|Ahab helped JMB build int'l links|
|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.
|Militant outfit Ahab demands Galib's release|
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.