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Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B)
Terrorist Group, Bangladesh

Formation

The Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) was established in 1992, reportedly with assistance from Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front (IIF). On April 30, 1992, several of the HuJI-B leaders addressed a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in capital Dhaka and demanded that Bangladesh be converted into an Islamic State.

The outfit’s activities, however, were noticed in June 1996 after the Awami League (AL) came to power.

The HuJI-B was proscribed by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led coalition Government on October 17, 2005.

Leadership

The HuJI-B is led by Shawkat Osman alias Sheikh Farid. Imtiaz Quddus is the general secretary of the outfit. The outfit's operations commander, Mufti Abdul Hannan was arrested in Dhaka on October 1, 2005.

Objectives and Ideology

HuJI-B aims to establish Islamic Hukumat (rule) in Bangladesh by waging war and killing progressive intellectuals. It draws inspiration from bin Laden and the erstwhile Taliban regime of Afghanistan. At one point of time, the groups issued a slogan, Amra Sobai Hobo Taliban, Bangla Hobe Afghanistan (We will all become Taliban and we will turn Bangladesh into Afghanistan). HuJI-B recruits are indoctrinated in the mould of radical Islam.

Areas of Activity and Influence

The coastal area stretching from the port city of Chittagong south through Cox's Bazaar to the Myanmarese border, notorious for piracy, smuggling and arms running, is the principal area of activity of the HuJI-B.

The group reportedly maintains six camps in the hilly areas of Chittagong, where its cadres are trained in the use of weapons. Unconfirmed reports also indicate that it maintains six training camps near Cox's Bazaar.

The HuJI-B cadres allegedly also infiltrate frequently into the eastern corridor of India to maintain contacts with terrorist and subversive outfits of the region. HuJI-B has been found to be responsible for a number of terorist attacks orchatrsted in Indian urban centres in recent years.

Cadres

Although there is no authoritative information on the actual cadre strength, most reports mention it to be around 15,000. Several of these recruits were trained in the Kormi and Kasia areas of Bangladesh. Further, many hundred recruits were reportedly trained at various training camps in Afghanistan, primarily during the reign of the Taliban.

Both local residents and foreigners are recruited into the HuJI-B. Besides, refugees from Myanmar are a significant source of cadres for the outfit. They include stateless Rohingyas, whose families have fled Myanmar over the years allegedly due to religious persecution. Cadres of the HuJIB are primarily recruited from various Madrassas (seminaries). The Madrassas essentially impart religious training and most of them are financed by Arab charities. Reports also indicate that many HuJI-B recruits have seen ‘action’ in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Chechnya and Afghanistan.

Linkages

The HuJI-B had reportedly been formed drawing inspiration from Osama bin Laden and continues to maintain active links with the Al Qaeda network and remnants of the Taliban militia.

A large number of volunteers had gone to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Mujahideen in the war against the former Soviet Union. A large number of these Mujahideen returned to Bangladesh during the BNP regime of Begum Khaleda Zia (1991-96) and are now spearheading the fundamentalist movement in the country.

The HuJI-B is also believed to be having links with Pakistan. For instance, the outfit’s ‘operations commander’ and a key suspect in the plot to assassinate the then Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, in July 2000, Mufti Abdul Hannan, after his arrest in October 2005 admitted to have passed out of the Gouhardanga Madrassa in Pakistan. Police records in Gopalganj district also says that Hannan was trained in the Pakistani city of Peshawar and then sent to Afghanistan to fight the erstwhile Soviet Army. The HuJI-B’s Pakistani link was further established with the recovery of a diary from Hannan’s brother Matiur Rehman, who was also arrested in connection with the assassination plot. Entries in the diary revealed that he was in touch with Pakistan’s diplomatic mission in Bangladesh.

Reports indicate that agents of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, under the guise of HuJI-B cadres impart military training for three months to youths of both Bangladesh and India from bases in the Kurigram and Rangpur areas of Bangladesh, near the Coochbihar border. Similar training camps reportedly also exist in Rangmari, Sundermari, Masaldanga and in other villages, where training is imparted in the use of sophisticated arms and setting off blasts. After training, the youth infiltrate into India and spread to various locations in West Bengal and States in the Northeast region, including Assam.

