely different and the government must send a clear message to the students to distinguish between the two".

Amid hectic preparations to welcome Pope Francis in Dhaka from November 30 to December 2, Theophil Norkek, secretary of Catholic Bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission, backed the government.

"The Hasina regime has taken a good decision and I guess it is intended to eradicate radicalism and to help students become moderate Moslems. The concept has been widely misinterpreted to brainwash Moslems into regarding people of other faiths as enemies of Islam".

Since the gruesome Bakery massacre, Bangladeshi security forces have killed roughly 100 holy warriors, often in cold blood, and incarcerated
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
hundreds to curb terrorism in the essentially secular and liberal country.

A big source of worry is the induction of educated youth from affluent backgrounds into krazed killer outfits like the Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).

Dhaka clearly hopes that purging textbooks will curb the growth of fanaticism sullying the image of a centuries-old religion as glorious and peace-loving as Islam.

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2017-11-03 India-Pakistan
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The United States has shared a list of at least twenty terrorist groups with Islamabad which Washington insists use the Pak soil for the terrorist activities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, it has been reported.

Diplomatic sources have confirmed to the local news outlet Dawn News that the White House retains a list of 20 terrorist groups that the Trump administration claims are operating in Pakistain.

The sources further added that the list has reportedly been shared with Islamabad by Afghanistan and the United States.

In the meantime, reports indicate that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the US and Pakistain had been engaged in "a very healthy exchange of information on terrorists" since his visit to Islamabad last week.

Tillerson has further added that further information will also be shared with Pakistain in the future to include information on "specific location on any given day of where certain individuals or certain cells may be located."

According to reports, the Haqqani terrorist network is on the top of the list shared with Islamabad as the US officials are saying that the network has safe havens in Fata and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

But the Pak officials reject the claims by Washigton and insist that no such safe havens exist in the country.

Added from Dawn:
Top on the list is the Haqqani network which, the United States claims, has safe havens in Fata and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan. Pakistan strongly rejects the charge, saying that there are no such safe havens inside the country.

Harakatul Mujahideen is a Pakistan-based militant group operating primarily in Kashmir. The US says that group had links to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda as well.

Jaish-e-Mohammed operates mainly in Kashmir and the liberation of the Indian occupied Kashmir is its declared objective.

Jundullah is associated with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and was commanded by militant Hakimullah Mehsud, the Emir of TTP until his death in November 2013. It had vowed allegiance to the militant Islamic State group.

The United States identified Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of the largest and most active terrorist organisations in South Asia. Founded in 1987 by Hafiz Saeed, Abdullah Azzam and Zafar Iqbal in Afghanistan, the group had its headquarters in Muridke. It too is focused on Kashmir.

Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in the 2001 Indian parliament attack and the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Lashkar-i-Jhanghvi, an offshoot of anti-Shia sectarian group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, was founded by former SSP activists Riaz Basra, Malik Ishaq, Akram Lahori and Ghulam Rasool Shah.

The US blames this group for committing hundreds of target killings and dozens of mass attacks inside Pakistan.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella organisation of various militant groups, was based in Fata, but has now relocated to Afghanistan. The US says that the group wants to enforce its own interpretation of Sharia and plans to unite against Nato-led forces in Afghanistan. It has conducted hundreds of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

Other groups on the list are: Harakatul Jihadi-i-Islami, Jamaatul Ahrar, Jamaatud Dawa al-Quran and Tariq Gidar Group, which is one of 13 TTP affiliates. The Tariq Gidar Group has been behind some of the deadliest attacks inside Pakistan, including the Dec 16, 2014, massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar that left 132 schoolchildren and nine staffers dead.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Commander Nazir Group, Indian Mujahideen, Islamic Jihad Union, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan ISIS-Khorasan, Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent and the Turkistan Islamic Party Movement are also on the list.
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2017-10-19 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain (TTP) on Wednesday named a successor for krazed killer commander Umar Mansoor, the criminal mastermind of the Army Public School attack, along with a formal confirmation that he was dead.

Usman Mansoor Hafizullah will replace Umar Mansoor as the faction's commander in Darra Adam Khel and Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, TTP Spokesperson Muhammad Khorasani said in an email sent to journalists on Wednesday.

Umar Mansoor, who had also grabbed credit for the deadly attack on Bacha Khan University in 2016, was said to be the criminal mastermind of 2014's massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar which left at least 144 people, mostly children, dead.

He was killed in July last year.

Two security bigshots had told Dawn that Umar Mansoor, alias Khalifa Mansour, alias Umar Naray, had been killed, along with another krazed killer leader, Qari Saifullah, in a dronezap in the Bandar area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
province in July 2016.

One of the officials had said they had credible reports of Mansoor having been killed with Saifullah, who was in charge of jacket wallahs. "What we have is pretty credible," he had said.

Later, then Commander of the Resolute Support Mission, Gen John Nicholson, had called retired Gen Raheel Sharif
..Pak chief of army staff, meaning he pulls the strings on the Nawaz Sharif puppet to make it dance and sing and not do much at all....
and confirmed the death of "terrorist Umar Naray alias Khalifa Umar alias Khalid Khurasani
...intel chief of the Jamaatul Ahrar TTP splinter group, or whatever it's calling itself these days...
" in Afghanistan.

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2017-09-26 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Pakistan's Mission to the United Nations (UN), responding on Monday to a photograph mix-up made earlier by Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, accused India of hiding behind a picture to divert the world's attention from the situation on the ground in India-held Kashmir (IHK).

Lodhi, during a fiery speech in the UN General Assembly on Saturday, had shared photographs of victims of pellet gun attacks ─ infamous for depriving victims of their sight ─ purportedly taken in held Kashmir.

One of the photographs shown by Lodhi, however, stirred controversy when observers pointed out it was a picture of a Palestinian girl injured by strikes in Gaza, taken by photographer Heidi Levine in 2014.

Indian media outlets were quick to point out that Lodhi had erred, and the diplomat came under fire on social media for the blunder.

The Indian mission to the UN, exercising its right of reply, lambasted Lodhi for "callously holding a picture of an injured girl", and accused her of seeking to divert attention from "Pakistan's role as the hub of global terrorism".

Lodhi "misled this assembly by displaying this picture to spread falsehoods about India, a fake picture to push a completely false narrative," an Indian diplomat alleged. She went onto share a photograph of an Indian soldier allegedly killed by militants in held Kashmir's Shopian district.

Pakistan's mission, in its latest rejoinder to India, asserted: "No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it does not and cannot hide the truth."

The Pakistani representative claimed the Indian representative had "once again chosen to divert the attention of the international community from the real issue ─ the real issue of human life, of human eyes, of children and infants blinded forever, of women raped and elderly killed every day by the reign of brutality unleashed by occupation forces in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir."

"The real issue is of Security Council resolutions, which India refuses to implement," the Pakistani representative said.

"No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it does not and cannot hide the truth. Raking up debate on pictures has backfired," he maintained.

"India, who kills and tortures innocent Kashmiris, is seeking to hide behind a photograph," he claimed, adding: "Indian state terrorism has been amply documented by successive human rights reports from various international organisations. There are thousands of those pictures for everyone to see."

"India’s diversionary tactics will not change the situation on ground. It is the situation on ground that India has to answer for. It is its war crimes that India has to answer for. It is the call for legality, morality and conscience that it has to answer for," he asserted.

The Pakistani representative went on to accuse Indian leaders of "pursuing a policy of state sponsorship of terrorism, funding and arming terrorist organisations like the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and the Jamaatul Ahrar to launch terror attacks inside Pakistan" as part of its strategy to become "a regional hegemon".

"India is churning out operatives of mayhem from its factories of terror," he said. "Operatives like Commander Jadhav, who are spreading terror and violence across Pakistan. We caught Jadhav red-handed, we will catch others as well and bring them to justice," he said.

Although the photograph shown by Ambassador Lodhi does appear to be an old photograph of a girl in Gaza, the use of pellet guns by Indian forces against Kashmiris has been criticised on the record by rights organisations such as Amnesty International.

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2017-09-06 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on Tuesday said that Pakistain is "seriously concerned" about the threat posed by terrorism and extremism in the South Asian region. Zakaria was speaking in reference to the BRICS' leaders summit document which named krazed killer groups allegedly based in Pakistain as a regional security concern.
I'm not sure if this is "tu quoque" or scapegoating, but I know it's fallacious.
"Many terrorist groups based in the region ‐ including in Afghanistan ‐ such as the [banned] Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain and its associates like Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JuA) have been responsible for extreme acts of violence against Pak people," Zakaria said.

"We are deeply concerned at the presence of [banned] groups, like ISIS, East Turkestan Islamic Movement and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, in the ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan as they pose a threat to peace and security in the region."

Zakaria further said that Pakistain is concerned about the rise of bully boy ideologies and intolerance in the region, which have been "encouraging social stratification and systematic targeting of minorities".

Earlier on Tuesday, Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir refuted the BRICS nations' claim about the presence of krazed killer groups allegedly based in Pakistain.

While talking to the media after the Defence Cabinet Committee meeting, Dastagir said, "We have already said that there are no terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistain."

"Terrorist safe havens are found in Afghanistan; Pakistain does not fear any external aggression as its Army, Navy and Air Force are keeping a strict eye on the situation," he added.
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2017-09-02 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Three men, including an anti-Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
tribal elder, were killed while two others injured when a roadside kaboom went off in the Anbar tehsil of Mohmand Agency
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
on Friday.

Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, a splinter group of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain, grabbed credit for the attack. In a statement, the group claimed that three members of a peace committee were killed while its head, Ameer Rehman, was critically injured.

According to officials, Rehman along with four others was on his way home after offering Eid prayers in the Shati Meena area when the IED went off. Faqeer Hussain, his father Shad Ali and son Maaz was struck down in his prime. Rehman and Kaach Haji were maimed.

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2017-07-26 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Lahore said it had tossed in the slammer
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
two 'terrorists' belonging to the Tehrik-e-Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
Pakistain (TTP) and the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JuA) on Tuesday evening. Improvised bombs (IEDs) and grenades were also recovered from the suspects, a statement from the CTD said.

"The CTD Team has arrested two terrorists/members of banned
...the word banned seems to have a different meaning in Pakistain than it does in most other places. Or maybe it simply lacks any meaning at all...
organization
JuA/TTP, namely Ali Noor and Sartaj Khan, from Walton Road Lahore," read the statement.

"They were preparing to launch an attack on personnel of law enforcement agencies in next week," it added.

A CTD investigation team was at the scene of the crime and an investigation was underway, the statement read.

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2017-07-16 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] LANDI KOTAL: Border forces in the Jarrobi area of Khyber tribal region foiled two suicide kabooms on their camp on Friday, security officials said.

One of the jacket wallahs was bumped off while the other detonated his boom jacket when challenged by the Frontier Corps
...a provincial paramilitary force. Total manpower is about 80,000. They are tasked to help local law enforcement in the maintenance of law and order, and to carry out border patrol and a..the Antwerp-based Salafist organization that had campaigned to introduce Sharia law to Belgium before single-handedly making Belgium the highest per capita supplier of jihadis to Syria in Europe. There was a big trial in Antwerp in 2015, but most of those convicted were in absentia...nti-smuggling operations....
soldiers manning the Mashtari camp near the Afghan border.

The officials said that two FC personnel, Wajid and Yahya, suffered injuries in the aborted twin blasts. The attackers could have caused devastation had they succeeded in entering the camp, officials said.

The injured were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
by an army helicopter while security around the camp and border areas was further tightened.

Military helicopters conducted the shelling of the surrounding areas soon after the incident. Jarrobi is close to the Afghan border in the Bazaar Zakhakhel area of Landi Kotal tehsil.

The Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
faction of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain grabbed credit for the attempted attack.

Later, Inspector General of Frontier Corps Maj Gen Mazhar Shaheen Khattak visited the area where he was given a detailed briefing about border security. He remained there with the FC soldiers for some time before flying back to Peshawar.
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2017-06-27 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Members of the Shia community in Parachinar protested Monday as the corpse count from twin blasts three days earlier rose to 72, marking a grisly Eid for the town worst hit by militancy so far in 2017.

Officials confirmed that five more injured of Friday’s blasts died in hospital, which pushed the corpse count to 72. At least 10 others are said to be in precarious condition.

Dozens of protesters offered their Eid prayers wearing black armbands in the market in Parachinar, where the bombs tore through crowds of shoppers on Friday, local officials said.

"The corpse count from Friday's blasts has reached 69," local administration official Basir Khan Wazir told AFP. He said the local administration was trying to negotiate with the protesters.

Parachinar, capital of Kurram Agency
...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora...
, a mainly Shia area in the tribal belt, had already suffered two deadly kabooms in its markets this year.

It was the site of the first major attack in Pakistain in 2017, when a bomb killed 24 people in January in an attack claimed by the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
al-Alami and a splinter group of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
Pakistain (TTP) led by Sheheryar Mehsud.

In March, a second attack in another market killed 22 people. The attack was claimed by the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
Friday's assault ─ also claimed by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami ─ brought the town's loss of life due to terror attacks up to 115, more than any one city in Pakistain has suffered so far this year.

"We have been a constant target of the Taliban but the government has always failed us," Muzamil Hussain, an activist from Parachinar told AFP Friday.

Authorities have said that after the first two attacks, checkposts and barriers were set up around the city's markets.

"I don't understand how can someone drive a bomb-laden vehicle through all the checkposts of the military and other paramilitary troops and reach here, it simply isn't logical, and this is what we are protesting against," he said.

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2017-05-26 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] WHEN a high-profile kidnapping takes place in broad daylight in one of the most heavily policed urban centres in the country, questions are bound to be raised. On Tuesday afternoon in Quetta, two Chinese nationals, a man and a woman who run a language centre in the city’s affluent Jinnah Colony, were forced into a car without a number plate by three gunnies who then drove away firing their weapons in the air. Another Chinese woman managed to break free and ran back into the centre. When a passer-by, a commendably brave one at that, intervened, he was shot and injured. So far, no one has grabbed credit for the abduction.

The incident underscores the precarious security situation in insurgency-wracked Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
as well as the murky transnational interests that complicate matters there. The province has seen a number of acts of terrorism since the Aug 8, 2016, suicide kaboom in Quetta that killed scores of lawyers. On Oct 24, holy warriors stormed the police training college in the scenic provincial capital, killing around 60 young cadets. In November, a suicide kaboom at the Shah Noorani shrine left at least 50 people dead. On April 13 this year, 10 labourers were rubbed out at a construction site, and on May 12, a suicide kaboom targeted the convoy of the deputy chairman, Senate, Maulana Ghafoor Haideri in Mastung. The holy man sustained injuries, while close to 30 people bit the dust. Those who have grabbed credit for these attacks include Baloch krazed killers, and various Islamist outfits including the hard boy Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
group, Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, etc; there are also a number of shadowy criminal groups in the province with links -- sometimes tenuous, at other times not -- to Lion of Islam organizations. Balochistan today is a confoundedly complex problem, a powder keg of competing interests, the outcome of a decades-long failure of state policy marked by a refusal to honestly address the political grievances -- some of them very legitimate -- of the Baloch; that omission is being exploited by subversive foreign elements with some success. Arguably, the inception of CPEC has made the situation even more fraught, with security for Chinese nationals acquiring particular urgency. The abduction two days ago is evidence that law-enforcement authorities in the province have yet to get their act together. It is pertinent to ask how, in a city with an overwhelming security footprint, did the perpetrators get away with such a brazen crime?

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2017-05-13 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday allowed Geo News to air an interview of former Tehrik-e-Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
(TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
Ehsan had recently surrendered to the authorities and has since been in military’s custody.

Pakistain Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) had earlier barred the TV channel from airing the interview saying it would be "heart-wrenching and deeply disturbing for the loved ones of those killed in terrorist attacks to see the member of a terrorist organization appearing on TV screen."

The Pemra order was challenged in Islamabad High Court (IHC) by the Independent Media Corporation (IMC), which is a conglomerate of the Jang Group of Newspapers [including Geo News].

Justice Amir Farooq accepted IMC's appeal and directed Pemra to bring the matter to court, if it feels any of its guidelines would be violated as a result of Ehsan's interview being aired.

Not too long ago, Pemra Chairman Absar Alam expressed his dissatisfaction with courts "stalling" Pemra's directives. Speaking at a presser on Monday, he appealed to Chief Justice Saqib Nisar to expedite legal proceedings that have seen 333 out of 357 notices issued by Pemra challenged and stayed by different courts.

The court delivered its judgement on the matter of Ehsanullah Ehsan's interview being allowed to air, after hearing arguments from both sides.

IMC's counsel insisted that Pemra had failed to consider the interview in light of its context and explained to the court that the video interview, recorded in cooperation with the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), was given to Pemra along with an invitation to edit the interview to its satisfaction but Pemra "refused" to do so.

IMC's counsel added that Geo News was careful not to violate the law, which is why they refrained from airing the interview and took the matter to court instead.

One the aims of airing the interview, IMC's counsel argued, was to encourage other forces of Evil to surrender.

Earlier, Pemra had issued the order against the airing of Ehsan’s interview last month after promo of the interview was aired on Geo News.
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2017-05-10 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] WHO fits the definition of ’jet-black’ terrorist better than Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, the former spokesmen and a key commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
Pakistain, and subsequently of the TTP splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar
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2017-05-07 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] Bangladesh Nationalist Party Vice-Chairman Mir Mohammad Nasir Uddin called on Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
chief Shah Ahmed Shafi on Friday.

The meeting coincided with the four-year anniversary of the mayhem caused by the radical Islamist group at Shapla Chattar in Motijheel on May 5, 2013.

Mir Nasir spent some time with Shafi at al-Jamaatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasa at Hathazari in Chittagong.

The surprise visit of the BNP leader, however, fuelled swirling speculation in the media when the top brass of BNP are quite vocal against the recent AL-Hefazat ties.

When asked for his comment over the visit, Mir Nasir told the Dhaka Tribune that it was merely a regular visit.

"As you know, both of us are residents of Hathazari area. I never miss the opportunity to meet him [Shafi] whenever I pay a visit to my village. This is purely a personal visit and there is nothing political about it," said Mir Nasir.

"I have known him for more than 50 years. Shafi is ailing, so I enquired after his health," added Nasir, who served as the state minister for civil aviation and tourism during BNP’s tenure.

Anas Madani, Hefazat central publicity secretary and son of Shafi, Munir Ahmed, press secretary to Hefazat chief, Nur Mohammad and Solaiman Manju, convener and member secretary of Hathazari upazila unit of BNP, Moslem Uddin, joint convener among others also attended the meeting.
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2017-04-28 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] BEFORE the mysterious circumstances in which Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
came to be in jug of Pakistain’s security forces could be fully explained, a sensational new twist in the story has overtaken the previous unanswered questions. In what has now become a familiar and expertly produced mode of confession, portions of Ehsan’s videotaped confession have been made public by the ISPR and broadcast around the country. The self-confessed terrorist, who has grabbed credit on behalf of the Jamaatul Ahrar for some of the worst hard boy attacks in Pakistain, has alleged that in recent years Afghan and Indian intelligence agencies have supported and financed the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain and directed attacks inside Pakistain. The claim is neither new nor surprising and no serious observer of the region can believe it is without merit. The degree to which Afghan and Indian intelligence agencies may be supporting anti-Pakistain Death Eaters in their war against this country can be debated, but there is far too much circumstantial evidence, even without Ehsan’s allegations, to deny the link between Afghanistan, India and anti-Pakistain Death Eaters who have found sanctuary in Afghanistan.

What is troubling, however, is the centrality that the so-called foreign hand claims have been given in the portions of the confession that have been broadcast. It has the potential to undermine the hard-won recognition in recent years that the fight against militancy is a local fight against local enemies who subscribe to an ideology that was locally developed. After years of reluctance, the security establishment has been in recent times more willing to acknowledge past mistakes and recognise that the war Pakistain has been plunged in is against hard boy networks that were once patronised by the state itself. Indeed, in former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif
..Pak chief of army staff, meaning he pulls the strings on the Nawaz Sharif puppet to make it dance and sing and not do much at all....
’s and current army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa’s unequivocal statements that both Pakistain and Afghanistan suffer from terrorism and that Pakistain will not tolerate militancy and terrorism of any stripe or hue, hopes were raised that a regional approach to fighting religiously inspired militancy with common ideological roots would take shape. Pakistain should emphatically press its case with Afghanistan and India that support for anti-Pakistain militancy will not be tolerated. What the country’s leadership must not do is create fresh confusion about who the real enemy is and thereby inadvertently create some sympathy for the Pak Taliban as misguided and manipulated fighters.

As for Ehsanullah Ehsan, he must face justice. In no circumstances should an individual who brashly and with a great deal of pride grabbed credit for the slaughter of countless Paks ever be allowed to escape punishment. There are no conceivable circumstances, no tactical gains or operational information that Ehsan can offer to justify ever being a free man again.

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2017-04-27 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Army on Wednesday released the confessional statement of Liaquat Ali, infamously known as Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, a former spokesperson of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Tehrik-e-Taliban
...the Pashtun equiovalent of men...
Pakistain (TTP).

The video brought forth some startling revelations, including the claim that the TTP and JuA have been coordinating with Indian and Afghan security agencies to move freely in Afghanistan and have been guided by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW
... India's Research and Analysis Wing, Pakistain's equivalent of the Boogie Man...
), India's apex spy agency, in infiltrating into Pakistain.

Ehsan, who seemed disgruntled by what he termed the self-serving agenda of big shots of the TTP and JuA, also said that these organizations have twisted Islam to suit their own ends and are actively looking to recruit young men and women through propaganda and false interpretations of Islam spread through social media.

The Army's front man, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, tweeted the following soon after the video was made public:

"RuF [Raddul Fasaad]. Ehsan Ullah Ehsan exposes hostile foreign agenda & their designs to destabilise Pak. Our youth is our strength, shall never fall prey."
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2017-04-24 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] THERE is apparently no direct link between the brutal lynching of Mashal Khan, the arrest of Naureen Leghari, a convert to the so-called krazed killer Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(IS) group, and the surrender of Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JuA) leader Ehsanullah Ehsan
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2017-04-18 India-Pakistan
[Al Jazeera] A prominent leader of the Pak Taliban's Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (JuA) faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, has surrendered to security forces, the military said.

The announcement was made on Monday by Asif Ghafoor, Pakistain's military front man, at a press briefing in Rawalpindi, near capital Islamabad.

Ghafoor offered no further details on the arrest, including when and where it took place.

"The people, the state and the institutions of Pakistain have made considerable progress in the betterment of the country's security situation," said Ghafoor.

"We have progressed to the point that the people who've been planning attacks on Pakistain's soil from across the border have started to see that the situation has changed.

"In this regard, I would like to share with you that the banned Jamaat-ur-Ahrar and Tehrik e-Taliban [TTP] spokesperon Ehsanullah Ehsan has surrendered himself to security forces."

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the capture, but Ehsan had been conspicuously absent from his prominent role in liaising with journalists since late 2016.

"If a person who is doing the wrong thing feels that they are on the wrong side and that they should come back towards good, then I don't think there can be a bigger success of the state than this," Ghafoor added.

JuA did not immediately offer a comment on the security forces' claim. If true, it would mark the highest-profile surrender by a Pak Taliban capo in years.
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2017-04-09 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] LAHORE: Ten suspected turbans of the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, including Anwarul Haq, the handler of Feb 13 kaboom on The Mall, were killed in an operation by the Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

police’s Counter-Terrorism Depart­ment (CTD) on Friday night.

According to a front man for the CTD, a team from Lahore was taking five tossed in the slammer
Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages!
suspects, including Haq, to Manawan for seizing weapons and explosives when they were attacked at about 1.15am near Ring Road by nine "terrorists".

The attackers got the arrested suspects freed and fled towards the Ravi river in the Manawan area.

The CTD officials called for more force and chased the suspects. At about 1.45am, they located the suspects and ordered them to surrender, but the turbans shot up them and an encounter ensued. When the firing stopped, 10 men were found dead.

Five of the killed turbans were identified as Haq, Abdullah, Attaur Rehman, Imam Shah and Irfan Khan.

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2017-04-01 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] THE scene is grimly familiar, as is the location. A market has been struck in Parachinar -- the second market bombing this year in the town and the fourth since 2013. The Friday bombing, likely aimed at inflicting maximum harm ahead of the weekly congregation at a nearby Shia imambargah, further crystallised what has long been clear about the violence in the Parachinar region of Kurram Agency
...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora...
: militancy with an overtly sectarian dimension. And after rival claims to this year’s January bombing in the area, yesterday’s attack has been followed by a claim of responsibility from Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, the TTP splinter that has been at the forefront of recent attacks across the country. The long war against militancy, longer in the Parachinar region than most parts of the country, looks set to grind on, undermining the gains made elsewhere.

For Pakistain, the questions are many, and all wearily familiar. The tone of the politicianship may have changed somewhat since earlier this year, when senior government officials openly and at odds with the facts tried to downplay the sectarian underpinnings of militancy, but there is no clear path ahead either. Perhaps nowhere is the connection between extremism and militancy more apparent than at the sectarian intersection. While the roots of the animosity may indeed be historical, stretching back many centuries as some government officials glibly claimed, it is actively encouraged by a vast infrastructure of extremism. The tentative steps taken under the National Action Plan and by provincial governments to fine or arrest preachers of hate has done little to slow the poison being spread across the land. The need for an unequivocal, firm and determined message -- that Pakistain is and will remain an inclusive state and society -- remains as strong as ever. What the message must be is clear; whether the state has the will or ability to carry it forward until it becomes uncontested and undeniable across the country is unclear.

There is also the problem of the state choosing to emphasise one part of the problem and in doing so distorting the real scope of militancy. With Jamaatul Ahrar claiming responsibility for yesterday’s attack, the problem of cross-border militancy and Pakistain’s growing discontent with Afghanistan will likely come into focus again. But terrorism and militancy blighted Parachinar before the emergence of Jamaatul Ahrar, and the relationship with Afghanistan is far more complex than the now undeniably serious problem of anti-Pakistain Death Eater sanctuaries in eastern Afghanistan. The answer lies in drawing together seemingly disparate threads such as NAP, Operation Raddul Fasaad, and national security and foreign policy into a coherent, effective and strategic approach. It will not be easy, but there is also no realistic alternative. The suffering in Parachinar must not be in vain and with no end. The ugly reality of sectarianism must be confronted directly and decisively.

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2017-02-24 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] A former Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
chief of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), a ’would-be jacket wallah’ and six other alleged forces of Evil were killed in an ’encounter’ with police on the outskirts of the city’s Malir area in the early hours of Wednesday, according to officials.

The police also seized a ’laptop bomb’, weapons and ammunition from the dear departed following the exchange of fire that lasted half an hour in Rahimdad Goth near Malir’s Bakra Piri, the officials added.

They said the police conducted a raid on the hideout of forces of Evil linked with banned Death Eater outfits, TTP and Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JuA), who, according to intelligence agencies, were planning major terrorist acts at sensitive installations, said Malir SSP Rao Anwar.

There are many sensitive installations in nearby areas such as Malir Courts, Landhi jail, better known as Malir prison, and Karachi airport, but it could not be determined immediately as to what their real target was, the officer explained.
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2016-12-28 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] Terrorist group 'New Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)' was plotting to attack a church in Dhaka on Christmas day, police have claimed.

The group, many of whose members have been named by the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(IS) as its operatives in Bangladesh, was plotting this attack under the leadership of it’s new operational leader Moinul Islam alias Abu Musa.

This information was gleaned from the latest raid on a New JMB raid in Dhaka’s Ashkona, a police Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit officer told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

The raid took place on December 24.

Although the CTTC would not disclose details of Christmas day attack, a highly placed source in the force said that the documents they had received from the Ashkona safe house and statements of the surrendered female snuffies indicated that the attack would have taken place at Banani Church using at least one member of a female squad.

CTTC chief Monirul Islam said Surjo Villa in Ashkona was being used by New JMB as a shelter home, where Musa used to live with his wife Trisha Moni.

"Four days back, Musa visited the shelter home from where we found 19 grenades, three boom jackets and Tk12 lakh in burnt notes," he said.

"We are suspecting their plan was to carry out massive violence on Christmas."

Regarding Musa’s role, Monirul said, by interrogating Musa’s wife Trisha and killed krazed killer Maj Zahid’s wife Jebunnahr Shila, police had come to know that after the death of top leaders of the group, Musa had become the operational chief.

"We are trying to learn about their operational strength, funding and arms sources from Trisha and Shila," he said.

"We got some clues which are now being scrutinised but we will know everything clearly once Musa is tossed in the clink."
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
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2016-12-05 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Heart of Asia conference concluded in Amritsar on Sunday on an unhappy note for Pakistain, which was criticised roundly as a base for myrmidon groups whom the conference statement described as a big threat to peace and security in the region.

The statement named Lashkar-e-Taiba
...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI...
, Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Haqqani group as posing threats to region together with other groups fomenting terrorism in the neighbourhood and beyond.

Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj PrunefaceAziz
...Adviser to Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs, who believes in good jihadis and bad jihadis as a matter of national policy...
countered the claim, calling the criticism ’simplistic’.

However,
a poor excuse is better than no excuse at all...
there was relief for Pakistain as the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain too came up for criticism together with Jundullah.

Pakistain was also applauded for hosting Afghan refugees for three decades. Mr Aziz also found occasion to briefly exchange pleasantries with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with a clutch of other foreign ministers.

"We remain concerned by the gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular and the region and the high level of violence caused by the Taliban, terrorist groups, including ISIS/DAISH and its affiliates, the Haqqani network, Al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad
...literally Army of Mohammad, a Pak-based Deobandi terror group founded by Maulana Masood Azhar in 2000, after he split with the Harkat-ul-Mujaheddin. In 2002 the government of Pervez Musharraf banned the group, which changed its name to Khaddam ul-Islam and continued doing what it had been doing before without missing a beat...
, TTP, Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist fighters," the statement said.

Acknowledging the support that terrorism derives in the region, the statement demanded an immediate end to all forms of terrorism, as well as all support to it, including financing of terrorism.

"We recognise that terrorism is the biggest threat to peace, stability and cooperation in our region. We encourage the international community to continue to assist the government of Afghanistan."

Mr Aziz said his attending the Amritsar meet despite ’escalation’ along the Line of Control was testimony to Pakistain’s ’unflinching’ commitment for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
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2016-11-24 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Three officials of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) were killed and seven others, including a policeman and a passerby, injured when a bomb hit a vehicle carrying personnel of the paramilitary force in a suburb of the city on Tuesday.

Medics at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) confirmed that 10 victims of the blast were brought to the hospital. Three of them had died before reaching the hospital and seven injured were admitted to it.

The incident took place in the Bashirabad area, about 5km from here. An official at the Faqirabad cop shoppe told Dawn that the blast, caused by an improvised bomb, occurred at around 10am and targeted a police truck transporting FC personnel to the Police Lines.

The FC personnel had been deputed with police as part of extra security measures in the city on the occasion of Chehlum of Imam Hussain, Senior Superinten­dent of Police (operations) Sajjad Khan said. The FC personnel were being shifted from the Faqirabad cop shoppe when the blast hit the truck they were travelling in.

"It was an isolated vehicle and not part of a convoy," SSP Khan said. Apparently, the FC personnel were the target of the attack.

He said that an IED weighing about a kilogramme had been used in the assault.

In a statement emailed to media organizations, Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
spokesperson Ihsanullah Ihsan grabbed credit for the attack on behalf of the banned krazed killer outfit.

The statement said that a remote controlled device was used in the blast.

The slain soldiers were identified as Hanif Jamal, Khalid and Yasirullah, all residents of Malakand. Their funeral prayers were offered at the FC headquarters in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
after which their bodies were sent to their villages.

The Counter-Terrorism Department has registered an FIR and started investigation.

Awami National Party
founded by Abdul Wali Khan in 1986. Part of the PPP-led cabinet 2008-13. The ANP is considered left wing, advocating for secularism, democratic socialism, public sector government, and economic egalitarianism....
chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and the Pakistain Moslem League-N’s big shot Amir Muqam, in separate statements, have condemned the attack.

The ANP leader said that forces of Evil were repeatedly targeting law enforcement agencies but "rulers are refusing to budge".

He said that the countries of the region had to cooperate with each other to overcome terrorism.

Mr Muqam said that a handful of forces of Evil were engaged in such activities and they would also be taken to the task.

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2016-11-13 India-Pakistan
QUETTA - Pakistan-based Jundallah Amir Arif alias Saqib was reportedly killed on Friday by Rangers.

The Rangers sources said their crews operating in Hub killed on Friday the amir of Pakistan-based Jundallah, an outlawed outfit Arif. Arif alias Saqib was mastermind of suicide explosions in Balochistan.

“He was amir of Jundallah group in Pakistan and was manipulating subversive activities jointly with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Islamic State (IS) in the country,” revealed the sources. A huge quantity of explosive materials along with arms was also recovered.

Apart from Pakistan, the Jundallah amir was also most wanted in Iran in scores of subversive activities, the sources said.

“Acting upon a tip off by intelligence agencies, Rangers’ anti-terrorist force Thursday night conducted an operation at a suspected militant hideout in the Hub area of Balochistan,” read a statement issued by a Rangers spokesperson, reported a private TV channel.

“During the exchange of fire, the Jundallah chief and nominated deputy chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Sindh, Saqib alias Arif alias Anjum, was killed,” the statement added.

The Rangers spokesperson also revealed that the Jundallah chief along with members of Al-Qaeda, Jamaatul Ahrar and Islamic State was involved in several high-profile terror acts.

Some of them were allegedly involved in various terror activities, including an attack on the vehicle of the then Karachi Corps Commander Lt-Gen Ahsan Saleem, a suicide hit on Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Quetta, assassination of chief security officer of former president Asif Ali Zardari, Bilal Sheikh and attack on a church and members of minority communities.

The Rangers statement also claimed that the killed militant was planning major terror attacks on Rangers’ headquarters and the SSU headquarters in Karachi.

The paramilitary force also recovered explosives from the suspect’s house, which was being used as a factory for preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), claimed the spokesperson.

The Rangers also claimed to have recovered huge quantity of automatic weapons, ammunition and hand grenades.

TWO TERRORISTS KILLED IN PANJGUR

Two terrorists were killed and a security personnel injured during operation of the Frontier Corps (FC) and sensitive agencies against the extremists in Panjgur on Friday.

FC spokesman said the paramilitary force in collaboration with sensitive agencies conducted a joint operation against militants in Panjgur district. During operation two terrorists were killed, another injured while one security personnel was also wounded in the firing exchange.

The security personnel recovered arms and explosives from the possession of the terrorists. The injured FC was man shifted to a hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, eight operatives of the banned outfit were detained on Friday after exchange of fire with security forces.

According to FC Balochistan spokesman, law-enforcing agencies apprehended eight terrorists of BLF and recovered RPG7 rockets, five rifles, explosive materials, IEDs, 63kg hashish and communication instruments from their custody.

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2016-11-01 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] THE devil’s disciples have descended on Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
with full force this year, their evil machinations on naked display in the gory games being played within the region’s strategic depths. While an emerging Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(IS) Lion of Islam group has grabbed credit for the recent assault on a police academy in Quetta, security officials believe that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
al-Alami (LJ-A) executed the carnage.

In a series of terror attacks -- including the targeting of Quetta’s Civil Hospital on Aug 9, which killed at least 70 lawyers -- there is increasing evidence that banned Lion of Islam outfits are not only emerging with new names, but are also expanding their scope of activities from sectarian attacks to targeting state institutions in a cross-border rage.

These are ominous developments. Balochistan finds itself caught between the terrorist devils unleashed by dark elements of deep states within the region, their tentacles spreading far and wide. Our intelligence sleuths are convinced that those responsible for Quetta’s mayhem were sponsored and steered by the hostile intelligence agencies of some neighbouring countries. According to security officials investigating these attacks, local Lion of Islam groups -- especially Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) and its offshoot LJ-A, along with Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
-- have developed a nexus with IS criminal masterminds in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
province. Over the last five months, Uzbek, Tajik and Afghan nationals have been inducted as part of an orchestrated terror campaign.

Let us examine the resurgence of LJ under the new brand of LJ-A. One of the deadliest sectarian Lion of Islam outfits, it is affiliated with both the TTP and Al Qaeda. As part of a drive against banned outfits as stipulated in the National Action Plan, it was claimed that LJ stood completely eliminated following a police ’encounter’ in Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

on July 29, 2015, in which chief of the defunct outfit, Malik Ishaq, was killed along with four other key leaders. However,
a clean conscience makes a soft pillow...
the lethal organization made its presence felt when it hit back just over two weeks later when a jacket wallah targeted and killed Punjab’s home minister, Shuja Khanzada.

The LJ-A came to notice soon after 9/11 by establishing a presence in Afghanistan with assistance from the Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda. It was founded by Abid Mehsud, who hailed from South Wazoo. However,
a clean conscience makes a soft pillow...
it retained contact with LJ; the distinction was that one exclusively targeted Shias while the other hit security agencies and government installations. Reportedly, it was LJ-A that was responsible for kidnapping and killing two Pak intelligence officers. That incident is said to have resulted in the killing of Abid Mehsud in October 2010 at the behest of the then emir of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain Hakeemullah Mehsud. His next in command, Yahya Afridi, was also killed with four companions in Kurram Agency
...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora...
. Shaukat Mehsud became the new commander. However,
a clean conscience makes a soft pillow...
due to the military operation in South Waziristan, the group went underground and lay dormant for quite some time.

This year, LJ-A became active again under the runaway Syed Safdar (alias Yousaf Khorasani) from Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
. Suicide attacks on security forces have intensified. The Lion of Islam outfit was the prime suspect in the Karachi Nishtar Park attack. It has footprints all over the targeting of Quetta’s legal community, as was evident from its front man’s belligerent statements blaming security agencies for targeting their commander’s family in Karachi. There were clear signs that the group was planning for bigger, more lethal attacks -- and then the police academy attack occurred. Our state agencies were, yet again, caught napping.

While the devil’s disciples are known by our security agencies, it is the primary responsibility of all the state’s stakeholders to ensure that we are not mired in these games. We should instead address internal security fault lines. I agree with ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan when he asked the government to reconsider its internal and foreign policies so that similar attacks can "at least be reduced if not entirely eliminated". He also added that "a peaceful Pakistain is impossible without a peaceful Afghanistan". The Iranian Supreme National Security Council’s secretary also denounced the Quetta carnage as "a sign of unbridled growth of terrorism and extremism across the region".

The helplessness of Balochistan’s government is evident from the statement given by its home secretary before a parliamentary committee: "Balochistan has become a cocktail of insurgencies, religious extremism and other criminal activities. We cannot hide that the system has failed..."

However,
a clean conscience makes a soft pillow...
the remedy sought is through draconian administrative pre-1958 powers under the Frontier Crimes Regulation to combat terrorism and organised crime in the province. It would be yet another recipe for failure as the provincial administration laments its lack of legal powers in a ’war zone’.

It is unfortunate that a sound legislative framework established by Police Order, 2002 -- along with extending the writ of the state in the entire province by replacing ineffective levies with a well-trained, fully equipped police force, established in all 30 districts on Aug 14, 2007-- was frittered away at the altar of expediency by tribal political chiefs and a scheming, power-hungry bureaucracy. The resultant void in the absence of a well-oiled law-enforcement machinery has seen sectarian and Lion of Islam outfits proliferate in lawless regions of the vast province. Civil armed forces and military cannot be a substitute for a long-term and enduring law-enforcement framework.

Meanwhile,
...back at the laboratory, Igor and Oleg were discussing what the quickest way might be to deal with the monster...
the police is marginalised and demoralised, with restricted jurisdiction and lack of political will to enhance its effectiveness through professional capacity-building, and expansion and allocation of resources. Its vulnerability was further exposed on proving such a soft target for the terrorists.

Merely suspending the academy’s commandant and deputies cannot absolve the provincial police command and the government of criminal negligence for failure to protect a facility that had been attacked twice before. Who is responsible for the loss of 63 precious lives and over 160 injured in this morale-sapping atrocity? One expected the provincial police chief to accept responsibility for the glaring security lapse, and the insensitivity shown in not appropriately dispatching bodies of the fallen to their final resting places. Making scapegoats of junior minions clearly erodes the leader’s moral authority.

Pakistain has the dubious distinction of being one of the 10 most lawless countries according to the World Justice Project’s 2016 Rule of Law Index. Our companions are Venezuela, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Cameroon
...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there...
, Zim-bob-we, Æthiopia, Uganda and Bolivia. Is this the hall of shame we are comfortable occupying?

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2016-09-24 India-Pakistan
PESHAWAR: Security forces personnel on Friday repulsed two attacks on security checkposts in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies by suspected militants from across the Pak-Afghan border, security sources said.

The militants opened fire on a security checkpost in the Sheikh Baba area of Mohmand and on the Nawa Pass security post in Bajaur agency, sources said.

Security forces repulsed both attacks by retaliating quickly. No casualties were reported on either side of the border.

The claims could not be independently verified as journalists do not have access to most parts of the restive agencies.

The Jamaatul Ahrar militant group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Pakistan has long accused Afghanistan of sheltering militants who conduct attacks inside its territory, a charge Afghanistan denies.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, in a meeting with senior US officials at GHQ in June this year, raised the demand of targeting Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants and their chief Mullah Fazlullah in their hideouts in Afghanistan.

Mohmand and Bajaur are among Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border, rife with homegrown insurgents and foreign militants.

Despite heavy military presence on both sides of the border, cross-border movements of militants (in both ways) have been a major area of concern.

Local militants have fled ongoing military offensives since 2008, taking refuge across the border and attacking Pakistani military checkpoints and civilians from there.

The army launched Operation Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014 in a bid to wipe out militant bases in the tribal areas and so bring an end to the bloody insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004.

As a result, security in the country has since improved. Scattered attacks still take place, but they are fewer and of a lesser intensity than in previous years.

According to data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal, 457 civilians and 182 members of the security forces were killed in Pakistan from January 1 to September 11, putting 2016 on course for fewer casualties than 2015.

Last year, the country recorded its lowest number of killings since 2007.
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2016-09-18 India-Pakistan
PESHAWAR: A curfew has been imposed in Mohmand Agency’s Anbar tehsil following a suicide attack in a mosque which left 30 people dead, local political administration officials said on Saturday.

After imposing the curfew, security forces launched a search operation in the area, Assistant Political Agent Naveed Akbar said.

The political administration also announced a compensation of Rs300,000 for families of each of the dead and Rs100,000 for each of the injured.

A suicide bomber targeted the mosque in Mohmand's Pai Khan village during Friday prayers, leaving at least 30 worshipers dead and wounding 30 others. Several children were also among those killed or wounded in the deadly attack.

Pashin Gul, the head of local tribal police, confirmed to the Associated Press that it was a suicide attack.

Jamaatul Ahrar, an offshoot of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the bombing and said the target were members of pro-government tribal lashkars.

Jamaatul Ahrar had also claimed responsibility for the September 2 attack on a court in Mardan, where at least 14 people were killed and 50 others injured.

The group had also said it was behind an attack on lawyers in Quetta, which killed 73 people on August 8, as well as the Lahore Easter bombing that left 75 dead in what was the deadliest attack to hit the country this year.

Poor rescue arrangements

Sawab Khan, a resident of Anbar, who was brought to the Agency Headquarters Hospital (AHH) at Ghalanai in the Mohmand tribal region with injuries, said he was offering prayers along with at least 200 other worshippers when he heard a shout of ‘Allahu Akbar’ followed by an explosion.

“There was blood everywhere [and] the verandah was destroyed,” he recalled.

Sawab Khan said most of the injured were waiting for vehicles to be taken to hospitals because there were no arrangements of transportation in the area.

Soft targets such as courts, schools and mosques are routinely attacked.

The army launched an operation in June 2014 in a bid to wipe out militant bases in the tribal areas and so bring an end to the bloody insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004.

As a result, security in the country has since improved. Scattered attacks still take place, but they are fewer and of a lesser intensity than in previous years.

According to data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal, 457 civilians and 182 members of the security forces were killed in Pakistan from January 1 to September 11, putting 2016 on course for fewer casualties than 2015.

Last year, the country recorded its lowest number of killings since 2007.
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2016-09-17 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] A jacket wallah targeted a mosque in Mohmand Agency
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
's Anbar tehsil during Friday prayers, leaving at least 24 people dead and 31 others injured, official of the political administration said.

Assistant Political Agent Naveed Akbar told DawnNews that the injured had been transported to hospitals in Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central
...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth...
, Charsadda and Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
for treatment.

The bombing took place in the village of Butmaina in the Mohmand tribal district bordering Afghanistan, where the army has been fighting against Talibs.

Akbar said that the bomber came in as Friday prayers were in progress and went kaboom! in the main hall. A curfew was later imposed in the area.


Another local government official confirmed the information.

Shireen Zada, a resident who had prayed at another mosque, said he heard the blast as he was walking home.

"I rushed to the spot and when I went inside the hall there was blood and human remains everywhere and people crying out," he said.

"I brought my pick-up truck, loaded three maimed and drove them to the hospital in Khar," Shireen Zada said, referring to the nearest town.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
later condemned the bombing, saying the government would remain steadfast in their fight against bad boys.

"The cowardly attacks by gunnies cannot shatter the government's resolve to eliminate terrorism from the country," read a statement from Nawaz Sharif's office.

Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, an offshoot of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), grabbed credit of the attack.
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2016-09-12 India-Pakistan
PESHAWAR: Gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a senior member of the polio eradication campaign in Peshawar, police said on Sunday, in the latest attack on immunisation teams.

Attempts to eradicate polio in Pakistan have been stunted by militant attacks on inoculation teams that have claimed more than 100 lives since December 2012.

Doctor Zakaullah Khan, a seasoned member of Peshawar's polio vaccination campaign was killed late Saturday when gunmen on a motorbike opened fire near his house, a senior police official told AFP.

Imtiaz Ahmad, a provincial spokesman for the immunisation campaign, also confirmed the killing.

The Jamaatul Ahrar militant group on Sunday claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement, sent to AFP, the group's spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan vowed to carry out more attacks.

Opposition to all forms of inoculation grew after the CIA organised a fake vaccination drive to help track down Al Qaeda's former leader Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. He was killed there by US forces in 2011.

Despite the attacks, Pakistan hopes to be removed from the list of polio-endemic countries by 2018 by achieving its goal of no fresh cases for a year. It is one of only two countries in the world where polio, a crippling childhood disease, remains endemic.

In April gunmen shot dead seven policemen guarding a polio vaccination team in Karachi.
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2016-09-05 India-Pakistan
[DW] A jacket wallah targeted a court in the northwestern city of Mardan, killing at least 12 people just hours after gunnies stormed a Christian neighborhood in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
- some 30 miles from the site of the second attack - leaving one member of the minority Christian community dead. Both attacks were claimed by the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JA) organization, a splinter group of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP).
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2016-09-03 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] KHYBER Pakhtunkhwa has been attacked once again, and once again a familiar set of questions have arisen about the seeming ease with which multiple jacket wallahs and fidayeen attackers were able to arrive at their targets in the heart of the province. A day earlier, the ISPR chief had asserted that significant successes have been notched up in the fight against militancy, but the attacks in Mardan and Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
have reinforced that a long and complicated fight still lies ahead. While the military is keen to discuss its successes in the various operations ongoing across the country, perhaps it should also be more candid about the extant threats and the terror networks that are still operational. The need for a more realistic outlook is essential for the public, otherwise the incongruity of a military claiming successes while attacks continue in various parts of the country will only add to the national confusion.

While responsibility for yesterday’s attacks cannot yet be known definitively, the claim by Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
does seem credible. Alarmingly, not only does the banned TTP faction appear to have a growing reach, from Quetta to Peshawar, but its resources, manpower and organizational capacity seem to be growing. Pak security officials point the finger of blame at Afghanistan, where TTP turbans have apparently found sanctuary in the eastern region bordering Pakistain and where sections of the state and intelligence apparatus are evincing a renewed hostility towards this country. Addressing the evolved TTP threat has not proved easy because it involves everything from military strategy to national security and foreign policy to border management. Unhappily, not only does the necessary military and civilian cooperation here appear non-existent, but there is perhaps a fundamental divergence over the path ahead. While the civilian government rightly emphasises a policy of peace and reconciliation with neighbouring countries, it seems to have neither the space nor the inclination to deal with a tough set of national security and foreign policy challenges. Yesterday, the anomalous situation was on display yet again as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
inaugurated one more road project and talked about Pakistain being on the path to prosperity -- while Peshawar and Mardan were bleeding yet again.

Where the civilian government may be out of ideas or lack space, the military establishment seems far too keen on externalising blame rather than working towards understanding the sustained and simultaneously evolving murderous Moslem threat. Wherever the Jamaatul Ahrar leadership may be based, the attacks are taking place deep inside Pakistain. Why is the intelligence apparatus always one step behind the murderous Moslems? Peshawar and Mardan were no lone-wolf attacks and likely required a network of individuals to facilitate the attackers. While the bravery of security personnel helped limit the damage, it is virtually impossible to stop a suicide bomber who has already been deployed. But why are turbans still operating with relative ease?
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2016-09-03 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] At least 13 people were killed and 41 others injured when a jacket wallah went kaboom! near the entrance of Mardan's district and sessions court on Friday, police said.

The Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
(JA) grabbed credit for the attack.

The suicide kaboom comes just hours after gunnies attacked Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
's Christian Colony, an attack also claimed by JA.

District Police Officer (DPO) Mardan Faisal Shahzad said the attacker detonated a hand grenade before exploding his boom jacket. The bomb contained 8 kilograms of kaboom, the DPO said, adding that security arrangements at the site of the attack helped mitigate the damage.

The DPO said four lawyers and three coppers were among the dead. He lauded the bravery of the coppers who tried to stop the suicide bomber from making his way inside the courthouse.

"Police fired at the attacker, then the second kaboom took place," the DIG said. "The attacker was deterred by the firing. His plan was to get inside," he said.

An emergency has been imposed at hospitals in the area.

People from the legal community have been targeted several times in the last few months.

Last month, 73 people, most of them lawyers, were killed after a suicide bomber struck the emergency ward of Quetta's Civil Hospital. The lawyers had gathered to mourn the death of Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
Bar Association (BBA) president Bilal Anwar Kasi in a gun attack earlier in the day.

The Quetta attack was claimed by Jamaatul Ahrar and the bully boy Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
group, but Balochistan Chief Minster Sanaullah Zehri hinted at the involvement of Indian spy agency RAW
... India's Research and Analysis Wing, Pakistain's equivalent of the Boogie Man...
The attacks in Peshawar and Mardan come a day after Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa gave an exhaustive rundown of progress made against bully boyz in the country's northwestern region in Operation Zarb-e-Azb
..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)...
which was launched in June 2014.

He highlighted that Pakistain had suffered a cumulative loss of $106.98 billion in the war on terror between 2001 and 2015. "We are not doing it for anyone but ourselves," he stressed.

He said 3,500 holy warriors had been eliminated during the course of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, while 2,272 soldiers were and 537 personnel had embraced martyrdom, including 18 officers, 35 junior commissioned officers and 484 soldiers.
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2016-09-03 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] PESHAWAR: Four hard boyz trying to attack a Christian colony on Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
's outskirts were killed during a stand-off with security forces Friday morning.

A civilian was also killed in the attack, security sources told DawnNews.

The Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
hard boy group grabbed credit for the attack.

Soldiers backed by Army helicopters exchanged gunfire with Death Eaters in boom jackets who entered the colony around 6am after hitting a security guard, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

All four attackers detonated their suicide jackets, Additional Inspector General Bomb Disposal Squad Shafqat Malik said, adding that rifles and five hand grenades were recovered from the attackers.

Two Frontier Corps
...a provincial paramilitary force. Total manpower is about 80,000. They are tasked to help local law enforcement in the maintenance of law and order, and to carry out border patrol and a..the Antwerp-based Salafist organization that had campaigned to introduce Sharia law to Belgium before single-handedly making Belgium the highest per capita supplier of jihadis to Syria in Europe. There was a big trial in Antwerp in 2015, but most of those convicted were in absentia...nti-smuggling operations....
soldiers, a police constable and two civilian guards were maimed during an exchange of fire with terrorists, ISPR said.

Two of the hard boyz took cover in under construction houses, one hid inside a house, and one was found outside in the colony, the AIG said.

The AIG termed the colony clear after a house-to-house search operation was carried out.

Army men at the site of the attack. ─ AFP
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2016-08-15 India-Pakistan
LAHORE: Eleven suspected ‘hardcore terrorists’ were arrested in a ‘combing operation’ conducted by the army in Shahdara here on Saturday.

According to an official of the Inter-Services Public Relations, the operation was launched on an intelligence report about the presence of terrorists in the suburbs of the city. The operation continued for more than three hours and led to the arrest of 11 members of a sleeper cell of a terrorist organisation. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also seized.

According to sources, two of the arrested terrorists belong to Jamaatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Earlier, the Punjab home dep­artment had issued an alert, warning that the TTP’s Fazlul­lah group had sent two suicide attackers to strike at the Wagah border near Lahore or the Ganda Singh border in Kasur.

The alert advised the authorities to enhance vigilance at the two places and improve security measures to prevent any untoward incident.

According to the spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), 96 combing operations were recently conducted in various cities of Punjab, during which 45 suspected terrorists were arrested and booked in 16 FIRs. Arms, ammunition and explosive material were seized from the possession of 16 suspects. Besides, as many as 3,373 people were questioned.

In Lahore, the CTD detained more than 150 suspects during a combing operation in various areas, including Saddar, Iqbal Town, Cantonment and City divisions.

The operation was conducted in Shahdara Town, Data Darbar, Nawab Town, Chuhng, Hanjarwal, Niazi Bus Stand, Sherakot, Labanwala village, Dargah Bhola Pir and Chamiyanwala villag
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2016-08-09 India-Pakistan
[Dhaka Tribune] A jacket wallah in Pakistain killed at least 70 people and maimed more than a hundred on Monday in an attack on mourners gathered at a hospital in Quetta, according to officials in the southwestern province of Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...

The bomber struck as a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists crammed into the emergency department to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been shot and killed in the city earlier in the day, Faridullah, a news hound who was among the maimed, told Rooters.

Abdul Rehman Miankhel, a bigwig at the government-run Civil Hospital, where the kaboom occurred, told news hounds that at least 70 people had been killed, with more than 112 maimed, as the casualty toll spiked from initial estimates.

"There are many maimed, so the corpse count could rise," said Rehmat Saleh Baloch, the provincial health minister.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Islamist holy warrior Pak Taliban group, grabbed credit for the attack in an email.

It was not immediately clear if the group had carried out the bombing, as it is believed to have grabbed credit for attacks in the past that it was not involved in.

"The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA) takes responsibility for this attack, and pledges to continue carrying out such attacks," said front man Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
in the statement.

Only last week, Jamaat was added to the United States’ list of global terrorists, triggering sanctions.

Television footage showed scenes of chaos at the hospital in Quetta, with panicked people fleeing through debris as smoke filled the hospital corridors.

Bodies lay strewn across a hospital courtyard shortly after the blast and pools of blood collected as emergency rescuers rushed to identify survivors.
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2016-07-12 Afghanistan
[DAWN] The criminal mastermind of the Army Public School massacre, responsible for the death of 144 students and staff members, has been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan, two security bigshots claim.

They told Dawn that Umar Mansour, alias Khalifa Mansour, alias Umar Naray, had been killed, along with another murderous Moslem leader Qari Saifullah, in the US drone attack in the Bandar area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
province on Saturday.

One of the officials said they had credible reports of Mansour having been killed with Saifullah, who was in charge of jacket wallahs. "What we have is pretty credible."

There was, however, some confusion over the death of Qari Saifullah. While one official said there were 90 per cent chances that he too had been killed along with Naray, another official said they were still trying to figure out whether he was there on the spot when the drone struck.

The US State Department had on May 25 designated Umar Naray a global terrorist, thus clearing the path for his inclusion in the hit-list. The State Department’s announcement came four days after a drone strike killed Afghan Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
on May 21. A security official at the time had denied there was any quid pro quo between the two countries.

There is neither any official confirmation from the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) nor any independent source corroborates Naray’s death. However,
death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate...
if true, his death would serve a severe blow to the TTP.

Naray, because of his violent and back-to-back major terrorist attacks, was being regarded by Pak security agencies as a major threat.

"The focus would now be on getting Abdul Wali, alias Omar Khalid Khurasani
...intel chief of the Jamaatul Ahrar TTP splinter group, or whatever it's calling itself these days...
, and Maulvi Fazlullah, also believed to be in Afghanistan," the officials said, adding that Pakistain had shared intelligence and coordinated with Afghanistan, and while Kabul
...the capital of Afghanistan. Home to continuous fighting from 1992 to 1996 between the forces of would-be strongman and Pak ISI/Jamaat-e-Islami sock puppet Gulbuddin Hekmayar and the Northern Alliance, a period which won Hek the title Most Evil Man in the World and didn't do much for the reputations of the Northern Alliance guys either....
did not deny their presence on its soil, they nonetheless cited operational issues to go after them.

Khurasani is operating in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
and Mohmand and is believed to be the main character involved in extortion and assassination'>assassinations in the lovely provincial capital and the tribal region.

Fazlullah, on the other hand, is mostly focused on his native Swat.

Umar Naray was criminal mastermind of the Dec 16, 2014, attack on the Army Public School which had left 122 students and 22 teachers and staff dead. It was one of the worst terrorist attacks which prompted the government to declare an all-out war against terrorist outfits in the country.

The two murderous Moslem commanders belonged to TTP’s Tariq Geedar group and used to operate in Peshawar and adjoining Frontier Region Peshawar and Darra Adamkhel.

Mansour had fled to Afghanistan following a military operation in Khyber tribal region and continued to operate from there. He was held responsible for the Sept 2015 attack on a Pakistain Air Force base in Peshawar’s Badaber area, which left 29 people dead. He was also behind the Jan 2016 attack on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda in which 18 students and faculty members bit the dust.

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2016-06-09 Bangladesh
[DAWN] IN the recent past, Bangladesh has seen a notable rise in the number of grisly killings believed to have been carried out by krazed killer elements.

Police launched a crackdown on Tuesday after the murder of a Hindu priest in one of the country’s western districts.

Earlier on Sunday, the wife of a police officer tracing bandidos Lions of Islam and a Christian businessman were killed in different incidents.

In fact, the list of targets is quite extensive, and seems to be expanding. Amongst those who have been killed so far are bloggers and academics, while religious minorities are also in the cross hairs.

Shia, Sufi, Ahmadi and Buddhist individuals or places of worship have all been targeted.

According to the Bangladeshi media, in the last 18 months at least 47 people have been killed. While the state says it is fighting back, critics and rights groups have claimed that the government in Dhaka is not doing enough. For example, Amnesia Amnesty International has said the killings have created "a climate of impunity", and has urged the authorities to deliver justice.

Pakistain knows the dangers of letting extremism and militancy go unchecked and Bangladesh would do well to address the problem before violence becomes uncontrollable.

