Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Islamic militancy in Bangladesh can remember its geometry


A shape memory alloy is a metal that remembers its geometry. After a sample of smart alloy has been deformed from its original atomic configuration, it regains its original geometry by itself during heating or, at higher ambient temperatures, simply during unloading (pseudo-elasticity or super elasticity).

If a car made of this kind of metal was damaged in a collision, its outer shell could be restored after being heated in boiling water.

Islamic militancy in Bangladesh is just like metal memory which can be regained its original geometry by itself in any where, anytime.

Or it can be better described as amoeba that can change its shape anytime according to its necessity.

The recent execution of six top label Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) kingpins on March 30, 2007 didn’t uproot the Islamic fundamentalism from the country. Speakers in a seminar on April 11, 2007 titled 'Militancy in Bangladesh: Against Democracy, Rule of Law and the Spirit of Liberation War,’ organized by Bangladesh Heritage Foundation and Democracy and Human Rights Research at Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs auditorium, mentioned that the Islamic militant activities are still running in full swing in every corner of Bangladesh. Hijbut Tahrir, Hijbe Abu Omar, Hijbut Tawhid, Al Ferdous or Party of Allah. These are some active Islamic militancy organizations after JMB.

According to the intelligence sources, JMB cadres are regrouping to carry out their organizational activities under the leadership of Hannan Uddin and Mawlana Mohiuddin Faruki in different names like Hijbut Tahrir, Hijbe Abu Omar and Hijbut Tawhid in the southern part of Bangladesh, Barisal.

Both the leaders are returnees from Afghan war and explosives experts.

In an another nabbing, police in Gaibanda district arrested 17 militants of Party of Allah from Mouja Malibari village of Maibari union on April 7, 2007.

Islami Biplobi Command council, a Chittagong based Islamic militancy organization; recently send a death threat to a correspondent of a national daily for his exclusive reporting about their activities.

Actually, around 100 Islamic militancy groups are active across the country. They usually come in front line when they need.

Some times they change their way of work, their dressing, their address or their identity.Even their family member can hardly figure out their works and activities.

On April 11, 2007, security forces in Bangladesh arrested a senior leader of JMB from Goalkandi Bazar in Bagmara upazila, Rajsahahi.

The arrestee, Mokarram Ali, was involved providing trainings to use bomb and arms to JMB cadres while Abul Kalam Azad was arrested from Cox's Bazar for his suspicious movement.

A number of Islamic militants of Hizbut Touhid including a unit chief Anisur Rahman were arrested at Gangni upazila, Meherpur on April 13, 2007. Like those arrestees, around 1,200 trained cadres of Hizbut Touhid are active in greater Kushtia including Kushtia, Meherpur, Chuadanga and Jhenidah. Most of them are madrasa students or imams of mosques and they are operating their militancy under cover of Tabliq Jamaat (proselytizing group). Abdur Rashid, a JMB leader of Hamirkutsa village of Rajshahi, was arrested for attempting murder of Sripur union Chairman Makbul Hossain and police assault on April 9, 2007. And the numbers of arrestees are increasing day by day in every corner of Bangladesh. On April 6, 2007, law enforcement agencies arrested 10 militants of a newly formed Islamic militant group called Hijbe Abu Omar from their dens in the capital Dhaka, (southern) Barisal and northern Bhaluka town. According to the arrestees, they formed new group after deserting the Islamic militant group Harkatul Jihad which were responsible for a spate of bombings at cinemas and non-governmental organization offices in Bangladesh. They do kidnapping to raise their funds and their militants are usually sent to battlegrounds abroad with an aim to become strong militants. Very few may dare to take any steps against Islamic militancy groups after observing the recent killing of the public prosecutor (PP) of Jhalakathi District Judge's Court and chief counsel of the case filed against JMB militants for killing two Jhalakathi judges Advocate Hyder Hossain on April 11, 2007. He reportedly told to the law enforcement agencies about the threats he was receiving after execution of six top level militants at different jails on March 30, 2007. Meanwhile, both the families of senior assistant judges Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed who were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town on November 14, 2005 by JMB militants are getting numerous threats from different Islamic militancy groups. Their daily lives are becoming more hectic and dangerous after seeing the end of Hyder Hossian. Having power to restore its original geometry at any time, any where is irrelevant to its original source. And the sources are almost known to see.

High profile politicians, Islamic parties, Islamic NGOs, Foreign Aids or even some personnel from law enforcement agencies are patronizing the Islamic militancy in Bangladesh. Their training camps are being financed by Middle Eastern charities and organizations and some local financial institutes. Jamaat-e-Islami at present controls around 60 percent mosques and mosque-based educational facilities in the country. The party has already set up at least one madrasa in every village to provide Islamic education. In addition, Bangladesh has dense jungle and highly populated urban areas which allow radical Islamists to hide their training and operations from sophisticated surveillance and help to protect them from the threat of capture- elaborate escape and evasion plans are enforced.

It is a laboratory for the disastrous consequences of Islamist participation in the democratic process.

Operating in this labyrinthine environment, terrorist trainees have developed elaborate escape and evasion plans.

They have systematically developed their organizational structure so that they can change their shape any time, any where like amoeba or can restore their geometric shape after any destruction like memory metal. #

Ripan Kumar Biswas is a freelance writer based in New York