Dhaka has ‘terror links’ with London: British home Secretary

April 10th, 2008 - 2:17 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, April 10 (IANS) Bangladesh has “terror links” with Britain and there is a need to counter it with information sharing and training of security personnel, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said. The two governments will form a high level joint working group that will meet in June to thrash out details of “practical programmes” on counter-terrorism, Smith said here.

Her visit follows that of Foreign Secretary David Miliband in February, when the issue was discussed at length.

Commenting on the political situation in Bangladesh, Smith said Dhaka’s leadership had assured her of “strong measures” to hold general elections by the end of this year.

Britain, like the US and the European Union, has been urging the caretaker Bangladesh government to hold elections and return to democracy.

“Yes, there are linkages between terrorism in Britain and Bangladesh,” she said wrapping up a three-day visit.

However, she refused to divulge specific names of any militant group in either country, The Daily Star newspaper said Thursday.

“Linkages are highly likely because of the nature of international terrorism… terrorists travel widely, use dual nationalities,” said Smith.

Asked if her government feels that the Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh (Huji-B) is a threat to Britain, she answered: “Yes!”

But Smith added that the vast majority of Britons, Bangladeshis and British-Bangladeshis “abhor” terrorism and were united to “protect shared values of peace and freedom”.

Britain has a large population of Bangladeshis and its current high commissioner in Dhaka is Anwar Chowdhury, a diplomat of Bangladeshi origin.

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