Amongst the groups believed to be involved in the bloodshed are Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh as well as local affiliates of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
murderous Moslem group.

Though the state has largely rejected the presence of Al Qaeda and IS fighters, media reports indicate otherwise.

Some Bangladeshi papers have published extensive information on the murderous Moslems’ actions; it has been revealed that a number of Bangladeshi bandidos Lions of Islam have fought for IS in Syria and have now returned home.

For the Bangladesh government to deny the existence of foreign-linked fighters will not make them go away.

Dhaka needs to redouble its counterterrorism efforts and break the networks of krazed killers, or else radical elements could seriously harm the fabric of society through their tactics of brutality and violence.
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2016-03-31 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] MORE than half this war is already won, but it’s the half that’s left which really counts. They can kill our children and attack our schools and playgrounds, but for all the stomach-churning wretchedness of this fight, none of these acts threatens the integrity of the state or the cohesion of society.

However cold this may sound given the horrible bombing in Lahore, it is a central fact in this fight. Not too long ago, the aim of the Pak Taliban movement included capture of the state of Pakistain, and they made credible advances towards that objective. It was slightly less than a decade ago that the movement consisted of militias that were capable of conquering and holding territory.

Omar Khalid, now the leader of the Jamaatul Ahrar
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2016-03-31 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] LAHORE: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted by the Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

government to probe the suicide kaboom in a park here claimed on Tuesday to have found some clues which suggested that banned bully boy outfit Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
was involved in the carnage.
Since they said they dunnit that shouldn't come as a surprise.
"The daylong investigation produced some solid evidence that the same network (Jamaatul Ahrar) was behind the terror strikes in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Youhannabad, Wagah border and the Police Lines," Lahore Capital City Police Officer retired Capt Amin Wains told Dawn.

He said the JIT had shifted its focus to Jamaatul Ahrar when it released the photo of the bomber, identifying him as Salahuddin, aged between 20 and 25.

Jamaatul Ahrar was formed in September 2014 when Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
announced quitting the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain, led by Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
, and claimed to have the support of 70-80 per cent of TTP commanders and fighters.

The group said to be involved in other attacks as well
"The photo shared by the banned outfit and the sketch drawn by the Lahore police of the suspected bomber a day after the attack were almost identical," the Lahore police chief said.

Surprisingly, he said, some evidence found from Sunday’s blast site had strong resemblance to those collected by Sherlocks after the three previous terror attacks carried out in Lahore, suggesting that Jamaatul Ahrar was behind all these incidents.

"A group of senior coppers thoroughly re-examined the three previous terror cases to analyse them in the perspective of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park suicide kaboom and found strong indicators that led them to this notorious organization," Mr Wains claimed.

He said officials of the Punjab Forensic Science Agency, who were analysing the fresh evidence sent to them by police, had also endorsed the Sherlocks’ point of view. For instance, he added, the bomber had used specifically engineered belt, instead of ‘suicide jacket’, in the blast. In the previous three attacks the same belt was used.

The CCPO further said that the design, pattern and material of the belt (remains of which were found from Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park) being examined by forensic experts was almost identical to those analysed after the previous three terror incidents.

"We again interrogated the detained accused, including controllers of the previous three terror incidents, and reached the conclusion that Jamaatul Ahrar was behind the latest attack," he said.

On the basis of Tuesday’s investigations, he added, police teams had started a massive search in the city, particularly Iqbal Town, for sleeper cells of bandidos Death Eaters and their controllers.
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2016-03-30 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] A SUNDAY evening in spring at a park in the middle of a crowded city; the squeals of children, laughter, joy and general merriment. It was what terror wishes most to mar with its cruel infliction of death, and it is indeed where terror struck. Even as Pakistain’s album of horrors lies full, this Sunday past brought another lurid page, another tragedy to add to what is an achingly long list. When the bodies were counted, and so many were so small, more than 70 lay dead and over 200 were maimed, some undoubtedly likely to perish in the days to come. According to news reports, many families perished in halves or wholes; one big brood visiting from Sanghar in Sindh lost eight family members.

Even before the bodies were counted, the lists of injured and dead posted on hospital bulletin boards for distraught relatives to read over and over, there was a claim of responsibility. The Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, a splinter group of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain, claimed it had carried out the attack, releasing not only a picture of the jacket wallah but a promise of their own video of the attack. Their targets, they said, had been those celebrating Easter; the fact that they were families and children did nothing to temper the death sentence that the group wished to deliver.
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2016-03-29 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] TO the despair and horror of a nation it has become clear that not all terrorist acts are equal.
The obligatory anguished editorial follows, as it does with every major atrocity in Pakistain.
While all lives are equal and the loss of every citizen, young and old, is rightly and necessarily mourned, some terrorist acts are so grotesque and shocking that the mind struggles to comprehend them.

Terror once again struck Pakistain on Wednesday, but this time it attempted to tear at the very fabric of humanity. A crowded recreational park on an Easter Sunday overflowing with families, non-Muslim and Muslim alike, was what the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
deliberately and purposefully targeted.

As the scale of the carnage that apparently a jacket wallah left behind became obvious, it was clear that something in Pakistain had changed.

The long fight against militancy has entered an even darker and uncertain new phase. The immediate question, though, was how? With the political and military leaderships vowing week in and week out to prosecute the fight against militancy and terrorism relentlessly and everywhere, how was a suicide bomber able to operate so easily and reach the middle of a huge crowd?

Critical as that question is, past experience suggests that neither are lessons learned nor is accountability practised.

The country’s leaders simply tell us that absolutely everything will be done to keep the public safe -- until nothing is done and something terrible occurs. Then the vows of action are renewed. This time perhaps the military and politicianships of the country do mean to do something more to fight terrorism -- particularly in Punjab, but across the country too. The TTP faction/splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar originated in Mohmand Agency
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
It is believed to have found sanctuary along the Pak-Afghan border in eastern Afghanistan and has recruited murderous Moslems from Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

to its cause. To defeat groups like the banned TTP, a truly national action plan will be required -- not the piecemeal actions that have been taken so far.

Yet, Punjab has long loomed as the biggest unaddressed problem. Fata has witnessed multiple military operations, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
and Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
have been zones of conflict for well over a decade and Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
is undergoing a sustained anti-criminal, anti-militant operation.

Punjab -- because of its size, because of the scale of the Death Eater problem there and because the problem has largely remained unaddressed over the years -- is where the war against militancy now needs to be seriously fought.

But the war will not be won if the military and civilian leadership do not learn to fight together and in complementary ways.

In the recent past, when the military has insisted rather than tried to convince the civilian leadership, the results have been uneven: the National Action Plan; Fata reforms and IDP resettlement; and the Karachi operation.

If the same happens with a new, bigger counter-terrorism phase in Punjab, the results could be devastating for Punjab -- and the country. The political and military leadership must act quickly, but definitely together.
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2016-03-29 India-Pakistan
[Dhaka Tribune] Pakistain will launch a paramilitary crackdown on Islamist faceless myrmidons in Punjab, the country’s richest and most populous province, after an Easter Day bombing killed 70 people in the historic provincial capital Lahore, officials said yesterday.

Sunday’s suicide kaboom on a public park was claimed by the Pak Taliban’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction, which once declared loyalty to Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
. The group said it was targeting Christians.

The brutality of the attack, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar’s fifth bombing since December, reflects the movement’s attempts to raise its profile among Pakistain’s increasingly fractured Islamist Lion of Islams.

At least 29 children enjoying an Easter weekend outing were among those killed when the jacket wallah struck in a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore, the power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
. Pakistain is a majority-Muslim state but has a Christian population of more than two million.

At the Vatican in Rome, Pope Francis condemned the attack as "hideous" and demanded that Pak authorities protect religious minorities. It was Pakistain’s deadliest attack since the December 2014 massacre of 134 school children at a military-run academy in the city of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
that prompted a government crackdown on Islamist militancy.

Security and government officials told Rooters that the decision had been made to launch a full-scale paramilitary Rangers operation, giving them powers to conduct raids and interrogate suspects in the same way as they have been in the southern city of Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
for more than two years.

The move, which has not yet been formally announced, represents the civilian government once again granting special powers to the military in order to fight Islamist Lion of Islams.

"The technicalities are yet to be worked out. There are some legal issues also with bringing in Rangers, but the military and government are on the same page," said one security bigshot, speaking on condition of anonymity
... for fear of being murdered...
as he was not authorised to share details of the plan.

One other military official and two government officials confirmed the decision on condition of anonymity.

Soft Targets

Military front man Gen Asim Bajwa said intelligence agencies, the army and Rangers had already launched several raids around Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

following the attack, arresting an unspecified number of suspects and recovering arms caches.

Prime Minister Sharif toured hospitals full of victims, promising to bring justice.

"Our resolve as a nation and as a government is getting stronger and (the) coward enemy is trying for soft targets," Sharif said, according to a statement from his office.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar grabbed credit for the attack late on Sunday night and issued a direct challenge to the government.

"The target was Christians," a faction front man, Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, said. "We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore."

Rescue services spokeswoman Deeba Shahnaz said at least 29 children, seven women and 34 men were killed and about 340 were maimed, with 25 at death's door.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar has grabbed credit for several big attacks since it split from the main Pak Taliban in 2014.
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2016-03-28 India-Pakistan
[EXPRESS.CO.UK] Pak police confirmed that a jacket wallah was behind the blast at a public park in the eastern Pak city.

The park was particularly busy on Sunday evening due to the Easter holiday weekend.

Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has grabbed credit for the attack and said they specifically targeted Pakistain's Christian minority.

Speaking on behalf of the sick jihadis, Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
said: "The target were Christians.

"We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
that we have entered Lahore.

"He can do what he wants but he won't be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks."

Police sources had earlier said the bombing appeared to target "Christian families" celebrating Easter.

Mustansar Feroz, police superintendent for the area, said: "Most of the dead and injured are women and kiddies."

While senior police officer Haider Ashraf said the area was crowded with Christians celebrating Easter.

The blast occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, just outside the exit gate and a few metres away from children's swings.

Eyewitnesses describing seeing body parts strewn across the parking lot once the blast's dust had settled.

Most of the victims were women and kiddies, according to a rescue service front man.

According to doctors at the Jinnah Hospital, many injured are at death's door and fear the corpse count may rise.

Media footage showed children and women crying and screaming and rescue officials, police and bystanders rushing injured people to ambulances.

The terror attack happened at the heart of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's political base of Punjab.

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2016-03-17 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] SOON after the military high command announced on Monday that Operation Zarb-e-Azb
..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)...
was being wound down in Fata, turbans struck Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
as a timed device went kaboom! in a bus carrying babus government employees. As per reports, the banned Lashkar-e-Islam
...a group of Islamic bandidos infesting Khyber Agency. It's headed by a former bus driver....
’s supremo Mangal Bagh
...a former bus driver, now head of the Deobandi bandido group Lashkar-e-Islam and the Terror of Khyber Agency...
grabbed credit for yesterday’s atrocity; the bad boy leader ‘justified’ the bombing because of the recent ratification of death sentences by the army chief of convicts linked to the proscribed TTP, as well as the armed forces’ overall efforts against militancy. So while the army leadership is talking of wrapping up combat operations in the tribal belt, there is no reason to assume that the challenge of fighting terrorism in the rest of the country is over. After all, while LI claimed Wednesday’s attack (this is the first act of bad boy violence claimed by the group after a lengthy period), the TTP’s Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
was responsible for the bombing which targeted courts in Charsadda last week. This shows that though the bully boyz might be scattered or on the run, they have not lost their ability to wreak havoc on society.

Those familiar with the area say there is no proper clearance of who is boarding buses meant for babus government employees headed to Peshawar from the districts. This situation needs to be addressed so that vehicles carrying state employees are properly checked for explosives and no unconcerned person is able to board them. Coming to the larger problem of militancy, the military announced after the corps commanders’ conference that intelligence-based operations would be intensified countrywide. After destroying the bad boys’ infrastructure and bases, this is among the best ways to proceed in order to root out holy warrior fighters and their sympathisers across Pakistain and prevent further acts of terrorism. For this, the military must work in tandem with the civilian law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, as they have an ear to the ground in the cities and towns. We must not delude ourselves by assuming that victory against militancy is near; by all indications, this will be a long war. For decades, we let the monster of religious militancy grow. Neutralising it will not be a short-term exercise. Gains have indeed been made in the counterterrorism effort, with the soldiers, and ordinary men, women and kiddies of the country paying a price in blood. But the goal of a terrorism-free country will only be realised if the state continues to counter militancy and extremism with commitment.
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2016-02-22 Bangladesh
[DAWN] Suspected Islamist turbans stabbed and killed a Hindu priest at a temple in Bangladesh on Sunday, and shot and injured a devotee who went to his aid, police said.

Bangladesh has suffered a wave of turban violence in recent months, including a series of kabooms on mosques and Hindu temples.

Some of the attacks have been claimed by the turban Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(IS) group, which has also said it is behind the killings of a Japanese citizen, an Italian aid worker and a policeman.

In Sunday's attack, five or six cycle of violence-borne attackers cut the throat of the priest, Jogeshwar Roy, 55, as he was organising prayers at the Deviganj temple near Panchagar, 494 km north of the capital, Dhaka, police said.

"We suspect that they might be members of the banned Islamist turban group Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB)," police official Humayun Kabir told Rooters.

JMB could not be reached for comment. No group has so far grabbed credit.

The motive for the killing was probably to create an unstable situation in the country and ultimately establish a caliphate, Kabir, the deputy director general of police in the area, added.

One devotee who tried to stop the priest's attackers was shot in the leg before the group fled, he said. Police have not yet made any arrests.
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2015-11-07 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have placed in durance vile
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
a suspected terrorist with links to a krazed killer group and recovered kaboom and three detonators from his possession.

The arrest of Sabir, a resident of the Kunar province
... which is right down the road from Chitral. Kunar is Haqqani country.....
of Afghanistan, was made during a raid in Morgah, said a front man for the CTD.

He said the suspect had links with Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
and carried a bogus national identity card with the address of Dhoke Syedan, Rawalpindi.

He said the suspect was monitoring army personnel and renowned politicians to target them.

A bigwig of the CTD added that though the suspect was not on the wanted list, he had got commando training.

Jamaatul Ahrar, a breakaway group of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), had grabbed credit for the suicide kaboom on former Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

home minister Shuja Khanzada. However,
those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things...
law enforcement agencies later arrested the suicide attacker's controllers who belonged to the TTP.
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2015-11-06 India-Pakistan
[Dawn] RAWALPINDI: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have arrested a suspected terrorist with links to a militant group and recovered explosive material and three detonators from his possession.

The arrest of Sabir, a resident of the Kunar province of Afghanistan, was made during a raid in Morgah, said a spokesman for the CTD.

He said the suspect had links with Jamaatul Ahrar and carried a bogus national identity card with the address of Dhoke Syedan, Rawalpindi.

He said the suspect was monitoring army personnel and renowned politicians to target them.

A senior official of the CTD added that though the suspect was not on the wanted list, he had got commando training.

Jamaatul Ahrar, a breakaway group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on former Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada. However, law enforcement agencies later arrested the suicide attacker’s facilitators who belonged to the TTP.
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2015-07-10 India-Pakistan
Useful information about a bunch of baddies, eighteen in all, with pictures of some of them.
[DAWN] Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...

A Yousufzai from Swat, he took charge as the head of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike in November 2013.

He is currently heading the TTP faction often referred to as "TTP central" in intelligence circles.


He controlled large parts of the Malakand division for nearly three years before escaping to Afghanistan in 2009 following a military operation.

Fazlullah has been the criminal mastermind behind various high profile attacks including the brutal Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
school attack as well as the killing of GoC Swat
...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat...
Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi.

He maintains good relations with the Afghan Taliban.

Affiliated with: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP)


Maulana Asim Umar
...chief of al-Qaeda's Sharia Committee for Pakistain, named head of al-Qaeda in India. His video appearances are frequently accompanied by clips of al Qaeda's senior propagandist in Pakistan, Ahmad Farooq. Umar the author of The Army of Anti-Christ: Blackwater, Documentation of the Dreadful Terrorist Activities of America's Blackwater in Islamic Countries...
The head of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the first Deobandi to lead an Al-Qaeda franchise.

He has studied in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
and also taught at seminaries there.

He has authored several books on subjects such as doomsday, the Anti-Christ, and Freemasons, etc.

He is well-connected with various Deobandi and Salafi scholars and enjoys a good reputation in various religious circles.

Affiliated with: Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)


Sirajuddin Haqqani
Commonly known as "Khalifa Sahib", he heads what the US refers to as the Haqqani Network, which is in fact a group fighting under the direct command of Mullah Omar
... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality in a country already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality...
His fighters are some of the best-trained holy warriors in this region, and have carried out a number of high profile attacks in Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani's step mother is a Yemeni, and he maintains close ties with Al Qaeda.

When questioned about the TTP, he has referred to them as "our brothers".

He was a close friend of former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

Affiliated with: Haqqani Network, TTP, Al-Qaeda


Hafiz Saeed Khan Orakzai
He had previously served as a TTP commander in Orakzai Agency
... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers...
He parted ways with the TTP and joined His Supreme Immensity, Caliph of the Faithful and Galactic Overlord, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
...formerly merely the head of ISIL and a veteran of the Bagram jailhouse. Looks like a new messiah to bajillions of Moslems, like just another dead-eyed mass murder to the rest of us...
's "Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
" (IS).

In January this year, he was appointed as a representative of IS in Pakistain through an audio announcement Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the official front man of IS.

A report says he was killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) kaboom earlier this year.

Affiliated with: TTP, IS


Umar Khalid Khurasani
...intel chief of the Jamaatul Ahrar TTP splinter group, or whatever it's calling itself these days...

One of the founding members of the TTP, Umar Khalid Khurasani (also known as 'Abdul Wali') is a poet and former journalist from Mohmand Agency
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
. Within organizational circles, he is known to be a formidable military commander and was one of the first in the TTP to execute opponents by slitting their throats.

He was the TTP Mohmand Chief and also held the additional charge of the Khyber Agency chapter for a brief period during which he orchestrated a bloody campaign against government-backed lashkars.

He parted ways with "TTP central" and is now the de-facto chief of the splinter group Jamatul Ahrar.

The group has now decided to reunite with TTP central.

Affiliated with: TTP, Jamatul Ahrar


Sheikh Khalid Haqqani
Hailing from the Swabi district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
(KP), he is the deputy head of "TTP central" and has also served as its Head of Shura (consultative committee).

A graduate of the Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania in Akora Khattak, he is held in high esteem within the banned group as a "thoughtful religious scholar and a seasoned military commander".

He also authored a fatwa against Pak media, dividing them into different categories and legitimising the killing of some journalists.

Affiliated with: TTP


Muhammad Khurasani
Also known as Mufti Khalid Balti, he is the current head of media at "TTP central" as well as their official front man.

He spent many years in Karachi where he also taught at Jamia-tur-Rasheed. Muhammad Khurasani is fluent in Urdu, Arabic and Balti.

He is well-connected with many of the seminaries across the country and his personality is one of the reasons many students wish to join him in North Wazoo.

Affiliated with: TTP


Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...

Formerly the chief TTP front man, he was removed from the post after being accused of trying to sabotage relations with the Afghan Taliban, a charge he has termed baseless.

He is now the front man of Jamatul Ahrar.

After the reunification with TTP central, his new role is expected to be announced within the next few days.

Affiliated with: TTP, Jamatul Ahrar


Sheikh Maqbool Orakzai
He was previously known as Shahidullah Shahid and served as the chief front man of the TTP under Hakimullah Mehsud and then Mullah Fazlullah.

He parted ways with the TTP and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of IS.

He is a Salafi in orientation and maintains good contacts with Arab fighters.

Affiliated with: TTP, IS


Commander Abdul Jabbar
A close confidante of Mullah Umar, he currently heads Tehrik Ghalba-e-Islam and spends much of his time in Karachi.

His fighters have been actively engaged in Kandahar and Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
provinces of Afghanistan.

Publicly, he opposes rebellion against the Pak state and urges his men to focus on Afghanistan.

Affiliated with: Tehrik Ghalba-e-Islam


Ustad Ahmad Farooq
Also known as Abdullah Farooqi, he is effectively the second-in-command of Al-Qaeda in Pakistain and has been the propaganda chief of the group.

The group is now operating as Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

Most of the inner circle of Ustad Ahmad Farooq includes university graduates who had previously been associated with Islami Jamaat-e-Talaba
...The Islamic Students' Organization: the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, where young Moslems are trained into the arts of street fighting...
(IJT), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
(JI).

A powerful orator, he is fluent in Urdu, Arabic, English and Punjabi.

Affiliated with: Al-Qaeda in Pakistain, IJT, JI


Asmatullah Muavia
He has previously headed the "Punjabi Taliban", an alliance consisting primarily of Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

based sectarian Death Eaters.

Taliban sources claim that a few weeks before the launch of operation Zarb-e-Azb
..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)...
, Muavia surrendered himself at Razmak Fort in North Waziristan and announced that he would restrict his Death Eater activities to Afghanistan.

He released a statement arguing that because of the infighting within the TTP and the changing regional situation, his group will only engage in propagation activities in Pakistain.

Affiliated with: TTP


Khan Saeed
Also known as "Sajna", he leads one of the more influential Mehsud factions of the Taliban.

Based in South Waziristan, he maintains a strong footprint in Karachi.

A number of Mehsud transporters and other businessmen take their disputes to him.

Affiliated with: TTP


Adnan Rasheed
Formerly a technician with the Pakistain Air Force (PAF), he was convicted as one of the planners behind an liquidation attempt on the then army chief and president Pervez Perv Musharraf
... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ...
He was freed by the TTP in an audacious raid on Bannu jail, along with nearly 300 others.

He currently leads the Ansaar-al-Aseer (helpers of prisoners), a unit that focuses on freeing Talibs in prison.

Affiliated with: PAF, Ansaar-al-Aseer, TTP


Qazi Hammad
He was the 'chief justice' of the TTP.

He is known for addressing internal disputes taken to his court.

Qazi Hammad now part of Jamatul Ahrar.

Affiliated with: Jamatul Ahrar, TTP


Maulana Saleh Qassam
Editor of 'Ihyae Khilafat', Jamatul Ahrar's monthly magazine.

Affiliated with: Jamatul Ahrar


Mufti Hassan Swati
Former TTP commander who maintains a strong footprint in Peshawar and adjoining areas.

He left the TTP a few months ago and joined Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's IS.

A number of cases had been filed against him at the TTP's court in Miranshah
... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas...
, accusing him of extortion and intimidating those who had refused to pay.

Affiliated with: TTP, IS


Mangal Bagh
...a former bus driver, now head of the Deobandi bandido group Lashkar-e-Islam and the Terror of Khyber Agency...

He hails from the Bara area of Khyber agency and is a member of the Afridi tribe.

He took charge of Khyber agency based Lashkar-e-Islam
...a group of Islamic bandidos infesting Khyber Agency. It's headed by a former bus driver....
around 2006 from Mufti Munir Shakir and has fought several battles with pro-government rustics.

Mangal Bagh has also been involved in the drug trade, running a network in Karachi.

Traditionally his focus has been on territorial control and furthering his business interests.

However,
it's easy to be generous with someone else's money...
some TTP members claim that his stance is getting increasingly ideological.

His group has now forged a formal alliance with the TTP.

Affiliated with: Lashkar-e-Islam, TTP

Jamatul Ahrar, a former splinter group of the TTP has announced its reunification with the TTP.

Khyber Agency-based Lashkar-e-Islam headed by Mangal Bagh has also decided to merge with the TTP. The three have announced that they will now operate under the name of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain.

Prior to the split, Jamatul Ahrar had largely operated as the Mohmand chapter of the TTP.

According to TTP chief front man, Muhammad Khurasani, the group will announce its new structure within the next few days.
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2015-07-04 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] ON the first anniversary of the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb
..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)...
on June 15, the military wrapped up Operation Khyber-II in the Tirah region. Launched in March, after the military cleared much of the Bara plain in Operation Khyber-I, this follow-on operation in Khyber Agency was meant to clear the fierce Tirah terrain consisting of deep valleys and high mountains. The principal threat in the Tirah region came from the TTP; the Mangal Bagh
...a former bus driver, now head of the Deobandi bandido group Lashkar-e-Islam and the Terror of Khyber Agency...
-led Lashkar-e-Islam
...a group of Islamic bandidos infesting Khyber Agency. It's headed by a former bus driver....
; a breakaway TTP faction, the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
; and sundry foreign bad boys. That the military, with its superior power, would eventually prevail over the Death Eaters in terms of reclaiming the Tirah region was always clear. However,
it was a brave man who first ate an oyster...
there has been a high cost, not least in terms of the more than 50 dead soldiers and over 100 injured. Yet, with the army chief in North Wazoo yesterday and the military preparing for what is expected to be one of the toughest fights there in the Shawal region, loss of life in military operations is the high price the country sadly must pay for the state to once again reassert its control in the militancy-hit regions.

It should be noted that Operation Khyber-II has not resulted in actual physical control by the military of all three passes from Tirah into Afghanistan -- though the unreclaimed valleys of one of the three passes can, according to the military, be controlled by aerial firepower because the military now occupies the peaks over them. This means two things. One, Operation Khyber-II may require another phase for the total recapture of Tirah. Two, the military may apparently be forced into the continued use of air strikes in the Rajgal and Kachkol valleys to prevent the movement of Death Eaters until winter. At that point, with the onset of the cold season, a new challenge will emerge if the valleys have not been taken over by the military by then -- ensuring a military presence in tough and inhospitable terrain while simultaneously guarding against hardened Death Eaters slipping in under the cover of extreme temperatures. Vital as it has been to reclaim the Tirah region, it was clearly left to the last because of the challenge it posed, unlike the Bara plains which were relatively easier to secure in Khyber-I.

From this point onwards, the post-operation challenge is a familiar one: the military can hold and secure terrain, but it will only ever return to some semblance of long-term normality if the civil administration is allowed to function -- and if the civilians show some ownership of the project. Administrative control of the Tirah tehsil has traditionally been done from Bara, a situation that must change if Tirah is to be stabilised. Perhaps a road-building project into Tirah would also go a long way in creating long-term stability in a region that has been dominated by kidnap gangs, narcos and, of course, bad boy groups.
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2015-04-29 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Security forces took control on Tuesday of the entire Sipah and Akkakhel areas in Tirah valley after flushing out Lashkar-e-Islam
...a group of Islamic bandidos infesting Khyber Agency. It's headed by a former bus driver....
activists from these areas.

Official sources said that the control of Sipah and Akkakhel was so far the biggest achievement of security forces during the ongoing Khyber Two military operation against joint forces of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Islam, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain and Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
.

The banned outfits had joined hands soon after the launch of Khyber Two operation in February.

The forces also pressed their ground advance towards the TTP-controlled Kukikhel
...a tribe of primitives inhabiting Khyber Agency. They are a branch of the Afridi tribe. Traditionally they have been migratory, tromping between Jamrud and the Rajgal valley with the seasons. The tribe has had mustache-cursing relationships with several other tribes, including the Zakkakhel and Kambarkhel, and with the Mullagori. They make welcome most anyone with a turban and automatic weapons, but every once in awhile they get together a tribal lashkar to mollify the government...
areas in the valley with fierce ground battles in Dwa Thoe and Zarmanza areas of Kukikhel, Garhai of Kamar Khel, Jabbar Mela of Qambar Khel and Nakai area of Malakdin Khel.

"The fall of Kukikhel is a matter of time now because the area has been encircled from almost all sides and Death Eaters were seen fleeing the area," security officials said.

LI front man Salahuddin Ayoubi told journalists by mobile phone from some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location that the loss of Akkakhel and Sipah was a 'tactical retreat' and they would soon retake the area with support of TTP and Jamaatul Ahrar activists.

He said the Lashkar had killed nine soldiers and injured 11 during ground battle in the Dwa Thoe area, but the claim could not be independently verified.

Military observers believe that the army's control of Sipah and Akkakhel was a severe blow to the LI because it had been controlling the region for the past 10 years.

Sources in Bara said the LI had established its recruitment and training centres along with several hideouts in Sanda Pal, Sandana, Nangrosa and Speen Drand areas of Sipah and Dars Jumaat, Kulla, Mastak, Sadako Markaz and Sultan Khel localities of Akkakhel.

During the past 10 years, the LI had defended the strong bases against arch rivals Ansaarul Islam and Tauheedul Islam.

It had also frustrated many security offensives launched during various military operations before the launch of Khyber One and Khyber Two.

"The LI, along with its allies, are now left with no option but to flee across the border or lay down arms," security officials said.

They said cleansing Tirah of Lions of Islam was nearing completion.
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2015-03-26 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) announced a change in leadership after Ameer Maulana Qasim Khurasani and Deputy Ameer Omer Khalid Khurasani
...intel chief of the Jamaatul Ahrar TTP splinter group, or whatever it's calling itself these days...
tendered their resignations with political shura.

In a statement issued to media on Wednesday, TTP Jamat-ul-Ahrar asserted that the outfit's political shura accepted the resignations and has appointed commander Asad Afridi as Jamat-ul-Ahrar's acting Ameer.

Jamat-ul-Ahrar's spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
confirmed the development, saying it was a routine matter. "According to rules and regulations, changes may be made after six months," he said.

The faction, which parted ways with TTP in August last year, had grabbed credit for the Wagah blast in Lahore on November 2, 2014, killing at least 60 people and injuring more than 100.

Jamat-ul-Ahrar had also grabbed credit for an attack on a Rawalpindi Imambargah
...since Pakistain is very religiously correct, Shia Moslems can't call their houses of worship 'mosques,' which are reserved for Sunnis. It's not clear if imambargahs are used for explosives storage like mosques are...
in January this year, killing at least nine people and injuring 16.

The TTP splinter group mostly comprises Taliban gunnies operating in and around Mohmand Agency
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
.

At the time of the group's formation, its front man, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had confirmed that in addition to Maulana Qasim Khurasani as its chief, the group's political shura includes Omer Khalid Khurasani from Mohmand Agency, Qari Shakil Haqqani from Charsadda, Maulana Yasin from Swat, Qari Ismail from Khyber Agency, Maulana Adbullah from Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central
...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth...
, Mufti Misbah from Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, Maulana Haider and Mansoor Nazim Shura from Orakzai Agency
... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers...
.
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2015-03-18 India-Pakistan
[Right Scoop] A Pakistani lawyer under death threats for defending a doctor who helped CIA agents hunt al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was shot dead on Tuesday, police said, and two militant groups claimed responsibility.

Samiullah Afridi represented Dr Shakil Afridi, who was jailed in 2012 for 33 years for running a fake vaccination campaign believed to have helped the U.S. intelligence agency track down bin Laden. That sentence was overturned in 2013 and the doctor is now in jail awaiting a new trial.
.....as well as a new lawyer.
Samiullah Afridi was shot dead on Tuesday as he was returning to his home in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said. According to media, he had recently returned there from abroad after leaving Pakistan for his safety.

"He was returning home when armed men opened fire. He died on the spot," police official Jamal Hussain said. A hospital spokesman added that Samiullah Afridi was shot twice, in the abdomen and the neck.
No one in Afridi's protective detail was injured. Oh, there was no protective detail ?
Two Pakistan militant groups claimed responsibility for the lawyer's death. Jundullah, a Taliban splinter group, said: "We killed him because he was defending Shakil, who is our enemy."

A Taliban faction, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar (TTP-JA), later said it had shot him. "Dr Shakil Afridi had spied on our respected and supreme leader Sheikh Osama to the CIA," TTP-JA spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said.
....or so the story goes.
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2015-03-17 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] As the self-styled Islamic State (IS) gains ground in the Middle East, key commanders of the fractured Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are submitting to the overtures of the violent global movement that is slowly making inroads into Pakistan. At the same time, regrouping of some of the deadliest outfits in the country could signal great trouble, even as the TTP and allied Al-Qaeda fighters are perceived to be struggling to hold fort against a military onslaught and the country-wide National Action Plan.
IS gained ground, now it's losing ground. Unless something changes dramatically they've peaked thanks to the Kurds. But the export version is dangerous, too.
IS, which is led by Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi, is currently based in Iraq and Syria and occupies border areas. It is accused of killing hundreds of Muslims and some American and UK citizens, which include journalists and aid workers.
They're vicious beasts, but disciplined troops and air power can roll them up.
Reports of IS activity inside the country emerged in 2014 against the backdrop of two ongoing military operations against the TTP and its affiliates in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.
And so on, blah blah blah, until finally:
TTP Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, a powerful group that has claimed many of the recent devastating terror attacks in Pakistain has yet to decide on Baghdadi's offer.

TTPJA front man Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
said the organization would consider the offer, given that both TTP and IS were fighting for a common cause.

"We will see whether we can fight better for the cause on our own or by joining IS...if the offer is serious, the matter will be decided by our political shura," he said.

Ehsan added that the TTP was divided into several factions over administrative matters, but they were now regrouping.

Some evidence of this regrouping has emerged only recently, with holy warriors belonging to the Jamaatul Ahrar and Lashkar-e-Islam
...a group of Islamic bandidos infesting Khyber Agency. It's headed by a former bus driver....
(LI) pledging allegiance to the Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
-led TTP, even as there is heightened speculation that the TTP is slowly fading away.
Mohammad Umar Khorasani, spokesperson for the TTP, denied speculation that groups had split away, saying: "So far no proper group has defected from TTP to join any other murderous Moslem faction. However,
man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
there have been certain instances where a few individuals have either left the main group or they have been expelled. A big chunk of Mehsud Taliban is still with the TTP."Khorasani said considerable portions of Mohmand and Orakzai agencies are still part of the TTP. He further said TTP's presence in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
, Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
and Sindh is also playing a role in strengthening the organization.

"Some people were expelled owing to their incompetence hence they started to politicise the issue," he alleged, adding that a majority of people are returning through the jirga system which, in turn, is strengthening the movement.

Alluding to IS' Baghdadi, Khorasani added that, "We hold our alliance with Mullah Omar
... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality in a country already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality...
and will continue to do so until his death. There is no question of choosing a new leader while he is alive."

Of those who left the movement, one was the leader of Orakzai Agency
... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers...
while the rest were commanders who worked under Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
Khan of Orakzai Agency, he said. "The places made vacant by those who left the movement have been filled by more compatible and experienced leaders."



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2015-03-15 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] CLAIMS that a breakaway faction of the banned TTP, the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
, led by Omar Khalid Khorasani, has rejoined the original umbrella organization, the TTP led by Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
, and that a third turban outfit, Mangal Bagh
...a former bus driver, now head of the Deobandi bandido group Lashkar-e-Islam and the Terror of Khyber Agency...
's Lashkar-e-Islam
...a group of Islamic bandidos infesting Khyber Agency. It's headed by a former bus driver....
, has also joined forces have come as no surprise. The new pact formalises what had been an informal working arrangement in place for a while, including the sharing of jacket wallahs for each others' operations. Neither is the timing of the announcement particularly surprising. All three groups have come under pressure in their hideouts on the Afghan side of the Pak-Afghan border and attempted to reassemble in the Tirah region of Khyber Agency -- the very region in which the Pakistain military has launched the next phase of the Khyber-I operation. This week, the military has claimed dozens of turban casualties in air strikes in the region and that is expected to be only the start of intense action against bandidos bully boyz there, following on from the push in the flatter terrain of the Bara region late last year.

As ever, in the opaque world that is the frontline fight against militancy, there are several big questions. To begin with, how much cooperation from the Afghan government and security forces -- to stop bandidos bully boyz from fleeing across the border again -- will the Pak state be able to expect? The recent improvement in ties between the Pak government and the security establishment on one side and the Afghan government and intelligence and security forces on the other is the key to obtaining and sustaining Afghan cooperation. It almost certainly includes the quid pro quo of urging the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table with the Afghan government. It remains to be seen how durable that new, untested compact is. The other question: is Khyber-I going according to plan? The military had always suggested there would a second phase starting this month, but the general experience in military operations here is that the ability to clear and hold is relatively easy as compared to being able to return an area to normality and keep the bandidos bully boyz out after the main phase of the operation is over. Finally, the bandidos bully boyz themselves have proved to be far more resilient and adaptable than is often assumed. Once again, in the face of intense pressure, they have banded together and may seek to survive in enough form to be able to bounce back at a later point. Is there a strategy to prevent that?
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2015-03-15 India-Pakistan
[FOXNEWS] Pak Taliban jacket wallahs went kaboom! themselves near two churches in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday as worshippers were gathered inside, killing 14 people, officials said, in the latest attack against religious minorities in the increasingly fractured country.
"...and I hate the men of Shia," said Mahbub Ali.
In the tense aftermath, angry mobs lashed out at people they suspected of involvement in the attacks -- including one person who was burned to death -- and Christian crowds set fire to cars in a show of defiance in the country's second largest city and the prime minister's seat of power.
There doesn't seem to be much that doesn't raise angry mobs in Pakistain, but if there's anything that's a valid excuse it's kabooming a church. It's nice to see the Christians standing up for themselves against the bully boyz. Of course it'll be them that are rounded up, tossed into jug, and hung.
Life in Pakistain is increasingly fraught with danger for religious minorities, especially Christians.
All the Jews have been used up.
They have been targeted by turban Sunni Moslem turbans who object to their faith.
...or any faith that's not their faith and their interpretation of it.
They are also discriminated against in the wider society where they can often only get menial jobs like garbage collection, and are frequently targets of blasphemy accusations.
They're trying to describe an area (it's not a country, despite having a government) that worships a book as an idol.
The kabooms occurred in quick succession in the Christian neighborhood of Youhana Abad at two churches while parishioners were celebrating Sunday morning services inside. The churches are about 600 meters (650 yards) apart.
The "Taliban" that claimed the glory for this act would be to consolidated Taliban that consists of the original and its branches, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Islam, Jamaatul-Arar, and probably the Purple Gang and the Tatagias. We only occasionally see the term "al-Qaeda in Pakistain." The target is so "Lashkar-e-Jhangvi," as Jen Psaki would say should the words ever cross her lips, that they might as well have left calling cards and glossy 8x10 photos.
At least 70 people were maimed, said Zahid Pervez, the provincial director general of health, who gave the corpse count.
Why just boom a church? You can wait until Sunday, when it's a crowded church.
One unidentified witness told Pakistain's Geo television that the main gate to one of the churches targeted was closed so people were using a smaller gate.
Which was conveniently left unlocked.
"One bomber went kaboom! himself near that gate, that created chaos and during the course there was another blast," he said.
Had the church doors locked for safety, did they? And I'll bet that there were government guards on duty because as the Pak government so piously stated last time, security for Christians has been "heightened" and by now may be "fool-proof."
In the aftermath of the blasts the mood quickly turned violent.
Grandma murdered by an exploding guy in a turban? That'd cheese anybody off. The Pope would be pissed.
Much of the country is on edge after years of krazed killer violence including an attack on a Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
school in December that killed 150 people -- mostly students.
Kiddies are near on as easy to kill as grandmas.
Local television footage showed an angry crowd beating a person they thought was connected to the attack, while others attacked buses in the city. The crowds burned to death one person they believed was involved in the attack and tried to lynch another, said Haider Ashraf, deputy inspector general for Lahore.
[Yawn!]
Two police who were protecting the churches were also killed in the kabooms, which he confirmed were caused by suicide bombers.
Two of them? How fool-proof can you get?
A front man for the Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

province government condemned the attacks but also said it was unfortunate that the mob had attacked suspects.
If there's no government justice you get vigilante justice.
He said piously that authorities are reinforcing security at the 481 remaining churches across the city.
[Uncontrollable laughter]
Militants appear to be targeting minorities more intensively recently, including attacks on a string of mosques belonging to members of the Shiite Moslem minority sect. In 2013, twin blasts at a church in Peshawar killed 85 people.
They're all hanging separately. Neither the Shiites nor the Ahmadis nor the Barelvis came out to string guys with turbans up from lamp posts.
"There will be more of such attacks," warned Ahsanullah Ahsan, a front man for the Taliban faction that grabbed credit for the assault, in a statement emailed to news hounds.
We coulda written this entire article from memory, with the exception of the Christians lynching a few of their tormentors.
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2015-02-18 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] At least eight people were killed and dozens injured in an apparent attack on Lahore's police headquarters on Tuesday, hospital sources told Dawn. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) later grabbed credit for the attack.

The spokesperson for the Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
faction of the banned TTP, Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, told Dawn that the attack was carried out by the splinter group.

The blast took place near the main gate of Police Lines in Lahore's Qila Gujjar Singh area. According to preliminary reports, it took place in a vehicle parked in the area, however, there are some unverified reports that it was carried out by a jacket wallah.

Huge plumes of smoke were visible in the air in the heavily populated area which was quickly cordoned off by security personnel.

Several vehicles parked near the site of the blast caught fire and window panes in nearby buildings were also shattered.

A police Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) was among those killed in the attack while the maimed also included a policewoman, according to police sources.

Inspector General Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

Police Mushtaq Sukhera told media representatives that the target of the attack was police lines but chances are that the bomber may have been searched on his way inside so he went kaboom! himself prematurely.

He added that, "Ever since operation Zarb-e-Azb
..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)...
began the army has been taking action against murderous Moslems... and this was perhaps in reaction to that. We will examine CCTV footage to get more details on the attacker."

He further said that 5-8 kilograms of explosives were used in the blast.

Khawaja Salman Rafique, the Punjab government's adviser on health, confirmed that four people had died while 23 others were maimed in the blast. He added that the condition of one injured was reported as critical.
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2015-02-09 Afghanistan
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] According to reports, a top Pak Taliban leader Omar KHalid Khorasani has been injured following an operation in Afghanistan.

Khorasani was reportedly injured following a military operation conducted jointly by the Afghan national security forces and the coalition forces.

He is the supreme commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) faction Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
The group's front man Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
quoted by The Express Tribune newspaper of Pakistain confirmed that Khorasani was injured in an operation in eastern Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
province.

"I can confirm that Omar Khalid Khorasani has been injured in a joint operation by the Afghan and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
forces in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province," Ehsan said.

"Khorasani has now been shifted to a safe place and he is improving," Ehsan said, adding that "We lost nine colleagues in the raid."

He did not disclose further information regarding the exact date when the operation was conducted. However,
death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate...
he said no prominent leaders of Jamaatul Ahrar were killed in the raid.

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2015-01-27 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] The central leaders of radical Islamist platform Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
yesterday demanded the immediate release of Harun Bin Izhar, son of Senior Nayeb-e-Ameer Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury.

In a statement, the Hefazat leaders also warned of tougher movement if Mufti Harun was not freed.

Mufti Harun is in jail in a grenade blast case at his father's Lalkhan Bazar Madrasa in Chittagong which is believed to be a den of banned Islamist group HuJI
Founded in 1984 by Fazlur Rehman Khalil and Qari Saifullah Aktar. The Bangla branch was established in 1992 with assistance from Osama bin Laden. Recruits come mostly from Deobandi madrassahs. HuJI and Fazlur Rehman Khalil are signators of bin Laden's declaration of war on the west.

Leaders of the platform, comprising Islamist parties mainly of the BNP-led alliance, alleged that the government had locked away
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
Mufti Harun in a "fake, preplanned and staged" incident and that he was serving jail term "without committing any offence."

His rearrest from jail gate recently by detectives is a clear violation of human rights
...which are usually open to widely divergent definitions...
, Hefazat claims.

A Chittagong court on June 25 last year indicted Mufti Izhar, Mufti Harun and seven others in a case filed over recovery of picric acid after the grenade blasts on October 7, 2013.

Several locally-made grenades were set off at Jamaatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa, a Qawmi madrasa headed by Mufti Izhar, leaving five students injured critically. Later three of them gave up the ghost. Police filed three cases in connection with the blast, killing and recovery of picric acid.
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2015-01-11 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] THE states action against snuffies in the aftermath of the Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
tragedy was bound to produce a bloody reaction. Friday nights bombing of an Imambargah
...since Pakistain is very religiously correct, Shia Moslems can't call their houses of worship 'mosques,' which are reserved for Sunnis. It's not clear if imambargahs are used for explosives storage like mosques are...
in the garrison city of Rawalpindi seems to be the first major salvo fired by the forces of Evil as part of this blowback.

A number of people were killed and injured in the kaboom at the entrance of the place of worship as a milad ceremony was under way inside the premises. It is a small miracle the bombing did not occur within the crowded Imambargah, or else the body count would have been much higher. On Saturday, a foreign news agency quoted the front man of the banned TTPs Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
faction claiming responsibility for the atrocity. While this claim needs to be verified by the security establishment, it must be noted that Rawalpindi has in recent times seen ugly sectarian violence; the caretaker of the targeted Imambargah was also murdered a few years ago. Local police are reportedly looking into these angles, too.

Whether it is places of worship, schools, markets or other public spaces considered soft targets by the bad boys, in the days to come both state and society will need to redouble efforts to thwart terrorist attacks. While Peshawar may have shaken the leadership out of its slumber, dismantling the bad boy infrastructure across Pakistain will not be an easy task, considering how deeply entrenched militancy is within this society. Thinking that battling the bad boy hydra will be a surgical, bloodless operation is a fallacy. What the nation needs is preparation and resolve to confront the challenge. But while the security forces have been carrying out raids and there are efforts to shore up the defences of schools, much more needs to be done on the ground to reassure citizens that the state is ready to tackle the problem. And preparing the nation for the blowback is firmly the responsibility of the government.

However,
corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds...
while the elected leadership has activated itself on the security and legislative fronts, where public interaction is concerned it still needs to improve its efforts. Just saying we are in a state of war is not enough; the prime minister and the top leadership need to reassure the nation that steps are being taken to ramp up security and uproot bad boy infrastructure. Things like regular public contact through the media, visiting survivors of terrorist attacks or condoling with heirs can go a long way in reassuring people that their government stands with them. What is certain is that more attacks like the Rawalpindi bombing will only further demoralise the nation, even as Peshawars pall of gloom still hangs heavy. It is time for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
to lead from the front and for the elected leadership to be seen at the front and centre of the fight against militancy.
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2014-12-23 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir, one of the main organisers behind the Lal Masjid
...literally the Red Mosque, located in Islamabad and frequented by all sorts of high govt officials. The proprietors, Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi, unleashed their Islamic storm troopers on the city, shutting down whorehouses and beating people up who weren't devout enough. The Musharraf govt put an end to the nonsense by besieging the place. Abdul Aziz Ghazi was nabbed while he was trying to escape dressed up like a girl. BBC reported that the corpse count at 173, but other claims, usually hysterical, say there were up to 1000 titzup. Among their number was Abdul Rashid Ghazi. Everyone then said tut-tut and what a nice guy he had been...
protests in Islamabad, on Monday received a threatening phone call from an individual claiming to be Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain Jamaatul Ahrar
...A Pak Taliban splinter group that split off from the Mullah Fazlullah faction because it wasn't violent enough...
's front man.

A man claiming to be Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
asked Nasir to end the protests, or "be ready for consequences".

Nasir however remained defiant and determined to continue the protest, despite the threat.

"We've told him we are standing firm," the activist said on social media.

Nasir shared a recording of the telephone conversation with local daily The Express Tribune, which was made accessible online. According to the audio recording, a man claiming to be Ehsanullah Ehsan told Jibran Nasir that by continuing with the protests against Lal Masjid, both Nasir and the demonstrators were putting themselves in danger. The caller further said that Jamaatul Ahrar should not be considered weak/unable to act.

Jibran Nasir maintained that until and unless the mosque begins to spread the message of peace he would continue to stand against Lal Masjid's administration.

While speaking to Dawn.com, Jibran Nasir reiterated: "We will not call off the protest".

The first protest against the Lal Masjid administration took place on Thursday evening when a large number of civil society activists, politicians and students arrived at the mosque chanting slogans against its chief holy man Maulana Abdul Aziz
...nutball holy man who runs the Lal Masjid in the heart of Pakistain's capital. After instigating a rebellion against the state in 2007, he was caught trying to sneak away dressed in a burka. He rejects democracy as un-Islamic, which it probably is...
and lighting candles as part of a vigil for the victims of the siege of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
's Army Public School.

The activists had come out in response to a statement by Maulana Aziz in which he had refused to condemn the massacre of students and teachers in Peshawar.

However,
nothing needs reforming like other people's bad habits...
when the protests did not stop for a third day, to ease the pressure on the mosque's administration, the deputy khateeb of Lal Masjid along with representatives of the federation of seminaries joined the civil society activists to condemn the massacre.

Maulana Aziz had however threatened the protesters with dire consequences on the second day of the demonstrations, following which, the police had registered cases against both sides.
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2014-12-20 India-Pakistan
[NBCNEWS] The massacre of innocent schoolchildren at a military-run school in Pakistan this week didn't just shock the nation and the world — it divided even the militant groups who had seemed hardened to indiscriminate violence.

"The intentional killing of innocent people, children and women are against the basics of Islam and this criteria has to be considered by every Islamic party and government," Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement soon after the horrific siege, which left 148 people dead, most of them children.

The Afghan Taliban are allied to the Pakistani Taliban across the border, and both are fighting to overthrow their own governments and establish an Islamic state. The two groups are so closely linked that the Pakistanis pledge allegiance to the Afghan group's leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

The Pakistani Taliban — headed by Maulana Fazlullah, the man who ordered the assassination of schoolgirl Mala‎la Yousafzai — claimed responsibility for the Peshawar school attack. He said it was revenge for Pakistan's military campaign against the Taliban in the country's northwest.

After the Afghan Taliban, a major splinter group of the ‎Pakistani Taliban, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan- Jamaatul Ahrar (TTP-JA) also publicly condemned the attack, calling it "un-Islamic, inhuman and unethical."

"We consider Mullah Mohammad Omar our supreme leader. When he and his Taliban condemned the attack on school, there is no other way for us except to strongly condemn the attack on the school and the ruthless killing of innocent children there," said Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman of the TTP-JA.

He said they had expressed their sympathies and condolences to the families of the children who died in the siege at the Army Public School in Peshawar, where many students are the children of Pakistani military personnel.

Privately, commanders agreed that the TTP's actions were a step too far.

"No religion allows this what these people had done in Peshawar," a senior Pakistani commander who spoke on the condition of anonymity told NBC News. "Attacking a school and killing innocent children is not bravery."
Tell that to Boko Haram. Attacking schools and killing or kidnapping innocent children is their specialty.
Another member of the TTP-JA said the massacre had saddened them — and hurt their standing.

"It damaged the image of jihadi organizations in eyes of the fellow Muslims, which Maulana Fazlullah and his men don't understand," said the commander, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The strike also looked certain to deepen existing divisions.

"These were the reasons we left Maulana Fazlullah and his men. They don't have principles for running a jihadi organization," said the commander. "Fazlullah and his men have no vision and mission except to kill innocent people."

He said before separation, they had tried several times to convince Fazlullah and his senior commanders to develop a proper strategy ‎and have policies regarding women's healthcare and education — but he didn't listen.

"Maulana Fazlullah has become controversial in jihadi circles and it was a huge embarrassment for him and his organization when the Afghan Taliban condemned their act publicly," the commander said.

A senior member of the Afghan Taliban said Fazlullah and his commanders complained to them after the group denounced the massacre.

"We told them that attacking schools and killing children, even non-Muslims, has never been our policy," he added.
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2014-12-18 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Both Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) and Al Qaeda have grabbed credit of the attack in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
. Although an operational cooperation between the two cannot be overruled, there is a strong likelihood that the TTP has managed this attack in conjunction with its Central Asian Death Eater associates.

A review of some high-profile attacks suggests that four major Death Eater formations act at different phases to carry out these attacks:

Al Qaeda planned and strategised

TTP provided logistical support

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) served as operational core

Some local Death Eater group facilitated such attacks on ground

The Peshawar school attack has been launched when TTP and other local and international groups are passing through certain transformations and internal crises. The Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
's (IS) inspiration has widened their ideological and operational spectrum.

Dissatisfied commanders are challenging their leadership and forming their own groups. Internal infighting among gunnies has also initiated a competition between the different groups and factions not only to prove leadership skills but also operational capabilities.

Jamaatul Ahrar, a group that recently splintered away from TTP on similar grounds, has managed a series of attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
, Fata and grabbed credit for the suicide kaboom at Wagah border, Lahore.

These attacks certainly put pressure on the TTP led by Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
in terms of how to remain relevant in the changing Death Eater landscape of Pakistain.

At present, the TTP has its bases in Kunar, Nuristan and Khost province
... across the border from Miranshah, within commuting distance of Haqqani hangouts such as Datta Khel and probably within sight of Mordor. Khost is populated by six different tribes of Pashtuns, the largest probably being the Khostwal, from which it takes its name...
s of Afghanistan and still has strong nexus with Central Asian gunnies and Al Qaeda. There is a strong probability that TTP took the lead in the Peshawar school attack in collaboration with its Central Asian allies.

The tactics employed in this attack were not new.

Initial reports suggest that the turbans were in military uniforms and carried heavy weaponry, boom jackets and sufficient food; indicating they had planned to prolong the operation as they had managed to do in their attacks on the Mehran airbase in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
and the Jinnah International Airport.

The surprising element this time was their selection of the target -- a soft civilian target.

After the Mina Bazaar attack in Peshawar, a debate over the selection of civilian targets had sprung up among the terrorists, but the attack on the school shows that turbans can cross all limits when they have reached a certain stage of frustration.

The attack has therefore increased the degree of vulnerability of civilian and civilian-cum-military interests across the country.

A replication of, or increase in such attacks in the near future cannot be ruled out. Though managing large-scale attacks is not an easy task for the terrorists, growing competition among these groups has increased the level of threat.
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2014-12-18 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] As the nation unites in grief over the killings of 132 schoolchildren by the Pak Taliban, several other bully boy groups have been quick to condemn the carnage too.
Taqiyah is one of the Eleven Pillars of Islam. Pillar Number 6 is Dressing Up Like Girls.
Most such groups have slaughtered civilians themselves, but the wave of outrage following the school attack is threatening the relative freedom they enjoy in Pakistain.
Y'see, there ae "Good Taliban" and "Bad Taliban" and there are "Government Taliban." "Government Taliban" can be found in Binori Mosque, Lal Masjid and similar dens of religion and pederasty. Lashkar-e-Taiba is also "Government Taliban."
The country is home to a range of armed bully boy groups. Some like the Pak Taliban ‐ also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) ‐ fight against the state.
The Twelfth Pillar of Islam is slaughtering people. Other groups fight against Christians, Shiites, Hindus, Jains, Rosicrutians and similar threats to Islam.
Whether Islamabad moves against all of them equally will show whether the school massacre has finally spurred authorities to tackle militancy seriously, said Senator Afrasiab Khattak of Awami National Party
founded by Abdul Wali Khan in 1986. Part of the PPP-led cabinet 2008-13. The ANP is considered left wing, advocating for secularism, democratic socialism, public sector government, and economic egalitarianism....
(ANP).
Hafiz Saeed's son-in-law got bail today in the Mumbai massacre. That kinda tells you something about the depths of sincerity here.
"They are all bandidos forces of Evil and the state has to clearly oppose them in all shapes and colours," he said. "So far they have not done so."
Nor was there any mention of the political wings of he various terror groups -- parties like Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F and JUI-S. Sipah-e-Sahaba changed into a false nose and plastic mustache when i was "banned" and kept doing business at the same old stand.
The Afghan Taliban were the first to denounce the school attack as unIslamic, despite often killing civilians themselves. An Afghan Taliban jacket wallah killed more than 50 people at a volleyball match last month.
False Piety is the fourth Pillar f Islam.
Some Pak Taliban, including powerful splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar, quickly sided with their Afghan patrons.
"Wudn't us"
"Like them, we condemn the attack on the school and killing of innocent children," said front man Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
.
The group earlier grabbed credit for an attack that killed more than 50 people last month at a border crossing to India.
But that's all in the past now. We were all so much younger then. just think of it as a learning experience.
Other condemnation came from sectarian or anti-Indian groups that are nominally banned in Pakistain but operate openly, sometimes under different names.

Afghanistan has long accused Pakistain of supporting the Afghan Taliban to try to maintain its influence in the region. Pakistain says Afghanistan is doing the same with the Pak Taliban in return.

Another banned Pak group said it stood alongside the military in response to the attack.

"We strongly condemn the attacks on schoolchildren in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
and believe that there is no religious, ethical or any other social reason for this cruel act," said Ghulam Rasool Shah, a deputy for Malik Ishaq, leader of the sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
.

"We stand with the Pakistain army and politicianship in this critical situation."

The group was responsible for twin blasts in the city of Quetta last year that killed around 180 people, mostly belonging to Shia Hazara ethnic group.
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2014-11-25 India-Pakistan
PESHAWAR: The anti-polio campaign in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) resumed on Monday after 30 months' suspension in the wake of threats from Taliban. The campaign kicked off under the supervision of army in Wana, Azam Warsak and adjoining areas.

NWA Political Agent Nawab Khan inaugurated the drive by administering polio drops to a tribal child. Under the supervision of NWA Agency Surgeon Dr Jahanzaib Wazir 102 mobile teams have been constituted to reach out the children under the age of five in the agency and vaccinate them against polio.

Speaking on the occasion, Political Agent Nawab Khan said that due to an uncertain situation the FATA Secretariat could not reach out to as many as 78,000 children in NWA due to which they were vulnerable to poliovirus. He said the current anti-polio drive would yield positive results, and under it maximum number of children, under the age of five, would be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, gunmen on motorbike shot injured an anti-polio worker in Shabqadar tehsil of Charsadda District on Monday. Police said polio worker Sajid Khan, a resident of Miranai, was going to his assigned place of duty when he was targeted by the motorcyclists. He sustained critical wounds and was shifted to hospital. The killers managed to escaped. Police cordoned off the area and started investigation. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction Jamaatul Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack.

"We claim responsibility for the attack on polio workers in Shabqadr," TTP Jamaatul Ahrar spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan said. "We will soon release our policy statement on polio vaccine," Ehsan said in a statement, adding that "we will [explain] according to Islam and science how it is dangerous to health and how it is against Islam".
Seems like they already explained it...
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2014-11-19 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] A grenade attacked killed two coppers and maimed another one in northwestern Charsadda district on Tuesday, police said.

The incident happened in the Shabqadar area of Charsadda, 30 kilometres north of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, the capital of the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
province.

Two men riding a cycle of violence threw a hand grenade on a police vehicle patrolling the area, killing two coppers and wounding another one, district police chief Shafiullah Khan told news agency AFP.

He said one of the coppers was struck down in his prime and the second in hospital.


Another local police official Asghar Khan also confirmed the incident.

Spokesman of the Jamaatul Ahrar faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain, Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
grabbed credit for the attack in a statement issued to local media in Peshawar.

