Eight militants caught with arms, explosives in Dhaka

April 13th, 2009 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, April 13 (IANS) Eight Islamist militants, including three who were trained to be suicide bombers, have been nabbed in the Bangladesh capital and huge quantities of arms, ammunition, explosives and propaganda material were seized from them, authorities said.
This is the second major haul in a month after a madrassa (Islamic seminary) funded by a British NGO was found to house similar material on Bhola island in the south.

The eight militants belong to the banned Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). The haul in Khilkhet locality by the elite paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) yielded bomb detonators, batteries and books and CDs on jihad, The Daily Star newspaper said Monday.

RAB claimed three of the militants have been trained to be suicide bombers. The fourth, Abdul Matin alias Zakir had been coordinating efforts to reorganise JMB that was left in ruins after the execution of its six top brass in February 2007.

He is brother of Salahuddin, a JMB Majlish-e-Shura (highest policy-making body) member now on death row.

Back in 1998, Matin helped JMB supremo Shaikh Abdur Rahman set up the JMB and sent funds from Saudi Arabia. He returned after Rahman and five others were executed for killing two judges.

Sunday’s recovery includes 10,000 lithium batteries, 10 detonators, and five packets of high power gel explosives.

The government and the media have been targeted in the literature found during the raid.

The seized JMB leaflet reads: “Here comes the Jihadi Kafila (caravan). It will destroy the enemies of Allah and his Prophet. It will bury the tyrants, exploiters and the dishonest leaders to bring about an Islamic state.”

“Christian-controlled media gives a distorted view of the Mujahideen’s noble campaign to free the country from the unbelievers”.

Security analysts say Islamist militancy has been on the rise in Bangladesh and received a boost during the 2001-06 regime of Khaleda Zia, who shared power with Islamist parties.

The existence and activities of Islamist groups was denied till there was outcry at home and in international media and the US Congress threatened economic sanctions in 2004.

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