HuJI-B also maintain links with terrorist groups operating in India’s Northeast, including with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). The HuJI-B reportedly managed some of ULFA’s camps situated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh along the border with the Indian State of Tripura.

The HuJI-B is also linked to another Islamist extremist outfit, the Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF) that had claimed responsibility for the January 22, 2002-attack on the American Center in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. The arrest of Aftab Ansari alias Aftab Ahmed alias Farhan Malik, the prime accused in the attack, led to further information on the linkages between the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the HuJI based in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Ansari is reportedly linked to the ISI and to JeM terrorist Omar Shiekh, convicted for the abduction and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, in Pakistan. Ansari was reportedly asked in August 2001 in Islamabad by Omar Sheikh to provide cover and logistics support for terrorist operations from Bangladesh.

There have also been reports that a 25-member team of Taliban operatives reached Bangladesh in June 2001 to train HuJI-B cadres.

In Bangladesh, the HuJI-B is also known to have enjoyed the patronage of mainstream political parties such as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami. HuJI-B ‘operations commander’ Mufti Hannan, subsequent to his arrest on October 1, 2005 was reported to have confessed that the country’s former home and the then commerce minister, Altaf Hossain Choudhury, had assured him of protection and guaranteed his freedom following his involvement in the assassination attempt of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in July 2000. The Jamaat-e-Islami, however, denies any links with the HuJI and dismisses such reports as propaganda.

Finance

The HuJI-B reportedly receives financial assistance from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan through Muslim Non-Governmental Organisations in Bangladesh, including the Adarsa Kutir, Al Faruk Islamic Foundation and Hataddin. It is also suspected to be generously financed by the ISI of Pakistan.

Activities

The HuJI-B intensified its subversive activities after the Awami League formed the Government in June 1996.

On February 19, 1996, 41 HuJI-B activists were arrested with firearms from Cox’s Bazaar. The arrested cadres were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court, but all of them were released on bail by the High Court after the four-party alliance assumed power in October 2001.

Three HuJI-B cadres made a failed attempt on the life of poet Shamsur Rahman at his residence in Dhaka on January 18, 1999.

It was involved in a number of incidents, including the killing of journalist Shamsur Rahman, on July 16, 2000, in Jessore. Later, police arrested 10 HuJI-B activists and sealed its office at a Dhaka suburb, Khilgaon, Interrogations revealed that HuJI-B cadres had planned to kill 28 prominent intellectuals, including National Professor Kabir Choudhury, writer Taslima Nasreen and the Director General of the Islamic Foundation, Maulana Abdul Awal.

The HuJI-B has been accused of plotting twice to assassinate the then Prime Minister and AL supremo, Sheikh Hasina in July 2000. Security forces on July 20, 2000, during routine security checks, recovered explosive devices weighing 76-kilograms at or near the places she was scheduled to visit in her native Gopalganj district, including near the venue of a public meeting she was slated to address. The key suspect in the plot was Mufti Abdul Hannan. He had allegedly been instrumental in the manufacture of the explosives at a soap factory––Sonar Bangla Chemical Industries Limited––near Gopalganj.

Mufti Abdul Hannan, on November 1, 2007, also confessed to have been instrumental in the grenade attack on the August 21, 2004 AL rally in Dhaka.

Incidents


2008

December 23: Three HuJI-B militants, including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, were sentenced to death in a murder case filed in connection with the grenade attack on the then British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in May 2004. The two others sentenced to death were identified as Sharif Shahedul Alam Bipul and Mohazmmed Delwar Hossain alias Ripon. The Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal also awarded life terms to two other accused in the case - Mufti Hannan's brother Muhibullah alias Muhibur Rahman alias Ovi and Mufti Main Uddin alias Abu Zandal.

November 30: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) charge sheeted 14 HuJI-B operatives including the outfit's 'operations commander' Mufti Abdul Hannan, in two cases filed in connection with the Ramna Batamul blast on April 14, 2001. At a press briefing, CID chief Additional Inspector General Mohammad Javed Patwari said some 22 HuJI-B cadres were directly involved in the blast. However, charges have been pressed against 14 as addresses of the remaining eight were not found. Of the 14, only six, including Hannan, have been arrested.

