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Bangladesh terror outfits with Al Qaida links spread tentacles in Assam | Latest News India

GUWAHATI: On April 15, the police in the Barpeta district in decrease Assam arrested six individuals allegedly affiliated to Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a Bangladesh-based terror outfit with links to Al Qaeda.

This was not the primary such arrest in Barpeta. Last month, the police in the district had arrested a Bangladeshi nationwide Saiful Islam (having aliases Mohammed Suman and Harun Rashid) and 4 others with links to ABT.

The ABT is an Islamic terror outfit with links to Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Though it emerged in 2007 in Bangladesh as Jamaatul Muslemin, the group rebranded itself as ABT in 2013.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Saiful Islam, who’s a citizen of Bangladesh, had illegally entered India and was working as a trainer of Arabic language in Dhakalipara masjid (mosque) in Barpeta.

According to police, Islam had efficiently indoctrinated and motivated the 4 others to affix the module of ABT with a view to develop Barpeta district as a base for ‘jehadi’ work and illegal actions of Al-Qaida and its associated organisations.

“In two months, we have had two instances where persons (including a Bangladesh national) having links with ABT have been arrested in Barpeta. While the first case has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the district police are investigating the second one,” stated Amitabh Singh, Barpeta superintendent of police.

The FIR in the primary case registered by NIA, which HT has seen, mentions that the Bangladeshi nationwide Saiful Islam, who hails from Narayanganj district in the neighbouring nation, was “indoctrinating and motivating youth/men of Barpeta to join ‘jihadi’ outfits and work in modules ‘ansars’ (sleeper cells) for creating a base for Al Qaida and its manifestations in various forms in India”.

“It emerged that some men/youth of the district had already joined the module and are working towards advocating, abetting, inciting, assisting, harbouring, recruiting and collecting funds for organising and committing unlawful and terrorist activities in the name of jihad,” the FIR stated.

The NIA case has been registered beneath sections 120B (prison conspiracy), 121 (waging or making an attempt to wage conflict in opposition to authorities of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable beneath 121), sections 17 (elevating funds for terrorist act), 18 (recruitment for fee of terrorist act), 18B (punishment for 18), 19 (punishment for harbouring), 20 (punishment for being members of terrorist organisation) and sections of Passport Act and Foreigners Act for unlawful entry to India and failing to provide passport.

“Investigations into these cases have led to several important disclosures. We are following them up, but it would be too early to comment on their exact details,” Sinha stated.

According to a different senior police official who spoke on situation of anonymity, investigations have revealed the members of ABT sneak into India from Bangladesh, utilizing the porous borders, with the goal of radicalising children.

“After entering Assam, they get employed as teachers in madrasas and mosques by claiming they are residents of West Bengal. These people get recruited into these posts without any proper verification of their documents and antecedents,” stated the official.

“Once they come in contact with young people with impressionable minds, these so-called teachers start indoctrinating them with jihadi ideology. These are like nurseries from where hardcore terrorists could emerge,” he added.

Incidentally, ABT isn’t the one Bangladesh-based terror outfit which has began operations in Assam. Other such teams have additionally began concentrating on children in the state.

In July 2019, police in Barpeta arrested six individuals for allegedly being members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a Bangladeshi terror outfit banned in the neighbouring nation and in India.

The case unfurled with the arrest of one of many accused, Hafizur Rahman, from his home in Barpeta and recovery of a country- made revolver, a number of rounds of stay ammunition and a few Jihadi literature.

The case registered beneath sections of Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was later transferred to NIA in January the subsequent year. Charge sheets filed by NIA in January and April 2020 stated that the accused procured weapons and ammunition with the goal of committing terrorist acts.

Investigations by NIA had revealed that every one the accused have been recruited to JMB by one Sahanur Alom, a resident of Barpeta who was arrested by the company in 2014 for his involvement in the Burdwan blast case of West Bengal in which two individuals have been killed.

Alom has already been convicted and is serving an eight-year jail sentence on prices of “conspiracy to commit terrorist acts in India and recruiting and training other members of JMB”.

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