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Friday, January 09, 2015, Poush 26, 1421, Robiul Awal 17, 1436 Hijr

Sever ties with Khaleda, Ansarullah urges Shibir
Published : Friday, 9 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 55

Staff Correspondent
The banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) in a video message has called upon the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamist party in Bangladesh, to sever ties with Khaleda Zia, the Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and instead break jails to free Jamaat leaders indicted for war crimes.
The ABT having its alleged links with the terror network al Qaeda and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has called upon the Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat, to stop rallying behind the main opposition BNP.
This correspondent learned about the call of the ABT from an 11-minute video statement it released on You Tube on January 6. The fugitive Islamic cleric of ABT Tamim al-Adnani in the message urged Chhatra Shibir to shun democratic practices and join Jihad to free their leaders languishing in prisons.
The ABT launched its activities during 2007 as the Jama'atul Muslemin, another Islamist outfit, ceased to operate when funding for it by various NGOs ended. The Jama'atul Muslemin resurfaced during 2013 as the ABT.
An anti-terror security agency told this correspondent that the ABT video message is a ploy to recruit youths from among beleaguered Jamaat and Chattra Shibir. The shadowy group is trying to keep their terror hub active, said one of its officials.
The ABT, according to sources, has sent a group from Bangladesh to Afghanistan who opened an al Qaeda unit at Khurassan in northeast Afghanistan. "How long would you continue Jihad in the form of seeking vote for the BNP?" asked the ABT leader in the video message.
Security officials said Ansarullah is a shadowy terrorist organisation and it was banned in 2013. The underground outfit has approached Jamaat and its frustrated youths for their moral support in order to strengthen the outfit in the country.
The ABT feels that Khaleda Zia would not be able to deliver on her promises of turning Bangladesh into a safe haven for Jihadis. The video message was an offer and also an attempt to split BNP and Jamaat's support base, observed some officials of security agencies.
Top Jamaat leader Abdul Qader Mollah was hanged in December 2013, another top leader, ATM Azharul Islam, was awarded death sentence last month.
In an audio message of al Qaeda chief Aiyman al Zawahiri released in last January, warned the government of Bangladesh of serious consequences unless it stopped 'wanton killings of Islamic scholars' and 'other anti-Islamic acts'. The message had generated heated debates in Bangladesh about presence of al Qaeda and its affiliates in the country.
Bangladesh security agencies claimed they have enough evidence to prove that al Qaeda extended financial assistance to Jamaatul Mujahideen-Bangladesh (JMB). The terror organisation advocates establishment of "Allah's rule". It was launched in 2002 with a mission of staging Taliban-like Islamic revolution in Bangladesh.
Al Qaeda affiliate Ansarullah Bangla Team has made its presence felt by brutally assassinating Ahmed Razib Hyder, a Shahbag Square blogger and pro-independence youth activist on February 15, 2013.
According to sources, those who masterminded the murder of Shahbag activist Hyder included Salman Yaseer Mahmud who was earlier an activist of Chhatra Shibir.
Bangladesh anti-terror security agencies continued crackdown on the banned ABT, JMB, HuJI, Hizb ut-Tahrir and other terror outfits. The actions have forced the terror groups to remain underground. Every week security agencies have busted their hideouts and arrested most wanted militants, who were described by the police as dangerous persons

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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