Published:  01:37 AM, 26 June 2020

JMB continues to be active despite coronavirus pandemic

JMB continues to be active despite coronavirus pandemic

Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Bangladesh’s most extremist militant organization has been continuing its activities in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. This has come to light after interrogation of some hardcore JMB terrorists who have been recently arrested from West Bengal in India and also from Bangladesh.

After the clampdown on its activities in Bangladesh, JMB had started expanding its base in India, from villages to towns and were using the Bengali speaking areas of India to spread their activities.

Intelligence agencies of both Bangladesh and India have found that they are receiving money from their handlers stationed abroad and also collecting money through sale of drugs and human trafficking.  South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) mentions that JMB receives funds from Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, UAE and Bahrain.

Organisations like Revival of Islamic Heritage, Kuwait, Daulayatul Kuwait, Al Fuzira and Khairul Ansar Al Khairia, Daulayatul Bahrini of Bahrain and Al Harmain Islamic Trust of Saudi Arabia provide funds to JMB.  Besides Jamaat-e-Islami and its 351 organisations are clandestinely providing funds to JMB.

Recent arrests of JMB cadres have given an insight to their increased activities and planning in the two countries. RAB arrested two hardcore JMB terrorists on June 10 from  Mohakhali area of Dhaka.

The arrestees, Mohd Ruhul Amin Mullick (38 years), resident of  Sukhipur, Bangladesh and Md Mustafizur Rahman (63 years) from Pallabi, Dhaka were conspiring to carry out subversive activities.  On the same day, RAB also arrested three JMB terrorists from Bhaluka, namely, Manjurul Islam, Ruhul Amin Talukder Toufiq and Ashraf Khan.

Earlier, in the month of May, seventeen members of JMB were arrested from Kakrail area in Dhaka who were planning to join a so-called jihad after migrating into Saudi Arbia.  Their plan was to reach Saudi Arabia, first through Satkhira or Benapole border and then to the Indo-Kashmir border.  However, they were unable to cross the Indo-Bangla border and they had decided to go to India via Dhaka through Sylhet border and accordingly came to Dhaka from different districts.

Not only in Bangladesh, the activities of JMB have increased in India too.  On June 8, 2020, the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police had arrested Sheikh Rezaul Kajal, JMB cadre responsible for overseeing fund collection in India  on behalf of JMB Chief Salahuddin Salahein. In May 2020, Abdul [email protected] Boro Karim, JMB cadre was arrested by Murshidabad police.

Karim is believed to be the third top most person of the Bangladesh terror module and was the main leader of the Dhuliyan Module of JMB in Murshidabad. He was supplying logistical support and shelter to top leaders like Salahuddin Salahein and was wanted in several terror cases lodged in Bangladesh and India since 2017.  Karim is part of the Neo JMB faction that claims itself to be closer to Islamic State.

In fact, security agencies believe that he may have had a role in 2013 Bodh Gaya blast in India. During interrogation, Abdul had disclosed name and activities of Rezaul. Sustained interrogation of both Rezaul and Abdul by security agencies in India had confirmed that JMB chief Salahuddin and his associate Mintu Khan had entered West Bengal under the guise of migrant labourers. Both STF Kolkata and RAB are working together to apprehend the fugitives.

JMB and its offshoot neo-JMB have also a dedicated female-wing responsible for carrying terror activities. On February 4, CTTC arrested one Asmani Khatun @ Asma @ Bandi Jibon @ Nikhoj Alo, Chief of the female wing of ‘Neo-JMB.  Neo-JMB has been responsible for multiple blasts in Bangladesh with the objective of targeting security agencies.

On February 28, a blast inside a traffic police box had injured three persons including two cops in Chattogram’s. Last year between July-Dec 2019, security agencies in Bangladesh had busted a neo-JMB cell which had planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at five places and attacked policemen at three other spots in Dhaka and elsewhere.

Readers familiar with the rise of JMB will recall that in 1998, a terrorist organisation was formed in Bangladesh by the name ‘Jagroto Muslim Janata Bangladesh’ or JMJB. Later in 2004, the organisation changed its name to Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and shot into prominence in 2005 after the serial blast in 63 of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. In 2007, Bangladesh government sentenced to death two JMB terrorists, Siddiqul Islam and Shaikh Abdur Rahman.

However, Salahuddin Salahein had managed to flee from a prison van in Mymensingh to India in 2014. Salahuddin later formed Indian chapter of JMB called Jama’atul Mujahideen India (JMI) with the dream of establishing an Islamic Rule in South Asia.  India had banned JMI for its terror activities in May 2019.

Despite the crackdown by security agencies, it is believed that JMB and its offshoot neo-JMB have been re-grouping in small groups to carry out subversive activities. It is also learnt that Pak ISI is using JMB to train Rohingyas in Bangladesh to carry out terror strikes. According to security experts, around 300 cadres of JMB have received secret arms training in India with an intention to carry out terror strikes.

The writer is a Copy Editor of The Asian Age

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