Pakistain has been battling myrmidon holy warrior groups in the northwest and its semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004, after its army entered the tribal region to search for Al Qaeda gunnies who had fled across the border following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

In June the army began a major offensive against holy warrior hideouts in North Wazoo tribal agency, a major base for the TTP, after a bloody raid on Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
Airport ended faltering peace talks between the government and the Taliban.
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2014-11-06 India-Pakistan
[Pak Daily Times] Jihadist terror has struck again, claiming 60 innocent lives at the Wagah border near Lahore. While Jundallah and Jamaatul Ahrar -- two reincarnations or splinter groups of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) -- were quick to claim credit for the heinous act, there was a third entity blaming the assault squarely on India. The former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence
...the Pak military intelligence agency that controls the military -- heads of ISI typically get promoted into the Chief of Army Staff position. It serves as a general command center for favored turban groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, tries to influence the politix of neighboring countries, and carries out a (usually) low-level war against India in Kashmir...
(ISI), General Hamid Gul
The nutty former head of Pakistain's ISI, now Godfather to Mullah Omar's Talibs and good buddy and consultant to al-Qaeda's high command...
, who is practically a fixture at religio-jihadist parties' gatherings, was on television pointing a finger at India and its intelligence agency, RAW. The former general obviously did not produce a shred of evidence supporting his assertion but was successful in dividing public opinion at a critical juncture when unity in opposing and condemning jihadist terrorism was badly needed. Whether it is the massacre of Christians at the All Saints Church in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
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2014-11-06 India-Pakistan
[AnNahar] A breakaway faction of the Pak Taliban that grabbed credit for a devastating suicide kaboom earlier this week threatened Wednesday to carry out attacks inside India.

At least 55 people were killed and more than 120 maimed at the main Pakistain-India border crossing on Sunday when a bomb tore through crowds of spectators leaving after the colorful daily ceremony to close the frontier.

Jamat-ul-Ahrar (JA), a faction of the Pak Taliban which broke away from the main leadership in September, was one of a number of groups that grabbed credit for the attack at the Wagah border crossing

The group's front man Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
said India would be the target of their next attack, warning Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his country was not "out of reach" for the group.

"India is included in our next attack, Narendra Modi should not have this misconception that we cannot attack his country," he told Agence La Belle France-Presse.

"If we can attack on one side of the border we can also attack on the other side of the border. We do have access to the other side of the border," he added.

Ehsan also repeated his group's claims that they carried out the Wagah border crossing attack, saying he would soon release a video to prove his faction was behind the blast.

There were several conflicting claims of responsibility for the attack, reflecting the fragmentation the umbrella Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) movement has undergone in recent weeks.

Abdullah Bahar, a front man for a Pak Taliban faction loyal to its dead chief Hakimullah Mehsud, said they carried it out to avenge Mehsud's killing in a U.S. drone strike last year.

TV channels also ran claims from a third hard boy faction, called Jundullah.

But the Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction, which broke away from the main TTP leadership in September, rubbished the claim and said they were behind the blast.

Ehsan previously said in an email statement that the attack was Dire Revenge for those killed in the ongoing Pak military operation in North Wazoo tribal area on the Afghan border.
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2014-11-06 India-Pakistan
[Pak Daily Times] A new Pak Taliban group behind this week's devastating suicide kaboom on the Pak-Indian border said on Wednesday the attack was as much aimed at India as Pakistain, suggesting that Indian targets might be next. At least 57 people were killed during the flag-lowering ceremony on Sunday when a bomber tried to get as close as possible to the border in a possible attempt to cause casualties on the Indian side as well. Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, a prominent murderous Moslem and front man for the group, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain Jamaat Ahrar (TTP-JA), said he had warned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that attacks in India were in the pipeline. "I have already conveyed it to Modi ... that if our jacket wallahs can carry out attacks on this side of the border, they can easily do it on other side of the border in India," he told Rooters by telephone from some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location.

"I told him that his hands are red with the blood of Kashmiri mujahideen (fighters) and innocent people of Gujarat
...where rioting seems to be a traditional passtime...
for which he would have to pay the price." He earlier tweeted in English: "You (Modi) are the killer of hundreds of Moslems. We wl (will) take the Dire Revenge of innocent people of Kashmire and Gugrat" (sic). An Indian intelligence official said the account appeared genuine. Gujarat - misspelt in the tweet - is a western Indian state where more than 1,000 people, most of them Moslems, were killed in inter-religious rioting in 2002, when Modi was its chief minister. India has long accused Pak gunnies of trying to attack its targets, particularly after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
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2014-11-05 India-Pakistan
Al Qaeda (AQ)

AQ is not just a conventional group but the fountainhead of a violent ideology.

The organisation was founded at the end of the 1980s by Osama bin Laden while he was in Afghanistan/Pakistan waging war against the Soviets. According to Al Qaeda literature, the organisation's ultimate goal is to establish a hardline global caliphate. It seeks to fight America and her 'apostate' allies in the Muslim world.

While the organisation maintains a relatively low profile in Pakistan, it is behind much of the coordination between different jihadi groups in a bid to 'channelise' and 'streamline' the effort.

In contrast with many other jihadi groups, the overwhelming majority of their cadres in Pakistan are university graduates hailing from well-off urban families.

Al Qaeda regards Pakistan as a 'Daar-ul-Kufr wal harb' (abode of disbelief and war). It classifies the rulers as 'apostates' against whom it is obligatory to rebel and fight.

Al Qaeda considers Shias as disbelievers 'in the garb of Islam'. As such, the militant organisation considers it permissible to shed the blood of Shia Muslims and confiscate their wealth. However on strategic grounds, the Al Qaeda chief has advised the operatives not to engage minority groups anywhere in a confrontation unless 'absolutely required' such as in Syria and Iraq.

The organisation rejects the concept of nation-states. It seeks to expand the theatre of war, topple governments in Muslim countries and form a global caliphate.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan

Formally launched in 2007, the TTP is effectively Al Qaeda's local franchise in Pakistan. Among anti-state jihadi groups here, TTP maintains the strongest footprint with operatives all over the country. Its stated objective is to turn Pakistan into an 'Islamic state'.

Up till its recent splintering, The group regarded the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Umar, as its supreme leader.

As with Al Qaeda, the TTP regards Pakistan as a 'Daar-ul-Kufr wal harb' (abode of disbelief and war) and considers its rulers apostates.

While the TTP also considers Shia Muslims to be apostates, there is currently a debate within the organisation on whether a front should be opened against them.

The TTP is also increasingly looking at global operations, most recently with top TTP leaders forming splinter group TTP Jamaatul Ahrar; the group has openly pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)

The IMU was founded by Tahir Yuldashev and Jumma Kasimov (both Uzbeks) in 1991. The two had earlier fought in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of the country.

The initial objective of the organisation was to topple Islam Karimov's regime in Uzbekistan and to establish an 'Islamic state' in the country. They also fought alongside the Taliban against the Northern Alliance.

Kasimov died in the fighting while Yuldashev, along with his fighters, managed to escape into Pakistan's tribal areas during the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan. IMU maintains strong contacts with Al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban as well as the TTP.

For now, its focus remains on strengthening the group as it prepares for the war in Central Asia.

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi

An offshoot of the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), the virulently sectarian LJ was formed in 1996. Its founders Riaz Basra, Akram Lahori and Malik Ishaq had differences with the SSP and believed that the parent organisation had drifted from its original ideals.

LJ's primary targets are Shia Muslims and it has indiscriminately targeted them through both assassination and mass casualty attacks. The LJ has killed thousands of people, including many women and children. Its largest attacks to date have been against the Shia Hazaras of Quetta.

LJ leaders say their aim is to turn Pakistan into a Sunni Islamic state and consider it a 'priority' to target Shia Muslims. The group also seeks to establish stronger ties with anti-Iran groups operating in the region.

Splinters, subdivisions and shadow groups

The lines blur when it comes to differentiating between militant groups in Pakistan. They share space, tactics and resources and sometimes, subdivisions are created for specific purposes and for creating confusion in the public's minds.

TTP Jamaat ul Ahrar

On August 26, 2014, key commanders belonging to the TTP announced the formation of a new group by the name of TTP Jamatul Ahrar, with Maulana Qasim Khorasani as the new Ameer and also comprising other commanders. The new group comprises of members from four of the seven tribal districts bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, namely Mohmand, Bajaur, Khyber and Orakzai.

Former TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan, who has been nominated as the spokesman for the splinter group says the new group only wants the Shariah system to prevail in the country.

At least 60 people were killed on Sunday November 2, 2014 in a blast near the Wagah border, the responsibility of which was claimed separately by the outlawed Jundullah and TTP-affiliated Jamaat-ul-Ahrar outfits.

Ahrar ul Hind

The group's name literally means freedom fighters of India (referring to the Indian subcontinent as a whole).

According to a commander of a Taliban group, the group derived its name of 'Ahrar' from Majlis-i-Ahrar-ul-Islam, because the Ahraris were against the formation of Pakistan, and they believed that the entire subcontinent was their homeland. The commander said that the group planned to expand their operations to the remaining part of the subcontinent.

Ansar al-Aseer

A North Waziristan based group primarily concerned with the 'welfare' of locked-up jihadis. Its tasks include intelligence gathering about Pakistani jails and planning jailbreaks to release militants. It is closely allied to TTP and draws many of its fighters from TTP and IMU. Its basic agenda is to free all militants locked up in jails across the country.

Lashkar-i-Khorasan

Al Qaeda allied group with a single point agenda to track down and eliminate 'spies' in North Waziristan.

Ansar al-Mujahideen

A small organisation affiliated with the TTP. Its primary focus is targeting armed forces personnel and politicians. As with AQ and TTP, Ansar al-Mujahideen aims to turn Pakistan into an 'Islamic State' and use the state to launch 'jihad' against other belligerent states.

Jandullah

Al Qaeda affiliated group that started off from South Waziristan. It gained most notoriety for its assassination attempt on the then Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Ahsan Saleem Hayat. The outfit has also targeted Shia Muslims and foreign tourists.

Not to be confused with the Judaean Peoples Front Iran-based Jundullah.

Ghazi Force

A group formed after the Lal Masjid operation in Islamabad. It is named after Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, the former Lal Masjid cleric who was also killed in the operation. Most of its members are relatives and friends of the people killed in the 2007 operation.

This group has practically merged with the TTP. Some of its members and sympathisers in and around Islamabad are known to provide intelligence and a footprint in the capital. Members of the group consider it a priority to target former president Pervez Musharraf.

The 'Other' Militants

Then there are those jihadi groups who, for one reason or another, have historically been classified as 'good' militants by the state. Part of the reason for this is that these groups do not prioritise targeting the Pakistani state and instead turn their energies outwards. However, there is evidence that militants from their ranks can and at times do join other organisations, such as the TTP, AQ and LJ.

They also share ideological commonalities with those groups and in some cases even share resources and physical space.

Lashkar-e-Taiba

Formed in the early 90s in Afghanistan, the group has been primarily operating in Indian-held Kashmir. It seeks to 'liberate' the people of Kashmir from 'Indian oppression' and establish an Islamic state' in the region.

It sees India, the United States and Israel as eternal enemies of Islam and boasts about defeating them through armed struggle. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the head of Jamat-ud-Dawa denies that his charity is simply a cover for the banned militant outfit. However the lower cadre not only acknowledges their connection with LeT but proudly boast about their operations in India.

In line with their particular brand of Salafism, the organisation is strongly opposed to rebellion against the Pakistani state. Members of the group say they are bracing themselves for the Ghazwa-i-Hind ' a grand war in which Muslims will regain control of India, they claim.

Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM)

Jaish-e-Muhammad was formed in 2000 by Maulana Masood Azhar. Shortly after its inception, it effectively swallowed a previously existing but now largely defunct Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). Its primary goal is to 'liberate' Kashmir from Indian rule and it has carried out various attacks on Indian interests including the 2001 attack on Indian parliament.

The group was banned by then President Pervez Musharraf and rebranded itself as Khuddam-ul-Islam. It continues to engage in open fundraising outside many Pakistani mosques on Fridays.

Tehreek Ghalba-i-Islam

The group emerged as an offshoot of Jaish-e-Muhammad after serious differences emerged between various commanders. TGI is led by Commander Abdul Jabbar and operates primarily in Afghanistan. Publicly, the organisation opposes rebellion against the Pakistani state. It stresses on its cadre to focus on Afghanistan.

Jaish al-Adal

The group has recently emerged in parts of Balochistan bordering Iran. It has targeted Shia Muslims and claims to be countering Iranian interference in Pakistan. The group also seeks to extend the theatre of war into Iran.

Hafiz Gul Bahadur group

He is one of the most influential figures in North Waziristan but at the same time, maintains a very low profile. Bahadur is politically affiliated with Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam.

Hafiz Gul Bahadur have been very secretive about their plans. In public, they have always maintained focus on 'liberating' Afghanistan and re-establishing Taliban rule. He is considered a pragmatic figure who knows how to consolidate his position. He has successfully managed his relations with both the military and the TTP.

He has never made his position on the Pakistani state public. However one of his most prominent commanders, who has since been killed in a US drone strike, gave an hour-long interview to Al Qaeda's media wing As Sahab in 2009.

In the interview he made it clear that he did not have any differences with Al Qaeda or the TTP and that they were his 'brothers'. He had also said that his men would fight against the Pakistan army if it sided with the Americans.

Haqqani Network

This setup operates primarily in the Eastern Afghan provinces of Khost and Paktika even though it has carried out 'daring' attacks in Kabul. The network has also attempted to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The group is currently headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, one of the sons of veteran Afghan jihadi commander Jalaluddin Haqqani. He is one of the most powerful commanders in the region and maintains good relations with Al Qaeda and the TTP.

The group has been silent on their view of the Pakistani state, however when questioned about the TTP, Sirajuddin Haqqani is on record as saying that he does not have differences with his 'brothers'. Their future plans focus on the reinstatement of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Sipah-i-Muhammad Pakistan

The group was formed in the 90s in response to the anti-Shia violence perpetuated by Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP). It maintains a very low profile and seeks to primarily target leaders of anti-Shia militant organisations such as SSP and LJ.

Its leader Syed Ghulam Raza Naqvi has been in prison since the mid-90s. Pakistani intelligence agencies claim the group is backed by Iran in a bid to extend its influence in the region.
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2014-11-03 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] IT was an attack that was waiting to happen. While few would have thought that the Wagah border, where an aggressive closing ceremony each evening is meant to whip up nationalist fervour, would be the target of the biggest attack yet by forces of Evil since the start of the military's Operation Zarb-e-Azb
..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)...
, it is also true that it is the security forces and installations that are usually singled out by the krazed killers. However,
a clean conscience makes a soft pillow...
while ordinary civilians often end up as victims because they happen to be near the venue, yesterday's suicide kaboom raises the possibility of those who had come to watch the ceremony being deliberately targeted because of their perceived support for the security forces. The attack has claimed dozens of lives, and the focus at the moment should be on ensuring the injured survive and that the families of the dead are taken care of. After that though the hard questions will have to be taken up once more -- if the state's security and foreign policy apparatus is willing to reflect on what the Wagah incident could mean for the country going forward.

The country clearly continues to be stalked by a complex, overlapping and dizzyingly varied krazed killer threat. If internal security -- peace, stability and the conditions for economic and social progress -- is elusive it is because the state -- the sum total of the civilian government and army-led security establishment -- has an inadequate approach. Even with the best policies in the world, Pakistain will not overnight become internally stable and secure. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been treated as some kind of panacea in certain quarters, when, without a supporting anti-militancy narrative, it can only amount to surgery on a limb of a body with many afflictions.

Whoever it is that sent a bomber to kill Pak civilians (in these early hours the separate claims of Jundullah and Jamaatul Ahrar cannot be independently verified) the fact of the matter is that Pakistain has far too many groups with options when it comes to killing Paks. Until those groups are eliminated and until the steady, seemingly endless supply of jacket wallahs, fidayeen fighters and sundry other forces of Evil is shut down, Paks will not be safe. Unfortunately, there is little to suggest that the state knows how to rid Pakistain of the religious extremism, militancy and terrorism that has blighted this country for decades now. Finally, insecure, often defenceless, as Paks are inside their own country, the site of yesterday's attack is also a reminder that Pakistain's borders -- east, west and southwest -- are major flashpoints. Peace externally and security internally is the only recipe for a stable Pakistain.
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2014-09-08 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] AL QAEDA chief Ayman al-Zawahiri
... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area. That is not a horn growing from the middle of his forehead, but a prayer bump, attesting to how devout he is...
's declaration that the global terrorist group has established its subcontinental branch is the realisation of the Islamist Death Eaters' long-standing dream. On the other hand, the formation of Al Qaeda in South Asia is also reflective of other developments taking place among Death Eater circles, particularly with regard to ongoing internal rifts and confrontations.

Islamist Death Eater organizations across the world are undergoing a transformation, which can cause changes in their chemistry and lead to the emergence of a new Death Eater character. Militants in Pakistain and Afghanistan are also passing through a similar phase, leading to new formations among them.

At present, Al Qaeda faces some critical challenges to its survival. The Islamic State (IS), previously the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has exposed Al Qaeda's political and operational vulnerabilities which may hurt the latter's ideological appeal to its affiliates. The IS has come up with a new approach and model for building an Islamic state. The central and other chapters of Al Qaeda have not been able thus far to capture and hold a territory for the same purpose.

Their previous attempts at gaining territorial control only achieved partial and short-lived success as in 2011 and 2012 when Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and a coalition of North African turbans succeeded in capturing some territories for a short time.

The Al Qaeda strategy to support local Death Eater organizations for bringing about change has failed and in some cases proved counterproductive. Al Qaeda-affiliated local Death Eater groups are only able to create some turmoil in their respective regions. Even if a local group succeeds in capturing territory it finds it difficult to hold on to it. Also, it is relatively easy for counterfaceless myrmidons to challenge a local, isolated group both operationally and ideologically.

However,
a lie repeated often enough remains a lie...
the IS is inviting Al Qaeda affiliates to become part of a central command which can help them consolidate their gains in their respective regions.

Of course, this will make it more difficult for counterfaceless myrmidons to tackle murderous Moslems using conventional frameworks. For instance, if murderous Moslems launch a massive campaign on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistain border, it will become very difficult for the security forces of the two countries to counter them without evolving joint operational strategies. The emergence of the IS in the Syrian and Iraqi border regions can provide some insights.

It is clear that the IS call for allegiance is addressed to all Moslems and holds attraction and appeal for Islamist turbans and radical individuals and groups. It appears as if Al Qaeda is trying to respond by using its contacts and links with its affiliates and with groups inspired by its ideology. At the same time, it is trying to reach out to those regions and conflict zones where it can extend its influence by appealing to the 'oppressed' Moslem communities. South Asia, a region that is inhabited by 40pc of the global Moslem population, has attraction for both Al Qaeda and the IS.

Al Qaeda sees an opportunity in India-held Kashmire, where a separatist, religio-nationalist movement has been crushed and the religio-nationalist jihadist appeal of Death Eater groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba
...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI...
, Hizbul Mujahideen, and Jaish-e-Mohammad
...literally Army of Mohammad, a Pak-based Deobandi terror group founded by Maulana Masood Azhar in 2000, after he split with the Harkat-ul-Mujaheddin. In 2002 the government of Pervez Musharraf banned the group, which changed its name to Khaddam ul-Islam and continued doing what it had been doing before without missing a beat...
has lost its lustre. Al Qaeda is calling radical elements towards 'pure' jihad, which it believes cannot be confined within the boundaries of nationalism or of a state.

The IS, too, is emerging as an inspirational force for radical Moslem populations in India and India-held Kashmire. Though it remains to be seen what impact these two global jihadist groups have there, they will certainly add to the troubles of Moslem communities.

Interestingly, Zawahiri has renewed his pledge of allegiance to Mullah Omar
... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality in a country already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality...
which indicates that Al Qaeda has challenged the caliphate of His Supreme Immensity, Caliph of the Faithful and Galactic Overlord, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
...formerly merely the head of ISIL and a veteran of the Bagram jailhouse. Looks like a new messiah to bajillions of Moslems, like just another dead-eyed mass murder to the rest of us...
. It indicates that Al Qaeda will firmly stand beside its old allies, which will not only increase the operational strength of the Afghan Taliban but also prevent the latter's erosion due to the IS effect.

The Jamaatul Ahrar
...a splinter group of the Pak Taliban led by Maulana Qasim Khurasani. The group has pledged allegiance to Mullah Omar and has agreed to follow his ideology, such as it is. It's probably the latest incarnation of the splinter group Ahrarul Hind since Khurasani used to head that group...
, newly established by some breakaway factions of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain, is ideologically and politically more ambitious than the TTP and largely inspired by the successes of the IS. Even if it completely breaks its links with the TTP and Al Qaeda, the JA will remain ideologically and politically strong. As far as operational capabilities are concerned, the new group has a strong nexus with sectarian terrorist networks and factions of the Punjabi Taliban and the various Jundallah groups in mainland Pakistain.

The phenomenon of Jundallah is important in this perspective. Many groups are operating with the name of Jundallah in Pakistain, similar to Punjabi Taliban groups. While the Punjabi Taliban emerged from the Deobandi and Salafi Death Eater groups, Jundallah groups are breakaway factions of the Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
(JI) and its subsidiary student and Death Eater wings.

With the exception of the Jundallah in Iranian Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
, the remaining identically named groups, active in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
and Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
valley, are of a similar nature. With their Islamist background, they are naturally inclined towards the IS, and like a few commanders of the Hizb-e-Islami -- a JI affiliate in Afghanistan -- apparently intend to announce their allegiance to the IS.

Seen from this perspective, the JA is likely to have a close operational alliance with Jundallah groups inside Pakistain. Conversely, the TTP's operational concentration will increase inside Afghanistan. It appears as if a new formation or alliance of Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, TTP, the local Taliban led by Gul Bahadur and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan will emerge which will be challenged by an alliance of JA and its Pak affiliates, and breakaway factions of the Afghan Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami.

The Haqqanis have not yet indicated which side they will join. Maybe they believe they can play with and manoeuvre both pro- and anti-Pakistain groups. But it will not be possible for them to continue this approach for long because ideological alignments among turbans are becoming clearer and eventually they will have to decide which way to go.
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2014-09-06 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain and its splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar
...a splinter group of the Pak Taliban led by Maulana Qasim Khurasani. The group has pledged allegiance to Mullah Omar and has agreed to follow his ideology, such as it is. It's probably the latest incarnation of the splinter group Ahrarul Hind since Khurasani used to head that group...
(JA) are on a collision course as the latter has accused TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
of joining hands with people involved in the killing of krazed killer commanders.

In a statement on Thursday, JA front man Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
said those who were involved in the killing of TTP commanders Nadeem Abbas, Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani
...a Pashtun tribe centered on Jandola, in Tank district. They are the hereditary enemies of the Mehsuds, unless there are furriners or infidels around, in which case they share ammunition and targeting data...
, Tariq Mansoor and 200 fighters of the Mehsud tribe were now sitting beside Fazlullah.

Ehsan, who earlier served as central front man for the TTP, said that being head of his group Fazlullah should bring the killers to "justice".

He said the TTP chief lacked qualities of a good leader, which had resulted in the killing of many commanders.

The JA front man said the Fazlullah-led TTP group "now comprised only a few people".

He said that Fazlullah had no authority to expel Umar Khalid Khurasani
...intel chief of the Jamaatul Ahrar TTP splinter group, or whatever it's calling itself these days...
of Mohmand Agency
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
from TTP. Khurasani was now an active member of JA and the group's leadership had the authority to appoint a leader for Mohmand.

He claimed that a majority of Taliban capos had joined JA and the families of both Baitullah Mehsud and Hakimullah Mehsud had become associated with it.

He said JA had expressed allegiance to Mullah Umar and had faith in the leadership qualities of the top leader of Afghan Taliban.

Ehsan said some elements in the Fazlullah-led TTP were hatching conspiracies to drive a wedge between JA and the Afghan Taliban.

The JA front man said that Fazlullah should reveal the names of people who killed Nadeem Abbas alias Inteqami, who was the TTP leader for Rawalpindi, Asmatullah Shaheen and Tariq Mansoor Afridi.

It is the first time that a Taliban-linked group has acknowledged the death of Nadeem Abbas, who beat feet from police custody in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
in August, 2011, and was reportedly involved in several acts of terrorism.

In 2011, Abbas and another TTP leader Zakim Shah were brought to the Khyber College of Dentistry for treatment. They bravely ran away when being moved back to the central jail in Peshawar.

Asmatullah Shaheen, who was an acting chief of TTP, was killed outside his residence in Miranshah
... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas...
, North Wazoo, in February last year.

Ehsan also clarified that JA had no links with the Janud Khurasan group and that Ahrarul Hind had merged with JA. He said a majority of TTP commanders in Malakand division had joined JA.
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2014-09-06 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] CRACKS within the holy warrior edifice in Pakistain seem to be widening as the banned TTP and Jamaatul Ahrar
...a splinter group of the Pak Taliban led by Maulana Qasim Khurasani. The group has pledged allegiance to Mullah Omar and has agreed to follow his ideology, such as it is. It's probably the latest incarnation of the splinter group Ahrarul Hind since Khurasani used to head that group...
, a splinter group that parted ways with the parent outfit recently, have been engaging in an intense war of words. In a 'charge sheet' released on Thursday, Ehsanullah Ehsan
...formerly the front man for the Pak Taliban, now the lips and tongue of the Jamaatul Ahrar splinter group in Mohmand Agency...
, now the JA front man, claimed that "the killers" of some leading holy warriors, as well as 200 Mehsud fighters, were "sitting beside" TTP supremo Mullah Fazlullah
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2014-08-28 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] The battered Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain has suffered another blow with the emergence of a new group of faceless myrmidons within it, leaving the TTP leader, Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
, high and dry.

The announcement to form the group, named Jamaatul Ahrar
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2014-08-27 India-Pakistan
[DAWN] Key commanders belonging to the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) have announced the formation of a new group by the name of TTP Jamatul Ahrar, with Maulana Qasim Khurasani as the new Ameer and also comprising other commanders.

Former TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan, who has been nominated as the front man for the splinter group, mostly comprising the Mohmand Agency
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
Taliban, told Dawn from some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location, that the new group was not willing to take sides in the current political tussle in Islamabad as they only wanted the Shariah system to prevail in the country.

According to them, Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf
...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations....
(PTI) chairman Imran Khan
... aka Taliban Khan, who is the lightweight's lightweight...
and Pakistain Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri
...Pak politician, and would-be dictator, founder and head of Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran and Pakistain Awami Tehrik. He usually resides in Canada, but returns to Pakistain periodically to foam at the mouth and lead demonstrations. Depending on which way the wind's blowing, Qadri claims to be the author of Pak's blasphemy law. Other times he says it wasn't him...
were no different from the current political rulers, and that both of them were inclined towards the Western style of democracy.

He added that along with Khurasani, the TTP Jamaatul Ihrar Shura also comprises Umer Khalid Khurasani from Mohmand Agency, Qari Shakil Haqqani from Charsadda, Maulana Yasin from Swat, Qari Ismail from Khyber Agency, Maulana Adbullah from Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central
...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth...
, Mufti Misbah from Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, Maulana Haider and Mansoor Nazim Shura from Orakzai Agency
... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers...
.

The Pakistain Army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb
..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)...
in June against foreign and local Death Eaters who were hiding in sanctuaries in North Wazoo.

The comprehensive operation was launched a week after Lions of Islam made a brazen myrmidon attack on the country's busiest airport in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
.

Following the assault in Karachi, the US carried out two drone strikes in North Waziristan.

Prior to the operation being conducted, pressure had been mounting on the government to launch a ground offensive in the Taliban-infested North Waziristan tribal district.

North Waziristan Agency has been isolated by troops along its border with neighbouring agencies and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to block any movement of Death Eaters in and out of the Agency.
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2014-03-29 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] The radical Islamist group Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
is planning to flex its muscle in Chittagong city in the name of a two-day Islamic conference scheduled to be held in the first week of April in Laldighi Maidan.

Leaders of the organization at a presser on February 11 announced that it would hold the Resalat Conference on April 3.

Hefazat Organising Secretary Azizul Hoque Islamabadi said they had already gotten approval from the CMP.

However the date of the conference could be deferred by a day or two due to the ongoing ICC World Cup T20.

He also said although there was no cricket match on those days the CMP requested them to defer it by a day or two for the sake of the smooth exit of the foreign guests.

"We have completed all preparations," he said adding that they were expecting participation of more than 50 thousand people at the two-day conference.

A leader of the organization preferring anonymity said they would hold the conference in Chittagong as the government was not allowing them to hold any rally in the city since the incident of Shapla Chattar in Dhaka on May 5, 2013.

"We will ensure huge gathering as it is the first programme in the city after the incident at Shapla Chattar," he added.

Earlier, the Hefazat announced to hold two-day Islamic conference on the Jamaatul Falah Mosque premises in the city on December 12 and 13 but failed to do so as the CMP did not allow them.

The organization announced a dawn-to-dusk hartal
... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ...
in Chittagong on December 15 protesting the decision of the CMP but they later called it off.
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2014-02-20 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] The political officer of the US embassy in Dhaka, Cathleen Gibilisco, met the leaders of the Islamist group Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
at Hathazari Madrasa in Chittagong yesterday.

Munir Ahmed, press secretary to Hefazat chief Shah Ahmed Shafi, said the US official wanted to know about the 13-point demands of the Hefazat, the organization's ideology and principals and about the Shapla Chattar incident from the Hefazat leaders.

"The US official also wanted to know about the curriculum of the Al-Jamaatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Muinul Islam [Hathazari Madrasa]," he said, adding that their ameer had responded to different queries of the US diplomat.

Munir said the Hefazat leaders asked Cathleen about the observations of the US authority regarding Hefazat, qawmi madrasas and Islamic scholars of Bangladesh; however, she refrained from answering, saying she needed permission of the authority to answer the queries.

Assistant Political Specialist of the US embassy Lubain Chowdhury Masum accompanied Cathleen during the visit.

Hafiz Akhter, superintendent of police in Chittagong, told the Dhaka Tribune that two officials of the US embassy reached Hathazari in the morning to observe the upazila election.

"They have also visited the Hathazari Madrasa," he added.

Hefazat Secretary General Junaid Babunagari, Nayeb-e-Ameer Mahibullah Babunagari, Joint Secretary Mainuddin Ruhi, Organizing Secretary Azizul Hoque Islamabadi and Anas Madani were present among others at the meeting.
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2014-02-18 Bangladesh
[Dhaka Tribune] The High Court yesterday granted bail to Mufti Muhammad Wakkas, a Hefazat-e Islam Nayeb-e-Ameer, for six months in five cases, including three related to the killing of coppers and violence in Motijheel and Paltan areas on May 5 last year.

The government will appeal against the bail, Deputy Attorney General Khandaker Diliruzzaman said.

The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed rejected his bail petition in another case, while the file of that other case has gone missing. BNP Chairperson's Adviser Khandker Mahbub Hossain represented Mufti Wakkas.

The Detective Branch of Police incarcerated
Please don't kill me!
the Hefazat leader at the capital's Malibagh on September 2 last year.

He is also the secretary general of Jamaatul Ulema-e-Islam, a member of the BNP-led 19-party alliance. He was a state minister during the rule of military ruler HM Ershad.
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2014-02-11 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Chittagong police yesterday pressed charges against Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 it demonstrated violently against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
nayeb-e-ameer Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, his son and seven others in a case filed in connection with an kaboom at a madrasa.

The blast occurred in a room of a dormitory of Al Jamaatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa in port city's Lalkhan Bazar on October 7, 2013. Three people died in the kaboom.

Md Lokman, a sub-inspector of Khulshi Police Station, submitted the charge sheet before the court of Chittagong Metropolitan Magistrate Mashiur Rahman Chowdhury around 1:30pm.

The other accused of the case are Abdul Hai, Rabibur Rahman, Md Ishak, Monir Hossain, Abdul Mannan, Tafsir Ahmed and Mohammad Junayed.

Mufti Izharul and his son Harun Bin Izhar were made the prime accused in the case, said Rezaul Masud, additional deputy commissioner (prosecution) of Chittagong police.

Izharul, also principal of the madrasa, went into hiding after the blast, he added.

According to the charge sheet, explosives were made and kept at the madrasa for conducting subversive activities and creating panic among people.

After the kaboom, police recovered four handmade grenades and huge bomb-making materials like iron caps, cylinders, electric cables and 18 bottles of picric acid from madrasa premises.

Izharul, however, claimed that the kaboom originated from a laptop charger while his son Harun claimed that it was from an instant power supply (IPS).

Two cases -- one under explosive substances act and the other for storing acid -- were filed with Khulshi Police Station on October 8, 2013, said SI Lokman.

Later a murder case was filed in connection with the blast, Lokman, also the investigation officer (IO) of the kaboom case, added.

Police nabbed
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
Harun and his bodyguard Md Junayed from the house of Harun's in-law at Hathazari upazila of Chittagong on October 9.

The IO said 12 people were accused in the explosive case. The charge sheet was submitted against nine people as three other accused -- Nur-un-Nabi, Md Salman and Jobair Ahmed -- gave up the ghost at Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
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2013-12-12 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
has called a daylong hartal
... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ...
for Sunday in Chittagong district protesting the authorities' refusal to allow it to hold a scheduled rally in the city on December 12-13.

The decision came in a meeting chaired by Hefajat chief Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi at Darul Ulum Mainul Islam Madrasa in the city this afternoon, said Azizul Haque Islamabadi, organising secretary of the group.

Hefajat will also stage demonstrations after Juma prayers on Friday in the district, the Hefajat leader told our Chittagong correspondent.

In the meeting, Hefajat leaders informed news hounds that Chittagong police did not give permission to use a field 'Jamaatul Falah Mosque' for holding a religious rally Thursday and Friday.

Police requested them to postpone their schedule and hold the rally after next parliamentary elections as a political instability is prevailing in the country, Islamabadi told The Daily Star.

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2013-12-11 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Two were killed and three others, including two children, were maimed in Naogaon, Feni and Rajshahi during the Jamaat-enforced countrywide hartal
... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ...
yesterday.

In another incident, four coppers were beaten up by Shibir activists in Rajshahi city.

Shukbor Ali, 65, of Raninagar upazila of Naogaon, was killed when Jamaat-Shibir activists clashed with local businessmen yesterday afternoon, said Abdullah Al Masud Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Raninagar Police Station.

The local Jamaat unit claimed he was one of its members and called a half-day hartal in Naogaon district for tomorrow protesting the killing.

Twenty others were maimed in the incident. At least five vehicles, including a journalist's cycle of violence, and seven shops were also damaged.

The clash began around 12:30pm at Abadpukur Bazar of the upazila, as Jamaat-Shibir activists in processions suddenly attacked local businessmen and damaged a tractor, the OC said.

In Feni, Mohammad Salman, a class-X student of Jamaatul Al Salayyha Madrasa, was killed in a clash between Jamaat-Shibir men and police on Trunk Road in the town last night.

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2013-10-25 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] An Islami Chhatra Shibir
... the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh...
activist was injured in kaboom while making bombs at a Koran learning centre in Mirsarai upazila of Chittagong yesterday.

Police said Shibir activist Alamgir, 24, was injured as the bombs went off at Talimul Koran Academy in the upazila's Jamalpur around 4:30pm.

At least 15 to 20 bombs were blasted there, said Md Iftekhar Hasan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Jorarganj Police Station.

But Alamgir had managed to flee, the OC said, adding that they had tossed in the calaboose
You have the right to remain silent...
Alamgir's younger brother Muktar Hossain in this connection from their house adjacent to the academy.

The two brothers are actively involved in the politics of Shibir, the OC said, adding that they also had recovered bomb-making materials from the house.

There was a case filed with Jorarganj Police Station against them on the charge of blasting crude bombs during hartal
... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ...
, the OC added.

On October 7, at least seven people were maimed when a powerful bomb went off at Jamaatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa in Lalkhan Bazar of the port city, which was established by Hefajat Nayeb-e-Ameer Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury.

Three of them gave up the ghost later.

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2013-10-11 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Police jugged
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
another person yesterday for his suspected link with the blast at Jamaatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa, run by Hefajat leader Mufti Izharul Islam, in the city's Lalkhan Bazar on Monday.

Acting on a tip off, police intercepted a Dhaka-bound bus at the City Gate around 7:00am and rounded up Shakhawat alias Salauddin, aged about 22, said AFM Nizam Uddin, additional superintendent of Hathazari police.

The arrestee had several injury marks on his body, which police suspected were sustained during the blast.

The youth claimed himself to be a student of Mekhal Madrasa in Hathazari, but police after primary investigation found that the information was wrong, added Nizam.

Law enforcers have so far arrested 11 people in connection with the blast at the madrasa that left two students dead and several injured.

Three cases have been filed in this regard.

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2013-05-06 India-Pakistan
[BETA.DAWN] At least four people were killed when hard boyz attacked the convoy of independent candidate Sardar Sarfaraz Domki in Sibi area of Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
on Sunday evening, police said.

Police said independent candidate for PB-21 Sardar Sarfaraz Domki and Dostain Domki candidate for NA265 were on a campaign rally in Karak area of Sibi when their convoy came under attack.

Police said one of the assailants was killed and another was injured.

However,
some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go...
three security guards of Domki were killed. Police said the injured were shifted to civil hospital Sibi for medical treatment.

In another incident, hard boyz hurled a hand grenade at the office of Jamaatul Ulema-e-Islam (Ideological) in Deba area of Quetta.

Police said two people were maimed in the attack, the assailants however managed to escape.
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2013-04-15 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] The families of the three Awami League men killed in Thursday's attack allegedly by Hefajat-e Islam and Jamaat-Shibir activists in Fatikchhari upazila of Chittagong are in deep shock, struggling to get over the cruel blow.

The mothers are the hardest to face.

Monwara Begum, mother of deceased Faruk Iqbal Bipul, vice-president of Bhaktpur union Jubo League
... the youth wing of the Bangla Awami League...
, was wailing, "My son was never involved in any violence. Please return my son, please, please, please ..."

Faruk left behind two sons -- one five-year-old and the other two-year-old. Her wife is shocked to the core. She keeps on asking: "Where will I go now with the kids?"

Mother of another deceased, Md Rubel, has stopped talking since she got the news. Her blank stares belie the depth of her grief.

Rubel's uncle Jahangir Alam said he [Rubel] was a day labourer and had gone to the procession on his friends' request. "If we had known about it, we would not have let him go," he said.

Ferdous Begum is numbed by the shock of losing her son Forkan. All she has been saying since Thursday is, "Oh, my son! Where are you? Please come back to me."

Eyewitnesses and local administration sources said the three were killed when activists of Hefajat-e Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
, joined in by locals gathered through announcement over loudspeakers, attacked an anti-hartal AL procession with sharp weapons and sticks.

The attack was made around 11:30am as the procession was marching through Kazirhat in Bhujpur.

More than 100 people, including 15 coppers, four firefighters, and two BGB men, were maimed. Around 100 vehicles including cycle of violences, jeeps, pick-ups, a police van and a fire truck were torched during the mayhem. Some 20 shops were also set ablaze.

Meanwhile,
...back at the revival hall, Buford bit the snake and Eloise began speaking in tongues...
the government yesterday closed the officer-in-charge of Bhujpur Police Station.

Ang Sung Twain, inspector of the station, had been given the charge, said Superintendent of Police in Chittagong AKM Hafiz Akhter, adding that they were investigating whether the former OC had neglected his duties during the attack.

As of yesterday, police have tossed in the clink
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
40 suspects.

Additional SP of Chittagong Farid Uddin said law enforcers were looking into the matter and would release the innocent ones after verification. He asked Bhujpur villagers not to be afraid.

On Friday, police filed a case against around 5,000 people, including 100 named, for attacking law enforcers and obstructing their work.

A rickshaw-puller, who witnessed the violence on Thursday, said just when the AL marchers were returning, he had heard an announcement from Kazirhat mosque that Moulana Junaid bin Jalal, principal of Al Jamaatul Islamia Bhujpur Madrasa, was killed in AL assault and the mosque and the madrasa were under attack.

Contacted yesterday, Moulana Junaid told The Daily Star that when he heard the rumour, he rushed to the mosque and announced in the loudspeaker that he was alright and no one had attacked him. But the situation had gone out of hand by then, he added.

Abdul Alim, chairman of Jafarnagar union parishad, was present during the mayhem. He said he had heard the attackers chanting slogans "Allahr Ain Chai, Sot Loker Shason Chai" [We want the laws of Allah, rule of the honest].

Police suspect the attack was planned and inflammatory substances had been used while torching vehicles and shops.

The Chittagong SP said they had found that local Jamaat-Shibir men had instigated the locals to swoop on AL men by spreading a rumour.

Meanwhile,
...back at the chili cook-off, Chuck reached for the green sauce...
Hefajat-e Islam has denied its involvement in the violence.

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2013-02-10 India-Pakistan
[Dawn] Life in the city remained largely disturbed on Friday following a strike call given by nearly half a dozen Sunni organizations, including Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam
...Assembly of Islamic Clergy, or JUI, is a Pak Deobandi (Hanafi) political party. There are two main branches, one led by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and one led by Maulana Samiul Haq. Fazl is active in Pak politix and Sami spends more time running his madrassah. Both branches sponsor branches of the Taliban, though with plausible deniability...
(JUI-F) and Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia, with key commercial districts being closed, road traffic remaining thin and fuel stations in most parts of the metropolis shut amid early morning arson attacks and violence.

In an advance warning given to the government, leaders of different religious parties said if the killers of religious leaders were not jugged
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
within a week they would launch a second phase of their protest by staging sit-ins on main roads and at traffic intersections.

The strike call was supported by the Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
and also by the Shia Ulema Council that said they supported the call to show their resolve against every kind of terrorism in the city.

The city started returning to life in the evening after the parties gave the go-ahead to traders and transport bodies to resume their business. But road traffic remained thin in the evening as well due to the suspension of gas supply to CNG stations under a load-management programme of the Sui Southern Supply Company.

Most parts of the city remained peaceful during the strike though a couple of incidents of violence in the old city area and district west sowed fear among residents. In Kharadar, two vehicles were set on fire within a short span of time. An official at the central fire station said that a pick-up truck bearing registration number CL-4697 and a minibus (DE-066) were set on fire near Storied Baghdad
...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
i Chowk close to Kakri Ground. By the time fire tenders reached the site, fire had already destroyed the vehicles, he added.

Charged youths blocked traffic on Abul Hasan Ispahani Road by placing burning tyres on it. Some violent scenes were witnessed at Guru Mandir, Patel Para, Lasbela, Sohrab Goth, Lea Market, Lyari
...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot....
and on Mauripur Road where stones were hurled at moving vehicles.

An ASWJ front man termed the strike a 'success' and a "message of peaceful protest from Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
ites, where people from all walks of life, sects and segments of society have become insecure".

The traders' body, which supported the strike, claimed that business in most parts of the city remained closed.

The transporters, who also assured the parties of their 'cooperation' for the strike, said that buses were not run on most routes in the city. Some buses were operated in industrial areas, they added.

"We voluntarily agreed to their appeal after some respected holy mans approached us," said Ateeq Meer of the Bloody Karachi Tajir Ittehad -- a common platform of 350 wholesale and retail markets across the city. "The retail markets resumed their business in the evening as agreed with the parties but wholesale markets remained closed."

Sit-ins planned

Meanwhile,
...back at the wine tasting, Greasy Thumb grabbed his rod!...
addressing a joint conference, leaders of different religious parties warned the government that if the killers of religious leaders were not arrested within a week they would be compelled to launch a second phase of their protest by staging sit-ins on main roads and at traffic intersections.

The warning was given by chief of the Jamaatul Uloom Al-Islamia Binnori Town Sheikh-ul-Hadith Dr Abdul Razzaq Iskander, Jamaatul Uloom Education Director Maulana Imdadullah and JUI-F Bloody Karachi chief Qari Mohammad Usman. ASWJ leader Dr Mohammad Fayyaz was also present at the presser.

Expressing gratitude to all religious and political parties, organizations, transporters, traders and all sections of society for their 'cooperation' to make the Friday strike a success, they urged the chief justice of Pakistain to have mercy on seminaries and students by taking suo motu
...a legal term, from the Latin. Roughly translated it means I saw what you did, you bastard...
notice of the killing of Mufti Mohammad Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, his colleagues, other Ulema and students and attacks on mosques and seminaries.

While the scenes of gun attacks on Raees-ul-Ufta Maulana Deenpuri, Mufti Saleh Mohammad Karori and Ahsan Ali Shah on Jan 31 were recorded by surveillance cameras, none of the attackers had been arrested so far, they said.

They claimed that students and teachers of seminaries had always restricted themselves to the teachings and learning but now cut-throats had started targeting them as well.

Earlier, addressing a rally outside the Jamia Binnori town after Juma prayers, Small Traders' Organisation Bloody Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid had announced that if the killers of the Ulema were not arrested and given exemplary punishment, the small traders would observe a three-day strike and stand by Ulema for elimination of terrorism.

Maulana Mohammad Ghayas of the JUI and Qari Muhammad Iqbal also spoke.
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2011-09-28 India-Pakistan
ISLAMABAD - The attack on Monday by a jacket wallah who rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the residence of a senior police official spearheading a campaign against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) in the commercial capital Bloody Karachi makes it abundantly clear that the shock waves from the 9/11 terror attacks a decade ago show few signs of abating.

The Bloody Karachi suicide kaboom was in keeping with the change in TTP tactics as the group has apparently decided to target top coppers and military officials involved in counterterrorism efforts. The change in tactic shows increasingly desperation because the TTP is now attacking soft targets, such as homes of law-enforcement officials in large cities, which are bound to be relatively unsecured, as opposed to government or military installations.
Pakistain has suffered 305 suicide kabooms, the death of 4,847 people and injury of 10,227 others at the hands of al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked gunnies in the aftermath of the 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington. Bloody Karachi, Pakistain's largest city, main seaport and key financial center, which is also the capital of Sindh province, is one of the biggest sources of the Pak Taliban's funds through criminal activities like kidnappings and bank robberies.

Bloody Karachi has not seen as many TTP-sponsored suicide kabooms as other major cities, but it is home to thousands of the group's faceless myrmidons who have decamped army operations in the tribal areas. The first vehicle-borne suicide kaboom in Pakistain was carried out in Bloody Karachi on May 8, 2002, when a human bomb drove his car into the side of a bus outside the Sheraton Hotel, killing 14 people including 11 French naval technicians.

Aslam Khan, the police senior superintendent who heads the anti-extremist cell of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Bloody Karachi, survived the September 19 attack after a double-cabin vehicle packed with C4 explosives was rammed into the main gate at his residence in the heavily guarded Defence Housing Area at 7.30 am. Eight people including six coppers, a woman and a child, were killed. The proscribed TTP quickly grabbed credit for the attack, saying Aslam had been responsible for the arrest of many of its key operatives.

"We will continue targeting all such coppers who are involved in the killing of our jihadi comrades," TTP front man Ehsanullah Ehsan said when claiming responsibility for the attack.

The Bloody Karachi suicide kaboom was in keeping with the change in TTP tactics as the group has apparently decided to target top coppers and military officials involved in counterterrorism efforts. The change in tactic shows increasingly desperation because the TTP is now attacking soft targets, such as homes of law-enforcement officials in large cities, which are bound to be relatively unsecured, as opposed to government or military installations. The deaths of family members and neighbors would seem of little consequence to the attackers.

The attack came less than two weeks after another human bomb on September 7 rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the Quetta residence of the deputy inspector general of the Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
Frontier Corps, killing his wife and 24 others in a high-security zone in the city.

The Frontier Corps deputy inspector was targeted bomb because he was involved in the capture of Younis al-Mauritani, a senior member of al-Qaeda's external operations council, and his two aides, Abdul Ghaffar Al-Shami and Messara al-Shami. The three al-Qaeda operatives were tossed in the calaboose in a suburb of Quetta during a joint operation between the Balochistan Frontier Corps and the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.

The bombing was the TTP's second attempt in 10 months to assassinate Aslam Khan, who has repeatedly vowed to break the back of the TTP and crush its strong network in the port city, where it works in tandem with sectarian and bad boy groups. Monday's attack, which destroyed or damaged neighboring houses and killed many innocents in the posh area of Bloody Karachi, has once again highlighted that the war against al-Qaeda-linked Taliban gunnies is no longer confined to the tribal belt of Pakistain but has reached the urban centers - be it Quetta, Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore or Bloody Karachi.

The previous attempt to assassinate Aslam Khan was also made by a human bomber, who rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the Bloody Karachi headquarters of the CID on November 11, 2010. Aslam and other officers of the CID - Fayyaz Khan, Omar Shahid and Mazhar Mashwani - who oversee the anti-extremism cell and run counter-terrorism operations in the port city, beat feet unhurt. The attack began as an armed assault and ended with a truck bomb that killed at least 20 people and injured over 100 others. The CID building was being used to interrogate suspects belonging to TTP and other banned bad boy groups. The attack was carried out a day after Aslam had tossed in the calaboose six activists of the TTP-linked sectarian-cum jihadi group - Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
(LeJ).

Aslam and his team members largely succeeded in breaking the TTP network in Bloody Karachi by arresting three successive ameers of the Bloody Karachi chapter of the group in recent months - Akhtar Zaman Mehsud and his successors Bahadur Khan Momand and Maulvi Saeed Anwer. This invited the wrath of the Bloody Karachi chapter of the TTP, which has links with faceless myrmidons in the country's tribal areas and with al-Qaeda and several banned bad boy and sectarian outfits. Therefore, the TTP's claim of responsibility soon after the September 19 attack came as little surprise.

Aslam told news hounds he had been receiving threats from the al-Qaeda-linked Pak Taliban. "I was sleeping when they carried out this cowardly act and rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into my house," Aslam told the media outside his ruined residence. "But let me tell you, I will not be cowed. I will teach a lesson to generations of these bad boys. I did not know that these bully boyz were such cowards that they would attack sleeping children."

Due to the nature of his work, the enemies of Aslam in the jihadi circles of Bloody Karachi are as countless and varied as the techniques he himself has used to arrest them. They range from the TTP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) to drug-runners and hit mans belonging to several major political parties, especially the Muttahida Qaumi Movement
...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead...
(MQM).

Well-informed circles in the security agencies said the Bloody Karachi suicide attack was an attempt to demoralize law enforcement agencies, especially the Sindh Police CID, which in recent days has identified more than two dozen myrmidon bad boy and sectarian outfits in Bloody Karachi for a possible crackdown once the hunt for politically-backed hit mans is over. Prominent alongside the TTP and LeJ among these sectarian and jihadi groups are also: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Alami, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain, Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistain, Sunni Tehrik, Daawat-e-Islami, Harkatul Mujahideen, Harkatul Mujahideen Al Alami, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Jamaatul Furqaan, Harkatul Jehadul Islami, Jundallah, Tehrik-e-Islami , Lashkar-e-Muhammadi, Lashkar-e-Islami, Mehdi Militia, Hezbullies, and Tawheed Brigade.

Security sources said some TTP-linked elements had distributed a leaflet in various outskirts of Bloody Karachi in the first week of July, carrying a "hit list" of anti-jihadi personalities, threatening that they would be killed along with family members. The pamphlet justified jihad and urged "pure Mohammedans" to rise up against elements creating problems for jihadis who were described as the defenders of Islam and Pakistain.

According to the leaflet, the definition of a criminal had been changed in recent times. "Previously, it was used for robbers and dacoits, but after 9/11 the term is being used for those who are sincere with the religion of Islam and want to wage jihad against the forces of the infidel."

Those declared "liable to be killed" in the TTP pamphlet, along with the CID's Aslam Khan, included: Capital City Police Officer Bloody Karachi Saud Mirza; CID superintendent Fayyaz Khan; Anti-Violent Crime Unit Chief Farooq Awam; Special Investigation Unit chief Raja Omar Khattab; former Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wasim Ahmed; Sunni Deobandi scholar Mufti Mohammad Naeem, Shia scholar Mirza Yousuf Baig; and Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Haider Abbas Rizvi. Television artists and anchors and some Bloody Karachi-based journalists were also on the list.

The TTP front man, Ehsanullah Ehsan, while claiming responsibility for the Bloody Karachi suicide kaboom, stated, "Aslam Khan was on our hit list and his name will only be removed after he is killed. But let me tell you frankly, he is not the only one on our hit list. There are many other officers of the Bloody Karachi Police on our hit list who will be targeted and killed soon for having sided with the forces of the infidel".
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2010-06-03 India-Pakistan
[Dawn] The Shahbaz Sharif government appears to be reluctant to take action against the banned sectarian and Jihadi organisations operating in Punjab in spite of evidence that these may have been involved in many terrorist attacks in the province recently and may have strong links with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The Sharif government's unwillingness to deal with the growing menace of terrorism in the province, including its southern districts, is in defiance of the evaluation by its own counter-terrorism agencies. A recent secret document based on data collected in south Punjab finds that a number of banned groups are carrying out a "sustained drive" to recruit fresh cadre from among the "poverty stricken, illiterate and unemployed" youth in the region.

'Terrorists active'

Interior Minister Rehman Malik says that terrorists taking refuge in southern Punjab were "now active" to "destabilise the country after the defeat of the Taliban in Fata". "They -- Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Jaish-i-Mohammad (JM) -- are allies of the Taliban and Al Qaeda...," he was quoted to have said.

The minister also hinted at an operation in south Punjab on the pattern of the one carried out in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) "because nearly 700 out of the more than 1,700 people with suspected links with the banned terrorist and sectarian outfits belonged to southern Punjab".

"Army operations are required only where there are no-go areas and there is no such situation in any part of Punjab," Rana Sanaullah, Punjab Law Minister and a trusted aide of Shahbaz Sharif, rebuffed the interior minister. The provincial minister, who attracted wide criticism for hobnobbing with the leader of the banned SSP's during an election campaign in Jhang a couple of months ago, dubbed Mr Malik's statement an attempt to destabilise the province (and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government).

Rana Sanaullah has rejected demands for an operation in south Punjab, but promises to bring to justice those involved in terrorist activities like the ones that took place in Lahore during the last four days.

List of suspects
Talking to Dawn, police officials of Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan expressed their ignorance of the list of people suspected of their links with the banned sectarian and Jihadi organisations as mentioned by Mr Malik.

Regional Police Officer of Dera Ghazi Khan Ahmed Mubarrak said police had no idea of the list of the members of the banned organisations like JM and LJ in south Punjab. "Right now the police are only watching the activities of people placed in the fourth schedule rather than seeking any information about the people the (federal) minister has spoken of," he added.

RPO of Multan Arif Ikram said the police were watching and provided figures to back his assertion: there are 275 people placed on the fourth schedule in the Multan region, besides 380 who came back from Jihad in Afghanistan.

Mr Ikram, however, conceded that an integrated system bringing together various agencies was needed to enable the police to come up with the right picture about the potential terrorists' activities. The federal government, he observed, was being assisted by different secret agencies while the police, being run by the province, had limited resources at its command, depending largely on its CID wing. Owing to this the federal government may have more information about such elements as compared to the police, he said. He spoke of a new system that the government was introducing for the monitoring of Madressahs but didn't elaborate what this system would entail.

A senior police official in Lahore says the government is preparing its strategy to deal with terrorism but he could not discuss it with media. "But let me tell you one thing: the involvement of some people from south Punjab in terrorist attacks does not mean that this region has become a hub of Taliban," he said. "Far from it; there are no training centres in this region. The terrorist networks are spread across the country. Only some terrorists belong to this part of the country. Some, as in case of Abdullah, a terrorist arrested from Lahore for attacking the Qadianis, had left this part years ago and settled elsewhere," he said.

A secret report -- Talibanisation in Southern Punjab -- by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) acknowledges that "the terrorist activities that have taken place in Punjab in the past couple of years invariably prove direct/indirect links with activists' ex-proscribed organisations. This phenomenon does not qualify as spread of Talibanisation in society".

State of denial
The question then is: Is the PML-N government waiting for a 'standard' Talibanisation of the area to start before it moves to control the situation?

"The Punjab government is living in a state of denial. It should first admit that the groups carrying out terrorist activities (in the province) are there and operating out of south Punjab before it can take action against them and protect people from them," defence and political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi told Dawn on Tuesday.

He regretted that the Shahbaz Sharif government was pursuing a policy of 'reaction' rather than 'action' (against terrorists). Even if reaction is what the Punjab government must restrict itself to, doesn't it have enough proof of a simmering situation in the south to react to? Surely, only action now can prevent a full-blown operation in future.

As is pointed out in the secret report quoted above, groups and organisations like SSP and JM and their breakaway factions like LJ and Jamaatul Furqan are quite active in southern districts of Punjab.

"Most analyses have acknowledged the presence of strong sympathies for Jihadi and sectarian elements in south Punjab," a publicity-shy Islamabad-based security analyst said.

Until a few years back, according to him, the militant groups operating out of south Punjab and elsewhere in the province and the Taliban from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had different agenda and focus. "But the Musharraf government's action against the sectarian Punjabi outfits and reduction in intensity of Jihad in Kashmir under the US pressure led them to seek refuge in the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and obtain financial assistance and training from the TTP. That was the beginning of their joint operations within the country," he said.

A police official in Lahore said the police were "alert to the threat and doing our best to control it".

Right now, the people of Shahabz Sharif's Lahore would be entitled to say that the police's best is not quite good enough.
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2009-12-21 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday claimed that banned Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) now has no suicide squad.
They're all dead ...
"Information we're gathering through our intelligence says that now JMB has no suicide," Rab Additional Director General (ADG) Col Mizanur Rahman Khan told a press conference at its headquarters yesterday.
I've noticed that usually within a few days of that kind of statement somebody detonates in a crowded market.
Rab's has claimed this though even a few months back it claimed that they had arrested members of JMB suicide squad.
Which could possibly be why there is no suicide squad now. These finicky little temporal details can make quite a difference.
He briefed the newsmen about the arrest of five members of JMB, which made a number of attacks that left 71 people dead and 582 others injured since the JMB's clandestine activities began in the country.

Rab in an anti-militant drive from 6:30pm on Saturday to 5:30am yesterday held the five JMB men from Mymensingh, Narsingdi and Jhenidah districts. The Rab ADG also said JMB activities have almost come to a halt as its command system has been almost broken down and limited to only invitational programmes.
The honour of your presence is requested
for a suicide bombing
at half after three o'clock
on Friday, the thirteenth of December
at the village bazaar.

RSVP
black tie and suicide vest
He also said JMB's capability to carry out any subversive activity has been diminished to a great extent.
[Sob!]
"Wossa motta, Mahmoud?"
"I just can't subvert anymore!"
[Pat pat!]
"There, there, buddy! It happens to all of us sometime!"

Replying to a question, Col Mizan, however, said JMB is trying to reorganise again through invitational activities. "Since JMB is trying to regroup again, we are launching drive against them and nabbing them," he said.

About the present JMB Chief Moulana Saidur Rahman, the Rab ADG said they are closing in on Saidur but yet to arrest him as he shifts his shelter quite frequently.

Of the five JMB men, Ehsar (fulltime) members Harmuz Ali alias Asgar Ali and Mohammad Yusuf were arrested in Mymensingh and Narsingdi respectively.

Gayeri ehsar (part-time) members Abu Raihan bin Sadek, Mohammad Hossain and Mohammad Kawsar Jinnuraine alias Laltu were held from Mymensingh, Narsingdi and Jhenidah respectively.

