Is Pakistan supporting Bangladeshi Islamists?

Bangladeshi authorities have arrested seven suspected militants with links to an Islamist group. The move comes a day after Pakistan recalled its diplomat from Dhaka over her alleged links with the same banned outfit.

The police raided an apartment in Mirpur, a district in the capital Dhaka, and arrested seven suspected members of the banned Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB) organization. They also seized 16 home-made bombs, suicide vests and explosive material, which the authorities said could be used in planned attacks over the New Year period.

The suspects exploded bombs as police began their raid. No injuries were reported. Officials cordoned off the building and evacuated the residents.

Police officer Monirul Islam said at least three “important figures” of the JMB had been arrested.

The JMB was founded in 1998 by Shaikh Abdur Rahman, a religious preacher educated in Saudi Arabia. The group campaigns for the imposition of the Shariah Law in Bangladesh. Despite being banned by the government, the JMB members are trying to regroup and launch clandestine operations.

In 2007, Bangladeshi authorities executed six JMB leaders for killing two judges and masterminding a series of bombings across the country in 2005 that killed some 30 people. The militant organization has also been involved in targeting foreigners. On October 3, it shot dead a Japanese farmer in northern Bangladesh.

The Thursday raid followed information from a detained member of the Islamist group.

Terror link row

The raid comes just days after a suspected JMB member, Idris Sheikh, told a court in Dhaka that he had ties with a female Pakistani diplomat, whose name was quoted by local media as Farina Arshad. Shiekh told police detectives that he had received financial assistance from Arshad for his espionage trial.

Read more » DW
See more » http://www.dw.com/en/is-pakistan-supporting-bangladeshi-islamists/a-18941388?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

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