UN and International Aid Groups Threatened by Islamic Militants to Leave Bangladesh

Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned Islamist militant outfit linked numerous terrorist activities in the country, has threatened officials of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), International Federation of the Red Crescent (IFRC) and World Food Programme (WFP) to stop work and immediately leave Barisal district in southern Bangladesh.

Three letters, written in the name of the proscribed group, were delivered, by postal mail, to the offices of these aid organizations in the Barisal city on Monday.
The letter asked the chiefs of the three organisations to shut down their operations and quit Bangladesh immediately.

It also threatened the officials of dire consequences if they did not follow the order.

Experts doubt that the threat is closely connected to the recent promise of the UN to help Bangladesh with the trials of the Islamist war criminals.

Police supper of Barisal Mohammed Mahabur Rahman, acknowledging the incident, said they have taken the threat seriously and strengthen security of the officials of the organization.

He also said that they are employing high intelligence surveillance to monitor any kind of terrorist activities. He has assigned his 9 officer in charge of different police station to pray the Friday prayer in different mosques and counsel with the Imam and faithful to fight the Islamic terrorism.

He added that the police alone will not be able to fight the Islamic terrorism. People and police should be united against Islamic threats.

Workers Party lawmaker Rashid Khan Menon said that there may be a connection of this threat to the recent promise of the UN to help Bangladesh with the planning of its war-crime trial.

Prof. Imtiaz Ahmed of International Relations, University of Dhaka, said, “Who had threaten the UN agencies and other International organization had special agenda indeed”. He also suggested said that there may a close relation of this threat to the UN’s recent promise to help with Bangladesh government’s war-crime trials.

He also added that those, who have threatened, may have international links and trying to convey a special message through this.

Some people are trying to politicize the issues of the trial of war criminals and trying to play political game with the national issue.

The demand of the trial of 1971 war criminals is no more political but national concern and demand.

Recently JMB has heightened its activities; and some 100 suspected militants, likely linked to JMB, were arrested by security agencies last month. The security agencies also seized explosives from some of the suspects.

According to the Daily Star, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested, in a recent operation, eight operatives of the  banned JMB, including brother of Salahuddin, a member of JMB’s Majlish-e-Shura (highest policy-making body), and recovered bomb-making materials. Also seized were CDs, audiotapes, computer accessories and manuals, and books and leaflets on jihad in the capital.

The seized JMB leaflet, quote the Daily Star, reads:

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

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

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