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Jamaat-e-Islami Inside the Militant Groups-7 (28 August)

 Jamaat-e-Islami Inside the Militant Groups-7 (28 August)
Profiles show them interlinked
Abdur Rahman spawned all
Zayadul Ahsan

The confessions of the recent arrestees, intelligence reports and information gathered so far indicate most of the recent attacks on NGOs and cultural programmes and bomb blasts in the country, including that of August 17, were carried out under the leadership of Abdur Rahman.

The Daily Star investigation reveals that most militant organisations across the country are somehow woven in the same string, which points finger at Rahman.

The Daily Star has compiled brief profiles of Rahman and the seven militant organisations that have been running anti-state activities over the last decade.

Shaikh Abdur Rahman of Chorshi village in Jamalpur district is the mastermind of the August 17 series bomb blasts across the country. His father Abdullah Ibn Fazal was a notorious collaborator of the Pakistani army during the Liberation War. As a student Abdur Rahman joined the Islamic Chhatra Shangha (present Islami Chhatra Shibir), the student front of Jamaat-e-Islam, Bangladesh (JIB).

Rahman graduted from an Ahle Hadith madrasa in Jamalpur and later, as a son of a leading JIB leader, was sent to Saudi Arabia at party expenses for higher education at Madina University. On completion of his studies there, Abdur Rahman returned home and tried different trades and jobs. But his main portfolio was to work as an interpreter and translator. He has reportedly travelled India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, among other countries.

In course of his job as a translator Abdur Rahman came in close contact with many diplomatic representatives from Middle Eastern countries. He went to Afghanistan to be inducted into jihadi movement. Completing the training, he returned to Bangladesh and formed the terrorist cell, Jama’atul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB).

Although JMB was formed in Jamalpur, it runs its terrorist activities in the North Bengal region. Rahman’s relatives in Dinajpur and Rajshahi districts helped him expand his organisational activities in these districts.

In early 2002, the first conference of the JMB commanders was held at Khetlal in Joypurhat. At that time, local police arrested 17 terrorists, including Rahman’s younger brother Ataur Rahman, in connection with terrorist activities. Following this incident the JMB commanders went underground and extended their terrorist activities around the country. After an accidental blast in Dinajpur, Abdur Rahman built his permanent headquarters in Rajshahi town and formed the so-called Bangla Bahini, with its leader Siddik Ullah as his key associate.

Abdur Rahman also gave a public speech at a gathering at a local school ground. He also published a manifesto of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) as the public front of JMB.

Abdur Rahman is reported to have worked at the Saudi embassy in Dhaka between 1985 and 1990.

In an interview with The Daily Star on May 12, 2004, Rahman said, “We are called part of al-Qaeda, Taliban or Islamist militant organisation. But we are not like that. We would like to serve people in line with Hilful Fuzul [a social organisation founded by Prophet Mohammad (SM) to serve the destitute].”

He says his organisation is against the use of force. Nor does it want to go to power as a political party through elections. “If people of Bangladesh give us the responsibility of running the nation, we will accept it.”

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