The Rab also recovered 20 books on jihad, 50 CDs, four cellphone sets, three lethal weapons and some bomb-making materials during the drive. The arrestees in helmets were paraded at the press conference. The Rab ADG said since 2005 they have arrested 12 majlish-e-shura (highest policy-making body) members, 44 eshar, 22 gayeri ehsar members and 90 JMB activists.
In addition to all the encounters, of course.
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2009-10-10 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] A team of Special Branch (SB) of police have arrested seven members of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from four districts of Rajshahi division over the last couple of days. All the arrestees were paraded before the media at Rajshahi Metropolitan Police headquarters yesterday morning. However, journalists were not allowed to talk to the arrested militants.

Police identified the arrestees as JMB Rajshahi division chief Ashraf alias Haider, 32, JMB ehsar (full-time) members Md Momtaz, 20, Asadul Islam, 30, Rohidul, 35, and Isarul Islam, 22 and Naogaon district chief Abdur Rahim, 30, and Natore district chief Sahabuddin, 35.

Ashraf was arrested from Malda Colony in Rajshahi city on Wednesday night and following his statement police arrested JMB ehsar members Asadul Islam and Isarul from Chapainawabganj the next day. The SB team arrested Abdur Rahim and Momtaz from Atrai upazila. The same day Shahabuddin and Rohidul were rounded up from Boraigram upazila of Natore.

The arrestees were handed over to Boalia Police Station, Officer-in-charge of the police station said. "Our operations against the JMB will continue and we are now trying to nab all the district level commanders of the outfit," said Additional Superintendent of Police Zannatul Hasan.

Hailed from Chapainawabganj, Ashraf has two wives. His first wife is JMB's woman wing commander.

Terming Ashraf a hardened militant, a police official said, as he was being taken to the Boalia Police Station from Rajshahi Metropolitan Police headquarters, Ashraf told him, "I will be in your place on the judgement day when I will order you and you have to follow."

The police also recovered a number of books on jihad, eight mobile phone sets, computers and CDs from their possession.

Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh Chief Asadullah Al Galib, international terror-suspect Abdur Razzak Bin Yousuf, Jamaat-e Islami founder Sayed Abul Ala Moududi, Jamaat's Assistant Secretary General Mujibor Rahman and Hizb-ut Tawhid Chief Bayazid Khan Ponny were the writers of some of the books recovered.
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2009-08-03 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Intelligence agencies have come to know about covert activities of an Islamist organisation in the country and its close link with the banned outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh.

Officials said they have only learnt the name of the new outfit, Jamaat-e-Muslimeen, and its "dawati" (invitational) activities.

JMB's explosives expert Zahidul Islam Sumon alias "Boma" Mizan disclosed the name and the limited activities of Jamaat-e-Muslimeen to law enforcers during his interrogation at the task force for intelligence cell, they said. Mizan told them that a member of JMB's highest decision-making body Majlish-e-Shura and the outfit's IT wing chief Sayem maintain contact with Jamaat-e-Muslimeen. He also revealed that a few members of the new outfit joined the JMB recently.
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2009-06-24 India-Pakistan
Denying that Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of the pro-Kashmir jehadi group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), has been arrested from the Sialkot city of Punjab, the Pakistani authorities have said his whereabouts are unknown and he might have fled to the trouble-ridden Waziristan region. But some intelligence officials believe that Masood Azhar, who had to be released by India following the hijacking of an Air India plane in 2000, could be living under the protection of the Inter-Services Intelligence in the garrison town of Rawalpindi which also houses the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army and those of the ISI.

Following the June 17 arrest of five JeM activists from Punjab's Sialkot district, there were rumours that among them was Azhar, whom the Indian government wants extradited. But Pakistani intelligence sources say a consensus exists in the establishment that Masood Azhar should not be handed over to India under any circumstances. The sources said the official stance of the Pakistani government remains that Azhar had abandoned his Bahawalpur headquarters following the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks and is still at large. However, some intelligence sources did not rule out the possibility of the JeM chief's moving to some ISI safe house in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, as had been the case with Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, the ameer of the Harkatul Mujahideen, already renamed as Jamiatul Ansar,

The sources pointed out that earlier this month, the Indian government's efforts in the United Nations to place sanctions on Maulana Masood Azhar received a major setback, after London surprisingly joined hands with Beijing to block New Delhi's request for proscribing the JeM chief under the United Nations' Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions resolution No 1267. The sources claimed that this would not have been possible had Britain and China not been persuaded by Pakistan government to do so. India had wanted Azhar to be included in the sanctions list just as the Jamaatul Daawa and its head Hafiz Mohammed Saeed along with other LeT operatives were proscribed after 26/11.

The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or "the Army of the Prophet Mohammad," is one of the deadliest militant groups operating from Pakistan and waging 'jehad' against the Indian security forces in Jammu & Kashmir. It was launched by Maulana Masood Azhar at the behest of the ISI in February 2000, shortly after he was released from an Indian jail, in exchange for hostages on board an Indian Airlines plane which was hijacked by five armed Kashmiri militants and taken to Kandahar in December 1999.

While resuming his activities in Pakistan almost immediately after his release, Maulana Masood Azhar announced the formation of his own militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, with the prime objective of fighting out the Indian security forces in Kashmir. Masood Azhar was the ideologue of another militant group, the Harkatul Ansar, which was banned in 1997 by the US State Department, due to its alleged link with Osama bin Laden. Therefore, the Jaish is ideologically an extension of the Harkatul Ansar which rechristened itself as Harkatul Mujahideen in 1998, a year after being banned.

In December 2008, almost a week after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the Pakistani authorities placed restrictions on the movement of Masood Azhar by confining him to his multi-storied concrete compound in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur. The action was taken in the wake of Indian government's demand to hand over three persons to Delhi --Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon. India had sought their extradition by citing a 1989 agreement signed by Director General of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency which binds both the agencies to collaborate with each other to trace out the most wanted terrorists and criminals and hand them over to their respective counterpart. The Indian demand said that Masood Azhar was wanted for his alleged involvement in the 2001 attacks on the Indian parliament.

However, the Indian demand was followed by media reports that Masood Azhar has abandoned his Jaish headquarters in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur and temporarily shifted his base to the trouble-stricken South Waziristan region in the wake the mounting Indian pressure for his extradition. However, in the second week of April 2009, Masood Azhar was declared 'officially' missing from Pakistan.

A 13 January 2009 new report in Daily Times quoted official sources in Islamabad as having said that the Jaish chief has abandoned his headquarters in Bahawalpur and was missing now. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik officially declared that Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim were not in Pakistan adding that Islamabad would not provide protection and refuge to any criminal. However, Indian External Affairs Minister Paranab Mukherjee ridiculed Pakistan for denying the 'obvious presence' of the Jaish chief, saying: "India had several times got different information from Pakistan on Masood Azhar and it was not unusual to hear such denials from Pakistani officials".
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2009-06-22 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] In a sensational revelation, a member of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) has said the militant group took part in the Kansat movement in April 2006 because they felt betrayed by the then BNP-led coalition government.

The JMB part-timer or gayeri ehsar, interviewed by The Daily Star, also said the militant group has opened two new offices in greater Rajshahi and greater Bogra alongside taking up new strategies to recruit members.

JMB became involved in the second round of the four-point Kansat movement in Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabganj on April 21, 2006. A leader of the movement who had prior contacts with the militant group used 500 local JMB full-time and part-time members to destroy government property and set alight several government cars. The JMB members then left the Kansat movement.

The BNP went back on the pledge to protect the organisation.
The part-time JMB member also said the outfit decided to take part in the movement to unsettle the then BNP government as the BNP went back on the pledge to protect the organisation and annihilate the Sarbaharas. The pledge was given to executed JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his deputy Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai before the organisation was deployed under the banner of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB). This sense of betrayal led JMB members to single out government property and vehicles for attacks in Kansat.

The Kansat movement started on January 2006 after locals brought allegation of irregularities against the local Rural Electricity Board officials and irregular power supply.
They prosecuted a bombing campaign because of power black-outs? That's certainly a different approach.
The Bugtis do something similar with pipelines ...
JMB'S CURRENT STATUS
The part-time JMB member told The Daily Star that despite being weakened by the government crackdown, the outfit is still using different border routes in Chapainawabganj and Jessore to smuggle in bomb-making materials and small arms from India.

He revealed that active members of Majlish-e-Shura are trying to keep the organisation afloat in Dhaka and other divisional towns. Some of the Shura members are "Bhaigna" Shahid from Gaibandha, Hossain alias Shakil and Mahfuz from Pabna, and Saifullah and Abdur Rahim of Chapainawabganj.

Saifullah, Abdur Rahim and a few other members are in charge of smuggling in bomb-making materials through different border routes of Chapainawabganj and bringing them to a recently opened office about 12-13 kilometres east of Rajshahi sadar.

Another office has been opened in an area between Bogra and Joypurhat districts for the same purpose. Houses of JMB workers have been hired for setting up the two offices. The owners of the houses look after the materials.

The JMB member said recruitment has been stalled since JMB's leadership was recast last November. They are including those related to JMB members through blood or marriage while both old ehsar and gayeri ehsar members are being accepted if they want to be active again, he said.

Shura member Bhaigna Shahid, who can make 12 bombs in an hour using electric circuits, had his bodyguard Russel arrested in Bogra two months ago. Shahid has revived his activities in Bogra.

The JMB is planning attacks in several important districts including Dhaka to embarrass the government, the gayeri ehsar said, adding that recce would be done before implementation of the plan.
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2009-06-19 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Militants of banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have started regrouping in the remote villages of four upazilas in the district.

Police sources said JMB members who fled their localities during the crackdown after the August 17 serial bomb blasts in 2005 have returned to their areas in Shibganj, Bholahat, Gomostapur and Sadar upazilas and invited people secretly to join with them. The JMB members collected arms from secret sources and trained up newly recruited members so that they can make arms and ammunition, police said. Under this situation, police arrested four JMB members in Shibganj and Bholahat upazilas and recovered four locally-made guns and 14 rounds of bullet from their houses in last five days.

Police said many women also got involved with the outfit, as the JMB members have targeted women and youths for their membership.

Acting on a tip-off, a special police team from Dhaka arrested Abdul Munib, 25, from Koilardiar Sannayasi village Wednesday night and recovered a shooter gun and three bullets.

Earlier on June 14, police arrested Abdul Mumin, 24, from Khorogpur village under Shibganj upazila with a shooter gun and three rounds of bullet.

Following his confessional statement, police detained Abdul Rakib alias Sumon, 22, of Shamjola village in Shibganj upazila, and Rabiul Islam, 22, of Musribhuja Sonarpara village in Bholahat upazila, and found the firearms. During the raids, police also seized books on jihad, three mobile phone sets and bullet-making materials.

Zannatul Hasan, superintendent of police of intelligence wing in Dhaka, said all the four arrestees admitted to their involvement with the outfit during interrogation. "JMB members made only grenade and hand bomb in the past. But they are now making arms and ammunition at different places of the district. This is a new dimension and police realised it after the arrests of four JMB men Chapainawabganj," he added.

He said the JMB members are making bullets from the gun of spray insecticide machine. They also trained up the newly recruited JMB members so that the newcomers can make arms and ammunition.

The arrested JMB members have been working under the leaderships of Shahadat and Selim of Gomostapur upazila, police said according to the confessional statements of the detainees. The two men are mainly leading the regrouping of JMB. Three JMB men were taken to four-day remand yesterday. Judicial magistrate court granted the remand for Abdul Rakib alias Sumon, Rabiul Islam and Abdul Munib. Another JMB member Abdul Mumin was also granted remand for four days. Shibganj and Bholahat police filed separate cases against them under the Arms Act.
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2009-05-16 Bangladesh
You'd think the JMB would figure out that they can't beat the RAB, but no, they keep making bombs and skulking around in the worst upazilas ...
Rapid Action Battalion on Friday discovered a den of Jamaatul%20Mujahideen%20Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)
A den? That's not good, if you're in it. Dens tend to have fewer escape routes than an open field , f'r instance
as the elite anti- crime troops carried out daylong raids following the arrest of a top explosive expert of the militant outfit after years of manhunt, officials said.

RAB sources said they discovered a JMB den, which appeared to be a training camp cum bomb making plant of the outlawed group, at East Monipur area in Mirpur in line with the confessions of arrested Jahedul Islam Sumon alias Mizan and his wife Sharmin Haque Lata.
Got the honey to do a little bomb-building, did he? She smuggled the ingredients under the burqa?
Poor wifey. She didn't even rate an alias...
They said some 11 bombs and huge materials or chemicals used to make bombs were discovered from the scene. "We are still gathering information as the RAB operations ended just an hour ago," a RAB spokesman told BSS.
Jeez-o-pete, that kind of thing is dangerous! The thought of hanging out where jihadis were making bombs gives me the shivers... but not a frisson -- I am a lady.
RAB officials earlier said they arrested Mizan on the basis of an intelligence tip-off but they had to face difficulties subsequently as they later raided his rented house where his wife detonated bombs injuring herself and their two minor children.
It was for families like this that social workers were invented.
"Mizan was earlier jailed for 20 years by a court after trial in absentia and we were looking for him for years as he was trying to regroup JMB and training the militants on explosives and impoverished grenades," the RAB spokesman said.

Another RAB official familiar with the arrest sequences said when they raided Mizan's residence at about 10.30 pm yesterday along with him, "he gave his wife a coded instruction knocking the door saying, how are you? I am sick."
"Knock-knock."
"Who's there?"
"I'm sick."
"Okay, I'll pull the pin!"
"Immediately afterwards, a bomb went off inside forcing the RAB men to run for cover along with Mizan," a newsman who witnessed the operation staying with the RAB troops said.
"Duck! She's gonna explode!"
The RAB allows embeds? Where do I sign up?
The explosion wounded Mizan's wife Sharmin Haque Lata and her two- year son and two-month old daughter while she gave in after more than three hours of resistance until early this morning when they were rushed to a city facility for treatment.
"Okay, honey, it's off to the Dhaka Medical Center for you, and to DCFS with the tykes!"
The owner of the house said Mizan rented the second floor of the four- storey apartment building last month identifying him as a construction businessman.
Good lord -- the man is a liar as well?!?
Construction, demolition...two sides of the same coin, really.
JMB suffered a huge setback in view of a massive anti- militant security clampdown in the past several years which also saw the execution of six kingpins of the outfit including its founder Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his second in command Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai in 2007.
But what about the Number Three? Number Threes are key for an organization seeking to rebuild.
RAB officials said the militant groups like JMB were trying to regroup in different names in view of the massive anti- militant campaign as the government so far banned four of the outfits - JMB, HuJI, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and Shahadat-e al Hikma.
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2009-04-26 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] The number of active militant organisations in the country might be much higher than 12, which was earlier mentioned in a home ministry report, home ministry sources said.

Sources in the ministry said intelligence officials have already gathered information on the active militant organisations following directives from the ministry. "The agencies are now analysing the information they gathered," State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj told The Daily Star yesterday. He said the list would be updated.

Sources in Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) say that there are at least 33 organisations still conducting militant activities in the country. A top law enforcer involved in preparing the report said the number of militant organisations active in the country might be much higher than 12 as mentioned in the home ministry's earlier report which was placed before the cabinet meeting on March 16.

The cabinet had rejected the report saying it was incomplete and asked the ministry to submit a fresh report mentioning how the militants are funded, information about their networks, process of recruitment, their patrons and local and international links. The report was prepared during the caretaker government's rule.

Sources said the intelligence officials are now working to prepare the report and they have identified five NGOs, which are either funding militancy or are active in militancy. The source, however, did not disclose the names of the NGOs.

Sohel Taj said it might take a couple of weeks more to table the report before the cabinet. The report will have complete information about the patrons of militants, their funding, present activities, their organogram, their operations, recruitment system, international connections and training.

The names of the 12 outfits mentioned in the earlier report are: Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami (Huji), Hizbut Towhid, Ulama Anjuman al Baiyenat, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Islami Democratic Party, Islami Samaj, Touhid Trust, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), Shahadat-e-al-Hikma, Tamira ud-Din Bangladesh (Hizb-e-Abu Omar) and Allahr Dal. Of those, JMB, Huji, JMJB and Shahadat-e-al-Hikma are banned.

Even though JMB launched its vigilante operation in Rajshahi regions with the name JMJB, the report enlisted the JMJB as a separate active militant outfit.

The home ministry has formed a 17-member committee headed by Sohel Taj to tackle militancy. Representatives from different ministries concerned are in the committee. The main objective of the committee would be to mobilise public opinion against militancy and create awareness so that there could be a social resistance against militant activities.
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2009-04-18 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Police yesterday arrested a fugitive bodyguard of executed JMB leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai at Kornipara of Gabtoli in Bogra.
This isn't the same bodyguard who got exploded when they captured Bangla Bhai. It's another, presumably niftier, bodyguard.
Russell, also a member of the banned Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), has been absconding since the government launched a drive against the militant organisation four years ago.
What the hell kind of a name is "Russell" for a proper Islamist? It's like "Herb," or "Bob." At least go with something Arabiany, like "Shabazz" or "Malik" or "Rexx".
Acting on a tip off, police arrested Russell from a bush adjacent to his home, acting Officer-in-charge of Gabtoli Police Station Tofazzal Hossain said.
"We got yer bush surrounded, Russell! Come out witcher hands up!"
Sources said police came to know about Russell's return as soon as he reached home yesterday. "Nothing can be said with certainty about the activities and plans of Russell until preliminary interrogation is completed," said Superintended of Police of Bogra Akram Hossain.
"Yasss. A Russell in the hand is worth two in the bush."
However, police sources after questioning Russell said he had a meeting with Bhagna Shaheed, current JMB commander of Bogra and its adjacent areas, two to three days ago and he talked about JMB's organisational activities with him.
"I'm tellin' youse, Bhagna, we gotta go to da bushes! Udderwise da Barzinis and da Tataglias'll wipe da floor wid us!"
Russell is an accused in a case filed in connection with the JMB attack on Khetlal Police Station in Joypurhat in 2004 and the looting of a rifle, wireless sets and bullets from the police station.
"Hrarrrr! Gimme dem rounds o' bullet, coppers!"
At least seven associates of Bangla Bhai are absconding since the government launched a drive against JMB. Bangla Bhai, who once spread Islamic militancy, was captured wounded on March 6, 2006 from a remote Mymensingh hideout and was later hanged. Bangla Bhai, who used to introduce himself as Azizur Rahman and Omar Ali Litu
... and sometimes as Liam O'Reilly or Martha Jane Cudgel...
while conducting militant operations in the northern region in the name of outlaw-cleansing, started his activities openly with direct patronage from local administration, police and some ruling party lawmakers and ministers in April, 2004. Bangla Bhai and his men killed 22 people and maimed and tortured over 300 in the JMB's vigilante operations in the northern region from April to July 2004.
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2009-04-16 Bangladesh
[Bangla Daily Star] Bangladesh-born British citizen Faisal Mostafa who initially denied having any firearms and ammunition seized from Green Crescent Madrasa in Bhola admitted that he owns some of the firearms. "Initially Faisal told us that he does not know anything about the firearms and ammunition but now he admitted to have some of the arms," said an investigator tasked with investigating the arms haul from the madrasa at Ramkeshob village in Borhanuddin upazila.

Investigators, however, suspected that Faisal, now on a 10-day remand, stockpiled all the firearms, ammunition and explosives either to train up militants or to supply those arms and explosives for militant attacks.

Investigators have already found Faisal's close links with banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh. Faisal had met executed JMB supremo Shaekh Abdur Rahman several times, and kept in contact with Saidur Rahman, now-on-the-run boss of the militant organisation. "We suspect him as a high-profile militant. He has knowledge about most of the militant attacks in Bangladesh," the investigator said wishing anonymity.

Faisal, founder of the madrasa, and his close associate Hassan Saifuddin Badal, who was also taken on a 10-day remand, were sent to Borhanuddin yesterday as their current remand will expire today. The investigator said the duo might be produced before a Bhola court today. He said fresh remand would be sought for them for further interrogation.

Faisal, founder of Green Crescent charity and NGO, was picked up along with his close associate Badal from Pubail in Gazipur on April 6 in connection with the arms haul from his madrasa.

On March 24, Rapid Action Battalion unearthed the 'mini-ammunition factory' inside the madrasa-cum-orphanage and seized 10 firearms, 2,500 bullets, 3,000 grenade ball splinters, 200 gram gun powder, different parts of ammunition and 72 books on jihad, Abul Ala Maududi and Osama bin Laden.
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2009-03-15 Bangladesh
Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan yesterday said the motive for the last month's carnage at BDR Pilkhana headquarters was to destabilise the country and hinder its progress under a democratic government. "They [mutiny plotters] thought the army would counter-attack in response to the BDR mass killings, and things would eventually lead to a civil war-like situation," he observed.

Lately assigned to coordinate probes into the February 25-26 bloodbath, Faruk was speaking to reporters at Pilkhana after over three hours long meeting with the inquiry committees. The meeting that began at 12:45pm was the second of its kind.

The minister said, "We have some evidence that several militant organisations had links to the bloody revolt." He however did not elaborate on the proofs. A couple of days back, he said Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) had a hand in the vicious killings of 74 people including 52 army officers on February 25.

Meanwhile, 11 BDR personnel suspected of leading the carnage were sent to Dhaka Central Jail yesterday on completion of their remand in CID custody. They include Deputy Assistant Directors Tauhidul Alam and Abdur Rahim, havildar Azad Ali, nayek Mohammad Firoz Ahmed, sepoys Fasiur Rahman, Sirajul Islam, Emran, Shah Alam and Shahjahan, and cook Amirul Islam.

COORDINATION MEET
At the Pilkhana meeting, the commerce minister expressed satisfaction over progress in the work of the government, army and Criminal Investigation Department's probe bodies. He however stressed the need for more coordination between them.

Sources said reorganising the paramilitary force under a new name was among the issues discussed. Replying to a query, Faruk Khan said those who cannot stand the existence of Bangladesh and its progress were involved in the BDR massacre. They want to render the country a failed state. He urged people to help arrest the border troops who have fled the headquarters with firearms and ammunition. Everyone having leads to the mutiny should report to the nearest police stations or army camps, he added. Queried how many jawans might be still at large, he replied, "Not many."

The minister said investigators have made some significant progress through interrogation of those arrested in connection with the BDR killings. So far, 236 border guards have been arrested and 25 of them have been grilled while on remand, he continued.

SCOTLAND YARD TEAM LEAVES
The four-member Scotland Yard team that came to Dhaka on March 11 to help in investigations into the February carnage left the country yesterday. Faruk Khan said the British officials have pledged further assistance.

TORAB QUIZZED
Torab Ali, detained president of the BDR retirees' welfare association, have told interrogators that he had knowledge that there might be 'some kind of problem' at the Pilkhana headquarters on February 25, said sources in the Rapid Action Battalion.

Zakir, a retired junior commanding officer's son, learned it from fellow students, mostly children of serving BDR men, at a coaching centre in Jhigatola. He in turn confided in Torab on February 24.

Also president of Awami League (AL) ward No.48 unit and father of top criminal Liton alias Leather Liton, Torab is now on a five-day remand. He was arrested by Rab at his Moneswer Road house on March 10. Despite knowing beforehand that something untoward might take place, he did not inform the BDR authorities about it, said a source close to the investigation.

Asked why he did not contact the authorities concerned as president of the welfare association, he told interrogators that he indeed "made a huge mistake by not doing so".
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2009-02-22 Bangladesh
Dhaka - Bangladesh has launched a crackdown against Islamist militants, arresting 14 suspects across the country, the Home Minister Sahara Khatun said Sunday - two days after an attack in a police station. "The anti-terrorism cells of the criminal investigation department and the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion have intensified their efforts under a comprehensive anti-militancy offensive," Khatun said in a statement delivered in parliament. She told parliament that sponsors who finance the militants and supply arms and ammunition would also be tracked down and brought to justice.
Hopefully including late night road trips to check on arms caches....
Sahara said that her forces captured the 14 suspected militants belonging to the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) organization and seized a pro-jihad books, leaflets and DVDs. The crackdown comes after an attack inside a police station on Friday, when JMB militants exploded a grenade shortly after a press conference to announce their capture. That attack, in Gazipur, injured at least 15 people.
Me thinks the police were slightly embarassed about that and are taking it out on the JMB.
"Militancy is the enemy of the country, democracy and constitution - all the radicals will be brought to justice," Khatun said.

According to intelligence reports, militants in Bangladesh have been regrouping under the banner of JMB, which the government officially banned in February 2005, and calling for sharia or Islamic law in the Muslim-majority country. The group is responsible for a spate of major attacks on public places, killing dozens of people, including several judges, in recent years. Six senior leaders of the JMB were hanged in early 2007 for their role in bomb attacks.

The home minister claimed that the militants had planned a massive attack ahead of the celebration of International Mother Language Day, but the police had circumvented the plans.
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2009-02-21 Bangladesh
A Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operative in handcuffs exploded an improvised grenade at the police superintendent's office in Gazipur yesterday, injuring at least a dozen people, mostly policemen and journalists.

The blast took place at around 4:30pm as four cadres of the banned Islamist outfit, three of them women, were being paraded before the media. Superintendent of Police in Gazipur Abdul Baten said Mamun alias Zahid, the male arrestee, flung himself on the seized grenades on display and managed to pull the pin out of one. And in a split second, he hurled the grenade at the police and journalists there.

Around six hours back, police captured the four and recovered five grenades and a cache of bomb-making materials at a village in Tongi.

Besides the militant, nine policemen and three journalists were injured in the explosion that had the hallmarks of a suicide attempt.

The wounded cops include Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Joydevpur Police Station Abdur Rashid, OC Abdul Hanif of Detective Branch in Gazipur, sub-inspectors (SI) Omar Faruq and Alam Chand of Tongi Police Station, Special Branch SI Mamun, SI Delwar Hossain, constables Sajib, Neyamat and Latif and the newsmen are Nasir Uddin of ntv, Fazlul Huq Morol of channel i and local journalist Dablu Rahman. They were first rushed to Gazipur Sadar Hospital. But as their condition worsened, six of them were taken to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and two to Pongu (orthopaedics) Hospital in the capital.

The Gazipur SP said they believe the JMB cadres were preparing to attack programmes of International Mother Language Day in the capital today.

Meanwhile, a Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) team arrested three more members of the militant group in raids at Konabari and Uttarkhan of Tongi in the afternoon. They also seized two grenades and CDs and books on jihad.

Police sources said with help from locals, Tongi police caught JMB ehsar (full-time member) Mamunur Rashid alias Zahid, 40, at Ghartoil village at around 10:30am. Minutes later, they raided a rented house and arrested the female members--Mina, 45, Marzia, 25, and Noor Jahan, 32. They also recovered explosive substances and books on jihad.

Police took the arrestees and seized materials to the SP office for the press briefing at around 4:00pm. They said at least 500 bombs could be made of what has been recovered.

Eyewitnesses said the grenade exploded with a huge bang, and those present at the scene were pitched onto the floor on impact.

Sources said the Rab personnel had been trying to nab the JMB men for the last 15 days. On December 18, they conducted a swoop at Ghartoil. They gave their phone numbers to the villagers and requested them to inform them the moment they see Mamun around. Then, early morning yesterday, a local spotted Mamun, and called the Rab numbers. But as the elite crime busters did not respond, he contacted the Tongi police.

Soon, a team led by SI Sirajul Islam went to the village. As Mamun saw them coming, he tried to run off but in vain. Later, police surrounded the house that he and six others rented on February 1 from Yusuf Ali, a Bangladesh expatriate in Saudi Arabia.

Sources said Mamun hails from Raikona village of Gaibandha district. He stands accused in at least five cases filed in the district for involvement in militancy.

During primary interrogation, Marzia said her husband Al-Amin, Noor Jahan's husband Asif Suman and her parents had also been living with them. But they fled, sensing police presence. Earlier, they lived in another house in the same village.

Additional Inspector of Police (admin) NBK Tripura told The Daily Star last night, "The arrests and recovery prove that the militants are still alive and kicking." He however said police is sincere in fight against militancy.

Queried how someone in handcuffs managed to detonate the grenade and throw it at others, he said, "The law enforcers must be more cautious in handling militants."

RAB DRIVE
A team from Rab headquarters arrested JMB's chief coordinator Motasim alias Basir alias Nasir at Konabari of Tongi and ehsar Moyej and associate coordinator Mizan at Uttarkhan at around 4:45pm

Lt Col Majid, director of Rab intelligence wing, told The Daily Star, "Motasim's father Zillur is now in jail. He too was arrested for JMB connection."

Sources said Motasim, who is also commander of JMB Dhaka zone, hails from Mollarhat of Bagerhat, Moyej from Bhola and Mizan from Noakhali. Also a Majlish-e-Sura member of the militant group, he has been in charge of the outfit's finances. Besides, he has been leading the legal efforts to free JMB men behind bars.

Meanwhile, the Rab and police have beefed up security in and around the venues of Amar Ekushey (February 21) programmes.

On August 17, 2005, Jamaatul Mujahideen staged near simultaneous blasts in 63 out of 64 districts, and left the nation rattled. They struck again on November 14 the same year killing two senior assistant judges and wounding three people in a suicide bomb attack in Jhalakathi.

Besides, the outlawed outfit killed nine more people including two lawyers and a police constable and injured 78 others in two suicide blasts in Chittagong and Gazipur on November 29.
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2009-01-06 Bangladesh
Regular or extra crispy?
Two operatives of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, arrested along with 28 homemade grenades in Chittagong last week, will be sent to Dhaka today for interrogation, police officials said.
They're not going to feel so good ...
The two militants, Masum and Khorshed, were arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion on December 30 at their hideout at Teribazar in the port city.
Trapped like rats at their secret lair ...
They were remanded in the custody of Kotwali police for questioning on a court order.
That is going to be so-o-o-o-o not fun ...
A senior police official said that they were looking for six other JMB militants active in Chittagong following some leads after interrogation of the two.
Which they provided through broken teeth and jaws ...
'The JMB activists are regrouping here and may be plotting to strike again', he said.
He also said that the police had raided Halishahar residential area on Friday night to hunt down an activist of the JMB, but he managed to run away flee. 'A private university in the city and two madrassahs at Hathazari and Patiya are also under surveillance', he said adding that special measures had been taken here to thwart any attempts at subversion.
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2008-12-31 Bangladesh
A special team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 28 improvised grenades in the port city last evening and held two operatives of JMB who tried to kill BNP chief Khaleda Zia in Comilla on December 23.
"Tried to kill her, did yez?"
"It wuz him! Please don't kill me!"

The arrestees of the banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) are Masum Bin Abdul Hye alias Abu Saleh, 30, and Khorshed, 40.
"I'm still a young man! I got my whole life ahead of me!"
Masum claimed to be a member of the JMB killing squad that attempted to kill former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at a four-party rally in Chandina, Comilla, on December 23.
"They made me do it, though! I din't really wanna!"
According to sources, the Rab team around 6:00pm raided a multi-story market at Terry Bazar—a wholesale cloth market in a densely populated area near Anderkilla—and recovered the grenades in two rooms on the third floor of Jahan Bhaban. The members of the elite force also recovered a good number of books and cassettes of the militant organisation.
"Great Success Stories of the JMB" wasn't among them. Maybe "A Short Biography of Bangla Bhai" was.
A Rab special team, comprising members of the intelligence wing of Rab Head Quarters in Dhaka, Rab-7 and Rab-11, held JMB operative Masum at Begumganj in Noakhali in the morning, Rab-7 Commanding Officer Lt Col Zahidur Rahim told The Daily Star yesterday evening. Masum was arrested following confessions made by the two JMB operatives held near Chandina on December 23.
"Aaaiiieee! Make him stop! I confess!"
"Acting on Masum's confessional statement we recovered the grenades and arrested Masum's associate Khorshed in the evening," said Zahidur.
"Hark! My spider sense is tingling! Could it be the approach of the Rab? I must flee...!"
"Going somewhere, Khorshed? Stick 'em up."
"Merde!"

Talking to journalists in presence of Rab officials at Terry Bazar, Masum said JMB formed a seven-member squad to kill Khaleda. He said he was a member of the squad and had training for such operations. The plan to kill Khaleda was abandoned as he and another JMB operative had a feud which created division in the squad, claimed Masum.
"I'm gonna plug her, and you drive the getaway rickshaw!"
"No, I'll plug her! You drive!"

Masum said he became a member of JMB after he met JMB operatives Asad, Habib and Sohag when he was earning his living selling syrupy drinks (Sarbat) at Anderkilla intersection.
"Drinks! Drinks! Getcher syrupy drinks right here! Only a tikka!"
He became acquainted with other members of the organisation at "Dawati Baithak" (invitational meeting) that was usually held after prayers at Anderkilla mosque, he said. He said Khorshed was recruited through the Dawati Baithak.
Knock-knock
What's the secret password?
Open the door.
Yeah, he's okay...

Masum said on December 13 Asad gave him the hand-made grenades in a box to keep in his custody. On December 22, he took the grenades to a village near Chandina where he, Asad and Habib stayed in a house and had training on how to hurl grenades.
Ya hold it like this.
No ya don't. Ya hold it like this.
Ya throw like a girl!
No I don't, you do!
No, you do!
No, you do!

After the cancellation of the attack, he brought the grenades back to Chittagong and kept those in his room at Terry Bazar before going to his village home from which he was arrested yesterday.
So why didn't ya get rid of the grenades, me boy?
.......I dunno.

On December 23, Rab recovered three improvised hand grenades from Nabiabad village in Devidwar upazila of Comilla, around an hour after BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia addressed an election rally four km away in Chandina upazila headquarters. Rab arrested two operatives of JMB, and seized a 10kg bomb from a JMB den at Nabiabad village.
That your 10kg bomb, JMB guys? It says "JMB" on it.
Damn. Looks like they got us cold.
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2008-12-31 India-Pakistan
The Punjab government is all set to appoint a chief administrator at Jamaatul Dawa centre, Markaz-e-Tayyaba in Muridke, following the recommendations of a report by intelligence agencies.

Government sources said on Tuesday intelligence agencies had recommended the appointment of a chief administrator, or a grade-19 officer to monitor activities at the centre to avoid accusations of Dawa's involvement in any international conflict.

The sources said agencies had also recommended provincial control of Dawa's 16 registered schools.

According to the report, the annual expenditure of the centre was between Rs 40 to 45 million, which Dawa meets through charities, school fees and money raised through fees at its dispensaries.

The report recommended only a chief administrator at the centre and administrators in schools should be appointed, without changing the rest of the setup. Punjab Chief Minister's Secretary Tauqeer Shah said the agencies were conducting operation against Dawa at the behest of the Interior Ministry.
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2008-12-09 India-Pakistan
The Pakistani authorities have placed restrictions on the movement of Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), by confining him to his multi-storeyed concrete compound in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur.

Well-placed official sources say Masood Azhar's activities have been restricted in the wake of the Indian government's recent demand to hand him over to New Delhi.

Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik said in Islamabad last week that India has given to Pakistan a list of three persons--Maulana Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon--for their immediate extradition.

Official sources say India has sought the arrest and extradition of Masood Azhar while citing a 1989 agreement signed by the director-general of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which binds both the agencies to collaborate with each other, to trace out the most wanted terrorists and criminals and hand them over to their respective counterpart.

Maulana Masood Azhar is wanted by the Indian CBI for his alleged involvement in the 2001 attacks on Indian parliament which brought the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours to the brink of war. As a matter of fact, it is not for the first time that his movements have been restricted by the Pakistani authorities. Every time the Indian government demands his extradition, he is confined to his under-construction headquarters in Bahawalpur. Azhar had been serving time in an Indian jail for Kashmir-related militancy but had to be released by the Indian government in 2000 in exchange for passengers of an Indian airplane which had been hijacked by some Kashmiri militants and taken to Kabul. Soon after his release, he discarded the Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) to launch the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Since then, having gone through many ups and downs, especially in the wake of the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament and the 2003 suicide attacks on Gen Musharraf in Rawalpindi, the Jaish had been renamed as Khudamul Islam (KuI) and reorganised under the command of Mufti Abdul Rauf, the younger brother of Masood Azhar. The State Department had designated the Jaish as a foreign terrorist organisation in December 2001, making the Musharraf regime slap a ban on the outfit in January 2002. December 29, 2001 was the only time Masood Azhar was formally arrested by the Pakistani authorities following the parliament attacks. However, a three-member review board of the Lahore High Court ordered his release on Dec 14, 2002.

The second time he had to face the wrath of the establishment was in 2003 in the aftermath of the Rawalpindi suicide attacks on Musharraf, after it transpired that Mohammad Jamil, one of the two suicide attackers who tried to assassinate the first commando president of Pakistan, belonged to the Jaish. However, Masood tried to clear his position by maintaining that the bomber had already defected to the Jaish's dissident group--Jamaatul Furqaan, led by Maulana Abdul Jabbar alias Maulana Umar Farooq. However, the Maulana from Bahawalpur soon fell out of favour with the establishment in the wake of American allegations about his al-Qaeda links and because of the US belief that he, along with some other Jihadi leaders, had been providing logistical support to fugitive al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.

As a matter of fact, following the January 2002 kidnapping and the subsequent murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl by Sheikh Ahmed Saeed Omar, close aide of Masood Azhar, the Americans had sought the custody of the Jaish chief, saying the US Department of Justice wanted to file charges against him for his involvement in the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 (with an American citizen Jeanne Moore aboard). The American authorities had claimed that under the American law, they had the right to investigate crimes against their citizens committed anywhere in the world.

However, the Musharraf regime had turned down the US demand, saying he was not a hijacker and his incarceration in India had been illegal.

"Otherwise, he would have been tried and convicted by the Indian courts while he was behind bars." In other words, Masood Azhar could not be accused of any crime.
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2008-11-29 India-Pakistan
The death of British terror plot suspect Rashid Rauf in a US missile strike in North Waziristan area on Friday, along with four other al-Qaeda men, has confirmed Western fears that the trouble-stricken Waziristan region was the new battlefield for Kashmiri militants who are joining forces with the anti-US and pro-Taliban elements there.

Rashid Rauf, a close relative of Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), was killed along with al-Qaeda leaders Abu Nasr Al-Misri and Abu Zubair Al-Masri after their rented hideout was spotted due to their frequent use of a mobile phone.

Pakistani agencies have found fighters belonging to at least four Kashmiri militant groups in Waziristan. They are the Harkatul Jehadul Islami (HuJI) led by Maulana Ilyas Kashmiri, the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) led by Maulana Masood Azhar, the Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) led by Pir Syed Salahuddin and the Jamaatul Furqaan (JuF) led by Maulana Abdul Jabbar.

HuJI chief Maulana Ilyas Kashmiri happens to be a veteran of jihad in Kashmir and spent several years in an Indian jail. Pakistan arrested Kashmiri after the December 2003 twin suicide attacks on Musharraf's cavalcade in Rawalpindi. But he was released shortly, prompting him to shift base to North Waziristan and join hands with Baitullah Mehsud.

Kashmiri also established a training camp in Razmak area of Waziristan, shifting also most of his warriors from the Kotli training camp, 20 km from Kotli in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

The Hizbul Mujahideen, meanwhile, is considered the mother of the ongoing militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The Hizb leadership had established contact with many Afghan Mujahideen groups such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-e-Islami, under which some of its cadre received arms training at camps in Afghanistan.

On September 11 this year, Afghanistan-based American forces fired a missile at an alleged al-Badar training camp. The al-Badar, a Kashmiri militant group, was being aided by the Hizb. American Predator aircraft launched several missiles at a target in the village of Tol Khel on the outskirts of Miramshah, the administrative seat of North Waziristan. Twelve al-Badar members were killed.

The Jamaatul Furqan is a splinter group of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, led by Maulana Abdul Jabbar, involved in the Kashmiri jihad as a Jaish commander. Post-9/11, Pakistani authorities have arrested him many times but he was set free each time.

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2008-11-26 Bangladesh
The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal here yesterday sentenced Chittagong divisional chief of banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Javed Iqbal and three other JMB cadres to 20 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) each for bomb attack on a judge in 2005.

With this punishment, Javed has so far been awarded 164 years' imprisonment in eight bomb blast and arms cases, according to Public Prosecutor (PP) Qumrul Islam Sajjad. Javed is an accused in 13 more cases, including one for murder, and was acquitted in another bomb blast case, the PP said.

After pronouncement of the verdict by tribunal Judge Md Shafiqul Karim yesterday, Javed told reporters that he has no faith in such trial.

The other convicts are Mizan alias 'Bomb' Mizan, an explosives expert of the outfit, Md Shahadat Ali and Abdul Malek alias Laltu. Of them, Mizan is still at large while the rest three are in jail custody.

According to the prosecution, the four JMB men tried to enter the court of Second Joint District and Assistant Sessions Judge Abu Syed Dilzar Hossain on the first floor of Chittagong Judge's Court Building on October 3, 2005 but were halted by the on-duty constables. Being resisted, the militants threw a bomb at the judge but it missed the target and fell on a table in front of the judge. No one was hurt, as the bomb did not explode.

Police arrested Shahadat on the spot and recovered another bomb from his possession while Javed and Laltu were arrested later. A case was filed with Kotwali Police Station in connection with the bomb attack the following day. Police submitted the charge sheet to the court on November 2, 2005. Directed by the court, police did further investigation into the case and submitted additional charge sheet on May 8, 2006.
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2008-09-21 Bangladesh
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) yesterday threatened to bomb police stations and check-points in the city. In a fax to the Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) headquarters at around 6:00pm, the banned Islamist outfit said it would launch attacks in retaliation for arrest and harassment of its cadres.

Confirming the threat from the militants, Mahfujur Rahman, assistant commissioner of RMP Detective Branch (DB), told reporters that they have beefed up security at police stations and other installations in the city. The fax said JMB has enough explosives to bomb the police stations.

Addressed to Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), superintendent of police, DB and National Security Intelligence, the fax did not carry any signature. It said the outfit has targeted police stations since the law enforcers are "creating obstacles to its operation".

Earlier on September 7, another fax purportedly sent by JMB threatened to bomb the residences and offices of caretaker government's advisers and police officials.
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2008-09-10 Bangladesh
A court here yesterday awarded 10 years' imprisonment to Javed Iqbal alias Mohammad, 28, Chittagong divisional chief of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in a case filed in connection with countrywide serial blasts on August 17, 2005.

Judge Shafiqul Islam of the Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal gave the verdict, sentencing Mohammad to jail for bombing at GEC intersection in the port city as part of the serial blasts. The court also fined him Tk 5,000, in default he is to suffer another year in jail.

Two other accused--Abu Jarr and Delwar Hossain Jahid--were acquitted of the charge. The court exempted JMB kingpins Abdur Rahman, Siddiqur Rahman alias Bangla Bhai and Ataur Rahman Sunny from the case since they were executed in the judge killing case last year.

Javed Iqbal has so far been awarded 124 years' imprisonment in different terms in nine cases. He has the death sentence on 12 systems is also an accused in seven other cases, which are now under trial at different courts in Chittagong.
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2008-09-08 Bangladesh
The government is planning to officially ban 18 splinter groupings of clandestine armed communists soon, as law enforcing agencies identified them as organisations engaged in anti-state activities in 13 north-west and southern districts.
RAB's been hungry lately...
According to top officials of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), the decision is being taken for the first time since the independence of the country, with an aim to eradicating such organisations before the next parliamentary election.

Responding to recommendations of different intelligence agencies, the police headquarters in early August sent a proposal to the home ministry for banning the outfits, sources said.

On Thursday, the home ministry in a top level meeting with chiefs of law enforcement and intelligence agencies discussed the matter and initiated a process of banning the outfits. Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin chaired the meeting.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Muhammad confirmed the initiative to The Daily Star saying, "The topic is being discussed."

Once the outfits are banned, they will hardly get any chance of slipping through legal loopholes, which has been common so far, as the new rules will be tougher, the home adviser said.

The government already banned Islamist militant outfits Shahadat-e Al Hikma, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, and Harkatul Jihad Al Islami.

Armed communist operations started in the country since the independence, but they splintered into many small groupings following intra-party rivalries over blessings of successive ruling parties during tenures of elected governments, and over establishing supremacy.

In the name of so called revolutionary agenda of capturing state power through armed struggle, the outfits so far killed hundreds of people including law enforcers, and robbed a number of police stations making off with government arms and ammunition.

Citing many previous killings of political leaders, the top officials of police and Rab said operatives of the outfits might become more active before the next parliamentary poll.

18 OUTFITS
Intelligence wings of Rab and police identified 18 outfits and their 40 leaders who are active in 13 north-west and southern districts.

Among the 40 leaders, two were killed in 'crossfire' and six were arrested leaving the rest operating.

Among the outfits, Lal Potaka (Red Flag) faction of Purbo Banglar Communist Party Marxists-Leninist (PBCP M-L) is active in Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Bogra, Pabna, Sirajganj, Kushtia, and in Gangni of Meherpur.

Red Flag used to be led by Dr Mizanur Rahman Tutul who died in 'crossfire' on July 27. The outfit is now being led by Madhu Babu alias Shafik.

Other leaders of the group are Ratan alias Titas, Abdus Salam Tapu, Zahangir alias Jalal, Rashid, Ibrahim Chairman, Khokon, Wali Chairman, and Anwar.

PBCP M-L Jana Juddha (People's War) faction is active in Jhenidah, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Pabna and Kushtia. It is now without a leader since its former chief Tapan Malitha alias Dada Tapan died in 'crossfire'.

PBCP M-L (Rashid) is operating in Khulna and in its adjoining areas led by Harun Sheikh, where another outfit Bangladesh New Biplobi Communist Party (BNBCP) led by Gazi Quamrul is also active.

BNBCP also has two others factions -- Mrinal Group led by Dev Prashad alias Manik, and Sailen Group led by Shailendranath Biswas.

Another outfit Sramajibi Mukti Andolon or Gana Mukti Fouj is active under the leadership of Aminul Islam Mukul in Jhenidah, Kushtia, Pabna, Chuadanga, Rajbari and Meherpur.

Other leaders of the outfit are Shahin Rumi, Shamsul Islam Robin, Anwar Hossain Debu, and Shisir.

Bangladesh Communist Oikkya Prokria is led by Mosarraf Hossain Musa in Jhenidah.

Omol Krishna Mandol, Hasanul Haq Hasu, and Swapan Chakrabarty are leading Bangladesh Biplobi Communist Party in Chuadanga, Kushtia, Meherpur, and Rajbari.

Nuruzzaman Laltu leads Banglar Communist Party in Chuadanga.

Roni Biswas is leading Bangladesh Communist Juddha in Chuadanga and Meherpur.

Samad Member, Aziz Commander, Kamrul Hasan Himu Kha, and Hapu alias Hasanul Haque are leading Sarbahara Group in Rajbari, Babuganj, Ujirpur, and in Gournadi of Barisal.

Sarbahara Sagor Group is active in Rajbari, led by Bulu Akhtar Sagor.

Sarbahara Party is led by Alam Sadhu and Edward Biswas Nanu in Pabna and Barisal while Sarbahara Zia Group is led by Nur Muhammad Sikdar, Abdur Rahim Hawladar, Fazle Rabbi, and Abdur Rahim Sikdar.

Sarbahara Poresh Group is active under the leadership Abul Kalam in Rajbari and Faridpur.

Jashod Gono Bahini of Azibor Chairman and Anwar Hossain Anu is active in Kushtia.

Regional Bahini is being led by Montu Chairman, Sayeed, and Malek in Pabna.

The leaders arrested so far are Ibrahim, Gazi Quamrul, Dev Prashad Manik, Nuruzzaman Laltu, Kamrul Hasan Himu Kha, and Abul Kalam.
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2008-09-08 Bangladesh
Banned militant outfits Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) in a letter to Rapid Action Battalion-5 (Rab) headquarters and Rajshahi Metropolitan Police threatened bomb attacks on the homes and offices of all advisers to the caretaker government.
"Yo! Rab! Come and get us!"
The also threatened bomb attacks on offices of law enforcement agencies and the administration within this month.
"We're really craving a thorough butt-kicking!"
The letter, faxed from Chapainawabganj at 12:49am on September 4, was signed by M Obaidur Rahman Giasi, self-proclaimed military chief of JMB. It was made available to journalists last night. Copies of the letter were also sent to different offices of Police and Rab in Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi. The letter held Rab responsible for executions of the outfits' spiritual leaders and blamed army personnel and police for "torture of political leaders including former lawmakers".
"We are just so-o-o-o-o jealous! Us remnants need our own crossfires and neck stretchings!"
The letter said the outfits have plans for devastating attacks on metropolitan police in Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi and offices of superintendents of police in districts across the country.
"Devastatin'! Y'unnerstand? Devastatin'!"
Mahbub Mohsin, commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, told reporters that all law enforcement agencies concerned have started investigating the matter.
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2008-09-02 Bangladesh
A court here yesterday sentenced a leader of the banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 34 years rigorous imprisonment in arms and explosive cases.

Special Tribunal Judge S M Rezaul Karim awarded JMB regional commander Abdullah Al Suhail 20 years imprisonment in the arms case.

He was also awarded 14 years imprisonment for possessing explosives and fined Tk 20,000, in default, he will have to suffer for another six months.

According to the prosecution, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members arrested Abdullah from Ashulia bus stand in Dhaka on January 30, 2006 and recovered three LGs and some explosives from his possession.

Two cases, one under Arms Act and the other under Explosive Substances Act, were filed against the JMB leader.
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2008-08-29 Bangladesh
Asadullah Al Galib, chief of Islamist militant outfit Ahle Hadith Andolan Bangladesh (Ahab), was freed on bail yesterday from Bogra Jail. The High Court (HC) granted him bail in two cases as the trials could not be held within the time set by the HC six months ago.

Since his arrest on February 23, 2005, a total of ten cases were filed against the militant kingpin and a close ally of executed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Shayekh Abdur Rahman. However, during the then BNP-Jamaat alliance government, Galib was relieved of charges in six of the cases and was granted bail in another case.

On July 26, during the term of the present government, a Gaibandha court declared him not guilty in an explosives case. Six months back, the HC ordered that Galib would be awarded bail in two other cases (one for explosions in Shahjahanpur and the other for murdering a person in the explosions) unless the trial of the murder case is completed within three months and the trial of the explosion case in six months.

Galib was released on bail at around 5:30pm yesterday following the HC order as both the trials could not be held in time.

GALIB'S MILITANT TIES
In 1978, Galib formed Ahab's youth wing Ahle Hadith Jubo Shangha (AHJS), said AHJS workers. While forming the AHJS, Galib argued that they needed to engage in Jihad against Islamic fallacies including the mazar culture to bring an Islamic rule in the country.

Galib received funds from the Middle East through an Indian Islamist leader named Moulana Abdul Matin Salafi. Salafi sent huge funds to Galib from Saudi Aabia.
Galib received funds from the Middle East through an Indian Islamist leader named Moulana Abdul Matin Salafi. In 1988 the Ershad government expelled Salafi, who had been working as a Muballig (religious preacher), for anti-state activities. Abdul Matin Salafi sent huge funds to Galib from Saudi Arabia, sources said.

The mainstream organisation Ahab was formed in late 1994. With Galib's help and funds from Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), the JMB militants used 700 mosques across the country. The bank accounts of RIHS in Pakistan were seized after the 9/11 incident.

Galib toured Afghanistan, India and Pakistan with fake travel documents. He had close relations with Islamist militants in Kashmir. He visited India in 1998 with a business passport. Police and intelligence sources said Ahab is just a cover-up of the JMB and most of the Ahab members are involved in JMB activities. Militants arrested in Thakurgaon, Joypurhat, Bogra and Natore told police that Galib was their leader and he used to meet with them at Ahle Hadith mosques.

JMB chief Rahman and Ahab Amir Galib were well-known to each other. Rahman studied at Medina University in Saudi Arabia on Galib's recommendation and after completing his course, he joined with Galib.
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2008-08-17 Bangladesh
The Bangladesh guerrilla group (JMB), responsible for some 400 blasts nationwide on a single day in 2005, has been effectively crushed, officials say.
This is from Iran Press TV. They seem to have just picked up on the fact. If they'd been reading Rantburg all along they'd have known it.
Authorities say since August 17, 2005, the government has cracked down on the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) after they carried out serial blasts throughout the nation, on one single day killing 28 people and injuring scores of others. The security force launched the crackdown following criticism that Dhaka was turning a blind eye to growing extremism.
Turned out certain members of the government had been in cahoots with them, since they had the same Islamic goals...
According to Hasan Mahmud Khandaker, security head of Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion, the government is confident that this terrorist group can pose no more threats as at least 1,000 of its members have been arrested.
I'd guess 900 of them are dupes, pawns, cannon fodder, and innocent bystanders. The actual organization was pretty much a clan affair.
He added that they have successfully dealt with.
And there's the secret to dismantling a terror organization: Hang all the ones you don't shoot.
Over the last two years bomb attacks have become a rarity. The disintegration of JMB though not yet complete, has seen the group "very much under control", Khandaker said after a Bengali-language newspaper Prothom Alo warned the JMG was regrouping. The large-scale arrests of JMB guerrillas have blunted its influence. Rebel leader Sheikh Abdur Rahman and his deputy Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai are in state custody, while six senior rebels were executed last year after a court sentenced them to death for killing two judges, AFP quoted Khandaker as saying.
That's the first we've heard of Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai still being alive. Supposedly they had their necks stretched on March 29th of last year.
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2008-07-14 Bangladesh
A Panchagarh court yesterday sentenced four activists of banned Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to life imprisonment in a case filed in connection with the August 17, 2005 serial bomb blasts in Panchagarh.

The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Amulla Kumar Sarker handed down the verdict after examining records and witnesses depositions. The judge acquitted six accused in the case. The court also fined them Tk 10,000 each, in default to which they are to stay one more year in jail.

The convicts are Tanviruzzaman alias Murad, 21, Azizul Islam alias Majnu, 25, Hafizur Rahman, 25, and Abdul Matin alias Ismail, 25. Murad was awarded another life term imprisonment as the charge of conspiracy to kill judges, filed against him in the same case, was proved.
Oooh. In court, on a charge of conspiracy to kill judges. Not a good thing.
According to the prosecution, the JMB activists exploded bombs at eight places including the Judge Court compound and the entrance to the Collectorate Building in Panchagarh on August 17, 2005. Officer-in-charge of Panchagarh Police Station Ilias Fakir filed a case under Explosive Substances Act the same day. He arrested 15 people in this connection over a period of time. Ilias, also the investigation officer, submitted the charge sheet before the court on November 29, 2005 accusing 11 people.

Since accused Abdul Awal, son-in-law of JMB chief Sheikh Abdur Rahman, was executed, the court framed charges against 10 people on June 30, 2007.
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2008-05-01 Bangladesh
A court here yesterday sentenced four members of outlawed militant outfit Jamaatul Mujaheedin Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB) to 26 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) each for bomb attack on the court of the then Chittagong Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Akram Hossain in October 2005.

Judge Shafiqul Karim of Chittagong Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal gave this judgement.

The four convicts are JMB Chittagong regional commander Jabed Iqbal alias Mohammad, activists of Tangail JMB branch Shahadat, Abul Malek alias Laltu and bomb expert Jahidul Islam alias Mizan alias Bomb Mizan. Of them, Mizan is absconding.

JMB chief Abdur Rahman and JMB military chief Ataur Rahman Sunny were dropped from the trial as both were executed following an earlier verdict, sources said.

JMB activists Laltu and Shahadat on October 3 in 2005 hurled a bomb at CMM Akram Hossain's courtroom on the ground floor of Chittagong Court Building. People present there caught the two while they were fleeing and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) later caught Jabed Iqbal.

Sources said the three gave confessional statement admitting their involvement in the bomb attack. Charges in the case were pressed on May 8, 2006, accusing six. Five witnesses gave their deposition.

Public Prosecutor Quamrul Islam Sajjad stood for the state in the trial while the militants refused to have any lawyer for them.
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2008-04-28 Southeast Asia
Hundreds of hardline Indonesian Muslims burnt a mosque early on Monday belonging to a sect that has been branded heretical by most Muslims, police said. The attack in West Java's Sukabumi district came after a government team recommended this month the Ahmadiyya sect be banned because its teachings deviate from the central tenets of Islam.

Sukabumi police chief Guntor Gaffar told Reuters the attack followed an ultimatum by the Jamaatul Mubaligin Forum on Friday to the Ahmadiyyas to remove a signboard from the mosque in two days. He said a policeman guarding the mosque was hurt in the attack and police were questioning eight people in connection with the incident.

Earlier this month, an Indonesian government team, which includes officials from the religious affairs ministry, recommended the government ban the sect because its teachings deviate from the central tenets of Islam. An Ahmadiyya spokesman told reporters in Jakarta the agency's recommendation to ban the group on the grounds that it is heretical had led to increased destruction of its mosques. "The recommendation has caused an escalation of mosque destruction run by Ahmadiyyas across Indonesia," the spokesman, Shamsir Ali, told reporters. Ali said the destruction had increased since the government agency's announcement this month and four mosques had been attacked in less than a month.
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2008-03-28 Bangladesh
This is not a new James Bond 007 movie. This is a true story about the most notorious terror organization in Bangladesh. One that enjoys official status and termed as an ‘elite force’. Rapid Action Battalion [RAB] was established on March 26, 2004 and since its establishment, a total of 472 alleged criminals have so far been killed in the name of “crossfire” or “encounter” between associates of the so-called criminals and RAB members.
We've noticed.
Article 32 of the Constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh provides that no person shall be deprived of life or personal liberty save in accordance with law. However, legalization of extra judicial executions has reduced such constitutional guarantees to mere inscriptions. As many as 111 people were extra judicially executed by the law enforcement personnel in the country from 1 January to 30 September 2004 in comparison to 56 killings in 2003. at least 43 people have been killed by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) alone mostly in `crossfire’ since it launched operations.

Formed by an executive order of 1 March 2004, the RAB has the reported strength of 4,525 personnel, drawn from five military and para-military forces - army, air force, navy, Bangladesh Rifles and Ansar and Bangladesh Police. The deployment of members of the armed forces in combat areas amounts to the imposition of undeclared emergency. The members of the armed forces, which are not disciplined in policing, have been responsible for blatant extra judicial executions of the alleged criminals.

Former adviser and Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra Sultana Kamal said, “Death in so-called crossfire is unconstitutional and whatever the number, it is a matter of grave concern to me as an activist.”

The US Department of State, in its annual report “Human Rights Practices 2007” on Bangladesh, also said security forces including Bangladesh Rifles, military and RAB committed numerous extra-judicial killings while the government did not take any action or initiate any public measure to investigate the cases. Human rights lawyers in Bangladesh say they are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of suspects dying while in the custody of the elite anti-crime force, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

A recent press report said, Rapid Action Battalion has so far taken punitive measures against its 535 members for anti-disciplinary activities and around 200 of them either lost their jobs or suffered the indignity of jail.