October 29: The Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 in Dhaka framed charges against detained former BNP parliamentarian Abdus Salam Pintu, HuJI-B 'operations commander' Mufti Abdul Hannan and 20 others in two cases filed for grenade attacks on an AL rally in August 2004. The court fixed November 5 for trial of the cases--one for murder and another for bomb blast--and summoned the complainant to appear before it on that date. The grenade attacks on the AL rally on Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka on August 21, 2004 killed 24 people, including Ivy Rahman, wife of the acting AL President Zillur Rahman, killed and injured 200 others, including AL chief Sheikh Hasina. The court charged Pintu with approving the plan of the grenade attack prepared by Hannan and his accomplices. The former BNP lawmaker was also charged with assisting the HuJI-B cadres with finance and administrative help and abetting them for killing and injuring the victims.

October 28: The EC rejected registration applications of around 40 political parties, including that of the Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) formed by HuJI-B leaders, as they neither comply with the country's constitution or the registration conditions. A letter to this effect was issued to the IDP. As many as 107 organisations have applied for registration, now mandatory for seeking election to parliament. Of these, 22 are religion-based parties. According to the registration criteria laid down in the electoral laws, a party must have won a seat, or polled five percent of the votes in a constituency in any of the parliamentary polls since independence. It must have headquarters and offices in at least 10 districts or 50 sub-districts. Besides, it must disclose its sources of funds etc, and its constitution must not contradict the national constitution.

August 31: The Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court in Dhaka asked eight absconding HuJI-B cadres to appear before the court by September 21 in connection with the August 21 grenade attack on an AL rally case. The absconding cadres were identified as Maulana Tajuddin, Maulana Liton, Anisul Mursalin, Mahibul Muttakin, Iqbal, Maulana Abu Bakar alias Selim Howlader, Jahangir Alam Badar and Khalilur Rahman. Maulana Tajuddin is the brother of former BNP parliamentarian Abdus Salam Pintu. The court directed the authorities concerned to give advertisement in two national Bangla dailies asking the absconding accused to appear before the court on the scheduled date.

August 10: The Metropolitan Sessions court in Dhaka rejected the bail petitions of two HuJI-B cadres, Rafiqul Islam and Arif Hassan Sumo, in a case filed for exploding grenades at an Awami League (AL) rally on Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka on August 21, 2004.

June 23: A Dhaka court issued arrest warrants against eight absconding HuJI-B militants, including Maulana Tajuddin, brother of detained former BNP lawmaker Abdus Salam Pintu, in the August 21 grenade attack case. The court fixed July 24 for returning the arrest warrants to the court.

June 17: Four HuJI-B cadres were sentenced to 20 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in an explosives case in Magura. The special tribunal also fined them Taka 5,000 each. The militants were identified as Mokaddes Ali, ameer (chief) of Magura district unit Khelafat Majlish, its general secretary Bakibillah, Khalilur Rahman and Rafikul Islam Sabuj. Earlier on June 10, they were sentenced to 20 years' RI for possessing illegal arms.

June 15: A court in Satkhira sentenced two HuJI-B cadres to 20 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) each for possession of 44 Arges grenades. The court also fined both the militants Taka 20,000 each. The militants were identified as Moin Uddin alias Abu Zandal, a close aide to the outfit’s operations commander Mufti Abdul Hannan and Nazrul Islam Gharami, son of Mujibur Rahman Gharami from Shimulia village in Debhata sub-district. Based on the statement by Abu Zandal, RAB personnel had arrested Nazrul Islam Gharami and recovered 44 grenades of Arges brand hidden in a pond in Shimulia village under Debhata sub-district on February 15.

June 11: Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed charge sheets in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on the AL rally in Dhaka case. Among the accused were 22 persons including HuJI-B operations commander Mufti Abdul Hannan and the BNP leader and former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu. The CID, in the chargesheet said that the attack was intended to kill AL leader Sheikh Hasina as she was perceived to be "harmful" for Islam.

June 10: Special Tribunal Court No 3 in Magura on June 10 sentenced four HuJI-B cadres to 20 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) each for possessing arms and explosives. The court also fined them Taka 5,000 each. The HuJI-B cadres sentenced have been identified as Mokaddes Ali, Bakibillah, Khalil and Rafikul, of whom the first two are in custody and the latter two are absconding. Both Mokaddes Ali and Bakibillah, ameer (chief) and general secretary of the Magura district Khelafat Majlish (KM), had been arrested on October 29, 2007 following a statement by operations commander of the outfit, Mufti Abdul Hannan. The Security force personnel had also recovered two Chinese rifles, 86 rounds of bullet, two bombs, two pairs of army uniform and a huge quantity of explosives from the grounds of Kharabila field in Nohata area under Mohammadpur sub-district following their interrogation.

