12 militant outfits active in Bangladesh: Home ministry

March 17th, 2009 - 11:53 am ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, March 17 (IANS) Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demanded more details and action on a home ministry report that 12 Islamist militant outfits were working unhindered in the country.
Hasina was ‘disappointed’ and the cabinet meeting she chaired Monday sent back the report asking for more information about such organisations and their network, New Age newspaper said Tuesday.

Information was sought on their operations, funding and links with political organisations and the report did not have “vital information”, the newspaper said.

Home secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder placed the report that named 12 militant outfits - Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI), Hizbut Towhid, Ulama Anjuman al Bainat, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Islami Democratic Party, Islami Samaj, Touhid Trust, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, Shahadat-e al Hikma Party Bangladesh, Tamira Ar-Din Bangladesh (Hizb e Abu Omar) and Allahr Dal.

After years of denial and following international outcry, the Khaleda Zia government (2001-06) had in 2005 banned four Islamist militant outfits - JMB, HuJI, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and Shahadat-e al Hikma.

Security analysts have said that Bangladesh witnessed a spurt in Islamist militancy in the wake of 9/11 terror strike in US. The Zia government had ‘patrons’ of these groups within the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) that also shared power with Jamat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist party.

The then US Congress had also threatened economic sanctions after activities of JMB leaders, including Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, became known.

Along with five others, Bangla Bhai was executed in 2007 after trial and conviction for killing two judges.

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