But, despite such actions, it is now alleged that, RAB is gradually turning into a Frankenstein, which ignores human rights and continues various forms of extra judicial activities. There are hundreds of allegations against RAB officials for being involved in extortion, abduction, rape and even dealing in drugs and weapons. Some of the members of RAB use organized black mailing rackets to trap innocent people and finally extract money from the victims with various excuses.

In an average week, two or three people are killed in incidents involving the RAB. The authorities say most deaths happen during shoot-outs between law enforcers and criminals. These incidents have become so frequent that a new term has been coined in the country - “Death by crossfire”.
Yeah, we never really believed them either
Because of the many innocent people, who died in RAB custody, people here are comparing RAB with any extremist Islamist or terror group. They are no different than Jamaatul Mujahedin [JMB], which are both killing innocent people for no obvious reason.
Well, they may not all be so innocent.
The Bangladesh High Court recommended the incorporation of the following provisions:
- Police must disclose their identity to the relatives of the person before arrest from the residence or office;
- Police must inform the relatives of the arrested person over telephone or by sending special messenger within three hours of arrest from out side the residence or office. Medical check up of the person must have to be done after arrest;
- No detention after arrest under Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code;
- No remand under police custody under section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code;
- Only the investigating officer to interrogate the alleged accused in the jail custody, but no other agency;
- Use of a separate glass covered room in the jail custody for interrogation and the relatives or lawyer of the accused can observe it;
- Examination of medical report of the accused, special diary opened after arrest, hearing of the accused and his lawyers have to be taken into consideration if the magistrate wants to grant remand in other cases;
- The magistrate must show the reasons to grant remand. The remand order passed by the magistrate has to be approved by the District and Sessions Judge or Metropolitan Sessions Judge;
- The magistrate should take action against the investigating officer if there is any allegation of torture to the accused during the remand and the allegation proved through medical examination;
- Enhance the punishment for illegal confinement under section 220 and for custodial torture under 248 of the Penal Code from two years to seven years and fine.
Of course, these "provisions" may be why so many "innocent civilians" are "resisting arrest" and never make it to the station.
Unfortunately, the directions by the High court had little impact as the extrajudicial executions by the RAB continue to indicate.

Impunity accentuates illegal measures that the High Court sought to address. On 23 February 2003, the Bangladesh Sangshad (Parliament) passed the Joint Drive Indemnity Act barring people from seeking justice through the courts for the deaths and human rights violations that occurred during the “Operation Clean Heart” anti-crime drive, which ended in the custodial death of 51 persons and involved an unknown number of torture victims. Despite intervention of the High Court on 13 April 2003 by issuing a show cause notice to the government regarding the legality of the Indemnity Act, the law continues to be in force and therefore no action is maintainable before the courts of law. In the few instances where charges were levied, punishment of those found guilty was predominantly administrative. The RAB personnel enjoy similar impunity and the courts can do little. RAB has been openly resorting to blatant human rights violations including extra judicial executions.
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2008-02-29 Bangladesh
UNB, Dhaka: Home Secretary Abdul Karim Thursday said Islamic militant outfits that are found in Bangladesh have no operative linkages with international terror networks of Al-Qaeda or Taliban. "Weapons or type of explosives they use may have foreign origin or in neighbouring countries, but their financing is arranged internally, not from external sources," he told a conference on Trend of Militancy in Bangladesh and Possible Responses at BEI office. Karim observed that some smaller militant groups like "Allahr Dal", Hijbut Tauhid and Hijbut Tahrir are seen trying to organize them and put up demonstrations on small issues. "And we're trying to destroy the network of small groups too."

Presided over by BEI (Bangladesh Enterprise Institute) president Ambassador Farooq Sobhan, a BEI report on trend of militancy in Bangladesh based on published newspaper reports was presented in the opening session of the daylong conference.

The Home Secretary said JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) is known to be a notorious Islamic militant organization while Huji (Harkat-ul Jihad) is considered pioneer of Islamic militancy. Both these outfits were banned by the government and six kingpins of the JMB were already hanged.
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2008-02-16 Bangladesh

(Clockwise) Mahbubur Rahman Liton, Nasir Uddin Dafadar, Anisur Rahman Khokon, Asadul Haque, Maniruzzaman Munna and Monowar Hossain Ujjal.

Trial of three out of the five cases relating to series bomb blasts on August 17 in 2005 began on Thursday as the court recorded the statements of three prosecution witnesses of the cases. The court fixed tomorrow for next hearing of the cases.

Judge Mahbubul Alam of Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court at Satkhira recorded the statements of the three complainants of the five cases in presence of 11 out of 19 charge-sheeted accused.

Accused Nasir uddin Dafadar, Monowar Hossain Ujjal, Maniruzzaman Munna, Nur Ali Member, Anisur Rahman Khokon, Gias Uddin, Mahbubur Rahman Liton, Billal Hossain, Asadul Haque, Ismail alias Habibur and Rakib Hasan Russel alias Hafez Mahmud were produced before the court.

Rakib Hasan Russel, a teacher of Baluaghata Girls High School in Jamalpur, was brought from Mymensing to Satkhira jail as he was awarded death sentence in another case and was detained there.

Five charge-sheeted accused -- Montaz alias Momtaz, Abul Khair, Fakar Uddin, Nayeem and Syed alias Asaduzzaman -- have been absconding while banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, JMJB chief Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai and JMB military chief Ataur Rahman Sunny were excluded earlier in a murder case.

Soon after simultaneous blasts at five places in the town on August 17 in 2005, police filed the five cases with Sadar Police Station.

Pickpocket Rawshan Ali, who was standing on the premises of Women and Children Repression Prevention Court on August 17 in 2005, saw Nasir Uddin Dafadar leaving a bag there and it blasted five minutes later. Rawshan informed the police of the matter that eventually led to the unearthing of JMB's involvement in August 17 blasts. The investigation officer of the cases, Assistant Superintendent of Police Munshi Atiqur Rahman of the Criminal Investigation Department submitted on April 4 in 2006 charge sheet against 19 people.
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2008-01-23 Bangladesh
A special judge court in Jamalpur sentenced three cadres of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 34 years' rigorous imprisonment in an explosives case Monday. Judge Abdus Sobahan handed down the verdict as per two sections of the Explosive Substances Act and also fined the three convicts Tk 8,000 each, defaulting on which carries additional 18 months' rigorous imprisonment (RI).

The convicts are Habibur Rahman Yousuf, 25, of Satpoa village in Sarishabari upazila, Sultan, 30, and Sohel, 22, of Charaildar village in Melandaha upazila of the district. Five other accused were acquitted on all charges.

After hearing 18 witnesses, the court handed down 20 years' RI to the JMB men and fined them each Tk 5,000 under section 4 (kha) of the Explosive Substances Act. Defaulting on the fines carries one year's RI. The judge also gave the three 14 years' RI and fined them Tk 3,000 each under section 5/6 of the same act. Failure to pay the fines carries another six months' RI. The sentences will run consecutively. The three JMB cadres were present in court during the verdict.

According to the prosecution, Habibur Rahman Yousuf was arrested in connection with a grenade attack on police at Bhatara in Sarishabari upazila in 2007. Following his confession, Rab raided the houses of Sultan and Sohel at Charaildar village in Melandaha upazila on March 24 last year and recovered 75 grenade bodies, 77 grenade caps and 27 packets of power gel from there. A Rab sub-inspector later filed a case with Melandaha Police Station against eight people including the three convicted.
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2007-12-18 Bangladesh
A suspected Islamist militant was killed while two Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel suffered bullet wounds in over an hour-long encounter between the elite crime fighting force and the suspects at Maddhya Badda in the capital early yesterday.

After trading over 100 rounds of bullets with the suspects, Rab arrested one of them. The arrestee, Al Beruni alias Sabuj alias Rony, 22, claimed himself as an organiser of a quite unknown Islamist group, Islamic Dal, sources said.

Siddiqur Rahman, owner of the house where the gun battle took place, told The Daily Star that he heard Rony telling Rab members after being caught that they were members of a banned Islamist militant outfit Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (Huji), but now he is working to form another Islamist outfit, Islamic Dal.

Rab however had yet to officially declare the suspects as Islamist militants at the time of filing this report last night, although various sources said that had actually been the suspicion which led to the operation.

The dead suspect was identified as Kamal, 24, of Jamalpur, from where Abdur Rahman, the executed kingpin of another banned Islamist terrorist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), had hailed.

The injured Rab personnel -- Lieutenant Farhad Sarkar from Bangladesh Navy, and Shainik Kabul Hossain, were undergoing treatment at Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka. Farhad was hit in the thigh and the waist while Kabul was hit in the thighs and a hand.

Rab officials said a vein of Farhad's leg had been severed by the bullet hit and he was operated upon. Rab also said both of its wounded personnel are now out of danger.

Rab recovered four bullets, a sawn-off rifle, a revolver, two pistols, and seven bullets from the suspects' possession.

Tipped off, an eight-member team of Rab-2 led by Farhad raided a tin-shed mess at Comilla Para in Maddhya Badda around 1:30am. "As the Rab members knocked on the door of a room, the three criminals opened the door and fired at least eight bullets, leaving the two Rab members wounded," said Siddiqur Rahman.

He said as the Rab members got wounded, the crime fighting force retreated for cover and started firing back. During the gun battle that ensued, over 100 bullets were fired. At one stage of the gunfight the three young suspects came out of the tin-shed mess and tried to run away.

But the elite force members arrested Rony unhurt with a firearm in his possession after chasing the fleeing group for a few hundred metres. Rab also found wounded Kamal near Gulshan Lake and took him to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him dead. "We have arrested a criminal and interrogating him to know whether they have any other identities," Rab Legal and Media Wing Director Commander SMAK Azad told The Daily Star.

Siddiqur Rahman said two young suspects rented a room of the mess on December 3 for Tk 1,900 a month, one of whom identified himself as an employee of Destiny Group while the other gave his identity as a quality controller in a buying house. He said later another young man joined them as a lodger in the mess.
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2007-12-18 Bangladesh
A fugitive convict of August 17 serial bombings was arrested in the district bus terminal area yesterday morning. Acting on a tip-off, members of Rab-5 arrested Mansur Rahman, acting regional commander of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), when he was trying to flee from the district by a bus at about 6.30am.

Rab sources said Mansur was made JMB regional commander after the arrest of regional commander Montezar Rahman. He was trying to organise the JMB militants in the district, they added. Son of Abdul Karim of Palikadoa village under Joypurhat Sadar upazila, Mansur was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia in the serial bombings case in the district. He was also wanted in a case filed after a clash between police and JMB activists at the house of Montezar Rahman at Uttar Moheshpur village in Khetlal upazila of the district on August 14, 2003.
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2007-12-15 Bangladesh
The law enforcers arrested 24 members of Hizbut Tawhid, an Islamist outfit, in Kochua upazila of the district yesterday. Acting on a tip-off, police raided an area of Kochua Pourasava and its adjacent Tetoiyya and Ghaghra villages in the morning and arrested the Hizbut activists while they were distributing leaflets and books on jihad.

Police suspect the arrestees might have link with banned militant group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). They also recovered 60 books on jihad and leaflets from the Hijbut men. The arrestees include Russell Bhuiyan, 27, of Srinagar upazila of Munshiganj, Rabiul Islam Rabi, 20, of Morelganj upazila of Bagerhat, Anisur Rahman Akbar, 20, of Babuganj upazila of Barisal, Habibur Rahman, 39, of Betagi village under Patuakhali Sadar upazila. Sirajul Islam Mintu, 24, of Rajapur village under Rupsha upazila of Khulna. Nasir Uddin Ahmad, 29, of Kumarkhali, Kushtia, Nahid Khan, 38, of Adua Para village under Kushtia Sadar upazila, Md Sajjad Hossain, 27, of Korerbagh village under Lauhajang upazila, Munshiganj, and Aminul Islam, 28, of, Srinagar upazila of Munshiganj.

Of them, three were arrested from Kochua Paurasava area, three from Tetoiyya village and the rest from Ghaghra village. It was learnt that the arrestees are the disciples of Bayezid Khan Panni of Tangail.
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2007-10-17 Bangladesh
A sentenced local commander of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Waliullah alias Abdul Hamid, was arrested at Darail Tarafsartaz village in Bogra's Gabtoli upazila on Monday.

Bogra Detective Branch of Police (DB) arrested the Gabtali unit chief of the terror outfit who was given a 10-year jail sentence in 2005 for possessing sulphuric acid, used for making bombs. Police said Waliullah has at least four cases against him, including one for robbery at local Brac office, which he confessed to having committed.

He told police that JMB operatives had orders from Abdul Awal, the executed son-in-law of JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, to kill 'anti-Islamic forces' -- especially judges, journalists, police, Rab and army men -- adding that JMB activists are still out to implement their ideology.

Waliullah, however, said his duty was to reach out to the people with the invitation of the terror outfit. Waliullah also admitted to having trained JMB rookies at Gabtali Taltala Upazila School and said Bogra district unit commander Mamun can make bombs and use AK-47 rifles.
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2007-10-03 Bangladesh
A case was filed in Rajshahi against 34 BNP and Jamaat leaders on Monday for torture and extortion and patronage of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) -- a banned Islamist outfit.

Ibrahim Ali of Kismat Bihanali village in Bagmara upazila lodged the case with a Rajshahi magistrate court, accusing, among others, Bagmara's Maria UP chairman and Jama'at leader Rezaul Karim Bacchhu and his predecessor and BNP leader Ismail Hossain.

The complainant in his case statement said the accused tried to pressurise him into joining the JMB and demanded Tk 1 lakh in toll for the terror outfit on December 14, 2006. As he could not pay the money, the Jamaat and BNP men attacked his house and damaged his property, the complainant said adding that he was later tortured into paying Tk 30 thousand. Ibrahim alleged that he was also made to commit to paying the rest at a later date.

The court ordered the officer-in-charge (OC) of Bagmara Police Station to investigate into the allegations. When contacted, Ismail Hossain -- the BNP leader -- described the case as a bid to harass him politically and socially.
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2007-08-21 Bangladesh
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced a Majlish-e-Shura member of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned Islamist outfit, to death for killing a Christian youth in Jamalpur four years back. Judge Mohammad Israil Hossain of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-4 handed down the sentence in the presence of the convict, Salahuddin alias Salehin, at a packed courtroom. The court acquitted two other JMB members -- Amir Khan and Sharif Monwar alias Shiplu -- as the charges brought against them were not proved.

Earlier, the prosecution and the defence finished their arguments and the court recorded statements of 14 prosecution witnesses. According to the prosecution, a group of JMB members led by Salahuddin killed Hridoy Roy of Sonarcor in Jamalpur's Sarishabari upazila on April 23, 2003 because he allegedly converted poor Muslim locals to Christianity. A murder case was filed with Sarishabari Police Station following the incident without naming any suspects. Investigation into the case later revealed that JMB members had been behind the killing.
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2007-08-17 Bangladesh
Although two years have passed since the Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) launched a countrywide bomb attack, the government has not yet found out the true masterminds behind that group.
At least they're smart enough to figure that it wasn't Bangla Bhai and Abdur Rahman. There doesn't seem to have been a lot of brain power removed from the Bangla gene pool when they dangled.
The mystery about the masterminds remains shrouded especially because the six militant leaders who were hanged on March 29 this year were not allowed to speak out before the media before their death. Questions that remain unanswered include those about the foreign links and funding that kept JMB operations alive for years.
My guess, not verifiable at this point, would be the money came from Soddy Arabia, probably via Dhubai, through a low-profile front man for a Jamaat-e-Islami politician/holy man. Likely the actual chain has more links in it than those, and reeks of red herrings, but that's prob'ly the way it works.
Meantime, quoting high police officials the press reported that JMB leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai's killing mission of 2004 was launched upon the green signal of former prime minister Khaleda Zia, her all-powerful son Tarique Rahman and the then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.
The entire BNP government stank out loud of its support for the Islamists. We even mentioned here a time or two about how the RAB was always going after Purbo Banglar and New Biplobi commies, but seldom after a turban.
But till date, the law enforcement authorities have not made any official move to initiate an investigation in this regard.
Mainly because an investigation would lead to some people who're still involving with the running of things, like top bureaucrats.
The press also reported that out of the top seven JMB leaders, four including Bangla Bhai were previously involved with Jamaat-e-Islami.
Do tell? Really? We are just so surprised.
Police investigation based on interrogation of arrested JMB leaders also revealed that most senior leaders of JMB had been previously involved with Jamaat.
Pure coincidence, of course.
The law enforcers had arrested a total of 698 JMB activists in connection with the August 17 bomb blast. The government filed 154 cases against them. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad, however, notes that the investigations are still being carried out. "As far as I know, most of the related cases have been already disposed of. The remaining cases will also be quickly disposed of," he said.

Meanwhile, some people who were affected by Bangla Bhai's atrocious killing mission in Rajshahi region have filed several cases against the leading local patrons of JMB in recent months. These patrons are former telecom minister Barrister Aminul Haque, former deputy minister for land Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu and former parliamentarian Nadim Mostafa. These leaders had patronised JMB operations in the Rajshahi region for their personal political gain. But the JMB had already been secretly operating in the country since the late 1990s in different names.
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2007-07-11 Bangladesh
A speedy trial court here yesterday sentenced two Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) each in the August 17 serial blasts case. Mohsin Khan, 27, son of Late Rusmot Ali of Kaziatal village in Muradnagar upazila and Abdul Hye, 27, son of Late Abdul Malek of Asadnagar village of Bhrahmanpara upazila in Comilla, were convicted for their active participation in exploding bombs at six spots here on August 17, 2005.

The two were teachers of Sengram Dakhil Madrassa in Jaintapur upazila. While pronouncing the verdict, Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Biplob Goswami also fined each of them Tk 5,000, in default, to suffer one year more RI.

Earlier, the convicts admitted their complicity with the incident of serial blasts before the District Judge's Court here. Kotwali police sub-inspector (SI) Chand Miah submitted charge-sheet before the magistrate's court on November 17, 2005. Police also submitted a supplementary charge sheet on January 16, 2006. Examining all records and witnesses, the court pronounced the judgement under Section 3 of Explosives Act.

The two convicts along with another accused will be produced before Speedy Trial Tribunal as trial of two more cases in connection with August 17 serial blasts will begin in the same court on July15 and 16, court sources said. Trials of all the cases in connection with the August 17 blasts are likely to be completed by August this year, court sources informed.
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2007-07-11 Bangladesh
An alleged activist of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) yesterday received bullet injuries during a raid by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at a house in the city's Mirpur area and was later arrested along with his wife.

Rab also seized a pistol, several bullets during a two-hour raid at the house on the ground floor of a three-storey building in Block-E, Road no 1, Mirpur-1.

The elite force identified the bullet-hit JMB suspect as Shakhawat, but the name of his wife could not be known. The owner of the house said Shakhawat and Saiful rented the house on May 1, identifying themselves as cousins.

Local said they heard sounds of two gunshots from the house and saw a bullet-injured person was being taken away from there.

Rab officials from Mymensingh and Dhaka jointly conducted the raid at 9:45am following information extracted from Saiful, who was arrested for killing Rafiqul Islam, a madrasa teacher, in Muktagachha, on Monday.

Three criminals, including Saiful and Sagor, gunned down Rafiqul while he was going to the madrasa at Dullachandi in Muktagachha from his house in Binnakuri on Monday morning. Local caught Saiful and Sagor and handed them over to Rab.
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2007-07-04 Britain
The UK government is to ban two extreme Islamist groups accused of carrying out terrorist attacks in south Asia, ministers announced Tuesday. Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh and Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi would be added to the list of organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act.

The minister for counter-terrorism and security, Tony McNulty, published a draft order in parliament today. Once passed, it will be an offence to belong to or encourage support for either group. "As events over the last few days have shown only too clearly, the threat we face from terrorism remains real and serious," McNulty said in a statement. "Proscription powers are a key tool in the fight against terrorism, creating a hostile environment in which terrorists find it increasingly difficult to operate, whether in this country or abroad. "Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh is already banned in that country, where it seeks to impose strict Islamic law."

Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi is active in tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The group "regularly attacks coalition and Afghan government forces in Afghanistan and provides direct support to al-Qaida and the Taliban", according to the draft order. The group was blamed for a suicide bombing that killed 44 Pakistani military cadets in November 2006.

Thus far, 44 primarily Islamist organisations have been banned in the UK, along with 14 groups in Northern Ireland outlawed under earlier legislation. The additions were unconnected with the attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow, a Home Office statement said.
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2007-06-15 Bangladesh
Seven Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants surrendered at Gangachara Police Station in Rangpur yesterday morning. Meanwhile, charges were framed against a JMB militant while Shaekh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai were acquitted in connection with a case filed for the bomb blasts in August 17, 2005 in Kishoreganj.

Police later showed the seven surrendered militants arrested under section 54 before a magistrate's court in Rangpur. The arrestees were sent to Rangpur Central Jail yesterday afternoon. The JMB militants are Azizul Islam, 22, Azaharul Islam, 22, Johurul Islam, 23, Abdul Baten, 20, and Foyjul Islam, 19, of Kuribishwa under Kolkond union and Ashiqul Islam, 24, and Ibrahim Khalil, 27 of Boraibari under Alambiditor union.

Sources said the guardians of the JMB men accompanied them to Gangachara Police Station around 9:00am along with union parishad chairmen of their area.
The OC told The Daily Star that they confessed to their earlier involvement with Islami Chhatra Shibir and Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.
Officer-in-charge (OC) of Gangachara Police Station Bazlur Rashid said during primary interrogation they revealed how they were involved with the militant outfit and why they surrendered. The OC told The Daily Star that they confessed to their earlier involvement with Islami Chhatra Shibir and Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.

Quoting statements of the JMB men he said Shafiqul Islam, a teacher of a registered non-government primary school at Changmari, had persuaded them to joining JMB with the aim to establish Islamic rule in the country. Realising their error, the JMB men surrendered to police, as they wanted to lead normal lives, Rashid said quoting the militants. The OC said, "We are looking for allegations filed against them with any police station in the country."

CHARGE FRAMED AGAINST JMB CADRE
Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Mijanur Rahman submitted the charge sheet against JMB cadre Obaidullah Sumon before the Third Additional Sessions Judge's Court in Kishoreganj in connection with the six blasts in Kishoreganj on August 17, 2005. In the charge sheet, JMB chief Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai were mentioned as planners of the attacks but acquitted as they were executed, our Kishoreganj correspondent reports. Sumon was arrested in possession of explosive gel, detonator and explosives at a mosque of Gurui in Nikli upazila in Kishoreganj on September 22, 2005. He is serving a 17-year imprisonment in Kishoreganj Central Jail in an explosives case.
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2007-05-10 Bangladesh
Banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) threatened the district deputy commissioner (DC) to bomb several establishments including his office in one or two days.
"We will blow up some important establishments including your office within one and two days as you killed our leaders."
DC Khondoker Atiar Rahman told reporters that on Tuesday afternoon he received a letter from a person named Ripon, who claimed himself as a JMB commander. The letter was posted at a Dinajpur post office on May 6, he said. The DC said he informed the law enforcement agencies of the matter.

The letter reads, "We will blow up some important establishments including your office within one and two days as you killed our leaders." Superintendent of Police Hasif Aziz said adequate security measures were taken at different government offices including the DC office. Dinajpur police were also trying to find out the sender.
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2007-05-09 Bangladesh
The three Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants, who were placed on a five-day remand in Rangpur Thursday, disclosed sensational information about their regrouping, technique and plans to blast bombs in NGO offices and other important establishments.
Sources in Gangachara Police Station said JMB militants Rokonuzzaman, Khalequzzaman Lebu and Mahbul Haque revealed to the interrogators that they recruited a large number of people at a number of established NGOs in the northern districts.

They were working in NGOs at grassroots-levels and simultaneously regrouping JMB members. The sources said they told interrogators that there are at least 100 active JMB militants in Rangpur of whom 25 are in Gangachara upazila. During interrogation the JMB men said many JMB men took up jobs at different NGOs upon instructions from the high command. Their purpose was to attack those offices in future.

Meanwhile, the three JMB militants were sent to jail custody yesterday on completion of their five-day remand. Police lodged cases against them under Special Powers Act. Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested them at a remote char of the Teesta. Rokunuzzaman is the chief of Saudpara Dakhil Madrasa and Khalequzzaman is a grassroots-level worker of ASOD, a local NGO. Mahbul is the owner of the house from which police arrested them.
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2007-05-08 Bangladesh
A Dhaka court yesterday placed a Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) member on a seven-day remand in connection with a case filed for bomb explosions at Ramna Batamul in 2001. Metropolitan Magistrate Mir Ali Reza passed the order when CID Inspector Abu Hena Mohammad Yusuf, who is also the investigation officer (IO), produced the JMB member, Abdullah Al Tasnim, before the court amid tight security.

He was brought to the court on completion of his seven-day remand in connection with bomb blasts at a CPB rally at Paltan in the capital on January 20, 2001. In the forwarding report, CID Inspector Anwar Hossain mentioned that Tasnim gave important information about the bomb explosions. So, he should be confined to jail custody until the investigation of the case completes, the IO said. Seeking a ten-day remand for Tasnim in connection with the Ramna bomb blast case, IO Abu Hena said Tasnim is an active member of JMB and vital clue will be found out if he is quizzed. Ten people died and several others were injured on April 14, 2001 when bombs went off at Ramna Batamul during the Bengali New year's celebrations.
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2007-05-05 Bangladesh
Banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) cadres are regrouping along with the fellow militants of Insaf and Allar Dal to see through the job of establishing Islamic law in the country.
Meet the new JMB, same as the old JMB, now with new packaging and 20% more Purity™
It's longer, lower, leaner, wider, with more road-hugging weight!
According to intelligence sources and information obtained from detainees, the three outfits are now operating under a single banner whose name changes too frequently to keep track of it.
Whoa! There it went again!
Determined to make up for the loss of their spearheads, they have launched a fresh recruitment drive stealthily, said an intelligence official seeking anonymity.
"Join now! The organization with the rapidly changing name wants YOU!"
In a secret ballot immediately after the president had turned down the clemency pleas of militant leader Abdur Rahman and his deputies, the JMB, its offshoot Allar Dal, and Insaf, a group led by an Ahle Hadith faction, elected Moulana Sayeedur Rahman alias Abu Jafar as their ameer (commander). In a series of meetings, they reconstituted a six-member Majlish-e-Shura (highest policy-making body) and appointed nine chiefs for as many operational divisions. Besides, the militant remnants vowed to take up the job where it was left off by the executed JMB top brass. They set police, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), judges, Ahmadiyya mosques and NGOs as prime targets for attacks.

Intelligence officials have gathered that the militants have plans to blast less powerful bombs and carry out the main attack when the law enforcers will be busy at the first explosion site. Despite knowing this beforehand, the law enforcers could not pre-empt the three near-simultaneous explosions at railway stations in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet on May 1. The failure to net the ones leading the regenerated militant campaign led to the blasts that harked back to the August 17 countrywide attacks. Besides, those detained for involvement in militancy did not give enough leads, said sources close to those working on the Islamist groups.

The intelligence agencies are now examining if the latest blasts bear any links to the three groups.
Linked like little sausages to the sow, they are.
The post-Abdur Rahman JMB cadres have decided to remain clean-shaven and not to wear pajamas or punjabis. They believe this would make it difficult for the law enforcers to suspect them by the way they look, added the sources. Following intelligence reports, the authorities have directed the district administration to be on the alert for the regrouped militants. Accordingly, police in different districts have undertaken programmes seeking to aware the locals so that the militants cannot operate under cover.

The JMB men had observed a seven-day mourning for its executed leaders. In Bogra, they distributed leaflets asking people to keep a sombre mood during the mourning period.
"Or else."
The six members of the recast Majlish-e-Shura are Amir Abu Jafar, Anwar Hossain alias Faruq alias Tanvir, Asadul Islam alias Arif alias Maruf, Sayeed alias Russell alias Zubaer, Mahfuz alias Sohel alias Mamun and Abdullah Taslim alias Nahid alias Biplob.

Jahidul Islam Sumon alias Mizan alias Kamrul alias Nayan of Sheker Vita of Jamalpur has been appointed the military expert of the new JMB for his expertise in explosives, firearms and ammunition, intelligence officials said.
That's a lot of aliases for one man. Must be hard to remember who he is each morning.
Those in charge of nine divisions are Rokon alias Leon (Dhaka south), Salahuddin alias Nadim (Dhaka north), Mushad alias Roman (Narsinghdi), Ashiq alias Abul Quasem (Narayanganj), Abdullah Taslim alias Nahid (Tangail), Anwar alias Faruq alias Tanjil (Mymensingh and Sylhet division), Mahfuz alias Sohel alias Abu Sayeed (Khulna), Mehedi Hasan alias Abir (Barisal) and Sayeed alias Russell alias Zubaer (Rajshahi).
It's not clear to me how the authorities know the identities and aliases of all these men,know how many ballots it took to elect the thug-in-chief, and know they've swapped out their turbans and pj's for street clothes, and don't have any of them in custody...
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2007-05-03 Bangladesh
Law enforcers yesterday arrested one of the prime accused in the Rajshahi University Prof Yunus murder case from Perihat of Gabtoli upazila. The arrestee, Shahidullah, is the husband of executed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) kingpin Bangla Bhai's niece and an activist of banned Islamist outfit JMB. He is the son of Abdus Sattar from Sarukdanga of Shapahar upazila in Naogaon.

According to sources, a joint team of Detective Branch (DB) and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) made the arrest. Shahidullah confessed to be one of the planners of Prof Yunus murder, but he claimed that he was not present at the scene during the murder, added the sources.

Shahidullah's statement however contradicts the statement of Tareq, another accused held in connection with the murder case. Tareq previously told police that Shahidullah was present while the professor was being murdered. Tareq also said that the professor was killed by order of JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman. During interrogation, Shahidullah said that after the JMB high command directed the activists to kill Prof Yunus for his affiliation with outlawed communists, he along with Tareq, Ibrahim, Mostafa, Abul Kashem, Arif and Abdur Rashid held a meeting at Tareq's house at Baniapara in Rajshahi town. He had been assigned with high profile assignments after marrying the niece of Bangla Bhai. He accompanied Bangla Bhai in operations against outlaws in Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, Natore and Naogaon, Shahidullah admitted to police.
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2007-05-02 India-Pakistan
Pakistan “remains a major source of Islamic extremism and a safe haven for some top terrorist leaders”, despite being a frontline ally of the United States in the “war on terror”, according to the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, released in Washington on Monday. According to the report, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been a safe haven for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. “Despite Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate threats and establish effective governance in FATA, these tribal areas continued to be terrorist safe havens and sources of instability for Pakistan and its neighbours,” says the report.

Pakistan maintains 80,000 Frontier Corps and Army troops in FATA, but has been unable to exert control over the area, says the report. The US is helping Pakistan train the FC so it becomes more effective in its role. The planned closure of four refugee camps near the Pak-Afghan border would also help. “The failure of the tribal leaders in FATA to fulfil their promises to the government under the terms of the North Waziristan agreement signed in September, failed to stem insurgent infiltration into Afghanistan,” it says.

The report says Pakistan’s government is taking a three-pronged approach to increase its writ in FATA – political, security and developmental. “For the political prong, Pakistan seeks to bolster effective governance by empowering local officials. For the security prong, Pakistan’s objective is to increase the capacity and efficacy of local security forces. For the developmental prong, the government has designed a comprehensive sustainable development plan for the region.”

The report says that though President Gen Pervez Musharraf “remained a forceful advocate for his vision of ‘enlightened moderation,’ calling on Pakistanis to reject extremism and terrorist violence,” the government’s crackdown on banned organisations, hate material, and incitement by religious leaders continued “unevenly”.

The report estimates that 900 Pakistanis lost their lives in more than 650 terror attacks in 2006, with another 1,500 people seriously injured. These attacks came from Al Qaeda and its supporters, as well as violence stemming from Sunni-Shia sectarian strife and militant sub-nationalists in Balochistan. The report notes that Pakistani security services cooperated with the US and other nations to foil the August London Heathrow bomb plot, and Pakistan’s leaders took steps to prevent support to Kashmiri militancy and denounced acts of terrorism in India. And though hundreds were killed in sectarian violence, the report says the total number of sectarian terror attacks continued to decline for the second year in a row in 2006.

It says though Pakistan continued to work with the UNSCR 1267 Committee to freeze the assets of terrorist entities linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, “several UN-sanctioned entities continued to operate”. It also noted that an anti-money laundering bill introduced in the National Assembly in September 2005 has still not been passed, adding that the legislation would “significantly broaden Pakistan’s ability to cooperate internationally on counter-terrorism finance issues”.

The report also said the Bush administration had designated Islamic groups Harkatul Mujahideen (HUM), Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba– all said to be based in Pakistan - as “foreign terrorist organisations,” prohibiting US residents from extending material support to them. This also denies individuals representing these groups from entering or doing business in the US. In all 42 groups, active in different parts of the world, figure in the US terrorist list. The report says HUM and JeM are politically aligned with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and operate primarily in Indian-held Kashmir. The department has designated Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jamaatul Mujahideen as “groups of concern”.
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2007-05-01 Bangladesh
Another Dhaka court yesterday placed a Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) member on a seven-day remand in connection with bomb blasts at a CPB rally at Paltan in the capital on January 20, 2001. Metropolitan Magistrate Mir Ali Reza passed the remand order when CID Inspector Anwar Hossain produced JMB member Abdullah Al Tanzim before the court with an eight-day remand prayer.
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2007-04-23 Bangladesh
Law enforcers yesterday arrested at least four alleged Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants from Jhenidah, Kurigram and Rajshahi and recovered some bomb-making materials. Law enforcers yesterday arrested at least four alleged Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants from Jhenidah, Kurigram and Rajshahi and recovered some bomb-making materials.

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel arrested two alleged activists of JMB raiding Ullapara of Kaliganj upazila early Saturday, our Jhenidah correspondent reports. The arrestees are: Abu Hasan, 48, an Iman of Ullapara mosque, Jakir Hossain, 25, of Kannyadah of Harinakunda upazila.

Major Hafiz of Rab-6 said acting on a tip-off they raided the house of Abu Hasan in Ullapara around 2:00am yesterday and arrested him and Jakir Hossain. They also recovered bomb-making materials including phosphorus powder, iron shrapnel and other materials including booklets on Jihad written by the now executed JMB leader Khalid Saifullah.

Meanwhile, Abu Hasan allegedly told law enforcers that Jakir came to his house as a labour and the seized materials belong to Jakir. He said he was not aware of the materials being there. Jakir claimed that he is a student of a madrasa and he is not a labour. He said a youth left the materials at the house. Kurigram police around yesterday noon arrested an alleged JMB militant Ujjal, 17, son of Khalilur Rahman of Natan Para of Raumari Bazar, a correspondent from Kurigram reports.

Meanwhile, the 13 JMB militants, who were arrested from different places of Kurigram on Saturday, were placed on a four-day remand yesterday. Police sources said they are interrogating them.

Police yesterday arrested a suspected JMB militant from Bagmara upazila in Rajshahi, our staff correspondent in Rajshahi reports. The arrestee was identified as Abdul Jalil, 36, son of Jamsed Ali of the village Hamirkutsa. He is accused in several criminal cases including murder, torture, extortion and cases filed in connection with assault on policemen, police sources claimed.
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2007-04-22 Bangladesh
Police yesterday morning arrested 13 suspected activists of the outlawed Islamist militant organisation Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) raiding different places in Kurigram. The arrestees are: Neamul Arif Likhi Chaudhury, 26, Ershadul Haque Mithu, 26, Mokhlesur Rahman Mithu, 20, and Mamun, 22, of Bhurungamari upazila, Angur, 18, Raihan Kabir Rana, 19, Shahidul Islam Shahin, 18, and Mahmudul Mamun, 20, of Chilmari upazila, Lal Miah, 28, of Raumari upazila and Abdul Hai Sarkar, 55, Ripon, 18, Maniruzzaman, 22, Alam, 19, of Sadar upazila of the district.

Police sources said police arrested them following information extracted from militant leader Matin Mehdi, chief of an Islamist militant organisation "Allaher Dal", and three others who were placed on a five-day remand Friday. Superintendent of Police of Kurigram Choudhury Manjurul Kabir said they are trying to find out how the militant network spread in the country by questioning the militants.
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2007-04-17 Bangladesh
A Chittagong court yesterday framed charges against six Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) activists in four cases filed in connection with bomb attacks, murder, and possession of illegal firearms and explosives. The accused include JMB bigwigs Javed Iqbal alias Mohammad and Zahid Hossain alias Bomb Mizan. The cases were filed in connection with the August 17, 2005 countrywide bomb attacks, the bomb attack on Chittagong court building premises on November 29, 2005 and illegal firearms and explosives that were recovered from the port city's Pahartali area on December 14, 2005.

The court of additional metropolitan sessions judge pressed charges against the six and exempted three top JMB leaders, including Abdur Rahman, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and Ataur Rahman Sunny who were executed in the Jhalakathi judges murder case, and one deceased suicide bomber Abul Hossain. Judge Akter Hossain framed charges against JMB Chittagong Divisional Chief Javed Iqbal alias Mohammad and Zahid Hossain alias Bomb Mizan in the two cases filed in connection with the November 29, 2005 attack.

Charges were also pressed against Mohammad, Zahid, Alauddin Rubel and Arshadul Alam in connection with the case filed for August 17, 2005 serial bomb attacks in Chittagong. The judge also pressed charges against Mohammad and Zahid along with two others--Naimuzzaman and Rafiqul Islam alias Rumel--in connection with the December 14, 2005 arms and explosives haul case, sources said.

Abdur Rahman, Sunny and Bangla Bhai were accused in all the four cases while Abul Hossain was accused in the explosion and murder cases filed in connection with the suicide bomb attack that left three people including a policeman and an upazila Jubo League leader dead on November 29, 2005.
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2007-04-13 Bangladesh
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is on top of the law enforcers' list of suspected killers of Jhalakathi district court Public Prosecutor Hyder Hossain although investigators did not find any clue to the murder as of last evening. Meanwhile, the joint forces yesterday recovered a powerful live bomb--identical to the one used for killing the two Jhalakathi judges on November 14, 2005--around half a kilometre off the scene of Hyder's murder. "Hyder Hossain's conducting of the Jhalakathi judges killing case against the militant kingpins might have triggered the murder," said Lt Col Shamim in the district. "Possibility of any third party's involvement has also been taken into consideration and the investigation is being conducted carefully," he added.

Unknown assailants on Wednesday night shot dead Hyder who was the chief counsel of the case filed against JMB militants for killing two Jhalakathi judges.

Found in an abandoned bag, the bomb weighing 500 grams contained power gel, detonator, cycle and plastic balls. A knife, three cell phone chargers, a nail cutter and a razor were also found in the bag. The joint force members held one Manoranjan, 45, and his son Sukhranjan, 18, from the spot for interrogation. A team of explosives experts led by Rab-8 DAD Abul Hasan defused the bomb at 9:00am yesterday.

The police said the killers might have brought the bomb to clear their way out but left it in the face of the joint forces' extensive search operation following Hyder Hossain's killing. The police also recovered from the spot a cartridge believed to be of the bullet shot at Hyder's forehead.
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2007-04-09 Bangladesh
A complaint was lodged yesterday against four people including Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu and former post and telecommunications minister barrister Aminul Huq accusing them of aiding and abetting militants of the banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). The other two accused in the complaint are former deputy commissioner (DC) of Rajshahi Aziz Hasan and then Rajshahi superintendent of police (SP) Masud Miah (dismissed in 2006).

Advocate Moazzem Hossain from Mollahpara of Rajshahi city lodged the complaint with Rajpara Police Station in Rajshahi at 4:00pm. Police officially received the complaint at 7:00pm and sent it for home ministry's recommendation as to whether the complaint can be filed as a regular case. The compliant has many components for it to be filed as a sedition case, said a senior police official.

This is the first complaint filed against mayor Minu implicating him with JMB. In his complaint, advocate Moazzem said on May 23, 2004, assisted by the accused four -- mayor Minu, barrister Aminul, DC Hasan and SP Masud -- JMB leaders Prof Lutfar Rahman, Mahtab Khamaru, Abdus Sattar, Jalil Amin, Natib Lutfar and others gathered around 2,000 militant activists from Rajshahi and its adjacent areas and marched toward Rajshahi city. The militants paraded different city streets and chanted various anti-state slogans that included declaring a war against Bangladesh and vows to form an Islamic jihad group in their bid to establishing an Islamic state in the country.

The JMB militants from the procession also submitted memorandums to the then DC and SP. Later, the JMB militants held a street rally in front of Rajshahi Court. In the rally, many militant leaders boasted that mayor Minu, barrister Aminul, DC Hasan and SP Masud had assured them (JMB) of extending full cooperation and support in JMB's bid to establishing an Islamic state. Militant leaders also declared that they were pledged to "change the map of the country" and both Minu and Aminul would help JMB strengthen by providing the necessary financial and administrative assistance.

Moreover, the JMB leaders announced that they would kill leaders of different political parties as well as journalists who stood in their way. The militants delivered similar speeches from another rally organised later at zero point of Saheb Bazar, the complainant added.
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2007-04-05 Bangladesh
Six suspected militants of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were arrested in Jamalpur, Joypurhat and Barisal yesterday and on Tuesday night. Police arrested Saiful Islam, a teacher of Bulbuli Girls High School in Islampur upazila of Jamalpur, at his house at Dhengragar village yesterday and seized some documents, according to the UNB. Asadullah Asad, another suspected JMB cadre, was arrested from Aramnagar Bazar in Sarishabari upazila of the district on the same day. The law enforcers are beating dutch rubbing brilloing the scrotums of quizzing the arrestees.

In Joypurhat, police arrested three suspected JMB men at their houses in Khatlal, Kalai and Sadar areas on Tuesday night. Police said the arrestees--Abdul Hakim, Atiar Rahman and Imran Hossain--were reorganising the JMB men in the areas following execution of six top militants. Our Barisal correspondent reported that Rab members arrested one suspected JMB militant and recovered four grenades from his possession yesterday morning. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-8, Barisal, arrested Maulana Aktaruzzaman, imam of a mosque in Sayestabad area, at around 7:00am. On his confession, the Rab men later recovered four grenades that were hidden at a place in the area. The members of the elite force are twisting the nose thumping quizzing the alleged JMB man.
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2007-04-04 Bangladesh
Two more cases have been filed against former minister Aminul Haque in connection with land grabbing, and felling of government-owned trees in Rajshahi. Golam Mostafa, a homeopath of Ramnagar, lodged the land-grabbing case yesterday against him and nine others with Godagari Police Station in Rajshahi saying the accused illegally occupied a piece of land he owns, measuring 13-decimals, at Dayingpara on April 13 last year. The plaintiff said the accused grabbed the land and forced him to sign an agreement, which gave the land away to Godagari Banik Samity President Ashraful Haq.
"Just sign the paper to donate the land!"
"But I don't wanna donate my land! It's all I got!"
"Mahmoud, hit him again!"

Other accused people in the case include the ex-minister's maternal uncle and Godagari municipality BNP president Rafik Uddin, secretary and municipality Chairman Anwarul Islam, Tarikul Islam, Mofazzal, Tofazzal, Ahmed, Tarikul, Nazrul and Eltaz.

Meanwhile, Harunur Rashid, a farmer of Chanduria, lodged another case with Tanore Police Station in Rajshahi on Monday night accusing Aminul and four other BNP men of felling and stealing government-owned trees on both sides of Ajaripur-Ekhtarpur road between March and June 2005.
"You stole trees?"
"They weren't nailed down. We thought they were available for the taking!"

The plaintiff claimed the accused later misappropriated the money after selling the trees, which were worth around Tk 1.30 lakh.
"The money wasn't nailed down, either."
Others accused in the case include: a close aide to Aminul Rajshahi district BNP general secretary Shis Mohammad and Chanduria union council chairman Mofiz Uddin. Police arrested the other two accused in the case--Keramat and Abdul Karim -at Deotala early yesterday. Earlier, two cases were filed against Aminul Haque in Bagmara for aiding militants of banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
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2007-04-03 Bangladesh
Two more former BNP lawmakers were sued on Sunday for patronising militants of banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Natore and Rajshahi. Victims of JMB atrocities--Muhidul Islam Khan of Puthia and Ayub Ali Pramanik of Bagmara upazila--filed two cases Sunday against ex-deputy minister for land Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu and former lawmaker Nadim Mostafa, among others. Former post and telecommunications minister Aminul Huq stands accused in one of the cases. He already faces charges of helping the militants commit brutalities in the northern districts.

Fazlur Rahman, who was kidnapped and left maimed by Bangla Bhai and his men three years ago, filed the case against him and 27 others Friday. It was the first case against any of those ex-BNP ministers and lawmakers alleged to have been the masterminds behind the rise of Islamic militancy in the northern districts. In their cases, Muhidul and Ayub alleged that the militants had tortured and extorted money from them in collusion with the accused BNP leaders. Bangla Bhai, who was executed along with his chief Abdur Rahman and four other militants late Thursday night, would keep in contact with the former ministers and lawmakers over cell phones during their vigilante operations in 2004.

Muhidul accused 21 people including Dulu, Nadim, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai while Ayub brought charges against Aminul Huq, Dulu and Nadim and 27 others.
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2007-03-31 Bangladesh
With the funerals of executed Istamist militant linchpins, many secrets and mysteries about the rise of the particular kind of militancy, its masterminds and patrons were also buried yesterday. Although the investigators since the August 17, 2005 orchestrated bomb blasts across the country had been saying that the mysteries behind the rise of Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and about its masterminds and patrons would be detected after the arrests of some sura members, the secrets were never disclosed even after JMB chief Abdur Rahman and his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai had been arrested.

Although the names of some immediate past ruling party political leaders, ministers and lawmakers have surfaced since the JMB leaders started operating in the northern districts in 2004, the investigators have made no visible move to detect and expose them. The alleged patrons still remain untouched and no charge has yet been brought against them. Even they were not officially pointed out.

In June 2004, Bangla Bhai told a journalist over the phone that four influential leaders of the immediate past ruling party, BNP, were patronising his operations.
In June 2004, Bangla Bhai told a journalist over the phone that four influential leaders of the immediate past ruling party, BNP, were patronising his operations. He also named four of the influential leaders, who are former telecommunications minister Aminul Haque, former state minister for housing Alamgir Kabir, former deputy minister for land Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, and former lawmaker Nadim Mostafa. The report was published in different newspapers at the time.
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2007-03-30 Bangladesh
No more greenhouse gas emissions for you, Bangla!
Six Islamic militants convicted of killing two judges during a wave of bomb attacks have been hanged in Bangladesh, officials say. The six included Abdur Rahman, the head of the banned Islamic group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, and his deputy Siddiqul Islam, known as Bangla Bhai, and four other JMB players to be named later. Police said the men were executed at different jails across the country.
Heh. Coppers can do multiple ops at the same time too.
The November 2005 attack on the judges was part of a series of bombings for which the JMB was guilty blamed.
JMB was responsible. They said so themselves. But Aunty Beeb can't help themselves, it's reflexive.
During their trial, the men said they targeted the judiciary because it was run by secular rather than Sharia law.
"We dunnit, and we're glad, you sons of monkeys and pigs!"
The Supreme Court rejected their appeal late last year and President Iajuddin Ahmed turned them down for clemency earlier this month. "They were hanged in four different jails and their dead bodies were handed over to their families," Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier Zakir Hassan told the French news agency AFP.
Hey! Apparently it is possible to capture a 'militant', try them, and hang them. Huzzah! The ululator's in the back of the shed, under the leaf blower and the volleyball net.
JMB has claimed responsibility been blamed for a string of bombings across Bangladesh that left almost 30 people dead. In August 2005, some 500 bombs were set off in all but one of Bangladesh's 64 districts in the space of an hour. A number of subsequent bomb attacks targeted judges and court rooms. More than 100 cases in every upazilla have been filed against alleged members of the JMB in connection with the campaign. The government has been concerned about the possibility of retaliation to the hangings by still active JMB supporters, says the BBC's John Sudworth in Bangladesh. This is thought to be why the executions were carried out without warning in various jails across the country.
Whatever, Aunty. Bye, Bangla.
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2007-03-28 Bangladesh
Two militants belonging to Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were arrested at Sarishabari upazila in Jamalpur district yesterday. The arrestees were identified as Mominul Islam Milon, 25, son of Tofajjal Hossain, and Akbar Hossain, 22, son of Mohammad Suruzzaman -- both from Satpoa village of Sarishabari upazila in the district.

Acting on a tip off, a team of Sarishabari Police Station led by SI Mohammad Tamizuddin arrested the two Ehsar members of JMB after raiding their houses at Satpoa village at around 12:30pm, police sources said. Police also seized a few jihadi books from their possession. The arrested JMB cadres are being interrogated at Sarishabari Police Station.
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2007-03-23 Bangladesh
Six condemned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants including its supremo Abdur Rahman and his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai will be executed between April 13 and 19.

The jail authorities yesterday received a copy of the president's rejection of the militants' mercy petitions and as per the jail code the execution will take place between 21st and 28th days from the date of receipt of the president's decision. Inspector General of Police Noor Mohammad told The Daily Star last night that they are apprehending sporadic attacks by the militants as the day for the militants' execution nears. Since the president's rejection of the militant convicts' mercy petition on March 5, police, Rab and intelligence agencies have taken adequate measures to prevent any attempted retaliation by the militants' followers, he added.

Meanwhile, the jail authorities have beefed up security in and Around the jails where the militants are confined to avert any untoward incident that may erupt following the latest decision on the condemned. The six JMB militants were convicted for killing two judges in Jhalakathi in a suicide bomb attack in November 2005. "We have received the copy of the president's rejection of the six militants' mercy petitions today [Thursday] afternoon," Inspector General (Prisons) Brig Gen Zakir Hasan told The Daily Star yesterday evening. "We are yet to decide the date of execution," he said. "As per the rules the six militants will be executed anytime not before 21 days and not after 28 days and the countdown will start from the date of receipt of the president's decision on the militants' petition for clemency. Thus the execution date will fall between April 13 and 19," said Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) Maj Shamsul Haider Siddique.

The exact date, time and place for the execution of the militants are yet to be fixed, he said, adding, "We will remain busy up to March 26 and then we will decide when, where and how the execution will be carried out." The executions are usually carried out at one minute past zero hour on the night of 27th day, sources said, adding that it is done on the last day to allow the condemned live as along as the law permits.
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2007-03-17 Bangladesh
Police in separate drives arrested five more activists of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Bagmara upazila yesterday. The arrestees are Afzal Hossain, 33, of Hamirkutsa, Zahidul Haq, 45, of Madhya Jhina, Chanchal, 20, of Jhikra, Emaj Uddin, 25, of Jhargram, and Abdur Razzak, 26, of Sripur villages.

On Wednesday, the law enforcers arrested two JMB men--Aftab Hossain and Abdus Salam--in the same upazila. The officer-in-charge (OC) of Bagmara Police Station said the arrestees are listed JMB cadres. They were associates of Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and involved in so-called operations against outlaws in the upazila in 2004, he added.
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2007-03-12 Bangladesh
A member of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was arrested and a firearm along with six rounds of cartridges was seized from his possession by police in the city on Saturday night. The arrestee was identified as listed JMB activist Dulal alias Dulaia alias Dula Mia, 32, son of late Shafiul Islam of West Baraikara village of Baralia union in Potiya upazila.

Dulal is accused in at least 13 criminal cases including robberies and a murder case filed with Potiya and Anwara police stations.
Dulal was arrested before on October 3 in 2005 from the Chittagong Court premises immediately after a bomb attack on the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Akram Hossain, police said. Sources said Dulal was also arrested on September 9 in 1997 for his involvement in murder of a police and snatching a rifle. Police recovered six firearms from his possession at that time as well, said Sub Inspector Wahiduzzaman of Potiya Police Station.

Police produced Dulal before the court yesterday morning while the court granted a two-day remand. Dulal is accused in at least 13 criminal cases including robberies and a murder case filed with Potiya and Anwara police stations.
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2007-03-07 Bangladesh
Police arrested five members of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) at two villages of Khetlal upazila early yesterday. The arrestees are Monsur Rahman, Mahfuzur, Nuruzzaman, Ishaque Ali and Afzal Hossain. Monsur, Mahfuz and Nuruzzaman were arrested at Uttar Moheshpur village while Isahaque Ali and Afzal Hossain at Telabadul Mridhapara village. Acting on a tip-off, the law enforcers from Khetlal Police Station raided the two villages and arrested the militants who were wanted in various cases.
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2007-03-07 Bangladesh
Law Adviser Mainul Hosein yesterday said the government will not allow the six condemned JMB militants to speak to the media since there is no instance of allowing any convict to do so. Hunt is on for arresting those who patronised the militants and they will also be brought to book, Mainul told newsmen at the Secretariat.

The six top militants might be executed in the first week of April.
The six top militants including Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman and his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai might be executed in the first week of April. Now there is no obstacle to the execution of the militants as the president rejected their mercy petitions on Sunday. According to jail code, if the president rejects clemency prayers by the condemned, the jail authorities are to reschedule the date of execution within 21-28 days from the date of receipt of the copy of his decision.

Sources said the jail authorities have beefed up security at different jails where the militants are confined. Of the seven militants sentenced to death for killing two Jhalakathi judges in November 2005, Abdur Rahman, Bangla Bhai and Iftekhar Mamun are in Kashimpur jail in Gazipur, Ataur Rahman Sunny and Abdul Awal in Dhaka Central Jail and Khaled Saifullah in Rangpur jail. Another condemned militant is absconding.
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2007-03-06 Bangladesh
The president has rejected the mercy petitions of six of the seven Islamist militants condemned to death for killing two Jhalakathi judges in November 2005. With the rejection of the mercy petitions, there will be no obstacle to the executions of the militants.

Sources said the president rejected the mercy petitions on Sunday while the relevant documents were sent to the ministry concerned yesterday. Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) Maj Shamsul Haider Siddique told The Daily Star last night that he did not receive any official order regarding rejection of mercy petitions.
According to the jail code, if the president rejects clemency prayers by the condemned, the jail authorities are to reschedule the date of execution within 21-28 days from the date of receipt of the copy of his decision.
He, however, said the order would reach the jail through the law and home ministries and it may take two to three days.

According to the jail code, if the president rejects clemency prayers by the condemned, the jail authorities are to reschedule the date of execution within 21-28 days from the date of receipt of the copy of his decision.

The condemned are Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman, its second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, its Majlish-e-Shura members Ataur Rahman Sunny, Khaled Saifullah and Abdul Awal, suicide bomber Iftekhar Al Mamun and absconding Asadul Islam alias Arif. The captured six are in different jails.

In the first week of February the jail authorities sent the mercy petitions of the six to the president through the home ministry. The seven JMB militants were convicted and sentenced to death for killing two judges in Jhalakathi in a suicide bomb attack in November 2005. One of them, Asadul Islam alias Arif, is absconding. Senior assistant judges Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed were killed in the suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town in the wake of a series of bombings carried out by Islamist militants across the country.

The High Court (HC) on August 31 last year upheld the trial court verdict handing down death penalties to the seven convicts on May 29. The Supreme Court on November 28 last year rejected the six convicts' petitions seeking permission to appeal against the HC judgement.
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2007-03-02 Bangladesh
Police arrested 10 suspected activists of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) including an alleged associate of Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai at Bagmara upazila in Rajshahi early yesterday. The alleged close aide to Bangla Bhai, Abdus Sattar of Sakoa in the district, was arrested twice before since the August 17, 2005 countrywide bombings. He was released on bail later on.

Sattar, also a teacher of Jatragachhi Fazil Madrasa, was allegedly reorganising absconding JMB militants. Sattar is widely believed to have helped Bangla Bhai in his so-called anti-outlaw operations of Jagrata Muslim Janata, Bangladesh (JMJB) in Bagmara in 2004. The other arrestees are: Lutfar Rahman, 35, Abdur Rashid, 36, Manik, 25 of Udpara, Masud Rana, 23, Abu Musa of Bishupara, Abdus Sobhan, 43 of Jatragachhi, Firoz, 24, of Bhabalpur, Abdul Kuddus of Shantapara and Abdur Rahman of Goalkandi. All were arrested at their respective homes in the early hours yesterday.
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2007-02-20 Bangladesh
A Bangladesh militant convicted in a deadly bombing campaign faces the death penalty after the Supreme Court rejected a last minute legal bid to have his case reviewed, the prosecution said yesterday. Khaled Saifullah was sentenced last May to hang along with five other militants of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militant group. The men are blamed for a string of blasts, which killed at least 28 people, aimed at imposing Islamic law in the Muslim but secular nation.

“The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has rejected the review petition against the death sentence of Khaled Saifullah,” said deputy attorney general Helal Uddin Mollah. The execution of the six men had been due to be carried out this month and officials said only a successful plea for clemency to the president would save the men. However, in an unexplained development earlier this month, Saifullah had his sentence stayed temporarily after his lawyers asked for a review of his case. The convicts include JMB leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his deputy Siddiqul Islam.

Police had accused Saifullah of being a member of the militant group’s decision-making body. Court, police and government buildings were targeted in the attacks which began in August 2005 with more than 400 almost simultaneous blasts across the country. The six men were sentenced to death by a lower court after being found guilty of conspiring to murder the two judges in November 2005. A seventh accused is on the run and was convicted in his absence.

The outgoing government led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) pledged to execute the men to show that the country would not allow militants to hijack Islam. The government also conceded that it had underestimated the threat from religious extremists. The president has not yet responded to appeals from or on behalf of all six men and no date has been set for their execution.
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2007-01-31 Bangladesh
The mercy petitions filed by six kingpins of banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh are likely to be sent to the president, Iajuddin Ahmed, on Wednesday or Thursday.
Who will think about it for a day or two and then authorize their hanging ...
The prison directorate has already submitted the petitions of all six militants to the ministry of home affairs seeking presidential clemency against the death sentences handed to them for killing two judges in Jhalakati. Prison authorities submitted three petitions, one on Thursday, two on Sunday and the rest three on Monday to the home secretary, Abdul Karim. ‘The ministry will send the petitions to the president after scrutiny which may take a couple of days,’ a home ministry official told New Age.

Execution of the militants will not be possible on the primary date (February 17) fixed by the prison authorities. ‘Fixing a primary date is a practice,’ said brigadier general Zakir Hasan, inspector general of prison, adding, ‘There is no chance of hanging them on the date fixed primarily. He said another date will be fixed when ‘we will receive the decision of the president on the mercy petitions.’

‘A fresh 28-day countdown will start from the day the documents are returned to us,’ Zakir said.
"We just sorta wing it."
According to procedure, the documents, with the president’s decision, will come back to the ministry of home affairs which will send the files to the prison authorities.

The chief of the Islamist outfit, Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Rahman’s brother and the outfit’s military wing commander Ataur Rahman Sunny, Rahman’s son-in-law Abdul Awal, its Majlis-e-Shura member Khaled Saifullah and suicide squad member Iftekhar Mamun have been sentenced to death for bombing to death two judges in Jhalakati.

