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Intel wings find 10 Islamist NGOs funding militancy

Thursday September 08 2005 09:23:06 AM BDT


Intelligence agencies have identified 10 Islamist non-government organisations that are channelling funds to various Islamist extremist outfits and fuelling Islamic militancy in Bangladesh.( The New Age BD )

A report of the intelligence agencies, submitted to the home ministry a week after the August 17 chain-bombing, suggested vigilant monitoring of the activities of these organisations and taking strict action against them.

The organisations are Revival of the Islamic Heritage Society, Rabita Al Alam Al Islami, Society of Social Reforms, Qatar Charitable Society, Al Muntada Al Islami, Islamic Relief Agency, Al Forkan Foundation, International Relief Organisation, Kuwait Joint Relief Committee and the Muslim Aid Bangladesh.

All these organisations are based in different Middle Eastern countries and have been active in Bangladesh for years.

The report recommended immediate banning of the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society.

The report was prepared by three intelligence agencies — the National Security Intelligence, the Special Branch of police and the Defence Forces Intelligence — after a six-month investigation of the Islamic NGOs working in Bangladesh.

The government ordered the above-mentioned agencies to carry out the investigation after the rise of three Islamic extremist outfits — Al Hikma, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh in greater Rajshahi division. All the three outfits have been banned.

The investigators found that more than 100 foreigners, from different Middle East and African countries, have been working in the organisations illegally. ‘They came to Bangladesh with tourist visas and joined the organisations without getting work permits,’ said the report.

The report said that no government agencies, not even the Bureau of NGO Affairs, were aware of the illegal foreigners who had been staying in the country for years.

‘These persons should be identified and the nature of their activities should be verified,’ said a top official of the Special Branch.

He added that intelligence agencies had been working hard to trace these foreigners.

The government is considering the illegal stay of the foreigners a major crime and may go for stringent action against them due to the recent rise of Islamic militancy and the frequent bomb blasts in the country.

‘Five such persons who worked in the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society have already been deported from the country and the rest may face the same punishment,’ said a home ministry official, adding that some might also be arrested.

The report detected a ‘deep-rooted’ relation of some leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Oikya Jote, two major components of the alliance government, and their other affiliated organisations with these Islamist NGOs.

These organisations, the report says, are very interested to work in Chittagong, especially in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, which should be looked into.

‘They show interest to work in the region to preach Islam and convert non-Muslims but a thorough investigation is needed to know their real intention,’ the report observed.

The investigators opined that they needed another six month to carry out a thorough investigation into the country’s Islamist NGOs and uncover the nature and extent of their activities.


The New Age BD

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