June 6: HuJI-B leader Rafiqul Islam Sabuj confessed to his involvement in the grenade attack on the Awami League rally in the capital Dhaka on August 21, 2004. His statement was recorded in the court of Magistrate Abdullah Al Mamun where he had been produced on the expiry of his five-day remand under the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). A total of 14 people have so far been arrested in connection with the grenade attack. Of them, eight gave statements before the court, admitting their involvement in the attack.

June 1: HuJI-B leader Rafiqul Islam Sabuj was arrested by RAB personnel at Baliakandi under Rajbari district.

May 30: RAB personnel arrested two suspected HuJI-B cadres who were part of the team that lobbed grenades on an Awami League rally in the capital Dhaka on August 21, 2004. RAB sources said that Rafiqul Islam alias Sabuj was arrested from Baliakandi of Rajbari and Uzzal Hossain alias Ratan was arrested from Noahata in the Magura district on May 30. Both were present during a press conference the RAB held in Dhaka on May 31 where both admitted to their crimes. RAB officials further said that five other persons with suspected links to the HuJI-B were also arrested during a raid in the Kurshi village of Rajbari district and have been handed over to the Police. Some documents and two books on jihad were recovered from the arrested militants.

May 28: The District and Sessions Judge's Court in Satkhira framed charges against two HuJI-B cadres, identified as Moinuddin alias Abu Zandal and Nazrul Islam Gharami, for possession of 44 grenades. Zandal, a close aide to the arrested HuJI-B ‘operations commander’ Mufti Hannan, was arrested from Gazipur on February 14, 2008. Following information provided by Zandal, the RAB on February 15 arrested Gharami from Nalta bazaar in the Kaliganj sub-district. On the same day, after receiving a confessional statement from Gharami, the RAB personnel recovered 44 grenades from a pond at Shimulia village.

May 26: RAB personnel arrested a suspected HuJI-B cadre from his Sonatundi village house in the Sreepur sub-district of Magura. The arrested militant, identified as Farhad Hossain, was a health-worker of the Magura-based Islamic NGO 'Ehsan S Bangladesh', RAB sources said. Earlier, another HuJI-B cadre, Abul Kalam Azad alias Bulbul of Jhenidah, who too worked in the same NGO had been arrested in connection with a grenade attack on former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.

May 21: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) showed two operatives of the HuJI-B, Maulana Idris Ali and Maulana Monir Hossain, as arrested in the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) rally bomb attack case and filed a petition with a Dhaka court seeking their 10-day remand. Idris and Monir are also accused in a number of grenade and bomb attack cases, including those filed in connection with the August 21, 2001 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in Dhaka and the April 14, 2001 bombing of the Pahela Baishakh celebrations at Ramna Batamul.

May 20: Hasan Mahmood Khandaker, Director General of the RAB said that the militant group HuJI-B had been marginalised following a crackdown. "Bangladesh banned the HuJI group years ago after it was banned in the United States and other countries as a top militant organisation," he said. He further said, "Dozens of HuJI activists in Bangladesh including their chief Mufti Abdul Hannan have been detained over the years. While we don’t rule out the existence of HuJI in Bangladesh, we can say their activity has been drastically controlled by the security agencies here."

May 15: A Dhaka court sent the detained HuJI-B leader, Arif Hasan Sumon, to jail as he denied his involvement in the bomb attack on a Communist Party of Bangladesh rally on July 20, 2001. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) produced him in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Waliul Islam at the end of his five-day remand. The CID sources said Sumon had confessed to his involvement during the interrogation in the remand. But in the court, he denied his involvement in the attack. Earlier, Suman gave a confessional statement before a court admitting his involvement in the bomb attack at Ramna Batamul during the celebration of Pahela Baishakh on April 14 in 2001.