In their petitions, they did not follow the normal procedure and used jihadi language and spirit. Although their families are desperate to save their lives, the top militants seem somewhat defiant as they have declared in the petitions that on one but Allah can grant mercy.
And I wouldn't count on him. I sure hope these boys go the gallows with jihaid words on their lips ...
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2007-01-24 Bangladesh
A special tribunal in Naogaon yesterday sentenced three members of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to death for their role in August 17, 2005 serial bombings in the district. The condemned convicts are -- Abdul Qaiyum alias Bhodu alias Kayes, 25, of Puran Pathanpur Madhyapara in Niyamatpur upazila of Naogaon, Minhajul Islam alias Sohel Rana, 18, of Khamarkandi village in Sherpur upazila of Bogra and Abu Sayeed Sheikh alias Hussain, 24, of Sreekol village in Kumarkhali upazila of Kushtia. Of them, Abu Sayeed was tried in absentia.

After examining the records and 31 witnesses, Judge Abu Ahmed Jomadar found them guilty of exploding bombs and pronounced the judgement at a packed courtroom at around 12:00noon. Seven bombs were simultaneously set off at different places in the district, including the Judge Court premises, as part of the JMB's synchronised countrywide bombings on August 17, 2005. Four other accused militants -- Jobair, Tamim, Musa and Elias -- were not produced before the court, as the police could not identify them correctly due to their pseudonyms. They will be produced as soon as the law enforcers become sure about their identities, sources said.
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2007-01-23 Bangladesh
The jail authorities will issue death warrants for the six condemned members of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) within the next three days in connection with the Jhalakathi judges murder case. The latest development came following receipt of a copy of the Supreme Court (SC) rejection of the condemned men's appeals against the death sentences by the jail authorities on Sunday, 54 days after the SC had delivered the order. The jail authorities started the process of executions yesterday. Executing the condemned now depends on a government clearance, although a number of provisions already exist to carry out the executions within 21 to 28 days following receipt of the court order by the jail authorities.

"We will fix the date of execution within the next two or three days."
The SC on November 28 rejected the six condemned JMB men's petitions seeking permission to appeal against a High Court (HC) judgment upholding the death sentences for killing two judges in a suicide bomb attack in Jhalakathi on November 14. On Sunday and yesterday, the jail authorities read out the SC rejection to all the six condemned JMB men, in accordance with the jail code. Inspector General (Prisons) Brig Gen Zakir Hasan told The Daily Star last night, "We will fix the date of execution within the next two or three days."

Jail authority sources said they are in a dilemma about whether they will follow the new jail code or the old one, because the two codes provide two different timeframes for carrying out executions after receiving court orders. The jail authorities will seek the help of the law ministry to clarify the matter, said jail authority sources.

Jail sources said, they are already aware that the families of at least three of the condemned JMB men, including JMB chief Abdur Rahman and another lynchpin Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, are eager to submit petitions to the president for clemency. The IG (Prison) said, "I am also aware that some of the condemned are eager to submit mercy petitions, but I'm not sure who they are. Even if the families submit mercy petitions, they will be sent to the president for his consideration."

The condemned six are JMB chief Abdur Rahman, top lynchpin Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, three other Majlish-e-Shura members Ataur Rahman Sunny, Abdul Awal and Khaled Saifullah, and a suicide bomber Iftekhar al Mamun.

Senior assistant judges Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town on November 14 last year in the wake of a series of bombings carried out by JMB militants across the country. The High Court on August 31 upheld the trial court verdict that had sentenced seven JMB men to death on May 29.
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2007-01-11 Bangladesh
Suicide squad members of banned Islamist terror group Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) were arrested at Narayangang district with huge quantity of explosive gel, manufactured grenades, weapons and jihadist pamphlets. The news of a huge cache of explosives that law enforcers recovered from Islamist militants on Monday will be stacked atop a growing mound of evidence that Islamist militancy is alive and well in Bangladesh.

This development makes two crucial points. It gives lie to the claim made by the immediate-past government of the BNP-led alliance that last year’s arrests of the militants’ ideological kingpins ‘broke the back’ of their outfits. There are reasons to believe the claim was made to avoid addressing the phenomenon of militancy, in favor of a series of arrests and arms recovery, as this was politically expedient for elements within their fold. Secondly, the recent haul proves that the militants continue to be well funded and are politically active.

It is important to note that these were not improvised explosive devices, but professionally manufactured grenades. Among the recovered items was also a booklet — a Jihad training manual — the contents of which have not been revealed to the press, but are nonetheless not difficult to surmise. In this respect, we unequivocally accuse the state of granting shelter to the militants, through the patronage of some powerful actors within the state machinery, as well as the willful myopia of those who choose to do nothing.

Although there have been periodic arrests of Islamist militants over the past year, both the immediate-past government and the present-day caretaker government are window-dressing the militancy issue as a ‘law and order problem,’ when in fact it is a political problem that has been smoldering over the past decade and may at any time flare up into a movement that will challenge the legitimacy of the state itself.

We believe the government lacks the political will to investigate not only the causes of the rise of Islamist militancy in Bangladesh but also their sources of international funding, and their reach within the bureaucracy.

It is also alarming that the judicial process that was to see the six arrested militants including Siddiqul Islam aka Bangla Bhai and Shykh Abdur Rahman brought to justice still remains incomplete because of pending paperwork. We believe this inaction speaks clearly of the government’s intransigence in striking the militancy issue at its heart.

This paper has from the very beginning warned that much of the fodder for Islamist militancy is created by the failure of the state to ensure fundamental rights and opportunities to its youth. The government’s refusal to investigate the nature of foreign money coming into Bangladesh to fund Islamic schools and institutes is also a key failure that is facilitating the rise of these militants.

The blood spilled by the spate of suicide bombings and targeted assassinations by Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh is still fresh in the national psyche. We demand that the government act in the interest of the majority – and not powerful lobby groups – by cracking down on militancy through a wide array of political actions. We have already had a first taste of what the future holds for us, if we fail to act.

JMB’s rise was initially patronized by several influential members of the former past government. Last year, there had been new alarming information on the list of patrons of Islamist militants. According to information, a judge in country’s lower judiciary with proven track of JMB connection is continuing to grant bails to notorious members of this group as well trying to create a legal window for the convicted JMB kingpins in getting legal benefit from the higher judiciary.

Momammed Momin Ullah, Metropolitan Session Judge in Dhaka openly denounces any existence of Islamist militancy in Bangladesh and says that, any such allegation is a creation of enemies of the country.
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2006-11-30 Bangladesh
Six Muslim militants face execution within weeks for killing two judges in Bangladesh after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal against their sentences in a deadly bombing campaign case, an official said Wednesday. Execution dates for the six men were now likely to be fixed, barring last-minute appeals to the president for clemency. “The Supreme Court rejected the petitions seeking permission to appeal against a High Court judgement upholding the sentences,” Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier General Zakir Hossen told AFP. “The do not have any judicial process open to them now. The only option is to make a mercy petition to the president,” he added.

The convicts have seven days to petition the president. After that, they could be hanged within 28 days. Police say Shaikh Abdur Rahman, leader of the militant group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), and his deputy Siddiqul Islam were the masterminds behind a string of blasts carried out as part of a campaign to impose Islamic law in the Muslim but secular country. The attacks began in August 2005 and targeted court, police and government buildings. At least 28 people including four suicide bombers died.

At the time of their sentencing, the men said they would not appeal. Four of them later lost their nerve changed their minds and the authorities treated letters by Rahman and Islam seeking to justify their actions as requests to appeal. The six men were sentenced to death by a lower court in May after being found guilty of conspiring to murder the two judges last November. A seventh accused is on the run and was convicted in his absence. Ministers said earlier they wanted to execute the men to show that Bangladesh would not tolerate crimes committed in the name of Islam.
Especially against Judges and Ministers.
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2006-11-20 Bangladesh
Hearing of appeals of six condemned militant leaders of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) including its chief Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai in the Jhalakathi judges killing case began yesterday at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

State defence lawyer Advocate Khalilur Rahman Bhuyian started reading out the paper-book (history of the case) that will continue today. The full bench of the Appellate Division comprising seven judges led by Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain heard the matter. The High Court (HC), on August 31, upheld the death sentences of seven JMB militants that had been awarded by a trial court of Jhalakathi.

On May 29, the Jhalakathi court sentenced Abdur Rahman, Siddiqul Islam, Ataur Rahman Sunny, Abdul Awal, Iftekhar al Mamun, Khaled Saifullah and Arif to death for killing judges Sohel Ahmed and Jagannath Pandey in a suicide bomb attack on November 14, 2005. Although militant leaders earlier repeatedly said they would not appeal against verdict, after the HC verdict, six of the seven condemned militants filed petitions for appeal in October at the eleventh hour of deadline for appealing. The other condemned, Arif, is still on the run.
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2006-10-23 India-Pakistan
The political activities of the Jamaatul Daawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed have compelled the Punjab government to request the federal government to issue fresh detention orders for the former chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba after Eid. He is accused of making inflammatory speeches against the US and India. Hafiz Saeed was released on Tuesday on the orders of the Lahore High Court after spending three months in detention. The Punjab government placed Saeed under house arrest in Lahore on August 9.
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2006-10-03 Bangladesh
DHAKA: Bangladesh's Supreme Court has ordered a stay of execution for four Islamist militants sentenced to death for bomb attacks that killed at least 30 people last year, a court official said on Sunday. The militants included Shayek Abdur Rahman and Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, heads of two outlawed Islamist groups seeking the introduction of sharia-based Islamic law in Bangladesh, a mainly Muslim democracy.

The two, who head the groups Jamaatul Mujahideen and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, appealed for clemency on Friday. Their petition is to be heard on Oct. 15 and execution has been suspended until its settlement, said Fazlul Karim, secretary of the Supreme Court. Bombs wrecked the judges' car as they headed to court.
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2006-09-02 Bangladesh
If Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman permits, his family will appeal against the High Court verdict that confirmed death sentence to seven JMB kingpins including the chief and his top aide Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai on August 31 in the judges killing case. "If they allow us we will file appeal for Abdur Rahman, his younger brother Ataur Rahman Sunny and son-in-law Abdul Awal," Abdur Rahman's younger sister Atika Begum said. She, however, expressed fear that the mujahids would not allow filing an appeal because they have no faith in 'man-made' law.
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2006-09-01 Bangladesh
Eight militants of banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were sentenced to life imprisonment in separate cases in Thakurgaon and Rajshahi yesterday. Of them, six were awarded life imprisonment in the August 27 bombing case in Thakurgaon town, while the remaining two in an arms case in Rajshahi. Those who have been put into jail by Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court in Thakurgaon are Abdul Latif, son of Nazrul Islam, A Razzak, son of Mujibar Rahman, and Abdur Razzak, son of Asir Uddin of Sadar upazila; Hefzur Rahman, son of Hazrat Ali of Baliadangi upazila in Thakurgaon, Rashidul Islam alias Asadullah alias Asad, son of Abdun Nur of Debiganj, and Shafiqul Islam, son of A Samad of Sadar upazila in Panchagarh.

The court also fined them Tk 10,000 each, in default, they are to suffer another year in jail, according to the UNB. Of the six convicts, Rashidul Islam and Shafiqul Islam have been absconding since the bombings in the district town.

According to the prosecution, the JMB militants exploded six bombs at five points in the town as part of serial bombings across the country on August 17 last year. After the incident, police arrested 38 people, including the six JMB militants, at different places of the district. The arrested JMB activists confessed to the police that they were involved in the bombings. Police later pressed charges against the JMB men.
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2006-09-01 Bangladesh
The High Court (HC) yesterday confirmed death sentences to seven militant leaders of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) including its five kingpins for killing two judges in Jhalakathi as it found the trial court's judgment appropriate. The government and state lawyers believe that the punishment to the seven Islamist militants can be executed before the ruling coalition government's tenure ends on October 28 provided the convicts do not appeal against the verdict with the Appellate Division within 30 days.

In the quickest disposal of a case in the history of Bangladesh, the trial of the sensational case for the first suicide bomb attack in the country was completed in just 131 days from framing of the charges in the lower court. Senior assistant judges Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed were killed in the suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town on November 14 last year in the wake of a series of bombings by the militants across the country. On May 29, Additional District and Sessions Judge of Jhalakathi Reza Tarik Ahmed ordered for hanging the seven JMB men, including its chief Abdur Rahman and his top aide Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, until death and acquitted one.

Other convicts in the case are JMB Majlish-e-Shura members Ataur Rahman Sunny, Abdul Awal and Faruk Hossain Khan alias Khaled Saifullah, suicide bombers Iftekhar Hasan Al Mamun and absconding Asadul Islam alias Arif. "The additional sessions judge did not commit any illegality by handing death sentences on the seven accused. There is no ground to interfere in the judgment passed by the additional sessions judge Jhalakathi," the HC bench comprising Justice Ali Asgar Khan and Justice Emdadul Haque said while confirming the death sentence in a crowded courtroom yesterday.

Security was beefed up on the Supreme Court premises yesterday but no special security was arranged for the two judges who delivered the verdict. "They [the seven convicts] carried out terrorist activities in the name of Islam. Islam does not support terrorist activities," the court said, adding that the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
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2006-08-30 Bangladesh
Cadres of Hizbut Towhid, an Islamist militant outfit, are regrouping in remote areas of Tangail district.
All those JMB hard boyz gotta have someplace to go...
They have resumed organisational activities and are recruiting members, intelligence sources said. Their number could be over 1,000 across the country. Tangail being its birthplace it may have a good number of activists, they said. They are under watch and law enforcers will son launch a drive to nab them and dismantle their dens, a source said. They had gone into hiding after the August 17 serial bomb blasts across the country last year.
And here August 17th of this years gone by without any major explosions...
The organisation headed by Bayezid Khan Panni of Karotia started its activities in Bangladesh in 1991. Chittagong Metropolitan Police in raids in different areas of the port city on the night of August 10 arrested seven Hizbut Towhid men including an engineer of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) and sales manager of a soft drink company. Police also seized from them 200 leaflets and books, calling for establishing Islamic rule in the country through armed revolution.
Is there nothing else these knuckleheads thinnk about?
During a primary interrogation the arrestees confessed to have been working for Hizbut Towhid in Chittagong for two years but denied having any link with outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
"No, no! Certainly not! Their headbands are green! Ours are blue!"
Most of the armed activists of Hizbut Tawhid hailed from Basail upazila in Tangail district, a senior police official in Tangail said seeking anonymity while talking to this correspondent. "Hizbut Towhid recently recruited armed activists from different parts of the district including Bathulee Sadi, Kashil, Kamutia, Basail and adjacent villages in the district", an intelligence official said. They went into hiding after police arrested seven activists of the organisation from Chittagong recently, he added. Maolana Abul Kalam Azad, an Imam of a mosque in Karotia, while talking to this correspondent said a good number of people including some educated persons from Karotia and adjacent areas joined Hizbut Towhid in last few months. "A good number Hizbut Towhid men are active in all the 11 upazilas of the district. They are doing organisational activities secretly", he said.
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2006-08-25 India-Pakistan
The Pakistan government has ordered a crackdown against the Jamaatul Furqaan (JuF), the Al-Qaeda linked splinter group of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), after receiving intelligence reports that hundreds of the JuF activists, being trained at one of its Waziristan camps, were planning to target the western interests inside Pakistan. According to the intelligence sources, the crackdown has been ordered in view of sensitive agencies reports that the Jamaatul Furqaan was contemplating to target the British and American interests in Pakistan as a reaction against the atrocities being committed by the troops of the two countries in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Jamaatul Furqaan was contemplating to target the British and American interests in Pakistan as a reaction against the atrocities being committed by the troops of the two countries in Iraq and Afghanistan...”
The JeM, led by Maulana Masood Azhar, has already claimed that the key plotter of the transatlantic planes bombing plan, Rashid Rauf, was actually a member of JuF. The JuF is providing bunches of volunteers to a Qaeda leader of the Arab origin who has formed a group Al-Jehad in North Wazirastan with objectives of carrying out attacks on the important personalities in the government of Pakistan and eliminating those who in their view are working in the North and South Wazirastan, detrimental to the interests of the Taliban.

Elaborating the formation of Al-Jehad, led by Abu Adil and being collaborated by Jamaatul Furqaan, the intelligence reports say that the group is involved in attacking the Pakistani security forces deployed in the Wazirastan region and the security interests of other countries including the US and Britain, deployed in the bordering belt inside Afghanistan. These reports say a religious seminary — Madrassah Nizamiah, situated in Miran Shah, is being used to impart military training to jehadis who are recruited and sent to the Madrassah by one Qari Abdul Karim Khosa of the JuF.
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2006-07-18 Bangladesh
Six Islamic militants were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Bangladesh's eastern Feni district Monday for series bombings on Aug. 17 last year, which killed three people and wounding hundreds. The court also fined them 5,000 taka (about 71 U.S. dollars) each. The six militants belong to Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which was blamed for a series of bombings in 63 out of 64 districts of Bangladesh on Aug. 17 last year and suicide bomb attacks that killed 28 people and wounded several others.

The JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his second-in-command Bangla Bhai were arrested on March 1 and March 6 this year by the security forces. The JMB chief launched the campaign to establish Islamic rule in this Muslim majority country about four years ago. Rahman, Bangla Bhai and other top leaders of JMB were sentenced to death by a court in southern Jhalokati district for killing two judges through suicide bomb attacks. If the death sentences are confirmed by higher courts, the JMB leaders will be executed.

The four-party alliance government is trying to quicken the confirmation of the death sentences by higher courts to earn a credit ahead of the national elections due in January next year. The government will hand over power to caretaker government in October this year, so the government is trying to execute the JMB leaders before ending its term.
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2006-06-30 Bangladesh
A Bangladesh court on Wednesday acquitted all 23 accused in a bomb attack that killed 10 people in the country’s southwest seven years ago and ordered the case be re-investigated, court officials said. The bomb went off during an open-air music concert in the town of Jessore, 300 kilometres from Dhaka, on March 6, 1999. “The accused have been acquitted as police failed to produce any clear evidence against them,” a court official quoted judge M Abul Hossen Bepari as saying.

Bepari questioned the charges filed against the accused, saying recently detained Islamist militants had claimed involvement in the attack. “Police should re-investigate the case and file charges afresh against the real culprits with enough evidence to substantiate the charges,” a defence lawyer quoted the judge as saying.

Security officials said detained Islamist militants including Shayek Abdur Rahman, chief of the outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen group, and Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, leader of another outlawed group Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, confessed during police interrogation to involvement in the concert bombing. The two Islamist groups want to turn Muslim dominated Bangladesh into a sharia-based Islamic country. In May, a court sentenced Shayek and Bangla Bhai along with five others to death by hanging for their involvement in killing two judges late last year.
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2006-06-07 Bangladesh
A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny and three others in an arms case filed with Sabujbagh Police Station in December last year. Meanwhile, Sunny urged the prosecution not to ask witnesses to make false statements against them (the accused). He told the prosecution while a prosecution witness was giving his statement in another case at the same court yesterday.

Sunny, JMB regional commander of Gazipur Enayetullah Jewel and Alamgir Hossain Bijoy, pleaded not guilty but refused to seek justice in the 'worldly court' after the charges were read out to them by the judge. Another accused Kamrul is absconding. Jewel told the court he was the planner for blasting the grenades in Gazipur on November 29 and 31 last year. Moreover, a Jhalakathi court on May 29 sentenced him to death for killing two judges and the sentence would be executed soon. That is why they would not seek justice in man-made courts, Jewel said.

Judge Monzurul Bachhid of the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court framed charges against the accused and issued summons upon the complainant and other prosecution witnesses to appear before the court to give their statements. Sunny, younger brother of Abdur Rahman and a member of JMB's top tier Majlish-e-Shura, masterminded the countrywide August 17 blasts. He was arrested at Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute on December 13 last year. Following his information, Rab seized 56 items of arms, ammunition, explosives, bomb-making materials, and books on jihad from the house of Abul Khair at South Manda Sabujbagh area in the city.
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2006-05-15 Bangladesh
A Rajshahi court yesterday sentenced 13 militants of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Ahle Hadith Andolan Bangladesh (Ahab) to life imprisonment in an August 17 serial blast case in Joypurhat. The Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge AFM Aminul Islam convicted them under the Explosives Act for carrying and exploding bombs at seven spots in four areas in the district. He also fined the convicted persons Tk 5000 each and ordered one more year in jail if they chose not to pay the fine.

The convicted are: a former Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh president of Khetlal union Montezar Rahman, Azizul Bari Mintu, madrasa teacher Mehdi Hasan, Majnu Mia, rickshaw-puller Atoar Rahman, Dulal alias Hares, Shariful Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Abdur Rouf, Mansur Rahman, Rabiul Islam, Zahangir Alam and Golam Mostafa. Among the convicted Montezar, Mehdi Hasan, Mansur and Shariful are absconding.
Soon as they catch 'em they for it, though...
The judge however acquitted 14 accused people including a few who gave confessional statements before magistrates as the prosecution failed to prove their guilt. The acquitted are: Al Hera Shilpi Gosthi Chief Shafikul Islam, Bazla Ahab mosque imam Hafez Shafikul Islam, Dulal Hossain, Mozammel Haque, Idris Ali, Abdul Jabbar, Aminul Islam Zahed, Ziaur Rahman, Redwan Bari Akhand, Mustafizur Rahman, Afaz Uddin Poheli, Habibur Rahman, Abdul Ma'bud and Selim.
Let the holy man off, did they? Why am I not surprised?
Among the acquitted, Habibur Rahman and Afaz Uddin Poheli confessed their involvement in testing the bombs before blasts. Rickshaw-puller Atoar Rahman, Dulal, Ahab adherents Azizul Bari Mintu, Jahangir Alam, Rabiul Islam gave confessional statements. Azizul Bari Mintu in his confessional statement said the bombs were distributed from Bazla Ahab mosque. Among the 29 charge-sheeted accused in the case, Hafizar Rahman, finance secretary of militant kingpin Asadullah Al Galib's Ahab and Sultan were exempted from the case as they were dead.
Dead is good. I like dead.
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2006-05-13 India-Pakistan
By Amir Mir

Despite much-touted public claims by President General Pervez Musharraf to have changed the country’s direction by uprooting its network of extremists, a cursory glance at the activities of the outlawed militant and sectarian groups and their leaders shows that most of them are back in business and operating freely in the country.

For those who need a ready reckoning of Musharraf’s performance, a glance at his record on handling the jehadi kingpins will prove instructive. When the President of Pakistan banned six of the country’s top jehadi and sectarian groups in two phases – on January 5, 2002 and November 14, 2003 – he declared that no militant or sectarian organization would be allowed to indulge in terrorism to further its cause. Yet, none of the key jehadi leaders has been either arrested or prosecuted on terrorism charges.

After the initial crackdown, the four major jehadi organizations — the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkatul Mujahideen, and Hizbul Mujahideen — resurfaced and regrouped to run their respective networks with different names and identities. The respective leaders of these organizations, Prof Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, and Pir Syed Salahuddin, remain at large, and the pattern of treatment being meted out to them by the military-led so-called civilian administration suggests they are being kept on a leash, ready to wage a controlled jehad in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

These militants largely depend on Pakistan for training, logistics, arms, ammunition and, most of all, sanctuary, a dependence that has been exploited by Pakistan’s intelligence establishment. Not only does its intelligence establishment decide which jehadi group will play what role in fuelling the Kashmir insurgency, but it also launches new militant outfits at regular intervals to ensure that none of them ever get so big or powerful that they start posing a threat to their creators.

Musharraf’s claims of having taken concrete measures to clip the wings of jehadi groups and reform their religious seminaries across Pakistan were nothing more than rhetoric, proved in the recent past when his own administration admitted that three out of the four London suicide bombers had been visiting madrassahs in the provincial capitals of Sindh and Punjab in November 2004, before returning to England in February 2005, only to carry out deadly bombings there. Since then, Musharraf’s policy of enlightened moderation has come under sharp criticism, both from within and outside Pakistan.

After the 9/11 terror attacks, the four key jehadi leaders, who were becoming increasingly vocal in their condemnation of Musharraf’s policy of ‘slavery to the Americans’, were placed under house arrest in their respective home towns in the Punjab province. A countrywide crackdown was launched against activists of the jehadi organizations, who were furious over General Musharraf’s U-turn on support for jehad in Afghanistan. Groaning under US pressure, Islamabad had to temporarily stop cross-border infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir, which eventually reduced violence in the Valley.

As things stand, one can notice that most of the militant leaders and their respective groups, which were made to adopt a ‘lie-low and wait-and-see’ policy in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, are once again on the loose. Some of these groups have assumed new identities: Jaish-e-Mohammad has been renamed as Khudamul Islam, and Harkatul Mujahideen is called Jamiatul Ansar. Almost all the major jehadi organisations have re-launched campaigns to recruit volunteers, utilising websites etc., to promote the jehadi culture and attract youngsters. The most effective instruments of these groups to freely propagate jehad are their publications (Ghazwa, Majalla, Zarb-e-Taiba, Shamsheer, Zarb-e-Momin, etc) which together boast a circulation of millions and are distributed free of cost.

In his televised address to the nation on July 21, 2005, a few hours after the failed London bombings, Musharraf renewed his January 2002 commitment to root out the evils of extremism and terrorism from the country. There was nothing new in his speech. The administrative measures for combating terrorism and extremism that he announced were no different from his earlier assurances. Indeed, in his televised interaction with journalists on July 25, 2005, Musharraf declared that the fresh crackdown would not be like the last one, where people were picked up and held for 10-15 days and then released; an open admission that the earlier crackdowns he had ordered were just an eyewash. This raised a basic question — if the previous declarations were not followed up with effective action, how would the regime do a better job this time round?

While addressing a crowded press conference in Rawalpindi on July 29, 2005, Musharraf confronted such scepticism, conceding that he had not taken a firm action against the militants since 2002 because he did not have a free hand at that time as a result of an unstable economy, confrontation with India over Kashmir, and insufficient international support for his presidency. He claimed he was now in a much stronger position to campaign against religious militants. “I am in a totally different environment. Today, I am very strong. We need to act against the bigwigs of all the extremist organizations. We are not going as fast as I would like to go,” the General said.

In response to specific questions on the difference between the crackdowns in 2002 and now, Musharraf said the world and media should not judge the performance of his government through the eyes of the past. Replying to a Western journalist’s query why he had not been serious in his earlier attempts to curb militancy, General Musharraf retorted, “You have to be realistic and take cognizance of the ground situation. By taking stringent action against Islamic fundamentalists, I would have risked the prospect of a million Taliban on the streets of Pakistan.”

To judge the general through the eyes of the present, it is useful to note that in the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks, he had once again directed the law enforcement agencies to deal with extremist organisations and the threat of terrorism with their full might. His first declaration was that none of the sectarian and militant groups banned on account of terrorism and extremism would be allowed to operate under any name and those poisoning young minds would be arrested and tried under Anti-Terrorism Laws. By saying so, Musharraf actually repeated his resolve for the third time since 9/11, but without doing anything practical to implement the same.

As far as his declaration to arrest those poisoning young minds is concerned, not even a single key jehadi leader was arrested after the 7/7 attacks in the so-called anti-jehadi crackdown. This included, among others, two ‘Most Wanted’ militants of the CBI who had allegedly orchestrated major acts of terrorism in India: Prof Hafiz Mohammad Saeed of the Jamaatul Daawa, and Pir Syed Salahuddin of the Hizbul Mujahideen. Similarly, the American Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to interrogate two more jehadi leaders including the Harkatul Mujahideen (now Jamiatul Ansaar) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (now Khudamul Islam) chief Maulana Masood Azhar. As things stand, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Fazlur Rehman Khalil and Syed Salahuddin are on the loose and most of the extremist infrastructure their groups used to maintain before 9/11 to wage jehad in Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir remains intact. The kid glove approach of the Pakistani establishment towards the leaders of the banned jehadi outfits can be gauged from the fact that the Jamaatul Daawa led by Hafiz Saeed was allowed to hold a 25,000 strong public meeting at the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on March 18, 2006.

The second instance is that of Syed Salahuddin, the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen who was shown on television on March 26, 2006, addressing an international conference organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami in Peshawar and attended by a leading Hamas figure, Sheikh Muhammad Sayam and top leaders of the MMA. The third instance is that of a proscribed Sunni sectarian organization – Sipah-e-Sahaba (Army of Companions of Prophet Mohammad PBUH) or its reincarnation Millat-i-Islamia, which has been allowed to resume activities in the country. The SSP is one of the five outfits banned by General Musharraf on January 12, 2002. This pro-Taliban organisation whose leadership eulogizes Osama bin Laden, has been allegedly involved in bloody violence. Thousands of the SSP activists took out a rally in Islamabad on April 7, 2006 and distributed pamphlets preaching jehad and hatred against Shias. One of the organisers even thanked the government for allowing the rally.

Analysts give varying explanations why the Musharraf-led administration keeps hobnobbing with these jehadi and sectarian groups. However, the root cause of the problem seems to be the jehadi orientation of the Pakistani military leadership and its continued alliance with fundamentalists. As the head of the Pakistan Army — an institution credited with crafting and carrying Pakistan’s pro-jehad policy in Afghanistan — few know more about what goes on in Pakistan than General Musharraf himself. And the fact remains that despite his repeated rhetoric to promote enlightened moderation in the country, Jehad Fi Sabilillah (Jehad in the name of Allah Almighty) continues to be the motto of the Pakistan Army.

To sum up, despite enthusiastic applause from the West for the anti-militancy efforts of Pakistan’s ‘visionary’ military ruler, it is evident that much remains to be done on the ground before these efforts actually bear fruit. With changing scenarios all over the world, there has been a change of minds, yet what is required is a change of hearts.

The writer is the former editor of Weekly Independent, currently affiliated with Reuters and the Gulf News
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2006-05-12 India-Pakistan
By Amir Mir

Despite much-touted public claims by President General Pervez Musharraf to have changed the country’s direction by uprooting its network of extremists, a cursory glance at the activities of the outlawed militant and sectarian groups and their leaders shows that most of them are back in business and operating freely in the country.

For those who need a ready reckoning of Musharraf’s performance, a glance at his record on handling the jehadi kingpins will prove instructive. When the President of Pakistan banned six of the country’s top jehadi and sectarian groups in two phases – on January 5, 2002 and November 14, 2003 – he declared that no militant or sectarian organization would be allowed to indulge in terrorism to further its cause. Yet, none of the key jehadi leaders has been either arrested or prosecuted on terrorism charges.

After the initial crackdown, the four major jehadi organizations — the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkatul Mujahideen, and Hizbul Mujahideen — resurfaced and regrouped to run their respective networks with different names and identities. The respective leaders of these organizations, Prof Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, and Pir Syed Salahuddin, remain at large, and the pattern of treatment being meted out to them by the military-led so-called civilian administration suggests they are being kept on a leash, ready to wage a controlled jehad in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

These militants largely depend on Pakistan for training, logistics, arms, ammunition and, most of all, sanctuary, a dependence that has been exploited by Pakistan’s intelligence establishment. Not only does its intelligence establishment decide which jehadi group will play what role in fuelling the Kashmir insurgency, but it also launches new militant outfits at regular intervals to ensure that none of them ever get so big or powerful that they start posing a threat to their creators.

Musharraf’s claims of having taken concrete measures to clip the wings of jehadi groups and reform their religious seminaries across Pakistan were nothing more than rhetoric, proved in the recent past when his own administration admitted that three out of the four London suicide bombers had been visiting madrassahs in the provincial capitals of Sindh and Punjab in November 2004, before returning to England in February 2005, only to carry out deadly bombings there. Since then, Musharraf’s policy of enlightened moderation has come under sharp criticism, both from within and outside Pakistan.

After the 9/11 terror attacks, the four key jehadi leaders, who were becoming increasingly vocal in their condemnation of Musharraf’s policy of ‘slavery to the Americans’, were placed under house arrest in their respective home towns in the Punjab province. A countrywide crackdown was launched against activists of the jehadi organizations, who were furious over General Musharraf’s U-turn on support for jehad in Afghanistan. Groaning under US pressure, Islamabad had to temporarily stop cross-border infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir, which eventually reduced violence in the Valley.

As things stand, one can notice that most of the militant leaders and their respective groups, which were made to adopt a ‘lie-low and wait-and-see’ policy in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, are once again on the loose. Some of these groups have assumed new identities: Jaish-e-Mohammad has been renamed as Khudamul Islam, and Harkatul Mujahideen is called Jamiatul Ansar. Almost all the major jehadi organisations have re-launched campaigns to recruit volunteers, utilising websites etc., to promote the jehadi culture and attract youngsters. The most effective instruments of these groups to freely propagate jehad are their publications (Ghazwa, Majalla, Zarb-e-Taiba, Shamsheer, Zarb-e-Momin, etc) which together boast a circulation of millions and are distributed free of cost.

In his televised address to the nation on July 21, 2005, a few hours after the failed London bombings, Musharraf renewed his January 2002 commitment to root out the evils of extremism and terrorism from the country. There was nothing new in his speech. The administrative measures for combating terrorism and extremism that he announced were no different from his earlier assurances. Indeed, in his televised interaction with journalists on July 25, 2005, Musharraf declared that the fresh crackdown would not be like the last one, where people were picked up and held for 10-15 days and then released; an open admission that the earlier crackdowns he had ordered were just an eyewash. This raised a basic question — if the previous declarations were not followed up with effective action, how would the regime do a better job this time round?

While addressing a crowded press conference in Rawalpindi on July 29, 2005, Musharraf confronted such scepticism, conceding that he had not taken a firm action against the militants since 2002 because he did not have a free hand at that time as a result of an unstable economy, confrontation with India over Kashmir, and insufficient international support for his presidency. He claimed he was now in a much stronger position to campaign against religious militants. “I am in a totally different environment. Today, I am very strong. We need to act against the bigwigs of all the extremist organizations. We are not going as fast as I would like to go,” the General said.

In response to specific questions on the difference between the crackdowns in 2002 and now, Musharraf said the world and media should not judge the performance of his government through the eyes of the past. Replying to a Western journalist’s query why he had not been serious in his earlier attempts to curb militancy, General Musharraf retorted, “You have to be realistic and take cognizance of the ground situation. By taking stringent action against Islamic fundamentalists, I would have risked the prospect of a million Taliban on the streets of Pakistan.”

To judge the general through the eyes of the present, it is useful to note that in the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks, he had once again directed the law enforcement agencies to deal with extremist organisations and the threat of terrorism with their full might. His first declaration was that none of the sectarian and militant groups banned on account of terrorism and extremism would be allowed to operate under any name and those poisoning young minds would be arrested and tried under Anti-Terrorism Laws. By saying so, Musharraf actually repeated his resolve for the third time since 9/11, but without doing anything practical to implement the same.

As far as his declaration to arrest those poisoning young minds is concerned, not even a single key jehadi leader was arrested after the 7/7 attacks in the so-called anti-jehadi crackdown. This included, among others, two ‘Most Wanted’ militants of the CBI who had allegedly orchestrated major acts of terrorism in India: Prof Hafiz Mohammad Saeed of the Jamaatul Daawa, and Pir Syed Salahuddin of the Hizbul Mujahideen. Similarly, the American Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to interrogate two more jehadi leaders including the Harkatul Mujahideen (now Jamiatul Ansaar) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (now Khudamul Islam) chief Maulana Masood Azhar. As things stand, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Fazlur Rehman Khalil and Syed Salahuddin are on the loose and most of the extremist infrastructure their groups used to maintain before 9/11 to wage jehad in Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir remains intact. The kid glove approach of the Pakistani establishment towards the leaders of the banned jehadi outfits can be gauged from the fact that the Jamaatul Daawa led by Hafiz Saeed was allowed to hold a 25,000 strong public meeting at the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on March 18, 2006.

The second instance is that of Syed Salahuddin, the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen who was shown on television on March 26, 2006, addressing an international conference organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami in Peshawar and attended by a leading Hamas figure, Sheikh Muhammad Sayam and top leaders of the MMA. The third instance is that of a proscribed Sunni sectarian organization – Sipah-e-Sahaba (Army of Companions of Prophet Mohammad PBUH) or its reincarnation Millat-i-Islamia, which has been allowed to resume activities in the country. The SSP is one of the five outfits banned by General Musharraf on January 12, 2002. This pro-Taliban organisation whose leadership eulogizes Osama bin Laden, has been allegedly involved in bloody violence. Thousands of the SSP activists took out a rally in Islamabad on April 7, 2006 and distributed pamphlets preaching jehad and hatred against Shias. One of the organisers even thanked the government for allowing the rally.

Analysts give varying explanations why the Musharraf-led administration keeps hobnobbing with these jehadi and sectarian groups. However, the root cause of the problem seems to be the jehadi orientation of the Pakistani military leadership and its continued alliance with fundamentalists. As the head of the Pakistan Army — an institution credited with crafting and carrying Pakistan’s pro-jehad policy in Afghanistan — few know more about what goes on in Pakistan than General Musharraf himself. And the fact remains that despite his repeated rhetoric to promote enlightened moderation in the country, Jehad Fi Sabilillah (Jehad in the name of Allah Almighty) continues to be the motto of the Pakistan Army.

To sum up, despite enthusiastic applause from the West for the anti-militancy efforts of Pakistan’s ‘visionary’ military ruler, it is evident that much remains to be done on the ground before these efforts actually bear fruit. With changing scenarios all over the world, there has been a change of minds, yet what is required is a change of hearts.

The writer is the former editor of Weekly Independent, currently affiliated with Reuters and the Gulf News
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2006-04-19 Bangladesh
Top leaders of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Abdur Rahman, Bangla Bhai and others were produced yesterday before two trial courts in Jhalakathi for two separate cases. The district judge court in the Jhalakathi judges killing case against eight JMB leaders and activists set the date for hearing on charge-framing on April 23. Besides, the Jhalakathi sadar upazila magistrate court granted ten days' remand for Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, for interrogation about the August 17 blast cases. Lawyers of the district brought out a procession on the court compound with brooms and threw shoes at JMB chief Abdur Rahman during the trial.

Rahman, Bangla Bhai, Abdul Awal and Ataur Rahman Sunny were brought from Dhaka and Mamun and Sultan from Barisal Central Jail to Jhalakathi District and Sessions Judge Court for the Jhalakathi judges killing case.
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2006-04-10 Bangladesh
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai was placed on a 10-day remand yesterday in an arms case. The Detective Branch (DB) of police, accompanied by the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members, produced Bangla Bhai before the No 2 Cognisance Court here at around 11:45am. He was wearing a helmet and bullet-proof vest.

After the hearing, First Class Magistrate Smiriti Rani Karmakar granted the remand sought by DB Sub-inspector Mainul Islam for interrogating the militant kingpin. This is for the third time Bangla Bhai was placed on remand. He was remanded for 20 days earlier, 10 days each in Rab assault case and explosives case.

Other accused in the arms case are his wife Fahima Khatun, bodyguard Masud and his host Chan Miah. SI Nazrul Islam of Rab filed all three cases with the Muktagachha Police Station after the arrest of Bangla Bhai at Rampur village under the upazila on March 6. Bangla Bhai looked fresh and was smiling at the court and he exchanged salams with the waiting journalists and members of law enforcement agencies.
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2006-03-31 Bangladesh
The outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) yesterday threatened to kill a district court judge in Dinajpur with his family and blow up the court if he failed to release JMB activists arrested in the last two days. The threat was given in a letter sent to Additional District Judge Md Zahedur Rahman, reports received in Dhaka said.

In Mymensingh, a court yesterday placed JMB operations commander Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai on a 10-day fresh remand while a Dhaka court remanded two Majlish-e-Shura members Abdul Awal Sunny, also military commander of JMB, and Abdul Awal for another seven days.

The law enforcers in Rangpur have arrested a Jamaat-e-Islami activist on charge of his involvement with the banned Islamist militant outfit JMB.

MYMENSINGH
Bangla Bhai was produced before the cognisance court of Magistrate Atiqur Rahman at about 11:30 am yesterday amid tight security with police seeking a 10-day remand for further interrogation in an explosives case. The court granted the remand.
"The court hereby cognises Mr. Bhai to be a miscreant of the worst order and hereby remands him to the tender mercies of Mahmoud the Lord High Inquisitor and Keeper of the Number Seven Truncheon. Bailiff, make it so."
The second-in- command of JMB was later taken to Dhaka for interrogation, reports our Mymensingh correspondent. Earlier, three cases were filed against him with Muktagachha Police Station. Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) lodged the cases after he and his bodyguard Masud were arrested on March 6. On March 21, the same court placed him on a 10-day remand.

RANGPUR
Rab-5 arrested Jamaat activist Haider Ali from a house in Takerhat of Bishnapur union under Badrganj upazila on Wednesday night, according to a report from our Rangpur correspondent. The elite anti-crime force also picked up a retired army man, Shamsul Islam, 50, from a house at Botpara in Ramnathpur union of the same upazila, suspecting his links to JMB, but released him after several hours. Rab said Haider is a JMB activist. Locals however said he is a Jamaat worker but his recent activities were mysterious. He was missing for several months and returned to the village recently. District Jamaat Ameer Bellal Hossain admitted that Haider is a Jamaat member but denied his involvement with JMB.

DHAKA
A Dhaka court yesterday again ordered the investigation officer (IO) of an August 17 bomb blast case to submit immediately the probe report against Ataur Rahman Sunny and nine others, reports our court correspondent. Metropolitan Magistrate Shamsul Alam passed the order saying that since the IO did not submit the probe report of the case under Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code, he is being asked to do so immediately. Earlier, the same court on March 9 gave the same directive to the IO. The case was filed under the Explosive Substances Act with Tejgoan Police Station on August 17 last year.

CHARGE-SHEETS OF THREE CASES
Rab yesterday pressed charges against five JMB members in three cases filed with Uttara Police Station on January 5. The accused in the cases are Wahidul Islam, 20, Shafiqul Islam, 30, Hafez Ibrahim, 30, Abdullah Al Faruq, 21, and Hanif, 22.

THREE LAWYERS TO DEFEND A JMB MAN
Three lawyers of Dhaka Bar Association --Mozammel Haq, Golam Kibria and Lutfor Rahman-- on Wednesday moved a bail petition on behalf of JMB member Shamsul Haq alias Shamsu in connection with an August 17 bomb blast case. Metropolitan Magistrate Mamun Al Rashid rejected the bail petition. Shamsu was arrested from his house at Lake Circus Road in the city's Dhanmondi area on March 15.

Earlier, two other lawyers --Shahadat Hossain Bachchu and Abdul Alim Fakir of the same Bar association -- were assaulted by lawyers of Gazipur and Chittagong bar associations as they went there for defending JMB members.
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2006-03-30 Bangladesh
Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB) ehsar (full-time) member Tarikul Islam in his confessional statement before a First Class Magistrate in Sirajganj yesterday said he along with six other cadres took part in the August 17 bomb blasts in the town. The six are Shahi, Rashid, Bashir, Manik, Ahsan and Jewel. He gave the statement before Magistrate Monira Begum under Section 164, police said. Tarikul was placed on three days fresh remand when he was produced before the court on expiry of his seven day's remand.

In Gaibandha, JMB commander Lutfur Rahman, arrested on Tuesday, was placed on seven days' remand. Lutfur was arrested by Shaghata police from Barokora village. According to our Sirajganj Correspondent, Tarikul, son of Abu Bakkar of Jamua village in Kamar Kanda upazila, was arrested by Detective Branch police from Shial Khol bus stand in Sirajganj town on March 19. Tarikul said he was recruited by JMJB chief Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and become an Ehsar member when he was a student of Rani Bazar Qwami Madrasa in Rajshahi. Earlier, he studied at Koyra Fazil Senior Madrasa. Three years ago, he took part in three days' arms training conducted by Bangla Bhai in Comilla, he told the magistrate. The August 17 bombing in Sirajganj was ordered by JMB chief Abdur Rahman, he said.

Prior to the bombing, JMB cadres held a secret meeting at his house in Jamua village, where JMB chief Abdur Rahman's son-in-law Abdul Awal and JMB 'operations commander' Ataur Rahman Sunny were also present, Tarikul said. The bombs used on August 17 in Sirajganj town were made at Abdul Awal's house in Bogra and brought to Sirajganj by JMB cadre Jewel in a bus. Police said they will soon submit charge sheet in the August 17 incident, in which Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai will be included.

Our Gaibandha Correspondent reports: Police said Lutfur Rahman's younger brother Mamunur Rashid Mamun, an alleged JMB commander, is also wanted by police for his involvement in the August 17 serial bomb blast in Gaibandha. He is also accused in several cases filed against him in Bogra and Sherpur. Lutfar was hiding since the August 17 bomb blasts.

Meanwhile, according to reports received from Naogaon, a team of army explosives expert led by Capt. Tanveer Tuesday defused seven grenades recovered from the house of JMB cadre Sekander Ali at Parkasurida village in Atrai upazila is the district last month. Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered the grenades during a raid but Sekander managed to flee. Rab filed a case against Sekander and another JMB cadre in Gaibandha, but the two are yet to be arrested.
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2006-03-30 Bangladesh
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) will soon start a combing operation in four outlaw- infested southwestern districts to mop up the extremists. "The operation may start anytime, may be even tonight," said a Rab official yesterday evening, seeking anonymity. As part of the operation, the anticrime force will intensify their vigil in the border areas, he added.

Sources said Rab has taken the decision as killings and extortion are going on rampantly in Chuadanga, Meherpur, Jhenidah and Kushtia districts. The elite force has already set up camps at different places in these districts. Some 61 people including BNP and Awami League activists, outlaws and other people have been killed since January this year in these districts. The increase in murders has created a sense of insecurity among people in the trouble-torn region.

Rab Director General MA Aziz Sarkar yesterday held a closed-door meeting with the superintendents of police (SPs) of the four districts at Chuadanga to discuss the operation. Sources said the meeting discussed the latest positions of the outlawed groups, especially the four factions of Purba Banglar Communist Party (BPCP), which are more active than others. The SPs briefed the Rab DG on the extremists' activities in their districts.

The meeting also discussed the drive against Islamist militants in the four districts. The SPs of Chuadanga and Meherpur were asked to intensify their drive against banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) as police are yet to submit charge sheets in the cases filed for the August 17 serial blasts in the two districts. A dozen of underground parties are carrying out extremism in the region and they have around 4,000 armed cadres, according to police.
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2006-03-29 Bangladesh
A Dhaka court yesterday set April 18 for hearing on the charge-framing against the military commander of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Ataur Rahman Sunny and four others in two cases. Judge Mohammad Momin Ullah of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court directed the authorities concerned to produce Sunny and four others before it during the hearing of the cases. The two cases were filed with Sabujbagh Police Station, one under Arms Act and the other under Explosive Substances Act, against Sunny and six others on December 14 last year.

On March 14, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) pressed charges against Sunny and four others. The other accused are Sunny's friend Fariduzzaman Swapan, JMB regional commander of Gazipur Enayet Ullah (Jewel), Kamrul (Sumon, also known as Zahidul) and Alamgir (Bijoy). Sumon and Alamgir are absconding while the others are now in custody. Rab dropped the names of Monir and Abul Khair, landlords of Sunny, from the charge sheet, as evidence leading to their involvement with JMB was inconclusive.
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2006-03-29 Bangladesh
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has sent a list of 68 militants to all the commercial banks to find if they have any bank accounts, sources said. The central bank asked the banks to report within April 6 all sorts of transactions in detail if any bank account is found in their names. Sources in the BB said the list, which was sent early this week, bears the addresses of some of the arrested and suspected militants. The central bank gathered the names and addresses from newspaper reports.

The list includes names of banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, Ataur Rahman Sunny, Abdul Awal, Obaidur Rahman, Shakil alias Mollah Omar and Hridoy Chowdhury. High officials of a number of banks however pointed out that it will be very difficult to find out if there is any bank account in the name of any militant as the BB could not provide addresses against all the names.
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2006-03-26 Bangladesh
The intelligence officials enquiring into militancy and bomb attacks suspect that militant groups other than Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) might have been behind some major bomb attacks since 1999. JMB top brass Abdur Rahman, Bangla Bhai, Ataur Rahman Sunny and others have admitted to carrying out all the blasts since August 17 last year, attacks on writer Humayun Azad and Prof Yunus in Rajshahi, blasts at cinemas in Mymensingh, circus and cinema in Satkhira and Failya Paglar Majar in Tangail, said sources.

But the investigators have yet to extract information from them about the groups and persons responsible for the other major attacks that include the blasts in 1999 at Udichi conference in Jessore, Ahmadiyya mosque in Khulna, and in 2001, Pahela Boishakh celebration at Ramna Batamul, CPB conference at Paltan, Awami League (AL) leader Shamim Osman's meeting in Narayanganj, AL leader Sheikh Helal's meeting in Mollahat upazila of Bagerhat and Baniachang church in Gopalganj. They have not got clues also to Sylhet cinema blast in 2004, and the poisoning of fish at a Sylhet shrine in 2003 and at a Chittagong shrine in 2004. No groups have claimed responsibility for any of those attacks.

Other militant groups including now banned Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJi) that were active in the late 90s might have had hands in the attacks and their role needs to be investigated, an intelligence official told The Daily Star, seeking anonymity. Mufti Hannan, the detained operations commander of HuJi, has only admitted planting the 86kg bomb at the meeting venue of the then prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Kotalipara in Gopalganj. Another investigator said the HuJi might also have had roles in some other bomb attacks and stressed the need for taking Hannan into further remand for interrogation in this regard. "He may hold some significant clues to those incidents even if he maintains that his group did not make those attacks," said a well-placed source.

Sources, meantime, yesterday said the JMB kingpins have admitted in last two days to their involvement in slaughtering five people at the shrine of Khwaja Abdul Gafur Chisti at Begungram village in Kalai upazila of Joypurhat on January 20, 2003 and the attempt on life of AL leader Tarapada Poddar at Mollahat in Bagerhat on August 16, 2002. Earlier some investigators had told the media that they would be able to unravel all the mystery behind the blasts and other militant attacks since 1999 once JMB chief Abdur Rahman and his deputy Bangla Bhai are rounded up. But the JMB heavyweights are yet to provide information about their links with the other attacks. "It seems likely other militant groups might be responsible for the attacks that took place before August 17 last year," said an intelligence official.

The source, however, said different groups were behind the attacks made with grenades. "The bomber groups and the grenade attackers are not the same," he added. Grenades were used in attacks on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury at Shahjalal Shrine in Sylhet, Sheikh Hasina's rally at Bangabandhu Avenue, Sylhet Mayor Badruddin Ahmed Kamran and Urs again at the Shahjalal Shrine.
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2006-03-26 Bangladesh
The JMB suicide bomber killed in the November 29 bombing on Gazipur Bar Association office premises has been identified by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as Asadul Islam, 19, of Gaibandha. Seven persons including lawyers Amjad Hossain and Golam Faruk were killed on the spot 60 people were injured in the bombing.

Gaibandha police confirmed Asadul's identity yesterday, about four months after the carnage. Asadul who used four nicknames as Zafar, Nasir, Jahid and Ziaur hailed from Tindaha village in Ramchandrapur union in Gaibandha Sadar Upazila. His identity has been confirmed after interrogating some JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) cadres and his parents, police said.

During investigation, Asadul's father bicycle mechanic Abdur Rahim and mother Ayatunessa and relatives identified his photograph. Police also recovered copies of JMB monthly journal Al-Magazi, other papers and Jihadi (militancy) books from the house of Asadul. Quoting family sources, police said Asadul read up to class eight at Trimohoni High School and later went to Bogra for studying in a madrasa. Since than, he did not keep any contact with the family. CID investigation officer Shamol Kumar during investigation quizzed Adnan alias Abbas, arrested 'regional commander' of JMB for Bogra and Joypurhat districts. Adnan unidentified that the Gazipur suicide bomber was Asadul Islam. Asadul was assigned to do the suicide bombing by JMB chief Shahikh Abdur Rahman through two 'regional commanders' Adnan and Reaz, both now in custody, police said.
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2006-03-25 Bangladesh
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Ehsar members Arifur Rahman Hasib alias Akash and Jahirul Islam alias Zahir have confessed to their involvement in bomb blasts in Gazipur on November 29 and on August 17 respectively. They gave confessional statements before First Class Magistrate Hasanul Matin in Tangail under Section 164 on Wednesday. In Sherpur, JMB district commander Mujahidul Islam Sumon was placed on three days' fresh remand when he was produce before court on Thursday on expiry of his 10-day remand.

Akash of Chackpara village in Sreepur upazila in Mirzapur district was arrested in Chittagonj. He was shown arrested in Tangail after police, acting on his confession, on February 1 arrested Jahir and JMB cadres Shahadat Hossen alias Imran from Namasola village in Kaliakair upazila in Gazipur district and Mahmudur Rahman alias Russel from Asgana village in Mirzapur upazila in Tangail and recovered two grenades along with four detonators and 33 lead splinters from a bush near Russel's house. On the same day, SI Tapash Chandra Pandit of Mirzapur police station in Tangail and SI Shakil Ahmed of Gazipur Sadar police filed two cases accusing the five militants. Akash admitted that he took part in bomb blasts at Gazipur Bar Association office on November 29.

Jahir confessed to his involvement in the August 17 serial bomb blasts at Gazipur road-intersection last year. Jahir told the court that he was recruited by Gazipur JMB commander Nizam Uddin Reza and become an Ehsar member of JMB within few days. Reza is also a charge sheeted accused in Gazipur bomb blast case.

Earlier, Imran and Russel in confessions before a magistrate court under Section 164 said they got bombs from Reza and blasted those in Gazipur on August 17. Reza is yet to be arrested. Police said they are hunting for Reza hailing fromf Mollarhat upazila in Bagerhat district. Imran and Russel said they were students of Kaliakair Senior Fazil Madrasa.

Quoting the arrested JMB cadres, sources in Gazipur and Tangail police said militants were trained in 14 dens in Tangail and Gazipur districts. These were in Asgana, Kanchanpur, Taktarchala, Kalian, Namasola, Ashulia, Bhati Khalpar, Media, Solai, Rashidpur, Mazidpur, and Telina villages in Mirzapur and Sakhipur upazilas in Tangail district and Kaliakair upazila in Gazipur. They said JMB leader Enayetullah alias Jewel, arrested from Joydevpur with a huge quantity of bomb making materials few months back, had recruited a large number of militants from the areas, staying at a rented house at Balla in Kalihati upazila in Tangail district. Jwel hailed from Kotalipara upazila in Gopalganj district.

In Sherpur, arrested Sumon told interrogators that he was an aide to JMB kingpin Abdur Rahman. He was arrested from Gourdar village in Nokla upazila in Tangail on March 12. Police said they got important information from Sumon but declined to give details for the shake of investigation.
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2006-03-25 Bangladesh
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel in border outposts and camps have been put on high alert so that the two JMB Majlish-e-Shura members still at large cannot flee across the border. The law enforcers, particularly the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), yesterday continued their hunt for the two fleeing leaders of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)-- Khaled Saifullah and Salahuddin.

As part of the ongoing drive against the militants, police and detectives carried out a massive overnight raid on the Housing Estate in Comilla town yesterday. But it failed to arrest any member of the militant outfit or recover any explosives or firearms. During the five-hour raid in the early hours, the law enforcers picked up 33 people for quizzing. Meanwhile, interrogators continued quizzing the detained militant top brass including JMB supremo Abdur Rahman and his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai at the Taskforce for Interrogation (TFI) office. "Our interrogation is currently focused on potential stocks of explosives and whereabouts of the Shura members who are yet to be arrested," MA Aziz Sarkar, director general of Rab, told The Daily Star yesterday.
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2006-03-21 Bangladesh
Are we starting to get a picture of the Keystone Kroox, chased by the Keystone Kops?
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) supremo Abdur Rahman has admitted that he himself led a failed operation to kill an Awami League leader in Mollahat in Bagerhat in August 2002.
"I dunnit an' I'm glad!"
Rahman on March 19 told interrogators a 13-member JMB team, which also included Bangla Bhai, chased AL leader Tarapodo Poddar of Gaola village but could not have him due to locals' resistance.
"Get him!"
"Help! Help! I'm bein' oppressed!"
"Get 'em!"
"Curly-toed slippers, don't fail us now!"
As the AL leader managed to escape, the attackers took shelter at the house of a JMB activist.
"Quick! In here!"
Police had arrested six militants including Bangla Bhai, but Rahman evaded arrest, the JMB chief told the interrogators.
"[Huffa puffa!] He's in there, officers!"
"Abdur! Damn you!"
"Hey! Where'd he go?"
The criminal genius militant mastermind kingpin also said 20 JMB cadres in Bagerhat are looking for an opportunity to launch bomb attacks on some specific targets.
"Aaaarrr! Arrest our criminal mastermind, will they! Gimme that bomb!"
Meantime, the sedition case filed against JMB's seven Majlish-e-Shura members on March 13 was transferred yesterday to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police. Rahman and Bangla Bhai were shown arrested in a case filed for August 17 serial bomb blasts in Bogra yesterday where a court ordered reinvestigation into the case.
"You must reinvestigate the case!"
"But, yer honor! We been investigating it since August!"
The JMB supremo and 12 others including Bangla Bhai stormed the house of AL leader Tarapodo at Gaola on the night of August 16, 2002, reports staff correspondent in Khulna. Rahman said they attempted to slaughter Tarapodo as he had protested holding of a secret JMB meeting at Gaola the same evening.
"Aaaarrr! Protest our secret meeting, will he? We'll see about dat! Where's my shutter gun?"
"Here y'go, chief!"
"Thanks. We got any round of bullet?"
"It was a dark and stormy rainy night," Abdur Rahman told the members of Task Force for Interrogation (TFI) in Dhaka while being quizzed about August 17 blast in Bagerhat and militants' training in the Sundarbans. "His (Tarapodo's) son Tapan hit me in the head with a log when his father was going to be slaughtered.
"Har har! I've got yez now, Tarapodo! Prepare to meet yer maker!"
"[CONK!] Run for it, Pop!"
"Tarapodo managed to run away taking the chance," a source in the DB of Bagerhat who interrogated Rahman at the TFI quoted him as saying. They chased Tarapodo in a desperate attempt to slaughter him, but failed as villagers came forward and resisted them, the source added.
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2006-03-20 Bangladesh
The banned Islamic outfit Jamaatul Mujahidden chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, during his second-term interrogation, on Sunday said they had hired some local goons to carry out the August 17 blasts to hide the identities of their operatives from lawmen.(The New Age BD) He was arrested from a house in Sylhet in the morning on March 2. He has been giving important information on the countrywide series of blasts on August 17, 2005, said sources in the task force, a combine of intelligence agencies and the Rapid Action Battalion.

‘We carried out the blasts in some districts by hired goons to hide the identities of our operatives from law enforcers,’ a source in the task force quoted Adbur Rahman as saying. He said they handed over the charge of blasts to their divisional and districts commanders, who were directed by his younger brother Ataur Rahman, also military commander of the outfit, and his son-in-law Abdul Awal. ‘As we tried to establish Islamic rule by launching suicide attacks at key installations by our own operatives, we did not want that some of our operatives would go in hiding after the blasts. So we decided to carry out the attack by some hired goons at some places,’ an official of the battalion’s intelligence wing quoted him Sunday night as saying.