April 19: A close associate of the imprisoned operations commander of the HuJI-B, Mufti Abdul Hannan, was arrested by the RAB personnel from a forest area in the Fatikchhari sub-district of Chittagong. The militant, Maulana Shihabuddin, who runs a madrassa, is suspected of having been involved in several grenade attacks across the country.

March 10: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitted supplementary charge sheets of two cases filed in connection with the grenade attack on the British High Commissioner at the shrine of Hajrat Shahjalal in Sylhet in 2004. The charge sheets accused the HuJI-B leader Abu Zandal alias Mufti Mainuddin and Masum Billah Khaza of delivering the grenades for the attack. The investigation officer told although charge sheets of the cases were submitted earlier, further investigation was carried out on the basis of the confessional statement of HuJI-B ‘operations commander’ Mufti Abdul Hannan, who indicated that the Abu Zandal had provided the grenades through the outfit’s operatives Sharif Shahedul Alam Bipul and Delwar Hossain Ripon.

March 10: Daily Star reports that leaders of the HuJI-B had formed a new political party called Islami Gono Andolan in 2006 with an objective of carrying out political activities openly. A seven member committee led by Maulana Abdus Salam, founder of the Fatematuz Zohra women's madrassa (seminary) in Sherpur in the Bogra district, carries out the organisational activities of the party. Former deputy commander of HuJI-B and founder of Ommulara Al Islami madrassa of Shajahanpur in Bogra, Abdul Hannan Sabbir, and HuJI-B leader Abdul Aziz are members of the committee.

March 6: The Bangladesh Home Ministry said there has been no operation of the HuJI-B in the country and the law enforcers were on alert to check against the resurgence of the outfit. Additional secretary of the home ministry Abdur Rashid said in a briefing at the ministry, "Intelligence agencies and lawmen are keeping watch so that the extremist organisation cannot resume its operation."

March 5: The United States State Department labelled HuJI-B as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO). The outfit was previously put on the list of 'Other Terrorist Organisations' in 2003 by the US. A press release to this effect by the state department said, "The leader of HuJI-B signed the February 1998 fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Ladin [sic] that declared American civilians to be legitimate targets for attack. Since then, HuJI-B has been implicated in a number of terrorist attacks in Bangladesh and abroad." Signed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Executive Order 13224, criminalises providing material support to HuJI-B by US citizens or people living under US jurisdictions, and freezes all HuJI-B property and interests in the US and in areas under US jurisdiction. The designation also enabled the US to deny visas to HuJI-B representatives, and requires US financial institutions to freeze assets held by HuJI-B.

March 4: Pratham Alo reported that the HuJI-B used to supply grenades to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to carry out attacks in India. An arrested HuJI-B leader Abu Zandal has told the police during his interrogation in Dhaka that the outfit had sent several consignments of grenades to the LeT operating in India until 2004. The last such consignment however, could not be delivered as the LeT representative who was supposed to receive it was killed in an encounter with Border Security Force (BSF) near Bangladesh's Kaliganj frontier. Zandal reportedly told the interrogators that the LeT leader Yazdani, who was killed in 2006 by the Delhi Police, used to maintain links with the detained HuJI-B ‘operations commander’ Mufti Abdul Hannan. Zandal also claimed that the supply of ‘Arges’ grenades were being received from a fugitive, Maulana Tazuddin, believed to be hiding in South Africa.

February 28: Daily Star reported that the dormitories of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute in the national capital’s Tejgaon area have turned into a safe haven for fugitive criminals and militants. Criminals and militants are taking refuge within the three hostels of the Institute. Unidentified students and law enforcement agencies have confirmed that the criminals are being provided shelter by the Islami Chhatra Shibir. Several teachers with Jamaat background and with alleged links with the HuJI-B are also involved in the incident. Prof Shamshul Alam, principal of the Institute, admitted that some teachers of the institute are assisting the militants to hide in the dormitories, but said that the authorities are unable to take actions against those teachers since the issue is "out of their jurisdiction to deal with".

February 23: The two detained HuJI-B militants who were involved in the August 21, 2004 grenade attacks on the AL rally in capital Dhaka were placed on three days' remand. They were identified as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad alias Bulbul and Hossain Ahmed alias Tamim. The Criminal Investigation Department reportedly plans to interrogate them along with the detained HuJI-B militant Mufti Moinuddin alias Abu Zandal for cross-checking the information provided earlier by Zandal.