Investigators said Rahman said his operatives had carried out the blasts by some rickshaw pullers giving them Tk 350 to Tk 500 in Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachari and Brahmanbaria on August 17, but they did not have the idea of Jamaatul Mujahideen. Rahman proudly said his operative were capable of getting things done by others without giving them an idea of the outfit.

Two young men Mohammad Shohel and Alamgir Hossain, now in custody, meanwhile told the magistrate on Saturday that they had carried out the attacks on August 17 for money in Brahmanbaria. They made statements to Magistrate Habibur Rahman, saying that Sabbir Ahmed Dulal of the outfit distributed money among 11 persons. The attack was planned at a meeting at the Kazipara Eidgah a day before the incident. The police said the two agreed to make statements before the magistrate on the third day of their five-day remand.
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2006-03-18 Bangladesh
The four Jamaatul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) cadres arrested in Brahmanbaria on Thursday confessed to police that they were involved in the August 17 bomb blasts in the district town.

Arrested Alamgir, 28; Sohel, 25; Arafat, 26; and Shaikh Muhammad Suman, 25 were being interrogated on the second day of their five-day remand yesterday.

Police said they got some important information from the JMB cadres but declined to disclose those for the shake of investigation.

The four were arrested following information given by JMB cadre Sabbir Ahmed Dulal, arrested in Dhaka on March 8.

Police picked up another youth Shafiqul Islam, 28, -- from Kautoli in the town yesterday. Police said Shafiqul Islam has not been arrested. He has been taken into custody for interrogation in connection militancy. Police declined to say when newsmen asked whether he was a JMB suspect. "We will tell you later", a policeman said at the Sadar police station.

Earlier on Wednesday, police picked up four others but released them after interrogation. They were Sukumer Roy, 60;. Alamgir, 35; Zilani Abdul Ashique, 30; and Hossain Al Mamun, 35, on Wednesday for asking some-thing. They are under watch, the Officer-in-Charge of Brahmanbaria Sadar police station said.

He said JMB cadre Sabbir Ahmed Dulal arrested in Dhaka on March 8 and sent to Brahmanbaria, has been sent to Sylhet for interrogation in a case filed against JMB kingpin Abdur Rahman there.

Sabbir was arrested from a saloon in Paltan area in Dhaka city after his cheque book (No. 11674) of Janata Bank branch in Brahmanbaria was found during the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) operation at Surajadigal Bari in Sylhet city from where JMB chief Abdur Rahman was arrested.

It is learnt that arrested Sheikh Muhamad Sumon was JMB 'commander' of an area in Brahmanbaria town.

Brahmanbaria police and Detective Branch (DB) personnel raided at least 18 place in the town in the last few days in their hunt for Islamist militants, source said.

Some sources claimed that JMB Sura member Salah Uddin was hiding in Brahmanbaria.

Additional Police Superintendent Abdul Kuddus Amin told newsmen at his office yesterday that raids were launched following information that Salah Uddin was hiding in the town. "We have launched a massive hunt for him", he said.
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2006-03-18 Bangladesh
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman has confessed before the law enforcers that the suicide bombing in Netrakona on December 8 killing eight people and injuring 50 others was in retaliation for not releasing two JMB operatives. After Netrakona police arrested JMB cadre Sanaullah on October 11 and Kawser Alam Sumon on October 13 at Mawa in Gouripur upazila of Mymensingh, the militants phoned the superintendent of police in Netrakona. They asked him to release the two immediately or face reprisal for the arrests. "As he did not release them, we decided to teach him a lesson," Samiul Alam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Netrakona Police Station, quoted the detained militant leader as saying, reports our Netrakona correspondent.

Rahman said he chose to go for the attack in the constituency of State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar 'so he took notice of JMB's might and the consequence of not paying heed to its demand'. Eight people including the suicide bomber and Udichi's district unit joint convenor Khwaja Haider died and 50 others including 10 policemen were injured in the blast in front of Udichi office in Netrakona.
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2006-03-17 Bangladesh
The government has formally started its work to ferret out the godfathers of the two top-most leaders of JMB Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai and its sources of funds at home and abroad with a view to rooting out militancy from the country.
Unfortunately, they keep speaking of Bhai in the present tense.
A high-powered three-member probe committee headed by a Special Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Special Branch (SB) has been formed to look into the matter of locating JMB’s sources of funds. A high official at Bangladesh Bank (BB) and a RAB official are also in the committee. The committee will also investigate the persons patronising the organisation by providing financial assistance. It will try to know why the so-called patrons have financed the organisation.
To cause terror, you twits.
Talking to newsmen Lutfozzaman Babar, State Minister for Home Affairs, said, "A three-member probe committee was formed to detect the sources of funds, the financiers and the cause of providing money to the militants." Expressing his deep concern over the matter, he said the militancy will not stop until we can find out the sources of funds and arrest the financiers, who have provided the money. "The committee has been asked to submit the report within seven days," he added.

The government is preparing a list of the financiers who provided money to the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) cadres to run the activities of the organisation in the country in a bid to establish what they call the rule of Allah.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies are closely watching the movement of some 25 influential persons as they got their names by tapping phone calls. Requesting anonymity, a highly placed source having connection with intelligence agencies said there were some high-profile politicians and businessmen in the list adding that the big fishes were under strict intelligence watch and would be arrested after getting green signal from the government.

In the first phase of remand, Shaikh Abdur Rahman told the Task Force Intelligence (TFI) personnel that JMB collected 10,000 pounds sterling in bribes from two Bangladeshi-born British citizens and the rest of the funds from bank robbery, looting of NGO office, Jakat fund and other sources.
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2006-03-17 Bangladesh
The government yesterday filed a sedition case for the first time against all seven members of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)'s Majlish-e-Shura, the highest decision-making body. Officer-in-Charge of Muktagachha Police Station in Mymensingh Police Inspector Sheikh Mahbubur Rahman filed the case with Mymensingh Cognisance Court yesterday afternoon on orders of the home ministry Wednesday. The court ordered Muktagachha police to investigate the case.

The much-anticipated case was filed in Mymensingh as the law enforcers learnt that the decision to carry out blasts across the country on August 17 last year was taken at a meeting there between June and August. The militants decided to go for such a huge scale terrorist act mainly 'to get the message about their strength over to the government'. Those who have been charged with sedition include JMB chief Abdur Rahman ibne Abdullah alias Ehsan, Siddiqul Islam alias Azizur Rahman alias Azizul Islam Litu alias Omar alias Bangla Bhai, Rahman's brother Ataur Rahman Sunny alias Sajid, Rahman's son-in-law Abdul Awal Sarker alias Adil alias Asif alias Arafat, Salahuddin alias Salehin, Mahmud alias Hafez Mahmud alias Rakib Hasan alias Russell and Khaled Saifullah alias Amjad alias Faruk Hossain.

The accused were involved in an ill attempt to unseat the government and establish Shariah rule by force, says the first information report (FIR). "Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh is determined to oust the government and establish Shariah law by force. To attain the goals, they have been stockpiling firearms and ammunition, staging blasts, killing and injuring the common people, and damaging public property. They have been engaged in conspiracy to dislodge the government and destroy the state structure by creating public hatred towards the existing laws and the government through leaflets and other means," reads the FIR.
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2006-03-16 Bangladesh
Law enforcers in their hunt especially for the two absconding Majlish-e-Shura members of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) ran massive raids in Brahmanbaria and Sherpur yesterday and arrested six JMB operatives, including the outfit's Sherpur commander. On information that JMB Shura member Salahuddin was hiding in Brahmanbaria, the joint forces of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) conducted the five-hour raid at different points of the district as of 9:00 last night. Three JMB activists arrested in Brahmanbaria admitted that they had carried out bomb blasts at five places in the town on August 17 last year as part of the outfit's countrywide bomb attacks.

The Rab, which earlier arrested JMB chief Abdur Rahman, his closest aide Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, JMB's military unit chief Ataur Rahman Sunny and Shura member Hafiz Mahmud, said they intensified intelligence and operational work to arrest the fugitive Shura members--Salahuddin and Khaled Saifullah. "We have spread our intelligence network all over the country besides strengthening our operation to arrest Salahuddin and Saifullah and other JMB leaders," Commander Mashuq Hassan Ahmed, Rab Legal and Media Wing director, told The Daily Star yesterday.

The investigators, meantime, said from now on they will feed the media with information related to operations only as they have instructions from the government top level not to disclose the findings of interrogation of the top JMB leaders. The law enforcers also prevented photojournalists from taking photographs of the arrested JMB men during and after the operation in Brahmanbaria. The law enforcers are yet to begin interrogation of Bangla Bhai who is undergoing treatment for burn and splinter injuries he had received during his capture on March 6 in Mymensingh. Before starting the interrogation, the investigators will have to produce the militant before the court and obtain remand order.
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2006-03-13 Bangladesh
Militant supremo Abdur Rahman established international links of his militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) with the help of Ahle Hadith Andolan, Bangladesh (Ahab) chief Asadullah al Galib, sources said. Evidence collected so far is so concrete that both Galib and Rahman must admit their links with two foreign militant trainers, Khaled and Javed, a reliable source told The Daily Star without elaborating. The trainer duo named Galib as their leader after they were arrested in Nepal in 1998, sources said.

The duo came to Bangladesh to train up Rohingya rebels in 1995 and stayed at Galib's Nawdapara den in Rajshahi. They were taken to a house in Arambagh in Dhaka on their way to Chittagong under Galib's supervision, sources said. The foreign militants first trained up Rohingyas and then local militants on Rahman's orders for four to six years. Sources said their primary target was to send the recruits to the Afghan war front as a backup force. The training ultimately focused on rearing militants inside the country following a decision by Galib and Rahman at a meeting at Sadrul Alam's house in Chittagong in 1998, investigators said. Galib's nephew Alam was trapped after the August 17 blasts last year.

Sources said Rahman went to Saudi Arabia for higher studies at Madina University on Galib's recommendation. Galib at a press conference before his arrest claimed he had no contacts with Rahman since his return from Madina. Galib at an Ahab conference in Rajshahi in 1997 introduced a number of guests from India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The guests include Pakistani Nasser al Rahmani, an alleged leader of Saudi Hizbullah, who carries a bounty of $5 million declared by FBI for his link to al Qaeda. Galib also introduced Abdul Matin Salafi, Maolana Abdul Wahab Khiljee of Punjab, Ahle Hadith leader Abdullah Salafi of Murshidabad from India and Abdullah Abdut Tawat Al Madani from Nepal. Though Salafi was banished from Bangladesh in 1988, he took part in the Ahab meet in 1997. Investigators have found Galib had a joint bank account with him in 1989-90.

A leader of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) in 2004 told The Daily Star about 20 of their leaders and activists worked with al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
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2006-03-08 Bangladesh
Interrogation into the militant network and activities is awaiting recovery of Bangla Bhai, who is now undergoing treatment at Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) hospital amidst tight security. He was learnt yesterday to be recovering and out of danger.
Damn.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) men are guarding the cabin round the clock, often keeping it under lock and key, sources said. Masud, bodyguard of Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, yesterday told interrogators that he arranged the Muktagachha house for Bangla Bhai who went there on Friday night after the arrest of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman in Sylhet.
I'm guessing Masud is just Bangla Babu.
Meanwhile, hearing the news of Bangla Bhai's arrest, the JMB chief told the law enforcers that an Islamic revolution in Bangladesh is certain even though he and Bangla Bhai were arrested.
Probably even more competently-led, in fact...
Sources said Bangla Bhai used to frequent Muktagachha over the last year, training his men at different mosques and sugarcane fields in the area. Locals were not allowed to come near the place of training, a local said.
Y'might want to think seriously about shutting down those particular mosques...
Bangla Bhai also had a training camp at Ghoradhap in Jamalpur, 5 km off Muktagachha. Locals of Muktagachha said they thought Bangla Bhai was a pir (a religious leader) busy working on Hadith. Law enforcers, meantime, said the youth who fled during Muktagachha operation used to provide Bangla Bhai with food.
Another small fry...
Sources in the BDR hospital said Bangla Bhai is now taking food and talking although in a very low voice. "But his condition is stable and danger free," a source said. Doctors expected him to regain full consciousness by Tuesday night. Bangla Bhai was kept in cabin No. 1 of the intensive care unit after doctors on Monday conducted several operations on his body for burn and splinter injuries in the face, hands and other parts.
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2006-03-06 Bangladesh
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) was raiding different areas of Sylhet city till 1:30am for Sylhet divisional head of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). After a tip off, six teams of Rab-9 have cordoned off Tero Ratan and Block F of Shahjalal on the outskirts of the city late last night.

The elite crime busters were hunting for Salahuddin alias Salehin, chief of Sylhet division JMB, and Saidur Rahman, former ameer of Habiganj district Jamaat and also a JMB activist, said Rab sources. The raids were undertaken on the basis of information provided by detained JMB chief Abdur Rahman, who was arrested Thursday at a East Shaplabagh house in the district. Salahuddin is in charge of the banned outfit's operations in Sylhet and Mymensingh region while Saidur Rahman is the one whose chequebook was found at the Shaplabagh house.
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2006-03-04 Bangladesh
Police arrested two suspected members of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in chaurangi area of Sadar upazila on Thursday night. Acting on a tip-off, police raided a house near Shariatpur Club and arrested Sirajul Islam, 24, and Akash, 20. The arrestees were taken on a 10-day remand for interrogation.
Since they're Islamists, it's doubtful they'll get the trip to the abandoned warehouse at 4 in the morning, more's the pity.
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2006-03-04 Bangladesh
Most of the 26 arrested militants of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have links with Allahr Dal, police interrogating the arrestees said yesterday. A magistrate's court on March 2 remanded them for seven days each after Rapid Action Battalion and police arrested them at Uttar Dhangharah in Gaibandha the previous day. The arrestees told the police the owner of the house where they were holding a meeting before arrest, Saidur Rahman, is their leader, who arranged regular meetings with Allahr Dal.

"We don't believe in democracy, it is almost like blasphemy. We want to establish Islamic rule in the country," said Saidur Rahman during interrogation. Most of the arrestees cannot read or write Arabic and were being taught Quranic verses in Bangla version, the police said. A local teacher speaking anonymously said unknown people used to hold daylong meetings at the house. But neighbours were not invited and outsiders were not allowed to take part. "Being a public representative, even I could not realise something fishy was going on here as they conducted their activities very secretly," said Mozammel Huq, chairman of Ballamjhar Union Parishad.

Saidur Rahman claimed they were conducting research work on the Quran with Allahr Dal leaders Matin Mehdi, Rafiqul Islam and Rawnakul Islam Khushi. Police are hunting for Rafiqul and Mehdi of Bridge Road of Gaibandha. The two launched the activities of Allahr Dal at Hashem Bazar three years ago and Mehdi later joined the JMB. A court in Jhenidah on February 28 sentenced 21 JMB militants including Allahr Dal leaders Mehdi and Abu Taleb Ansari alias Babul Ansari to death in a bomb blast case.
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2006-03-04 Bangladesh
Locals in Bagmara of Rajshahi and Atrai, Raninagar of Naogaon demand the government trace and hunt down those who aided and abetted militant kingpins Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai in killing at least 22 people and maiming hundreds in 2004. In reaction to the high profile capture of Rahman, a number of victims of brutal violence by Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) yesterday said the ones who backed Abdur Rahman and JMJB operations commander Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai in carrying out a reign of terror in the region must not be allowed to get off scot-free. "You will find at least one victim a house in Bagmara and Atrai. So many people have been maimed for nothing," a college teacher had said, describing the situation after JMJB operations in 2004.

A host of policemen were guarding Abdur Rahman when he first came out in public in Naogaon and Rajshahi in late April, 2004 said sources. Bangla Bhai had already burst onto the scene earlier on April 1 the same year. On May 4, 2004, Rahman held a press conference at Bhawaniganj Women's College in Bagmara. JMB Majlish-e-Sura Members Abdul Awal, Salauddin, Ataur Rahman Sunny and Khalid Saifullah were accompanying him at that time. Bangla Bhai had introduced Rahman as his spiritual leader and chief of his organisation. Over a dozen policemen and a huge number of cadres were surrounding him throughout the conference.

Rahman claimed that his outfit was on a mission to cleanse sarbaharas in the region. "I had talks with some local lawmakers and politicians as well as some government officials. They were assisting us," he told the gathering recorded on videotapes. After the press meet, he stayed in Bagmara for a few more days at the house of Ramjan Kaya. During the stay, he met local BNP and Jamaat leaders and addressed a women's gathering.

Rahman had been in control of the vigilante operations that left a trail of horror in less than two months. Bangla Bhai and his men were operating, following his instructions. He was also in charge of the main JMJB concentration camp in Atrai of Naogaon.
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2006-03-03 Bangladesh
Abdur Rahman, who terrorised the country with his ruthless squad of bombers and preferred death to surrender in the cause of Jihad, yesterday walked out of his den, meek and cowed, into the law enforcers' hands, ending a 34-hour suspense. Breaking a 26-hour silence, the chief of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), finally surrendered at 7:06am to the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) that had pinned him down at a Sylhet house since Tuesday night.

Under high security, he has been brought to Dhaka by road for interrogation at the Rab-1 office in Uttara after a Sylhet court remanded him for 10 days. Before giving in, Rahman, whose band of killers carried out serial blasts on a number of occasions to kill more than 30 people and injure many others, charged the Rab of "violating human rights" by cutting off his utility supplies. "You have stopped my gas, electricity and water supply," Rahman appeared on the window and spoke in a weak tone. "It is violation of human rights."

"I want a peaceful solution. I want to meet Khaleda, Hasina, Ershad and [Lutfozzaman] Babar," he blurted out. He also wanted to talk to the media. "Once I surrender, I will not get the chance to talk with the media and say what I have to tell the countrymen," Rahman said in a weak voice, asking for a loudhailer.

The Rab members applied both coaxing and threats to snap the terrorist's psyche. "You have wasted enough time. We won't tolerate any more," a law enforcer shouted at Rahman. "They [Khaleda, Hasina, Ershad and Babar] could not come here," another law enforcer said. "We have made sitting arrangement for you in the next house where you can talk to the media. You will be given all types of legal support." The law enforcers asked Rahman to come out unarmed only in his pyjamas. "We will keep our words, but you will have to come out first. You will not carry anything in your hands or on your body. You have to show you are safe for all," a Rab officer said on a loudhailer.

A hesitant Rahman consulted with his two aides--Moizul Islam alias Hridoy Chowdhury, 40, and Hanif alias Abdul Aziz, 27--also holed up in the building. He repeated his demands for a few more times. Then he nodded to his cohorts, signalling with his head that the game is over. A few moments later, Rahman in a white flowing beard and draped in long punjabi, a red-and-white chequered scarf and a topi on his head walked out of the single-storey house at East Shaplabagh. He was clutching a copy of the Quran.

The terrorist looked like a cornered mouse. He and his two accomplices were immediately handcuffed and whisked away in a sports utility vehicle, not letting Rahman talk with the mediamen who had been waiting there since Tuesday night. Journalists were also not allowed at the Rab-1 office in Dhaka when Rahman and other arrestees were taken there at 3:00pm yesterday. Rab officials said they will not allow any journalists as they have already started their interrogation. They said they may arrange a briefing for journalists today.

A case was filed with Sylhet Kotwali Police Station against nine, including Rahman. A motorcade of top Rab officials took them to the court of Magistrate Ershadul Haque who sent Rahman on a 10-day remand upon a petition submitted by the police. The law enforcers seized a two-kg bomb, 11 detonators, power gel, electric wires, 21 CDs and books on Jihad, and a motorcycle from the house. The police later sealed the house.
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2006-03-02 Bangladesh
Two months ago, a man in his 30's introducing himself as stone trader Hridoy Chowdhury rented Surya Dighal Bari, the East Shaplabagh house in the city where Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh chief Abdur Rahman and two of his accomplices remained trapped until 12:30am today. Hridoy, who said he hails from Mymensingh, has been living in the house with his daughter and wife since January 2, said Mainul Haque, who looks after the house, as his brother Abdul Haque, the landlord, lives in the UK.

Hridoy also claimed to have lived in the adjacent Mirapara area previously, Mainul told The Daily Star. "When I came to the house to collect the monthly rent, Hridoy did not allow me to enter the house. But, I thought he did it to maintain Purdah." Recently some people used to frequent the house, Mainul said, adding Hridoy claimed they were his business partners. According to Mainul, he secured a photograph and other details of Hridoy as a precautionary measure before renting out the house to him. He also informed the local union parishad members about the rental. Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), which has been spearheading the blockade, arrested Mainul yesterday afternoon and taken Hridoy's photograph from him to ascertain the man's real identity.
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2006-03-02 Bangladesh
Militant kingpin Abdur Rahman, pinned down by law enforcers at an East Shaplabagh hideout in Sylhet City since Tuesday night, refused to surrender as at 1:30am today.
Fox News just announced he's in custody...
While altercating with the blockading law enforcers led by Rapid Action Battalion at 4:00am yesterday, the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh supremo said he would rather commit suicide than surrender.
Guess he changed his mind, huh?
Lashing out at the police operation, Rahman, called Shaekh or spiritual leader by his followers in reverence, said he would not talk with anyone except State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar and asked the law enforcers to contact him.
"I wants me mout'piece, coppers!"
After that exchange of words at 4:00am, he made no further response to the law enforcers, who went on asking him to surrender again and again.
"Da jig's up, Abdur! Drop the artillery an' come out witcher hands up!"
However, his wife Nurjahan Begum Rupa, daughter Afifa Rahman, three sons and a grandson came out of the house with the poetic name Surya Dighal Bari yesterday noon and surrendered to the police.
"We're comin' out! He's crazy!"
The raiding party later persuaded Nurjahan into requesting her husband to surrender, but to no avail.
"Give up, Abdur! Think of the children!"
The JMB chief, who has a Tk 50 lakh bounty on his head, warned he has a large number of powerful explosives in his possession. Eight explosions were also heard from the house, but it could not be known whether there was any casualty. Rab intelligence chief Lt Col Gulzar Uddin Ahmed told The Daily Star last night they reckon two JMB operatives, identified later as Moijul and Hanif, were with Rahman in the house.
"Boss! Dey got us surrounded!"
Over a thousand-strong force drawn from Rab, Bangladesh Rifles and the police was besieging the house. The law enforcers also had been trying to flush out the Islamist militant linchpin and his accomplices by streaming water and lobbing teargas shells into the house through a hole drilled in the roof until 8:00pm.
"Hakk! Kaff! Gag!"
Rab sources said in the beam of a flashlight through that hole they saw a network of wires coming out of two bags placed behind two doors. They suspect the entire house is probably booby-trapped. They also saw something wrapped in a quilt on a bed but were not sure whether it was a man or an explosive device. At quarter to midnight, Rab Director General Abdul Aziz Sarker told The Daily Star over telephone that they would refrain from breaking into the house at night. They want to do it in daylight. Thousands of locals thronged the area and gathered around the sealed-off place to witness the imminent arrest of the mastermind behind all the bomb attacks in the country since the August 17 near-simultaneous bomb strikes across the country last year.
"Peanuts! Popcorn! Cracker Jacks! Get 'em right here!"
"Programs! Getcher programs!"
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2006-03-02 Bangladesh
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police in a drive yesterday arrested 26 militants of the outlawed Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh(JMB) at a village in Gaibandha. Tipped off, the law enforcers raided a house of Saidur Rahman at Uttar Dhanghara village where the cadres were holding a secret meeting, reports our correspondent in Gaibandha. They met there to finalise some major operations in and around Gaibandha, police sources said.

Meanwhile, our correspondent in Dinajpur reports that a fugitive JMB member wanted in connection with the August 17 blasts surrendered to a magistrate's court on Tuesday. The court sent Mohammad Tozammel Haque alias Toza, son of Md Jamil Hossain of Mohabbatpur village in the sadar upazila, to Dinajpur jail. Toza was an active operator of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and was involved in last year's blasts in the district. His brother Moffazzal Hossain Dulal, chairman of Awaliapur Union Parishad and president of union unit BNP, surrendered a licensed pistol and 20 bullets to police yesterday morning.

Earlier on Friday night, Detective Branch police raided Charadangi Bazar in the sadar upazila and arrested JMB operator Nurul Islam, 22, of Saidpur village. The arrestee during primary interrogation by police confessed to his involvement in the blasts.
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2006-03-02 Bangladesh
Intelligence agencies and investigators believe the mystery behind the rise of militancy, spreading of its network and links both in and outside the country could be revealed only after JMB kingpin Abdur Rahman is arrested. So far, three of the seven-member Majlis-e-Shura (top decision making body) of the JMB -- Abdul Awal Sarker, Ataur Rahman Sunny and Hafez Mahmud -- have been arrested, but none of them could reveal a total picture of the banned militant group or their external and internal links.

Following the ban on Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), the law enforcers primarily concentrated on arresting JMJB operations chief Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai. They did not focus on Shaekh Abdur Rahman until the August 17 countrywide bombings although he organised both the JMB and JMJB networks across the country quite openly. Following the August 17 attack, the investigators said the mystery would be revealed once they can arrest some of the seven members of Majlish-e-Shura, top decision making body of the JMB. However, after arresting three Shura members, the investigators claimed the three failed to provide the expected information saying they did not know much about the JMB network and its functioning. The arrested referred Rahman as controlling the network.

Two Shura members--Rahman's son-in-law Abdul Awal Sarker alias Ashiq alias Adil alias Arafat, and his younger brother Ataur Rahman alias Sunny alias Sajid--were arrested at the end of 2005. The law enforcers held the other--Rakib Hasan alias Hafez Mahmud--last Tuesday. Acting on intelligence information and Hafez's confession, the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Tuesday night cordoned off the JMB chief's house at East Shaplabagh in Sylhet and has been trying to convince Rahman to surrender.

Nine family members of Rahman, including his wife Nurjahan Begum alias Rupa, daughter Afifa Rahman and sons Fuad and Ahmed, surrendered yesterday, but Rahman told the law enforcers that he would rather commit suicide than surrendering. Lieutenant Colonel Gulzar Uddin Ahmed, Rab intelligence wing chief leading the Sylhet operation, yesterday afternoon told The Daily Star over telephone that they were taking time before breaking into the house because they want to arrest Rahman alive. "We don't want him to get injured in any way since he has threatened to commit suicide," he said.
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2006-03-01 Bangladesh
Two separate courts in Bangladesh are reported to have sentenced 22 Islamic militants to death for carrying out bomb attacks across the country last year.
Are they dead yet?
A court in the western city of Jhenidah condemned 21 militants in connection with serial bomb explosions on 17 August, the private ATN Bangla television network reported. Eighteen of the defendants were in court when the sentence was read, while another two remain fugitives.
Kinda hard to hang 'em when you haven't caught 'em, isn't it?
Lawyers said they planned to appeal the sentences.
Oh. Wotta surprise.
In a separate case, a court in northeastern Sylhet city sentenced a man to death for hurling a homemade bomb outside the house of a judge, slightly injuring him, on 18 October.
Dumbass. Who'd you think you were gonna be sentenced by in court? A plumber?
The militants were sentenced for their part in a deadly wave of blasts that saw more than 400 bombs explode almost simultaneously across Bangladesh last year, officials said. The bombings, claimed by an outlawed Islamic militant group, killed three people and rocked a nation which had previously denied having a serious problem with extremism.
400 bombs, three people dead. What's wrong with that picture?
Went to the Hek School of Grenade Throwing, did they?
Amirul Islam, administrative officer at the court said the accused were all members of the militant group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Babul Ansari, one of the condemned men, was employed as a security guard at the Bangladesh parliament at the time of the attacks, Motaleb Hossain, the court's prosecutor told AFP. Hossain said the case was the first successful prosecution in connection with the attacks in which small explosive devices were detonated in almost every town and city in the country. JMB leaflets were found at the blast sites calling for the imposition of strict Islamic law.
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2006-02-28 Bangladesh
Over 50 JMB cadres including two 'district commanders' and 10 suicide bombers still evade arrest in Delduar upazila in Tangail. A high police official here seeking anonymity said Delduar is e an area from where perhaps the highest number of JMB militants have been recruited. JMB recruited about 100 cadres from the area, the police official told this correspondent. Twelve of the 30 JMB suicide bombers recruited from Tangail district are from Delduar, the police official said.

Police so far arrested 30 militants including three suicide bombers and busted four dens of JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) since the serial bombings on August 17 last year. Police also recovered huge quantities of explosive and bomb making materials from the dens in Baropakhia, Lawhati, Putiajani and Elachipur in Delduar upazila and adjacent Madarkol, Kamarnaogaon, Herendrapara, Bhurbhuria and Baruha villages. Police are hunting for JMB's Narayanganj 'district commander' Mollah Omar alias Shakil Ahmed, 25, Tangail 'district commander' Abdullah Taslim, 30, and nine suicide squad members, all hailing from Delduar, he added. Others from Delduar on the hunt list include JMB Tangail district trainer Iliyas, 27; Afghanistan-returnee Zubayer, 37; and 'regional commanders' Mohammad Fazlu, 30; Hafez Abdul Kader, 27; Khaled Siddiki, 22. Abdul Alim, Office-in-Charge (OC) of Delduar police station, was closed earlier for failure to nab the militants.

JMB started its militant activities in the upazila centering Baropakhia Qaumi Madrasa, two kilometres from the upazila headquarters in 2003, police sources said. In two years, the militant outfit set up four dens in Baropakhia, Lauhati, Putiajani and Elachipur, where militants were given training on use of arms and bomb making, the sources said. JMB chief Shaiekh Abdur Rahman and his younger brother and military wing chief Ataur Rahman Sunny, younger brother of Abdur Rahman, used to visit the training camps and held meetings.

JMB in their first operation in Delduar blasted a bomb at a jatra (opera) function at Tukchandpur on January 8 last year. Ataur Rahman Sunny along with Molla Omar alias Shakil Ahmed and another cadre in Delduar led the attack, police sources claimed. The three arrested suicide bombers are Toriqul Islam, 16, of Mouloubipara village and two brothers--Mir Suman, 22, and Mir Dipon-- of Bhurbhuria village in Delduar. The rest nine suicide bombers recruited from the upazila are still evading arrests.
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2006-02-22 Bangladesh
Two local leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami sheltered the JMB suicide squad members who blasted bombs in front of Udichi office at Azahar Road in Netrakona town on December 8 last year. Eight people were killed and about 50 including 10 policemen were injured in the blasts. This was disclosed by JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) 'operations commander' Ataur Rahman Sunny during interrogation in Dhaka by the investigation officer (IO) of the two cases filed in connection with the blasts. A murder case and another case under the Explosives Act were filed after the blasts.

Sub-Inspector Mohammad Alauddin of Netrakona police station is the Investigation Officer (IO) of the two cases. SI Alauddin told this correspondent that he and the Officer-in-Charge of Netrakona thana went to Dhaka recently to interrogate arrested JMB 'commander' Sunny in connection with the blasts. Asked why charge sheets were not filed even after two and a half months of the incident, Alauddin said he is awaiting orders from higher authorities.

Sunny told Alauddin that the suicide bombers came to Netrakona about 15 days before of the (December 8) blasts and stayed under the shelter and protection of the two Jamaat leaders. One of them is a front ranking leader of Netrakona district Jamaat and the other is a teacher of a madsasa in the Sadar upazila, Alauddin said quoting Sunny. The suicide bombers also took the help of local Islami Chhatra Shibir activists in making preparations for the attack. Sunny also told Alauddin that the suicide squad was sent to Netrakona on orders from JMB chief Abdur Rahman and JMJB (Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh) chief Siddikur Rahman alias Bangla Bhai .

Alauddin said he got some other 'important information' from Sunny during interrogation, which will be very helpful in the investigation. A high official of Netrakona police said investigations may have a new turn following Sunnay's confessions. "Sunny gave sufficient information about the bomb blast", the police official said. When contacted, Netrakona thana Officer-in-Charge Samiul Alam said, "We got important clues from Sunny and investigation is going on as per his statement of Sunny." He however said submission of charge sheets may be delayed.

Earlier press reports said that before the December 8 blasts, JMB threatened the Netrakona Police Superintendent of bomb attack on his office and residence in case of action against Islamist militants. The threats were made over phone and the SP had also acknowledged the threat.
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2006-02-11 Bangladesh
Nine top leaders of banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB) were placed on a seven-day remand Thursday in Nilphamari for interrogation in connection with the arms and explosives recovery case, police and (Rapid Action Battalion) Rab sources said.
JMB seems to consist mostly of "top leaders," doesn't it? I guess the "bottom leaders" would be the boomers, so they don't get caught.
Rab arrested the JMB leaders during its eight-hour drive from 9 pm on Monday to 5 am on Tuesday at different places in Saidpur, Bogra and Nilphamari district.
Do you get the impression they catch so many of these guys because every time they turn around they trip over them?
JMB's Rangpur 'Divisional Commander' Abdur Rashid Asif, 22, was arrested from Bogra, Nilpahmari 'District Commander' Wahidul Islam Syem, 24, from Thakurgaon, former 'commander' of Nilphamari and Rangpur districts Mahfuzur Rahman Ibrahim, 26, form Rangpur, Rangpur 'District Commander' Moniruzzaman Iqbal, 25, from Thakurgaon, Kurigram 'District Commander' Abu Bakkar Siddique Nahid, 22, from Dinajpur, Ehsar (member) Ehsanul Haque Mezbah, 18, from Dinajpur, Ehsar member Rabiul Islam alias Kamal Hossain, 17, from Nilphamari, Rangpur 'Sadar Upazila Commander' Shahbuddin Ahmed Musa, 19, from Lalmonirhat and 'Commander' of Birampur organisational district in Dinajpur Faruk Hossain Amjad, 32, from Nilphamari.
Most of those guys seem pretty young to be holding such high-powered "top" positions. I have an image of the JMB big turbans giving these guys an impressive title and twenty bucks and sending them forth to wreak havoc. And not bothering to tell them they're expendable.
Following the confessional statements of the JMB leaders, Rab raided several places in Saidpur and recovered huge quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives. Rab filed cases agaisnt them with Saidpur thana and handed them over to police with seized materials on Tuesday. Rab will interrogate them in Dhaka, official sources said.
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2006-02-04 Bangladesh
'Listed' outfits of Jamaatul Mujahedeen, Bangladesh (JMB) have come out of their hideouts and are regrouping in shoal areas in Gangachara upazila in the district, allegedly due to lax police vigilance to nab them. Many of the JMB cadres who went into hiding after the August 17 serial bombing across the country are moving freely there, locals alleged. Police were informed but they did not take any action, some of them said seeking anonymity.

According to a source in police, 53 JMB militants were listed in Nohali, Alambiditor, Kolkond, Changmari, and Gajghanta Sadar unions. After august 17 blasts, all of them JMB left their houses overnight. But recently many of them have come out in the open. The locals also named some of the JMB cadres moving openly. They include Faijul Islam Munnu of Paikan, Azhar Uddin of Kuribishla, Belal and Bhutta of Changmari, Abdul Hoque, Sirajul Islam, Fazlul Hoque, and Abdul Kaiyum of Boro Rupai villages, they said. Rangpur police did not yet frame charges against the JMB outfits who were involved in the August 17 bomb blasts in Rangpur. This has raised questions among people and political leaders about role of police as regards militants. Talking to this correspondent, Gangachara upazila Awami Laegue President Mojibor Rahman Pramanik claimed that several JMB activists not seen in his area after the August 17 blasts are moving freely.
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2006-01-30 Bangladesh
Two Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operatives, including the outfit's Chittagong divisional chief Mohammad alias Javed Iqbal, yesterday gave confessional statement before a court. Mohammad, 25, son of Maulana Abdul Awal of Khurushkul in Cox's Bazaar, was also placed on a five-day fresh remand after being shown arrested in another bomb blast case filed with the Bakolia Police Station. He along with Sitakunda regional commander Delwar Hossain was produced before the court at around 3:15pm.

Mohammad confessed that he along with other JMB members were trained on shooting, blasting bombs and spying at Baghmara in Rajshahi. "After the countrywide bomb blast on August 17 I went to Dhaka and met Shaekh Abdur Rahman who praised me for my successful operation in Chittagong," Mohammed was quoted as saying in his confessional statement in a case of bomb attack on the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Moqsedur Rahman.

In his two-hour confession, Mohammad said a meeting was held to plan the bomb blasts a week before August 17 at the city's Jhautola Ahle Hadith Madrasa. Two JMB members named Suman and Zahid were instructed to fix the spots and 18 bombs kept at the madrasa were handed over to them for detonating at those places of the greater Chittagong district, Mohammad said. Delwar confessed to carrying five bombs to Rangamati. After the confession Mohammad and Delwar were taken to the Detective Branch office in Chittagong.
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2006-01-25 Bangladesh
West Bengal police yesterday confirmed that they had not arrested Shaekh Abdur Rahman, the chief of banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), as the issue remained the talk of the country for the last two days.
"Nope. Sorry. Wudn't him. It wuz... ummm... some guy named Herb."
The confirmation followed reports on Monday and yesterday by wire services and local media about the arrest of the supreme leader of JMB, responsible for countrywide bomb attacks on August 17 and subsequent suicide bombings. Our Delhi correspondent reports that it was in fact a case of mistaken identity. A 23-year-old youth named Obaidur Rahman, who had been staying illegally in a West Bengal village for several months, was taken for JMB chief Abdur Rahman.
Right. They mistook a 23-year-old yoot for a 45-year-old holy man with a hennaed beard. I'll buy that for a dollar.
Two Bangla and an English dailies on Monday carried reports saying that Indian police arrested Rahman the previous day. AFP quoting Inspector General of West Bengal police Raj Kanojia yesterday reported that Abdur Rahman was arrested along with a relative on Sunday while attending a wedding ceremony in the village of Joragachha near the Bangladesh border. The news agency also quoted Kanojia as saying that Rahman had entered India a few weeks after the 17 August blasts and taken refuge in a relative's house in a village 250 kilometres north of Kolkata. Superintendent of Police (SP) in Murshidabad Niraj Singh said the militant kingpin has been charged with travelling India without proper documents. He was remanded in police custody by a district court on Monday, according to the AFP report. Police were interrogating him to establish his link to the August 17 blasts in Bangladesh. He would be produced before the court again on Wednesday, it added.

But private TV channel ATN reported yesterday evening that Abdur Rahman was not arrested. Rather a youth from northern Bangladesh district Bogra was held in Murshidabad. He introduced him as Obaidur Rahman, a student of sociology department of Dhaka University, ATN said, quoting Kolkata IGP (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia.
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2006-01-24 Bangladesh
Mufti Abdul Hannan, operations commander of banned Harkatul Jihad's (HuJi) Bangladesh chapter, was finally sent to the Dhaka Central Jail yesterday 112 days after his arrest. Meanwhile, Abdul Awal, son-in-law of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman, was shown arrested in another August 17 serial bomb blast case and taken on fresh remand. The Detective Branch (DB) of police accompanied by the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) produced Hannan and Awal before the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) on completion of their 10-day remand in a case filed for the blast at Mirpur Road near New Market on August 17 last year.

In the forwarding report, the investigation officer (IO) mentioned that the information obtained from Hannan and Awal is being verified and the two need to be confined to jail custody until the investigation completes. On hearing, Metropolitan Magistrate Shamsul Alam ordered to send Hannan to jail, as there was no further petition for remand. Seeking another 10-day remand, DB Inspector Hassan Ali, the IO of the blast case filed with Lalbagh Police Station, said Awal was directly involved with the August 17 serial blasts, including the one at Palashi Crossing in the capital. He needs to be interrogated further to find out vital clues to the case and the whereabouts of his accomplices, he said in the forwarding report.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shafique Anwar asked Awal whether he would say anything about the charges brought against him or appoint a lawyer to defend him. He refused to say anything and the magistrate placed him on a six-day remand for interrogation. Hannan has been remanded 15 times for 106 days since his arrest on October 1 last year. Awal was remanded for the 10th time, he has been on remand for 61 days since his arrest on November 18. Mufti Hannan, who dodged arrest for several years, was shown arrested in nine blast cases filed with Tejgaon, Ramna, Motijheel, New Market and Demra police stations. Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh's (JMB) Rajshahi regional chief Awal is a member of the outfit's highest tier Majlish-e-Shura and was captured from a Dinajpur-bound bus at Thakurgaon on November 18.
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2006-01-24 Bangladesh
Jan 23: Acting on a tip-off, a team of RAB-5, Rajshahi in a raid arrested an Ehsar member and Gaibandha district commander of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) along with two live bombs and five jihadi books from Sukh Shanti bazaar area under Sadar thana of Gaibandha district around at 11.45 pm last night.

The arrested commander was identified as Ziaur Rahman alias Badal alias Reaz Ahmed, son of Islam Ali Mondal of Kodalkathi village under Chaipainawabganj district. During spirited interrogation Ziaur Rahman admitted that he had been engaged with the activities of JMB for the last three years and also involved in the bomb attacks on August 17. On June, 2005 he went to Gaibandha as the in-charge of district JMB.

A case has been filed with the concerned thana in this connection.
'It was a dark and stormy night, rain sweeping across the streets of Kodakookalkathi in Tweenyweeny upsaila, in which our story begins, before dawn when roosters begin to think about crowing but it's really just too early since it's still too dark for them to spy a hen, whereupon a cry, really a whimper, settled over the drains of the street (which hadn't been swept in who knows how long, so you really had to watch where you stepped), a whimper of a man, a small man, not unlike an insurance salesman who has just heard that an important prospect has died prior to paying a lump-sum premium, uttering a single word, "rosebud".'
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2006-01-24 Bangladesh
A JMB ehser (trainer) and 'regional commander' was arrested from a mosque in Gaibandha town in the early hours of yesterday and two live bombs and five books on Islamic 'jihad' were recovered from his possession. Acting on a tip-off, a Rab team from Bogra raided Ayub Ali Ansari mosque in Sukhnagar area near Gaibandha circuit house and arrested Ziaur Rahman alias Badal alias Reaz Ahmed. Five of his accomplices escaped, police said. Last week, Joypurhat police arrested two ehsars of JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen, Bangladesh).

Reaz is the son of Ismail Ali Kodalkathi village in Chapai Nawabganj district. He was handed over to police, who produced him before a Magistrate court yesterday, seeking 10 days' remand. The court granted seven days' remand, police said. During primary interrogation, Reaz told police that he joined JMB three years ago to establish Islamic rule in the country and was subsequently made its 'regional commander'. Recently, he came to Gaibandha with some of his aides to reorganise JMB activities and to boost morale of the militants, police said quoting him.

Police said they hope to extract important information from Reaz during remand. Police also suspects that JMB had a plan to do sabotage or kill any important person as the mosque from where he was arrested is only about 100 yards from the Deputy Commissioner's office. Ziaur's arrest has created an alarm in police. Arrest of three 'ehsars' in a week proves that they are trying to regroup in Gaibandha and Joypurhat districts, a high police official told this correspondent. Though Gaibandha police continued their hunt for Isamist militants, they could not make any significant progress in nabbing them.
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2006-01-24 Bangladesh
The government yesterday could not confirm the local media reports that police in the Indian state of West Bengal had arrested Shaekh Abdur Rahman, chief of banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in 24 Parganas Sunday. Indian police, meantime, confirmed they had detained a man in West Bengal but did not say whether he was the hunted Bangladeshi militant kingpin, reports Reuters. State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar told reporters yesterday afternoon that he came to know of the developments from local newspapers. He said they are trying to be sure through the foreign ministry and diplomatic channels about what in fact has happened. But they have not got any such information confirming the reports yet.

Two Bangla and an English daily yesterday reported that police picked up Abdur Rahman, supreme leader of the banned Islamist militant group responsible for countrywide bomb blasts since August 17, from a hideout in Barasat on Sunday. According to the media reports, the West Bengal police arrested Mohsin, an operative of the Islamist outfit, in the 24 Parganas a few days ago. Acting on information obtained from him, they conducted a raid in Barasat Sunday and arrested Rahman. The Indian authorities had taken him to New Delhi for interrogation, the reports added. "We have picked up a man on Sunday. We still are verifying the whole thing and who he is," Reuters quoted Inspector General of West Bengal police Raj Kanojia as saying over phone from Kolkata. The police officer said the man was held in a southern district in West Bengal on Sunday but he did not confirm his nationality.
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2006-01-23 Bangladesh
JMB Chief held in India? - UPDATE from Reuters
DHAKA, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The head of a Bangladeshi Islamist group blamed for a wave of bomb attacks has been arrested in a neighbouring Indian state, newspapers said on Monday. Shayek Abdur Rahman, supreme leader of the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen group, was picked up from a hideout in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal on Sunday, The New Age and Amar Desh newspapers said, citing intelligence sources. There was no official confirmation of the reports, and Bangladeshi interior ministry officials could not be reached for comment.

Security forces last week launched a massive hunt on Bangladesh's western borders after an intelligence tip-off that Rahman was in the area, along with Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, chief of another Islamic group, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh. Both have been missing since nearly 500 small bombs exploded simultaneously across the country on Aug. 17 last year. Authorities have blamed the bombings and subsequent suicide attacks on the two groups, which are campaigning for the introduction of sharia law in Bangladesh, a mainly-Muslim democracy. Newspapers said Indian authorities had taken Rahman, who was picked up from the district of 24 Parganas in West Bengal state, to New Delhi for interrogation. There has been no official comment from the Indian side. Bangladesh and India share a 4,000-km (2,500-mile) border, which is regarded as one of the world's most porous frontiers.
And this:
New Age Report, Monday, January 23, 2006
JMB Chief held in India?

The fugitive supremo of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Shaikh Abdur Rahman, was reportedly arrested by the Indian Police in West Bengal on Sunday, said home ministry sources in Dhaka early this morning. The West Bengal police nabbed the Mujahideen leader, an extremist, from a hideout at Barasat, 24 Parganas of West Bengal, a neighboring Indian state, a source close to the state minister for home affairs, Lutfuzzaman Babar, told New Age.

Shaikh Rahman is said to be responsible for a series of suicide attacks in public places in Dhaka and elsewhere in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, a source in Kolkata of West Bengal, told New Age over telephone that Indian police has implicated Shaikh Rahman in a murder case. More than 400 bombings took place on August 17 and a series of subsequent bombings, including several suicide attacks followed. Twenty-eight people, including four suicide bombers, died in such incidents.

According to the source, the West Bengal police arrested the member of the outfit, Mohsin, from 24 Parganas on Saturday. Following extensive interrogation, the Indian police came to know from Mohsin that Shaikh Rahman was also hiding in the area. Subsequently the police raided the area and nabbed Rahman the next day. Shaikh was sent to the Indian capital, new Delhi, immediately after his arrest, the source said. The state minister for home affairs told New Age at 12:30 a.m this morning that he had first come to know of the arrest from the midnight media reports.

‘Neither the Indian government, nor our High Commission in India has so far officially told us anything about Shaikh Rahman’s reported arrest’ the minister said. ‘We expect the government of Delhi will officially inform us on the arrest, if the wanted JMB leader is nabbed in India. Besides we shall take necessary steps about it, through a diplomatic channel, as soon as Dhaka and Delhi wake up tomorrow [Monday] morning’. In this regard, the minister said the Bangladesh government had earlier sought cooperation of Interpol operating in different part of the world including India, in arresting the JMB leader.

Shaikh Rahman formed an Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, which was banned by the government in October 17th ,2 005. On October 28, 2005 the government announced a bounty of Taka 50 lakh each on capture of Shaikh Rahman and Bangla Bhai.
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2006-01-12 Bangladesh
Police recovered huge arms, ammunition and bomb-making materials from a depository of outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Dakkhin Khan village on Sunday. The cache seized in Gazipur includes three kilograms of gunpowder, one pistol, two country-made shooter guns, one foreign-made shooter gun, 16 bullets, five cartridges and three knives.

Sources said following confessional statement of suspected JMB commander Enayetullah alias Enayet alias Jewel alias Walid, Gazipur police conducted a raid on a graveyard and found the arms around 11:00pm. "In a novel way, the weapons were buried in an abandoned grave," says a spot account of the discovery. The arms haul was made in the wake of reports on arms build-up by the militant outfit around the capital.
Ummm... An abandoned grave? Did the Last Trumpet sound while I was washing my hair? Did I miss it?
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2006-01-06 Bangladesh
Another den of the banned Islamist outfit, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, was unearthed at a house in Uttara, a suburb of Dhaka, on Thursday. The Rapid Action Battalion busted the den at Kotbari of Moinartek late in the evening and seized a huge quantity of explosive materials, five firearms with ammunition and dice for making bullets from a room. The battalion said they detained a man, Habib, from Kotbari in the evening. Habib reportedly eagerly admitted that he is an Ehsar member of the Mujahideen.
"Just put those down, ok?"
Based on his statement, the battalion raided the den and seized the explosives, weighing over 10 kilograms. The raid continued till 11:00pm. It was the fourth Mujahideen hideout found in the capital since the countrywide bomb blasts of August 17 that killed three people and injured over 150. Earlier, the law enforcers unearthed a den on the ground floor flat of a six-storey building at Basabo on September 8, 2005. Another Mujahideen den was found at a Dakkhin Goran house the same night. Later, the law enforcers busted another den at Manda suburbs on December 14, 2005. The law enforcers have seized a large quantity of explosives in all three hideouts of the Islamist outfit.
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2006-01-05 Bangladesh
The Satkhira Bar Association general secretary filed a sedition case against a lawyer yesterday accusing him of sending threat letters to other lawyers using the name of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). According to the first information report (FIR) of the case filed by Shah Alam, Advocate BD Zaman on December 13 sent seven letters bearing the name of the banned Islamist militant group to several lawyers, threatening to kill them and blow up their houses within seven days.

The sedition case is yet to be recorded with the police station since it requires the permission of the home ministry, said Superintendent of Police Abdur Rahim. The police arrested one Hafizur Rahman, a typist on the court premises, for typing the letters. Hafizur told the police that Zaman forced him to type the letters and gave him Tk 25. Zaman was expelled from the Bar and his licence was seized, Shah Alam said. Shahjahan, officer-in-charge of the Satkhira PS, confirming the incident said proper measures will be taken after receiving the home ministry permission.
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2006-01-05 Bangladesh
A Bogra court yesterday framed charges against the Ahle Hadith Andolan, Bangladesh (Ahab) Ameer Asadullah Al Galib and three others in connection with the bomb blast at Laxmikola village on January 14 last year. The other accused in the case are Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman, Shafiq Ullah of Narayanganj and Joynal Abedin of Gabtoli, Bogra. Police excluded previously accused Monowara, Joynal's wife, from the charge sheet. The court scheduled March 13 for the trial. Meanwhile, members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four suspected militants at the court premises during the hearing and recovered some jihad related books.
The Bogra unit of Ahab arranged a rally yesterday at the district's Edward Park area and demanded release of Galib and other Ahab members claiming the organisation has no links with militancy.
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2006-01-04 Bangladesh
The Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) yesterday alleged the government is hiding information about the arrested Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) bombers to protect Jamaat-e-Islami even after the arrestees claimed to be activists of Jamaat or its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS). "The government is not letting the nation know about the activities of JMB cadres just to protect Jamaat," said the president of an IOJ faction Alhaj Michhbahur Rahman Chowdhury in a press release.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a rally organised by the youth front of IOJ at Rayerbazar Tollabagh in the capital, the press release read. He said a paper will be published depicting the recent bomb attacks and Jamaat's activities from 1947 to 71, in 1972, 1975 and from 1976 to 2006. The paper will include a list of central and district commanders of the anti-liberation force Al-Badar in 1971 and a description of their barbaric repression, political hypocrisy, the underground forces and all other hidden activities of Jamaat, he added.
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2006-01-04 Bangladesh
A member of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) suicide squad yesterday told a court their military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny supplied 10 kilograms of ammonia nitrate for explosion in Narayanganj on August 17 last year. In his statement, Ziaul Islam told the magistrate that he along with seven others exploded seven bombs at five spots in Narayanganj on August 17 last year, our Narayanganj correspondent reports. Zia told the magistrate that he exploded a bomb in front of Pourasava Bhaban at Mondolpara in the town on August 17 while the others blasted six other bombs at four points.

Zia of Kalihathi in Tangail, arrested on December 27, confessed that he rented a house at HM Sen Road by the eastern side of the Sitalakhya River in August. On August 15, a regional JMB commander of Narayanganj, Ziaur Rahman Tanvir brought nine bombs from Sunny. On that day, he along with others held a meeting at a mosque at Shahi Mahalla and they decided where they would explode the bombs. The next day, they pointed out the spots and Tanvir taught them how to switch on and explode the bombs. As per direction, Zia exploded the bomb at Pourasava area on August 17. After the explosion he changed his residence.

Meanwhile, a Dhaka court has fixed January 17 for hearing on charge framing against Ataur Rahman Sunny and six others in the two Dhaka serial bomb blast cases on August 17 last year. The first case was filed under the Arms Act and the other one under the Explosive Substances Act. Judge Mohammad Monzurul Bachhid of the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court on Sunday set the date for hearing on the issue. Other accused are AHM Shamim, 23, Zakaria alias Jewel, 21, Nur Azam Siddique alias Yeasir, 27, Belal Hossain alias Tamim, 21, Aleya Ferdous, 27, and Akramul Islam, 23. All of them were arrested earlier and all except Sunny, gave confessional statements to magistrates on different dates.
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2006-01-03 Bangladesh
Two Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) members arrested on Saturday were placed on a seven-day remand yesterday. One of the suspects was caught with a bomb hidden in a sweetmeat box and a bouquet at Moghbazar in the city.
"Sweetmeatsgram!"
Ramna police produced the two arrestees -- Hafez Ahmed Kadir Mainuddin alias Uday, 21, and Sheikh Arif Uddin, 30 -- before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's (CMM) Court, Dhaka at 2:30pm amid tight security. Sub-inspector (SI) Abdullahel Baqui the investigation officer (IO) of the case sought for a 10-day remand for interrogation.
"We'll start light, with the Number Three truncheon, I believe. And the vise grips, of course..."
The forwarding report placed before the court by the IO said the two are directly involved in the August 17 countrywide bomb blasts and they were caught while carrying a bomb on Saturday. Moreover, the two had the intention to blast the bomb on the December 31 night in the capital. They need to be quizzed to find out the whereabouts of the mastermind of the plot and their accomplices, the report added.
Apparently they can't do that while they're simply in jug, I guess because they throw away the key and can't get in...
The two told the court they were falsely implicated in the case.
"Wudn't me."
"Me, neither."
They did not know each other. Arif, a student of class nine, said his uncle Sad Uddin Mahmud Kislu is a private secretary (PS) to the home secretary.
Comes as a surprise, huh?
After the hearing, Metropolitan Magistrate Shafiq Anwar granted seven days remand for each. The members of Rab-2 arrested madrasa student Uday on Saturday while he was getting into a taxicab at Moghbazar around 2:00pm with the bomb. Following leads from Uday, Rab members arrested Arif at Eastern Plaza at Hatirpool.
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2006-01-02 Bangladesh
The RAB arrested two suspected activists of the banned Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from separate spots in Khulna metropolitan area last night. The arrested are: Md Motiur Rahman alias Masud, 20, son of Md Banat Ali of village Haradanga under Gangni police station of Meherpur district and Abdur Rokib alias Nuruddin, 22, son of Md Ishak Ali of village Moupara under Mahanpur police station of Rajshahi district.

Motiur Rahman was arrested from Daulatpur Natunrasta area and Rokib from Daulatpur rail crossing area. During interrogation, both Motiur Rahman and Rokib had admitted their involvement in the planting of bombs in Jessore town on August 17 this year, according to a RAB press release. They also admitted that they belong to the Ehsar category of JMB activists who are ready to sacrifice life for Allah.
And they're going to get the chance to do so on a dark night in a deserted industrial district of Chittagong.
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2006-01-02 Bangladesh
The elite strike force RAB foiled an attempt of suicide attack by arresting two members of suicide squad of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from the city’s Maghbazar and Hatirpool yesterday and recovered live bomb from one of them.

The arrested were identified as Hafez Ahmed Mainuddin Udoy (20), son of Sahabuddin Ahmed a student of Jamia Ahmadiya Sonia Hefjokhana Madrasa in Chittagong and Sheikh Arif Uddin, son of Sheikh Farid Uddin of Kachua in Bagerhat district.

Acting on a tip off that a suicide squad member came to Dhaka from Chittagong on December 30 and was staying in hotel, Sebika, at Maghbazar, a squad of RAB-2 conducted raid and arrested Udoy from in front of Sonali Bank while he was boarding a taxicab at around 2 pm, RAB sources said. The RAB members recovered a live bomb contained in a sweetmeat packet from his possession, sources added. Later, the RAB personnel defused the bomb.

Following Udoy’s painfully extracted confessional statement, the RAB team also raided a shopping complex, Eastern Plaza, at Hatirpool and arrested Arif at around 3 pm. During the raid the RAB personnel cordoned the market and its surrounding areas and no one could enter into the market as well as going out of it. High officials of RAB are interrogating them.

The RAB personnel confirmed that both Udoy and Arif came to Dhaka with an assignment of carrying out suicide attacks in Dhaka on the 31st night, a highly placed source in RAB said adding that one person gave him the bomb but he declined to disclose his identity.

Several teams of RAB are conducting block raids in different parts of Dhaka as they believed that there is more suicide squad members in Dhaka who came here from another district for carrying out suicide bombings, sources said.
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2006-01-01 Bangladesh
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested two suspected members of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the city and seized a powerful bomb from one of them. A Rab release said the law enforcers came to learn that a member of the JMB suicide squad will carry out attack in the capital. On December 30, the elite force became confirmed that the bomber had reached the capital. The members of Rab-2 arrested madrasa student Hafez Ahmed Kadir Mainuddin alias Uday, 21, while he was getting into a taxicab at Moghbazar at around 2:00pm with the bomb hidden in a sweetmeat packet and a small bouquet.
"Put the sweetmeat packet down and step away witcher hands up!"
Following leads from Uday, the Rab men arrested another JMB suspect, Sheikh Arif Uddin, 30, of Kachua in Bagerhat, raiding the Eastern Plaza at Hatirpool. "The manner of carrying the bomb suggests that the carrier might deliver the bomb to his target as a New Year gift," said a Rab official, claiming Uday a member of the JMB suicide squad.
"Sweetmeatgram! [KABOOM!]"
Dismantling the bomb, Rab officials found two small bottles of diesel, 40 ball bearings and 45 barbed wires. A circuit, a switch and pencil batteries were fitted with the bomb by electric wire. "The bomb contained both flammable substance and splinters, so it could cause huge damage," Lt Col Ijazur Rahman, Rab-2 commanding officer, told The Daily Star. The criminal brought the bomb to blast it on 31st night, he said.
"Happy New Year, apostates!"
During primary interrogation, Uday said a man gave him the packet to deliver it to another person.
"Not mine. Somebody give it to me!"
He, however, remained silent as the interrogators asked him about the identity of those two.
"I dunno. Coupla guys. Never saw 'em before..."
The Rab-2 commanding officer said they are yet to interrogate Arif.
"Mahmoud! Where is my Number 7 trucheon? I can't find it and Arif's waiting..."
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2006-01-01 Bangladesh
The bad part is that we can't tell at this distance how much of this is the usual hysterical Bangla politicking and how much is true. I suspect there's a certain level of truth to it...
Leaders of the Awami League (AL) led 14-party opposition combine yesterday said the process is underway to grant amnesty to the militants in a bid to use them in favour of the BNP-Jamaat coalition in the next elections. Militants are kept in comfort in the name of 'long-time remand' and they would be released prior to the next election to be used against the opposition, the 14-party leaders said at a press briefing at AL's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue. "Militant kingpins will not be arrested as the process of granting general amnesty to militants is underway," AL General Secretary and 14-party co-ordinator Abdul Jalil said at the briefing.
Eid al-Adha's coming up in a month or so. Everybody likes to grant amnesties in the Islamic world...
Jalil posed a question why it would take 119 days to grill military wing chief of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Ataur Rahman Sunny and 89 days to grill Mufti Hannan when both of them confessed their guilt.
See what I mean? It does seem a lengthy period, but at the same time diligent investigators could in fact be wringing the last drops of information from them, using the liberal application of fine Moroccan leather.
He described the BNP-Jamaat-led ruling coalition as the main patron of Islamist militants, and said the government is protecting the militants to ruin the country's democratic process.
I have no doubt there are ties between the Jamaatis and the terrs. I don't know what they are, or how deep they are...
The AL general secretary called upon the prime minister to stop the farce of so-called 'remand' and 'TV drama' acted by the militants. "Resignation of the government is the only way to solve the present crisis," Jalil said, urging people to strengthen the ongoing anti-government movement.
They invariably come up with that solution. But that's the same solution the MMA comes up with in Pakland.
AL Presidium Member Tofail Ahmed said instead of recording confessional statement of Ataur Rahman Sunny under Section 164, the government is staging drama on the TV by airing statements of militants. "There will be no legal value of the statement of the arrestee after the four-month remand," said AL leader and lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta. He said the present government would not try the militants, as they are the masterminds of militancy in the country.
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2006-01-01 Bangladesh
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) second-in-command of Khulna district was placed on a five-day remand yesterday. Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) will be quizzing him to find out the origins of the explosives recovered at Daulatpur of the city on Friday. Sources said Mohammad Ziaur Rahman Sagor alias Shabbir was arrested at Tootpara in Khulna city on Thursday night. A senior officer of intelligence agency of Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) said a vigorous investigation is going on to find out links between a ward level BNP leader and Shabbir.
There's that tie to the government party again...
Shabbir told police he used to come to Khulna frequently from Jessore to supply money, explosives and instructions from operations commander in the south-western region Hafez Mahmud to other JMB cadres. He said there are seven more 'Ehsars', the first tier of JMB and full-time JMB workers, at large who are trained for suicide bomb attacks. A student of Dakhil madrasa in Natore, Shabbir failed twice in the Dakhil examination in 2000 and 2002. "I joined JMB last year at the call of Bangla Bhai," said the JMB deputy operations commander in Khulna. He said he along with some other JMB cadres stayed at the house of Abdul Hakim, a teacher of St Josheph's School in Bagmara of Khulna.
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2005-12-31 Bangladesh
Dec 30: A top regional leader of the banned Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was arrested by a team of RAB members from Tootpara area of Khulna city last night.

The elite strike force also recovered sizeable quantities of a chemical and small quantities of other bomb-making materials from a makeshift student hostel on the basis of information painfully extracted from given by him.
"Ooch! Ouch! Okay! I'll tell you where the bomb-making stuff is!"
The arrested JMB leader has been identified as Md Ziaur Rahman Sagar alias Sabbir, 27, second-in-command of the outfit in-charge of four neighbouring districts comprising Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat and Gopalganj. According to a RAB press release, he has identified himself as an activist of JMB with the rank of Ehsar who is ready to sacrifice life for Allah.
Ehsar? Is that like a HauptsturmfÃŒhrer?
The press release says that Sabbir has told the investigators that as per his directives, the bombings were carried out by the party men at several places in Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat and Gopalganj districts on August 17 this year (2005). He has further told the investigators that he himself distributed a total of 34 bombs to JMB men to carry out the bombings in the four districts on that day.

Following the information given by Sabbir, the RAB members conducted a raid on the ground floor flat of an old and dilapidated three storey building at Pabla Bairagipara road under Daulatpur police station last night in search of explosive substances. On search of the flat, they recovered 37 kilograms of potassium nitrate, 250 grams of gun powder, 100 grams of aluminium powder, 3 detonators, 3 live bombs, 18 internal circuits, 16 capacitors, 31 switches, 60 resistors, 11 fused bulbs, 35 switch bulbs and 18 pencil batteries from a dingy room. The ground and first floors of the building have been rented out to students for living and the landlord lives on the second floor. The building is known as Jessore Chhatrabash in the locality.

Sabbir who was produced by RAB before the newsmen at their office premises at Khalishpur at around noon today spoke about himself for a couple of minutes. In his brief statement, he admitted his involvement in the August 17 bomb incidents in four districts. He said, "I have done the offence due to my ignorance. I am repentant for my activities. I beg the pardon of all. Let me be pardoned".
Sure. We just have to go collect your pardon. It's at an abandoned farmhouse in Chittachong district. How's about setting out for it around 3 am?
Sources said, Sabbir read up to class VIII in a school and later, got admitted to Dastanabad Alia Madrasa in Natore sadar thana of Natore district to pass Alim examination. He associated himself with JMB in 2002, sources added.
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2005-12-30 Bangladesh
Members of law enforcement agencies arrested six suspected Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) men from the different parts of the country yesterday.

According to RAB sources, RAB personnel arrested a suspected JMB man Abdullah Bhuiyan (62), son of late Mohiuddin Bhuiyan, of North Uttar Khan in the capital from city's Uttara area. Acting on a secret information, a team of RAB-1 raided Chanpara area in North Uttar Khan under Uttara police station and arrested the man at around 1-50am.

Our Habiganj correspondent writes: Two suspected JMB cadres were arrested by RAB members from Baniachang upazila. The arrested were identified as Farid Mollah (38), of village Chanpara and Maulana Mostaq Ahmed (48).

Our Bagherhat Correspondent reports: Police arrested two persons for their suspecting links with JMB on Thursday morning. The arrested are Abdus Salam (32) and his cousin Sheikh Rafiqul Islam (23). The detective branch of police arrested them in separate drives from Dashani and from the premises of the Islamic Foundation at Mithapukur area in the town. Abdus Salam, son of Abdus Sattar, hails from Karapara village under Sadar upazila and Rafiqul Islam, son of Sheikh Syed Ali, also hails from the same village.

Our Moulvibazar Correspondent adds: Police arrested Kamal Uddin, teacher of Katarai Madrasha from Sadar upazila on Thursday for his suspected links with the JMB. During the interrogation Kamal confessed to his involvement in the August 17 bombings in Kusumbagh area of Moulvibazar, police sources said.
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2005-12-29 Bangladesh
A regional leader of the outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Janajuddho) was killed during a shootout between his accomplices and members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Dumuria upazila of the district yesterday. The dead was identified as Gazi Mohammad Shamim, 30.
"Is he dead?"
"I think that half of him is..."
He was arrested at Teligati area under Khanjahan Ali police station of the city on Tuesday morning.
"Please don't kill me!"
According to a Rab press release, they took Shamim to Kartikdanga village under Dumuria upazila to recover illegal arms following his confessional statement. When they reached the spot at around 1:30 am, Shamim's accomplices opened fire on Rab, against which they retaliated.
Don'tcha hate it when that happens? I'll bet poor Gazi did...
Shamim died on the spot when he got caught in the shootout, while his accomplices fled. One pistol, one pipegun and four rifle bullets were recovered from the scene. According to the press release, Shamim was wanted in several criminal cases including murder and was involved with the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) as a bomber.
Apparently not as a suicide boomer. Do Purbo Banglars suicide boom, I wonder?
He also confessed his direct involvement in the bomb attack on a traffic sergeant at Daulatpur on November 19, the press release added.
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2005-12-29 Bangladesh
Police yesterday submitted charge sheet against five people, including Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Shaekh Abdur Rahman and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) chief Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, in connection with the bomb blast in the port city on November 29. The other accused are Abdur Rahman's younger brother Ataur Rahman Sunny, JMB regional commander of Chittagong Mohammad alias Javed Iqbal and JMB suicide squad member Ahmed Hossain, who died at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital of injuries sustained in the bomb blast.
"He's dead, Jim!"
"Leave him on the charge sheet."
Investigating Officer (IO) Leching Prue submitted the charge sheet before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court (CMM). Later, the investigating officer requested the court to exclude Ahmed Hossain (since deceased) from the charge sheet.
"He can't be on the charge sheet! He's dead!"
Among the accused, Ataur Rahman Sunny and Javed Iqbal are now in jail custody while the others are absconding. Police constable Razib Barua and a leader of local Swechchhasebak League Shahabuddin were killed on the spot and 16 people injured in the twin bomb blasts at the Chittagong Court Building.
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2005-12-29 Bangladesh
The outlawed Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) has started to regroup its forces in the Satkhira region capitalising on lax law enforcement.
Comes as a surprise, huh?
The JMB men are coming back to mosques and madrasas in rural areas of the district and resuming their militant activities, different intelligence agencies told The Daily Star.
The cheeky devils...
The top leaders and activists fled from mosques and madrasas in the remote Satkhira areas following countrywide crackdown after series of suicide bomb attacks by the JMB. The JMB resumed its activities in full swing in the Assassuni, Tala, Kalaroa, Shyamnagar and Sadar upazilas, using mosques and madrasas as their base stations, intelligence agencies said.
Took a little while to get the fix in...
The JMB is now busy recruiting new members from madrasas, and students from ultra-poor families are its main target, said some villagers, preferring not to be named.

Unknown persons are seen in the mosques and madrasas. "They introduce themselves either as student or teacher when approached," a local said. Returning home, some fishermen, meanwhile, told this correspondent the militants who, with the help of pirates, fled to the Sundarbans and set up their dens in the deep forest. "We saw from afar, they now make bombs there," a fisherman said.

When asked, police officials said they heard about it but were yet to get any specific information. We will take action after gathering information, they said.
"How long'll that take?"
"'Bout 20 years..."
Locals are quite sceptic about police action as the Satkhira law enforcement members have failed to arrest most of the charge sheeted accused in Aug 17 blasts and other top JMB leaders even over four months after serial bombings in the district. Only seven out of 17 charge sheeted accused could be arrested so far.
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2005-12-29 Bangladesh
A combined operation of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and the police yesterday failed to capture the second-in-command of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Acting on information that Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai is staying at Mollabari Mosque in Rupshi village, over one thousand members of Rab and the police conducted a seven-hour-long combing operation in Rupshi and Tarabo villages. Sources said Rab was informed by one of its informants that Bangla Bhai had prayed his morning prayers at the mosque. A huge contingent of Rab-3 members rushed to the mosque and kept the area cordoned off for hours.
"Hello? Is dis da RAB? Lookee, dis is Mahmoud the Weasel. Bangla Bhai's shacked up in a mosque in Rupshi!"
Several hundred members of Rab-3, Rab-10 and also Rab headquarters rushed there to join in the operation. Police from the Rupganj Police Station also joined them. Rab and the police searched all the mosques, madrasas and schools in the villages but failed to arrest anyone. The drive at the Tarabo village continued till 3:30pm. Colonel Mahbub, additional director general of Rab, told BDNEWS, "It was nothing but a rumour that Bangla Bhai is arrested." Talking to BDNEWS, Commander Masuk, director of legal and media wing of Rab, said, "Rab often conducts such types of operations." It may be mentioned another operation at Nikunja in Mohakhali area in the city failed earlier due to leakage of information.
"Hello, Bangla? Dis is Mahmoud the Weasel! Dey're onto yez! Cheezit!"
"Cripes. I can't get outta town right away! Try an' throw 'em off the trail for me!"
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2005-12-27 Bangladesh
At least 26 members of suicide squads of militant outfits including Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Harkat-ul-jihad (HuJi) were trained and seven training camps were run in Jhenidah till August 17 this year since 1999, a deserter claimed.
I'm still trying to sort the Bangla structure out. I'm guessing, though I have no evidence for it, that JMB is a spinoff from HUJI, which was one of the original signators of Binny's declaration of war against us. Dan, Paul, or John might have more information or detail...
Only one of the 26 has so far been arrested and the rest are in different placed in the country. He is Abul Kalam Azad alias Bulbul, arrested on November 18 from near Borodah Dakhil Madrassa in Shailkupa. Bulbul earlier escaped arrest on October 20, 2003 when 11 other militants including the chief of Allahr Dal Matin Mehedi alias Matinul was arrested from a students' mess at Pabahati area in Jhenidah town during training. After his arrest, police and confirmed that Bulbul was a member of JMB suicide squad.

The youth who deserted HuJi said members of the suicide squads were recruited from different upazilas in Jhenidah. They are hiding since the August 17 serial bomb blasts across the country, he told this correspondent. Eleven of the suicide squad members are from Jhenidah Sadar upazila, seven from Shailakupa, five from Kaliganj, and three from Harinakundu upazila. There are at least 145 JMB and HuJi cadres in Jhenidah, according to the deserter who also got trained.

The youth also told this correspondent that the chief of another Islamist militant outfit Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla bhai along with JMB 'military commander' Ataur Rahman Sunny went to Jhenidah between November 29 and December 2 and stayed for about a week at a house in Arabpur area in the town. Sunny however was arrested by RAB in the capital on December 14.
I'm also confused on the relationship between JMB and JMJB. They seem at this stage to be interchangeable.
"Somehow I came to know that during his stay in Jhenidah, Bangla Bhai was clean shaved and was wearing pant and shirt, but I can't say in which house he stayed as the exact address was concealed to avert police raid", he further disclosed. When asked how he got information being a deserter, he replied, "I deserted the militant outfit without any announcement when I relished that Islam prohibits killing of innocent people. They are not aware of my desertion and I still get information about activities of militant groups."

Jhenidah police however termed the story of Bangla Bhai and Sunny's visit to Jhenidah a 'propaganda' and denied existence of suicide bombers or any militant camps there. "It is not likely that Bangla bhai and Sunny visited Jhenidah when bounties have been announced and police hunt is on to nab them", Jhenidah Police Superintendent Akram Hossain told this correspondent. The SP also denied existence of militants' training camp there now. The deserter claimed that training of JMB and HuJi cadres started in Jhenidah in 1999 and was on till August this year. Militants kingpin Mufti Abdul Hannan used to supervise HuJi training camps while JMB 'military commander' Ataur Rahman Sunny was directly involved in training JMB cadres when he was a student of Daw'ah and Islamic Studies in Kushtia Islamic University in 1998-1999 session.
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2005-12-26 Bangladesh
A Rab team from Rajshahi has arrested an Islami Chhatra Shibir activist in Pabna with video CDs containing al-Qaeda chief Osama-bin-Laden's speech and armed training. Rafiqul Alam Ripon was held from the Shalgaria area in Pabna, and three jihadi books and three CDs from his house were seized, a Rab press release said yesterday. The art of bomb manufacturing and explosions, and heroism of Kashmir warriors were detailed in the CDs. Son of Lutfar Rahman, Ripon is a student of the Management department at Edward College and a well-known Shibir worker in his locality, locals said.

Meanwhile, the banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Friday threatened to blow up the Music and Dramatic Department of Rajshahi University, reports our RU correspondent. "We will blow up the department as well as teachers and students who are not maintaining Islamic laws," a hand-written letter, addressed to the department chairman Prof Matin Talukder, warned. Found at his office, the letter asked the chairman to refrain from admission test in future, terming art and culture anti-Islamic.
And I, for one, quite agree...
Panic gripped students of the department soon after the letter was found, prompting the RU authorities to deploy a large contingent of police in front of the department.
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2005-12-26 Bangladesh
Police submitted a charge sheet on Friday accusing 12 people including the JMB chief, his brother and Bangla Bhai of carrying out the August 17 blasts in Barguna. Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his younger brother Ataur Rahman Sunny and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) chief Shafiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai were accused in the charge sheet.

The other accused in the case are Hafez Mustafa Hasan, Al Amin alias Minto, Asadul Islam alias Arif, Rezaul Kabir, Shahidul Islam, Masum Billah, Shahidul Islam alias Shahid, Abdul Haque Abbasi and Hafez Abdur Rahman. Sub-inspector (SI) of Detective Branch (DB) Md Daud Hossain of Barguna submitted the charge sheet before the Cognisance Court-1. Among the accused, Mustafa Hasan and Al Amin are now in jail while the others are absconding.
Ummm... That's a pretty light haul, for all the raiding and rounding up they've been doing...
On June 30, 33 suspected militants were arrested at a mosque of village Sialia in sadar upazila allegedly for taking part in arms training. They were later discharged from that case due to 'lack of evidence'. They are accused of participating in the August 17 bombings. Six of them were present in seven blast spots of the district on August 17, police said.
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2005-12-24 Bangladesh
Call them Ishmael...
Leaders of militant outfit Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab) yesterday demanded release of Ahab chief Dr Asadullah Al Galib, denying allegations of their links to international terrorist organisation al Qaeda and banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) as well as their secret activities in a peacekeeping mission of Bangladesh army abroad. "Whatever be the allegations, we are not involved anyway in militancy," acting Ahab chief Dr Mohammad Muslehuddin claimed at a press conference in the city.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
He however did not substantiate his claim and failed to answer properly queries from journalists.

Categorically blaming Jamaat-e Islami for militancy in the country, the Ahab leader said, "There is no need to find out who are behind militancy. They (Jamaat) themselves confessed to such crimes. Has Nizami (Jamaat chief and minister Motiur Rahman Nizami ) been arrested although most people and organisations are holding him responsible (for militancy)?" In an oblique reference to Jamaat, he said political vengeance of an Islamic party was responsible for arrests of Galib and other Ahab leaders.

Muslehuddin, a Madina University scholar and teacher at Chittagong Islamic University established by the suspect Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), said false propaganda by some expelled Ahab leaders, newspaper reports and wrong intelligence reports also led to arrests of Ahab leaders. "Intelligence agencies of our country appear to be ever asleep , we doubt if they are alerted even after August 17 (countrywide blasts," he said.

The press conference was attended by, among others, Ahab General Secretary Abdul Wadud, Galib-run Al Tahreek editor Dr Sakhawat Hossain, Ahle Hadith Jubo Sangha (AHJS) acting President Kabirul Islam and Rajshahi Ahab President Abul Kalam Azad.

Asked how he can deny Ahab links to Al Qaeda when Osama Bin Laden's close associate Sheikh Abdullah Nasser Al Rahmani of Pakistan was welcomed at an Ahab conference, Muslehuddin said, "We invited him as a famous alem (Islamic scholar)." Criticising the US, Muslehuddin said, " Someone's being on America's list of terrorists does not mean one is a terrorist." At a 1997 Ahab conference, Galib named a number of guests from India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, including Nasser Al Rahmani, an alleged leader of Saudi Hizbullah. US Federal Bureau of Investigation announced rewards of $5 million for his arrest. On the presence of Abdul Matin Salafi from India, who was expelled from Bangladesh in 1988 for militancy, Muslehuddin said, "We invite people irrespective of ideologies and anyone can address our annual conference." He kept mum when asked how Matin Salafi can be 'anyone' when Galib had a joint account with him at Motijheel Branch of Islami Bank Bangladesh between July 1989 and May 1990 (after his expulsion). Matin Salafi helped Galib collect funds and establish links to militants abroad, especially in the Middle East and South Asia, investigators said.
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2005-12-24 Bangladesh
Riot on schedule, you might say...
At least 57 people including seven policemen were injured in the city yesterday as anti-Ahmadiyya zealots locked in sporadic clashes with the police, turning the downtown area from the north gate of Baitul Mokarram to its south gate into a battlefield for over an hour.
A quick reminder: the Ahmadiyyas are rejected by the Wahhabs and Salafists because the Ahmadi branch of The Religion of Peace rejects the doctrine of jihad by the sword. For those of you keeping score at home.
The skirmishes erupted when the police barred a band of International Khatme Nabuwat Movement, Bangladesh (IKNMB) activists from marching towards Dhaka Central Jail to hold a 'voluntary imprisonment' programme in the afternoon demanding a law declaring the minority Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim. The IKNMB has been running a hate campaign for over two years to press home the demand.
And the government's done not a thing to suppress them...
The agitators threatened to start from today branding all Ahmadiyya mosques as 'places of worship for Qadianis' and cautioning people not to 'mistake them as mosques'. They said they will also list and excommunicate the Ahmadiyyas across the country. The law enforcers in the city yesterday also foiled the attempt of another anti-Ahmadiyya fanatic group, Khatme Nabuwat Andolon Bangladesh (Knab), to march to Bakshibazar to lay siege to Ahmadiyya headquarters there. The police kept the Knab activists confined in front of the north gate of Baitul Mokarram National Mosque putting up barricades on the east and the west side of the gate.
I don't suppose they considered baton charging them, did they?
The Knab demonstrators left the area after handing over a signboard they had intended to put up at the Bakshibazar Ahmadiyya mosque, branding it as a mere 'place of worship', to the police, asking them to do the job in their stead. But the police dismissed the request.
"Piss off! (Nazis! I hate those guys!)"
"No question arises of putting up the signboard there. The signboard will remain in our custody," Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner SM Mizanur Rahman told the press. "We will not tolerate any attack on the Ahmadiyyas," he affirmed.

Anti-Ahmadiyya agitation since 1987 has claimed the lives of eight people. The smear campaign got fresh vigour in November 2003, when the zealots attacked an Ahmadiyya Mosque in Nakhalpara in the city. They have continued the anti-Ahmadiyya campaign since then and have hung similar signboards at four key Ahmadiyya mosques in Chittagong, Khulna, Bogra and Patuakhali. A government ban on the Ahmadiyya publications on January 8 last year further encouraged the religious zealots to carry on with their agenda.

The IKNMB activists started gathering in the city's Muktangan yesterday in the noon. About 1,000 IKNMB members clad in panjabi, pajama and topi from different parts of the country occupied the road between Paltan and the Zero Point to hold a pre-announced rally. They made a podium by putting two trucks together. A group of some 40 IKNMB activists took position in front of the podium, posing as handcuffed prisoners with the upper part of their body bare and hands tied in front with rope. IKNMB leaders speaking at the rally stressed the need for branding the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim and enacting a law towards this end. As the participants chanted slogans like 'Qadianis [Ahmadiyyas] are Kafir' and 'let's set fire to their dens', their leaders continued with delivering instigating speeches. "The government has betrayed the Touhidee Janata [monotheist people] by showing indifference to our demand. Now we have no demand from the government. It's time to implement our demands ourselves," IKNMB President Mahmudul Hasan Mamtazi told the rally.

IKNMB Secretary General Nazmul Haque directed the IKNMB members to list the Ahmadiyyas, excommunicate them, bar them from using Islami terms and not allow them burial in Muslim graveyards. The IKNMB leaders claimed the 4-party coalition had come to power banking on the Muslims' votes and threatened that they would not let it come to power again, as it betrayed the Touhidee Janata. After the rally, Mamtazi and Nazmul led a procession towards the Central Jail, but the police, who earlier had erected a barricade at the Zero Point, intercepted them there. As the IKNMB activists attempted to break through the barricade at 4:20pm, the police baton-charged them, splitting the mob into two groups.
Well, that makes me feel a little better...
One group of the demonstrators rushed to the south gate of Baitul Mokarram Mosque, while the police continued charging baton on the other group standing in front of Muktangan, injuring at least 30 of them. The IKNMB group at the south gate of Baitul Mokarram started throwing brickbats at the police. The agitators vandalised five vehicles including a police van and an oil lorry. As the police chased them, they backtracked to the east gate of the mosque, with the police chasing them up the stairs. At least 20 IKNMB activists were hurt this time, while seven policemen were injured in the zealots' attack.

After the clash, the IKNMB held a short rally in the Muktangan, where it vowed to evict the Ahmadiyyas from Bangladesh. The IKNMB leaders also announced to hold demonstrations across the country and bring out a procession from Baitul Mokarram after the Asr prayers today to protest the police attack. They claimed the police injured some 200 of their activists and picked up 200 others. But, the police said they have not arrested any one. Talking to The Daily Star over telephone yesterday evening, Mamtazi claimed the police also attacked IKNMB supporters at Rahim Metal Jame Mosque in Tejgaon and fired three tear gas cells, injuring three people including him. But, the IKNMB secretary general told The Daily Star no such incident took place.

Ten platoons of police were deployed at the Ahmadiyya headquarters yesterday morning to bar Knab zealots from besieging it after the Juma prayers, as they had announced earlier. Law enforcers were also deployed at different city points from Baitul Mokarram to Bakshibazar to check violence. The Knab held a rally at the north gate of Baitul Mokarram after the Juma prayers. Speakers at the rally made a three-point demand including introduction of a law to stop 'insult' to the last prophet, Hazrat Mohammad, and deception in the name of Islam 'being done by the Ahmadiyyas', and declaring them non-Muslim. "Bangladeshis have sacrificed their lives for their language in 1952. Thirty lakh people gave their lives during the Liberation War. Now 60 lakh others will offer their lives to oust the Ahmadiyyas and thus uphold the honour of Islam," Knab Amir Noor Hossain Nurani said. "It has to be decided now whether the price of Bangladesh is more than that of the last prophet," he said, vowing to sacrifice lives in thousands to realise their demands. "The Ahmadiyyas, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh militants, atheists and Murtads [deviators] are of the same roots," he told intelligence agencies.

After the Knab demonstrators failed to break through the police barricade, they held another short rally, where Nurani issued an ultimatum to declare the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim by the Eid-ul Azha next month. He also announced to besiege the Ahmadiyya mosque at Dhanikhola in Mymensingh on February 10 and another at Jyotondranagar in Satkhira on April 17.

Civil society members and rights activists including members of Ain-O-Salish Kendra and Nari Pakkha gathered at the Central Shaheed Minar in the morning carrying the national flag. They later marched to the Ahmadiyya headquarters and stayed there until the afternoon to stop any attack on the Ahmadiyyas by the zealots. There is no room of extremists in the country and they will not be spared, said State Minister for Religious Affairs Mosharef Hossain Shajahan yesterday. "There may be difference of opinion among the followers of a religion, but no-one can attack others for such a difference," he maintained. "We're taking steps against these people and will stop them," he told the BBC Bangla Service yesterday evening.
"Starting any time, now..."
Asked why the government does not take any permanent step against the anti-Ahmadiyyas, the state minister said, "Steps can be taken against them under the existing laws, if they hold any programme. We are now burdened with bombings across the country and have our attention focussed on solving this issue."
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2005-12-23 Bangladesh
A banned Islamic group blamed for a series of deadly bombings in Bangladesh has threatened to attack a leading newspaper after an editor commented on the militants in a BBC report, an editor said on Thursday. “We heard your interview on BBC (British Broadcasting Corp). Through you, we want to tell the government and the world that our next target is your newspaper,” said the letter sent in the name of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh to the Bengali newspaper Amar Desh.

The letter was posted from a polytechnic in the city where the military head of the banned group was arrested last week, said Ataus Samad, an advisory editor at Amar Desh who was interviewed by the BBC. “It was written in Bengali and was addressed to me,” said Samad, who worked for the BBC local language service previously.
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2005-12-22 India-Pakistan
Western relief agencies including those run by the United Nations and the United States government are complaining of perceptible harassment by “Jihadi elements” working in the quake hit-areas where some 20,000 workers belonging to religious NGOs are carrying out relief activities. The relief agencies also fear that if this tension should explode into actual violence against them, they might have to pack up and quit. A statement to this effect was made by the Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, Chief of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, UN, at an Asia Society function in New York recently. The UN official expressed concerns over the safety of Western relief workers at the hands of workers from religious organizations in the quake-hit areas, summing up the mood of the Western-relief agencies.

Western apprehensions were recently highlighted by the US ambassador to Pakistan, Ryan C. Crocker, when he called upon the government to monitor and if necessary stop some jihadi organizations from continuing with their relief work. This was another manifestation of the disquiet in Western circles. However, sources in the law enforcement agencies say that the army, the biggest relief agency working in the area, has made it absolutely clear to all the religious NGOs that any political attempt to muddy the waters in Azad Kashmir, let alone provoke violence, by the religious groups would lead to a swift reprisals from the state. “Any violence in the relief-areas would be cataclysmic for Pakistan in so many ways and will not be tolerated”, a senior army officer told Daily Times. “Rest assured that none will be allowed to harass any Western relief agency”, he added.

The religious NGOs working in the area also deny that any friction exists between them and Western relief agencies. Sources in Jamaatul Dawa, the leading Islamic organization working in the area, said that relations between with Western agencies are “very cordial.” However, sources in the religious groups admit the presence of workers from several banned organizations like Hizbul Mujahideen and others in the area. “There are many workers from Hizbul Mujahideen and Al Badr working in the area from the platform of other religious relief organizations but as far as Jamaatul Dawa is concerned, we do not have a single worker from banned groups working with us,” said a leader of the Jamaatul Dawa.
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2005-12-22 Bangladesh
The government has no plan to bring sedition charges against the militants who have been carrying out bomb attacks on different government mechanisms, including the judiciary, since last August with a view to establishing "the rule of Islam". Over three months ago, State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar, however, said the government is not reluctant to bring sedition charges against the bombers.
Changed their minds, did they?
"If we find their action amounting to sedition, there will not be any unwillingness on our part," the state minister told reporters on September 14. The government was examining the legal aspects of the matter at that time, he said.
SEDITION - Conduct which is directed against a government and which tends toward insurrection but does not amount to treason. Treasonous conduct consists of levying war against the United States or of adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

The raising commotions or disturbances in the state; it is a revolt against legitimate authority.

The distinction between sedition and treason consists in this, that though its ultimate object is a violation of the public peace, or at least such a course of measures as evidently engenders it, yet it does not aim at direct and open violence against the laws, or the subversion of the Constitution.
The bombing campaign, assuming it's not in the service of a foreign state, isn't treason under the American definition, which is derived from common law. I'd say it meets the definition of insurrection square on, though. Raising a commotion in the state and revolt against legitimate authority, too.
The militants, in a bid to achieve their goals, have been carrying out suicide attacks and bombings that so far killed 27, including two judges and four lawyers, and left people in abysmal insecurity.
So how's that miss the definition? Or is the Bangla definition that far away from ours?
Meanwhile, the arrested militants of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have confessed to working to establish Islamic Shariah replacing the existing laws. Legal experts termed the militants' target and activities anti-state and suggested filing sedition charges along with the criminal cases against them. But the home ministry has asked the law enforcers to submit charge sheets against those so far learnt to be involved in the bomb attacks and bring them under conviction.
Sedition's a capital offense. I'd guess their protectors can fix anything less...
The law enforcers have arrested around 800 people since August 17 on charges of militancy and filed 181 cases, most of them under the Explosive Substances Act. The act has a provision of 20-year imprisonment as the highest punishment.
... rather than a stretched neck. This is kind of transparent, isn't it?
Babar on September 14 said, "Cases have been filed across the country under the Explosive Substances Act and Special Power Act, which suit best, and the probe is on accordingly." The law enforcers have so far submitted 85 charge sheets and sent eight cases to the Speedy Trial Tribunal.
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2005-12-22 Bangladesh
Barisal police recovered seven bombs, two firearms, several Islamic books and seven bottles of Phensidyle from the house of Hemayet Hossain Howladar and arrested him for his alleged links to militants.
"Into the paddy wagon wit' yez, Hemayet!"
"I been framed!"
"Shuddup. Mahmoud, hit him!"
"Ooooow!"
The police also seized a note written to Hemayet's wife Shahida Begum by her brother Enayetullah, reports our Barisal Correspondent. Enayetullah, a teacher at Andhar Manik Madrasa and owner of Islamia Library at Khunna Bazar in Hizla upazila, asked her to hide the goods "until the situation of the country returns to normal." The police said the recovered bombs are powerful and similar to those found at different dens of the outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Suspecting Enayetullah a top leader of the outfit's Barisal region, the police raided his house in Hizla but could not arrest him.
I suspect he wrote to Sis and then left town on the next rickshaw out...
Hemayet has claimed to be innocent.
"Really! I been framed!... Ooooow!"
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2005-12-22 Bangladesh
JMB suicide bomber Mamun Ali who killed two judges in Jhalakathi on November 14 was taken on 10 days' remand when he was taken to Jhalakathi yesterday from Dhaka after treatment. He was treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital for injuries he sustained during the bomb attack.
I think we can confidently expect that his injuries were very painful, perhaps even resulting in a nice colostomy bag. Pray for sepsis.
Sohrab Hossain, Investigation Officer of the cases and Officer-in-Charge of Jhalakati Sadar police station prayed for 14 days' remand, court sources in Jhalakathi said when contacted over telephone. Jhalakati Sadar Upazila Magistrate Ismail Hossain granted 10 days' remand.
Ummm... Might we suggest they simply charge him? It's not like they don't have lots of evidence, to include his legs...
Senior Assistant Judges Shahid Sohel Ahmed, 35, and Jagannath Pandey, 38, were killed, one at the spot and the other on way to Barisal SBMCH in the suicide bomb attack. The judges were inside their microbus, just before leaving their Chandkati residence in Jhalakati town at about 9 am when two bombs went off, killing them and blowing up the vehicle. JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) suicide squad Mamun Ali, 23, milk seller Badsha Mia, 45, judge court peon Abdul Mannan, 40, and Lokman, 13, a student of class six were injured in that blast. Mamun Ali was caught by local people and handed over to Rab (Rapid Action Battalion). He is the son of Qamruzzaman, a 4th class employee at Rajshahi University.
Mom must be so proud...
Injured Mamun while being taken to Barisal tried to explode another bomb he was carrying but failed as RAB members and police foiled the attempt and recovered the bomb tied with his thigh.
Vicious little beast, isn't he?
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2005-12-22 Bangladesh
No white whale or peg leg involved, not even a Queeg or two...
Arrested JMB (Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh) Rajshahi 'divisional commander' Abul Kalam alias Shafiullah alias Tarique was involved with Ahle Hadith Juba Sangha, youth front of Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab), led by Dr. Asadullah Al Galib, a teacher of Rajshahi University.
Ahle Hadith equates to Salafism, of course...
He came in contact with JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman when the later visited Satkhira in 1999, sources in intelligence agencies said. "Later on, under the directive of Shaikh Abdur Rahman, he lured poor youths from neighbouring villages like Itagachha, Kharibila, Kamal Nagar, Baliadanga to join JMB to take part in Jihad for establishing Islamic rule. He recruited and trained JMB activists", one source said. JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman often visited Satkhira and took part in secret meetings, held at mosques and madrashas in Itagachha, Kharibia and Kamal Nagar areas, said a devotee at a mosque at Itagachha seeking anonymity. Abul Kalam alias Shafiullah formed 'Ketal Bahini' in Satkhira under the directive of Shaikh Abdur Rahman in 1999.
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2005-12-20 Bangladesh
Ever since its independence from Pakistan in December 1971, Bangladesh and India have been locked in a love-hate relationship.

The initial gratitude over India's assistance to the Mukti Bahini -- the guerrilla force which fought the Pakistan army -- quickly turned into distrust in Dhaka, particularly after Generals Zia-ur Rehman (1975 to 1981) and Hossain Mohammad Ershad (1982 to 1990) wooed the fundamentalist, anti-independence and pro-Pakistan lobby to retain their grip on power.

Chief among these pro-Pakistan organisations was the Jaamat-e-Islami, which is part of the four-party alliance currently in power. The ruling coalition is led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party Leader Khaleda Zia, Zia-ur Rehman's widow. The general was assassinated in 1981.

Till the late 1990s, India's main concerns with Bangladesh involved the massive illegal migration, which among other things radically changed the demography of neighbouring Indian states like Assam, and the fact that anti-government rebels in the northeast states found refuge on Bangladeshi soil.

Before Bangladesh's independence, Mizo and Naga rebels were trained and sheltered in the Chittagong Hill Tracts by the Pakistan army.

There were also violent spats over patches of the the 4,096-kilometre border, 180 km of which is marked by rivers that keep changing their course. Conflicting claims to ownership of the Muhurichar Island in South Tripura's Belonia subdivision led to clashes between the Indian Border Security Force and the Bangladesh Rifles in 1975, 1979 and 1985.

Dhaka consistently denies all charges of illegal migration and the presence of Indian rebels on its soil, and accuses India of playing hardball over water sharing and sheltering criminals wanted in Bangladesh.

Post 9/11 and the United States-led War on Terror, many fundamentalist outfits under the American scanner found Bangladesh an easy country to disappear in. The huge amount of foreign aid flowing into the country also made money laundering relatively easy.

Charities in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan known to have Al Qaeda connections are among the major donors to Bangladeshi non-governmental organisations, and a large chunk of that money is used to fund madrassas which spawn willing recruits to the jihadi cause.

In 2001, Khaleda Zia returned to power for the second time on an essentially anti-India platform -- her predecessor Hasina Wajed -- whose late father Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was independent Bangaldesh's first President -- and her Awami League were tagged as pro-India.

The presence of the pro-Pakistan Jaamat and Islami Oikya Jote in Khaldea Zia's government ensured that the Pakistan high commission in Dhaka became, in the words of one Indian diplomat, "an ISI den".

The nexus between Pakistani and Bangladeshi intelligence is hardly new. Several activists of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom arrested in India admitted that batches of ULFA cadres were flown to Pakistan from Dhaka for training by the ISI.

"The ISI started re-growing its roots in Dhaka during Khaleda's earlier stint, from 1991 to 1996," the Indian diplomat says. "But despite her being marked as pro-India, or perhaps because of it, Hasina Wajed is no worse. You must remember that the worst border clash between the two countries occurred in April 2001, barely two months before the election which brought down her government."

The rapid rise in fundamentalism in Bangladesh and its growing nexus with Pakistan's ISI has added to India's concerns over its eastern neighbour.

The crackdown on minorities by the ruling coalition's goons soon after it assumed power in 2001 led to a spike in migration to India, and officials note that these migrants comprised not just Hindus and Christians fleeing persecution, but also Muslim activists of the Opposition Awami League, who were being targeted by the ruling clique.

"God alone knows how many of these migrants are actually ISI agents," mutters one Indian official.

The leeway given to fundamentalists has already started to hurt the government in Dhaka, with judges and government officials being bombed by radicals who are demanding Muslim rule in the country.

Indian officials, while wary of being accused of interference in Bangladesh's internal politics, note that both the Jaamat and the Islami Oikya Jote have been virulently anti-Indian. The Jaamat, for instance, accuses India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, of being behind the recent spate of blasts in Bangladesh, despite the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, a radical outfit outlawed in early February, claiming responsibility for most of the terrorism.

The main jihadi groups active in Bangladesh are the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami, the Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh. All three are known to have close ties with the Jamaat and Islami Oikya Jote.

"Why do you think activists of these supposedly outlawed outfits are released within days, if not hours of their arrest?" asks a taxi driver in Dhaka.

But if Indian officials are diffident about accusing Bangladesh of fomenting trouble, BSF Director General R S Mooshahary candidly told journalists in Delhi on November 30, that 'Bangladesh will soon pose a bigger problem than Pakistan.' According to him, the India-Bangladesh border is more difficult to man than the India-Pakistan border. 'At the Pakistan border, both the army and the BSF are deployed, whereas the India-Bangladesh border is manned solely by the BSF,' he pointed out.

Expressing concern over the continuing illegal migration into the northeast, Mooshahary said: 'I've sought the home ministry's permission to raise a women's battalion to deal with infiltrators, many of whom are women.'

Asked about the repeated provocative moves by the Bangladesh Rifles, including the killing of BSF officers like Assistant Commandant Jeevan Kumar earlier this year, Mooshahary angrily rebutted the charge that the BSF was a 'soft' force, saying it had to behave 'responsibly.'

'We cannot always work by eye-for-an-eye principle. They (the Bangladesh Rifles) will not repeat it (such murders). If they repeat, they know the consequences,' he warned.

India has presented concrete evidence about at least 172 terrorist camps being run in Bangladesh, and the presence of at least 307 'wanted people', including top ULFA leaders Paresh Baruah and Arvind Rajkhowa, in the country, he said. But 'Dhaka has denied their presence without verifying the details given to them.'
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2005-12-15 Bangladesh
In a pre-down raid, the security forces on Wednesday unearthed an arms factory, believed to be used by a banned Islamist outfit, in the Bangladesh capital and seized huge arms and explosive from there, according to the police.

The members of the elite anti-crime force, Rapid Action Battalion, and the police confiscated the arms and explosives, including 17 grenades, 14 pistols, 90 kilograms of explosives, bomb making circuits, detonators and a dice to manufacture bullets, from eastern Manda area of the city. "The explosives could have blown up many installations and well enough to kill several thousand people," said one official at the Rapid Action Battalion. They arrested one woman named, Suraya Begum, from the tin-roofed hut, where the arms factory was housed, as most of the men working there had fled sensing the presence of the security forces. Bundles of books and leaflets calling the people for Jihad against the existing system of the state and establishing Bangladesh as 'truly an Islamic state' were also recovered from the scene.

The forces launched the joint operation against an Islamist outfit, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, widely blamed for the repeated bomb and grenade attacks that killed scores of people in Bangladesh, and arrested more than 200 suspects only in last couple of weeks. They have been trying to capture Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, two masterminds of the recent spate of suicide bombings, and destroy their arms dens across the country.

In northern Rajshahi district, the member of the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles recovered six grenades on Tuesday night.pprehending the presence of trained members of the banned slamist outfit, the law enforcers raided a number of in students' dormitories in the capital to nab the militants. A raid was conducted on Latif Hall of the Dhaka Polytechnic Institute on Tuesday by joint forces comprising members of the Rapid Action Battalion, Armed Police Battalion and Dhaka Metropolitan Police, who cordoned it off for several hours. In another drive, the plainclothes policemen detained four students of Dhaka College from the examination hall on the same day, suspecting them to be militants, but later released them upon the assurance of the college principal.
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2005-12-12 Bangladesh
Two Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) members yesterday refused to give confessional statements to a magistrate saying that their top leaders ordered them not to disclose any names of JMB members. The arrestees, Mohammad Mohiuddin and Mizanur Rahman of Kalihati in Tangail district, admitted their links to the August 17 countrywide bomb blasts to the investigation officers (IOs) during their remand period. But they denied giving confessional statements when they were produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's (CMM) Court Dhaka yesterday.
"Nope. Nope. Never happened."
They told the court reporters that their top leaders ordered them not to disclose any names and they could not betray their leaders by exposing them. Later, Metropolitan Magistrate Jahangir Alam ordered to send them to the Dhaka Central Jail.
"Take them back to the clink and put them in — The Small Cells."
"Not — The Small Cells!"
Earlier, Monwar Hossain, another accused in a case filed with Paltan Police Station, gave a confessional statement to magistrate saying he, along with Mohiuddin, exploded bombs near the Rajuk Bhaban on August 17. Meanwhile, three JMB members arrested from Baitul Mukarram mosque on Friday, were shown arrested in a case filed for the August 17 bomb blasts on the CMM and Judge courts premises and placed on a five-day remand yesterday.
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2005-12-12 Bangladesh
A leader of the Khulna Zila Imam Parishad warned both the print and electronic media of dire consequences for covering "unfounded" reports against Jamaat-e-Islami and other Islamist organisations in future. Mufti Abul Kashem pronounced the threat at a rally of the Imam Parishad held yesterday at 10:30am at the Duckbungalow Square in the city to protest against the countrywide bomb attacks by Islamist militants and suicide bombers. He further threatened to demolish the newspaper offices that will publish any story implicating the Jamaat and other Islamist parties with the outlawed Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh and its destructive activities. Hearing the threat, the journalists present at the rally moved to safer places.

The speakers at the rally demanded that the government find out the real Islamist militants and suicide bombers and their godfathers, and give them exemplary punishment by enacting a new law, if necessary. They also called upon the suicide bombers and the masterminds of the attacks to stop killing people and committing suicide in the name of Islam as the religion does not approve of these activities. The speakers reiterated that none of the Imam Parishad members, no matter which Islamist party he belongs to, is involved in militancy.
Unless it involves wrecking a few newspaper offices because the turbans don't like what they printed...
Presided over by the organisation's President and Principal of Khulna Alia Madrasa Moulana Muhammad Abu Saleh, the rally was also addressed by Moulana Golam Kibria, Moulana Rafiqur Rahman, Moulana Nasiruddin, Moulana Osman Gani, Moulana Mosharef Hossain, Moulana Abdullah and Moulana Humayun Kabir.
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2005-12-09 Bangladesh
The suicide squad of the banned extremist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) struck again at Netrakona killing at least eight persons including the suspected bomber Yadab and injuring 100 others. It was the fourth consecutive attack of this type in the last two months that together cost at least 24 lives.

Police suspected two youths for carrying out the suicidal attacks– one was identified as Yadab Biswas, 32, a local motor mechanic, who died on the spot, and another attacker who was seriously injured and undergoing treatment is yet to be identified. The suspected involvement of a youth from the minority community prompted the authorities to think afresh about the root of the ongoing terrorist activities in the country, said a Home Ministry source.
Oh yasss! Fresh thinking will solve the problem!
A 32-year old "yoot"?
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2005-12-08 Bangladesh
Members of the outlaw Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) continued to threaten to blow up different establishments like courts, parks, district administration buildings, district level press club, educational institutions including life threats to political leaders, Judges, DC, SP, journalists and high officials.
"Aaarrrr! Youse guys are gonna git it!"
"You got it, we'll blow it up!"
The extremist members of the JMB issued death threats to the Deputy Commissioner and the Police Super of Chapainababganj. The threat came in a letter sent to the DC by post and DC Nurul Islam acknowledged receiving the letter, sources said. "Get ready with shroud and take good food as you like. Bombs will be thrown your building and the SP will also be blown up", the letter issued in the name of JMB brotherhood said.
"Legume! Round up all the left-handed semi-literate men with turbans and bombs in Chapainababganj upazila!!"
"Yes, Inspector!"
In Sirajganj, Khorshed Alam and Monira Begum, two first class Magistrates of Sirajganj Criminal Court received death threats on Tuesday.
"What's this?"
"Another death threat, Khorshed!"
"Put it with the others!"
The terrorists asked the magistrates over phone to perform trials under Islamic law instead of existing laws, otherwise, they would be killed in bomb attacks. Safety measures have been strengthened in the court premises following the death threat.
"They'd better be Islamic safety measures, or we'll kill you all!"
"And yer little dogs, too!"
Chittagong police recovered three bombs in separate places—Chittagong Government College—Jorarganj Bazar and Mirsarai super market. Meanwhile, city’s Sabujbagh police recovered a live bomb from Wahab Colony in Bashabo.
I think Wahab Colony would be the first place I'd start looking for bombs, too...
After seeing the bomb wrapped with red tape at Wahab Colony local people informed Sabujbagh police. Having been informed of the matter the RAB came to the spot and recovered the bomb.
Now that the RAB is involved, I expect the Crossfire Gazette to be busy ...
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2005-12-07 Bangladesh
Police recovered explosives weighing about 9 kg from the house of a suspected Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) cadre in Gazipur town on Monday night and arrested the JMB cadre with his father and mother. The seized explosives can be used to produce about 200 bombs, experts told The Independent yesterday. Following confessional statement of arrested JMB operation commander Enayetullah alias Jewel, police conducted raid in a house at South Chhaya Bithi and recovered nine Kg ammonium nitrate used for making explosive devices. The arrested persons are Mazharul Islam alias Masum (16), a suspected JMB cadre and his father Hemayet Uddin (54) and mother Hena (45). Immediately after his arrest Masum told police that one of his friends gave him a bag containing explosives to keep it in his possession for some day, police sources said.
"Friend left you holding the bag, Masum? That's too bad. Tell you what, let's go pick up your friend and look for his explosives cache. How about tonight at 3AM?"
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2005-12-06 Bangladesh
The mastermind of the deadly suicide bomb attacks on Gazipur Bar Library and in front of the gate of the Deputy Commissioner’s (DC’s) office on November 29 and December 1 respectively, that killed 11 people and injured over 90, was arrested with bomb-making materials from the house of a former intelligence personnel yesterday.
Something wrong with this surprise meter...
A contingent of Gazipur police led by police super Atiqul Islam conducted the raid at a house belonging to a former officer of National Security Intelligence (NSI), and arrested Wahiduddin alias Jewel (25) and his wife Swapna (19) along with their two-and-half-year-old son Khalid from their rented Telipara residence near Chourasta in Gazipur town at around 3:45am yesterday, police sources said .
You gotta watch those two-year-olds. They can be vicious...
Police arrested Jewel following the statement of two Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) cadres Akash and Mintu, who were arrested from Chittagong for their alleged involvement in the suicide bombings at Chittagong court premises. Police seized some bomb-making materials including iron rings used in fishing nets, volters, magnets, wires, compass, flask, springs, sand and pieces of glass from the house. Police also picked up the house caretaker Moniruddin (32) and his wife for questioning. The owner of the house Nesaruddin, who was a NSI personnel, told police that he did not know anything about the activities of the JMB operative as he (Jewel) rented his house two months ago identifying himself a cloth trader, police sources said.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
When contacted, Gazipur police told The Independent that they arrested Jewel while he was making bombs. Police also arrested six JMB cadres from different parts of Gazipur following Jewel’s statement and the arrested six cadres were taken on police remand for interrogation, police sources said. Police sources said, the local people did not know anything about the JMB commander’s activities as his house was covered with curtain in accordance with the edicts of Islam.
Convenient, those edicts, aren't they?
The high officials of police are now questioning Jewel at Gazipur Detective Branch (DB) office about his involvement in the suicide bomb attacks in Gazipur. A highly placed source in the DB police told this correspondent yesterday that the two suicide bomb attacks on Bar Library of Gazipur and in front of the gate of Deputy Commissioner’s (DC’s) office on November 29 and December 1, were carried out under his (Jewel) supervision. In the attacks 10 persons including four lawyers were killed and over 90 persons were injured. During the interrogation, the JMB commander told police that he was producing two more bombs for carrying out further suicide bomb attacks on December 6, the source added.
They must have asked him very nicely for him to give that kind of detail...
Quoting Jewel the source said that he (Jewel) made the bombs which were used in the two suicide bomb attacks in Gazipur on November 29 and December 1 and he gave these bombs to the two members of JMB suicide squad for attacking the lawyers and the DC of Gazipur district. Intelligence sources said, the arrested Jewel who is a commander of JMB in Gazipur district disclosed scores of names of JMB suicide squad members and the locations, where they are now staying. But the source declined to make public the names and the locations. During the interrogation Jewel said that hundreds of JMB suicide squad members are staying scattered in Dhaka and its adjoining districts to carry out suicide bomb attacks, a reliable source in DB said. Following Jewel’s statement, Gazipur police conducted block raids on different parts of Gazipur, Dhamrai and Savar to nab the JMB members.

Meanwhile, another victim of the November 29 suicide bomb attacks on the Bar Library, Advocate Anwarul Azim, succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday. The death toll from the two bombings in Gazipur now rose to 11 with his death. The lawyers of Gazipur Ainjibi Samity brought out a procession and held demonstration as the news of the advocate’s death reached the district headquarters. The November 29 suicide bomb attack on the district bar library left three people killed including the bomber on the spot and injuring 30. Five more died on the same day, while one died on December 3 and one yesterday. One person was killed and 30 others injured in the December 1 blast.
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2005-12-05 Bangladesh
Just days before the Nov 29 carnage on two court premises, the government gave consent to release a fund of about Tk 2 crore to the Bangladesh branch of a Kuwaiti non-governmental organisation (NGO), Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), which is at the top of the list of suspected donors to Islamic militants in the country.

The funds are for training imams, and for building mosques and madrasas, said sources in the Bureau of NGO Affairs.

Earlier an intelligence report suggested the government to ban the RIHS, and suspected Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab) of channelling the NGO's funds to the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

According to the US Treasury Department's web site, as part of the US government's financial war on terror it added the RIHS to its list of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists", in January 2002. In addition, the group's directors were added to the terrorist list.

The same organisation was also added to the "Terrorist Exclusion List" of the US government. Any person known to have association with a listed organisation such as the RIHS is currently barred from entering the US.

According to Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd (IBBL) sources however, RIHS started distributing the freshly released fund on Nov 29 among its contractors. It is being disbursed through bearer cheques instead of account payee ones, which makes it easier for just about anyone bearing the cheques to withdraw money from the bank. Observers fear that the process of disbursement may make it easier for the militants to channel fund for their activities.

Among the contractors are some associates of the arrested militant leader Asadullah Al Galib and his second-in-command Abdus Samad Salafi, said a reliable source.

The fund was released after RIHS' regional director general for Asia, Abu Khaled Falah Al Mutairee and its country director general, Abdul Aziz Khalaf Maalullah, both Kuwaiti citizens, lobbied the government till Nov 25 during their six-day visit to Bangladesh, said sources.

Staying in a Banani guesthouse and maintaining secrecy, they met high-ranking leaders of the ruling alliance, leaders of Ahab, and some officials of the Kuwait Embassy, NGO bureau, and of several other Middle Eastern NGOs.

NGO bureau sources said the Kuwaiti officials visited the country with the government's consent and they wanted to know the government's stance on the RIHS.

They convinced the government to release the fund that had been remitted from Kuwait as the RIHS supposedly has to pay its unpaid bills of Tk 12 crore accrued since 2003 for training Imams, constructing mosques and madrasas, and for installing tube-wells in the country.

The government never even conducted any spot-investigation of these projects, said a source.

Release of RIHS funds was suspended after the arrests of Galib, and Samad Salafi in February following investigation reports revealing links among escalating Islamic militant violence in the country, RIHS constructed mosques, and the Imams trained by the NGO.

The Dayee and Imam (Daoa) division of the RIHS and the Higher Islamic Education Institute run by it at Uttara in Dhaka were also shut down by the government three months ago.

In July however, funds for different orphanages under the organisation were released on humanitarian grounds.

Several days ago the NGO bureau following government's nod sent its clearance to the Rajlaxmi Market branch of IBBL at Uttara to release the fund of Tk 2 crore against RIHS' savings account.

However, NGO bureau Director General CQK Mustak Ahmed told The Daily Star on Thursday that the government never stopped funds of any NGO on allegations of terror financing. He also said he did not have information about any NGO funding militant activities.

But bank sources told The Daily Star over phone that about Tk 15 lakh from the fund has already been disbursed through a large number of bearer cheques since November 29. “Large number of cheques for small amounts are coming in everyday", said an IBBL official.

Regarding the contractors of the RIHS, sources said among over 30 listed contractors, most did not get contracts while a few chosen by Galib and Samad Salafi used to get contracts involving large amounts of money.

If the ones without blessings from the top two Ahab bosses would get any contract at all, it would never be for more than Tk 1 lakh while Galib's man Nurul Islam, general secretary of Ahab, got the contract for construction of Gazipur Ahab School near the Ahab orphanage involving Tk 90 lakh. He was arrested along with Galib, but his cheques will be given to a person authorised by him, said sources.

Galib also used to get RIHS contracts through his nephew (sister's son) Badrul Alam of Satkhira. Badrul's elder brother Sadrul Alam was arrested in connection with the August 17 blasts in Chittagong.

For Samad Salafi, his son-in-law Azizul Bari Mintu, chairman of Nashipur Union Parishad under Gabtali upazila in Bogra, Akmal Hussain of Chapainawabganj and Ahab leader Moffakker Hossain used to get RIHS contracts.

Sources said Mintu used to lobby the BNP high-ups for Ahab and RIHS as he had developed relations with them because of his chairmanship of Nashipur, the home union of BNP's founder also former president of the country late Ziaur Rahman.

The RIHS and Muslim Aid however, in two separate rejoinders to The Daily Star report dated November 26 and headlined "Terror Financing NGOs Remain Unscathed", denied allegations of their links with Islamist militants. The rejoinder termed the report as false, baseless and motivated.
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2005-12-03 Bangladesh
Police have detained a total of 97 people over two days in connection with three bombings earlier this week in Bangladesh, which killed 14 people.

Eighty-five people were detained Friday night, and another 12 on Saturday, according to police headquarters in Dhaka.

Also, the mayor of the city of Sylhet, about 192 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Dhaka, escaped assassination Friday night after two grenades thrown at him failed to explode, authorities said. And a bomb was discovered at a school east of Dhaka.

On Thursday, Bangladeshi police said they had arrested the suspected bomber believed to be responsible for a deadly explosion that killed at least one person and injured 10 others at a police checkpoint in Gazipur, near a group of attorneys protesting a suicide bombing in Gazipur earlier this week.

The suicide bombing Tuesday at Gazipur's court library and another in the port city of Chittagong killed at least 13 people and wounded scores more, police said.

Authorities believe all the incidents are linked to the banned Islamic militant group Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh.
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2005-11-24 Bangladesh
A hideout of outlawed Islamist militant organisation Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was unearthed by police in Rangpur town in the early hours of yesterday. Huge quantity of bomb making materials, explosives and documentary evidences were also recovered from the place. Rangpur police said the JMB high-ups had been using the hideout as a control room for carrying out terrorist activities in different districts of the North Bengal.

Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of Nilphamari and Rangpur police along with a team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) went to Mohadevpur, a comparatively silent area in Rangpur town in the early hours of yesterday. The joint team led by Nilphamari police super Shoaib Ahmed raided into a four-storeyed house there after midnight. Breaking the lock of a room at the second floor of the building, police found huge quantity of bomb-making equipment, circuits, wires, detonators, several walkie-talkies, gun powder, firearms, ramdas, chapatis, knives, mobile phone SIM cards, a computer, CDs, audio cassettes, and quite a large number of Islami books and written formulas of making bombs.
Chapatis? I've always liked chapatis. I've never seen them explode, though...
Besides, a passport of Ataur Rahman, younger brother of absconding JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman and other documents containing the photographs of Abdul Awal, son-in-law of Shaikh Abdur Rahman were recovered during the raid. However, police could not arrest anyone from the house as all the inmates managed to escape before the arrival of police.

Police said Abdul Awal had lived in the house with his family for several days before his arrest in Thakurgaon. It is learnt that one Rafiqul Islam rented the house on September 28 last introducing himself as a fruit trader to the house-owner Zahirul Huque. Later on October 24, Rafiqul Islam brought Abdul Awal and his wife to the house introducing them as his brother-in-law and sister. Rafique escaped from the house several days ago secretly and telling nothing else to the house-owner. Since then he has been missing.

Following the raid into the house, panic gripped entire Mohadevpur area. A large contingent of police and RAB has been deployed in and around the house. Following the raid into the house, police super