February 21: Daily Star reported that the HuJI-B leader Mufti Moinuddin alias Abu Zandal, now on a seven-day remand, during his interrogation has admitted his role in carrying out the August 21 grenade attack on an AL rally in 2004 with an intention of killing its chief Sheikh Hasina. Zandal, a close aide of detained HuJI-B operations commander Mufti Abdul Hannan, is being interrogated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Taskforce for Interrogation (TFI) cell in Dhaka. According to the report, the CID proposes to bring two more HuJI-B cadres, Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Bulbul and Tamim, who were arrested earlier in connection with the August 21 attack, face to face with Zandal to verify information so far gained from him.

February 19: A Dhaka court remanded HuJI-B leader Mufti Mainuddin alias Abu Jandal alias Masum Billah in custody for seven days. The investigating officer told the court that Jandal had supplied the grenades that were used in the attack.

February 14: The RAB personnel arrested Mufti Moinuddin, alias Abu Zandal, a key accomplice of the HuJI-B operations commander Mufti Abdul Hannan near a mosque in national capital Dhaka, on charges of carrying out a grenade attack at a rally of former Prime Minister and AL leader Sheikh Hasina Wajed. Based on his confession, RAB forces seized 41 live grenades from a remote village in southwestern district of Satkhira. RAB sources said same type of grenades were also used during the attack on Sheikh Hasina's rally.

January 18: Abdus Salam Pintu, former Deputy Minister in the Khaleda Zia Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Cabinet in Bangladesh admitted before a Dhaka court that the then Home Minister, Lutfozzaman Babar, and Ms. Zia’s son, Tariq Rahman, had given the nod for the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on the Awami League (AL) rally in capital Dhaka that led to the death of 23 AL activists. Pintu, who is currently under detention, said the plan was to kill AL leader Sheikh Hasina and senior leaders of the party. Pintu is the brother of Maulana Tajul Islam, a militant leader, who reportedly supplied the grenade to HuJI-B leader Mufti Hannan to conduct the "operation." Both Babar and Rahman are now facing charges of corruption and misuse of power and are under detention.

2007

December 14: RAB personnel arrested a HuJI-B militant, Manirul Islam Madina, from Porabari Narayanpur village in the Benapole district. Manirul is a close associate of Mufti Hannan, the outfit's operations commander. A revolver, one bullet, two Indian mobile phone sets and two air tickets were recovered from his possession.

December 2: Police submitted a charge sheet before the Jhenidah Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court against six HuJI-B militants, in connection with the serial bomb blasts in Jhenidah on August 17, 2005. They were identified as Abul Kalam Azad alias Bulbul, Mohammad Ali, Jhenidah Sadar, Omar Faruk alias Laden, Jahangir Alam and Abul Kashem. They were arrested by the RAB personnel from different places in the Jhenidah district on October 28, and following their confessions huge explosives, including 16 grenades, were recovered from their houses on the next day.

November 29: HuJI-B operations commander Mufti Abdul Hannan told the interrogators that the operatives of his outfit had attacked late poet Shamsur Rahman with intent to kill him on his orders on January 18, 1999. The attack was led by HuJI-B cadre Hasan who was a student of Dhaka College at the poet's residence in the Shyamali locality in the national capital. The attackers had entered his residence and had tried to cut his head off with an axe, leaving him seriously wounded.

HuJI-B Dhaka city unit leader Maulana Abu Taher, on remand in a case filed for Ramna Batamul blasts in 2001, admitted to supplying the bombs used in the attack that left 10 people dead and many injured. He told the interrogators that two Dhaka College students--Hasan and Omar Faruq--carried the bombs to Ramna Batamul area and kept those hidden somewhere close to the venue before the security checks were carried out. Later, other HuJI-B activists planted those near the stage erected for cultural shows.

November 27: Police arrested two HuJI-B cadres from a student mess in Zakir Hossain Road in the Mohammadpur locality of Dhaka for their suspected links to the August 21, 2004 grenade attacks on an Awami League rally in the national capital and Ramna Batamul blasts in 2001. The arrested cadres were identified as Maulana Mohammad Monir Hossain and Maulana Mohammad Idris. Both were subsequently produced in a court which remanded them to police custody for five days.

Bangladesh sought Interpol's help to bring back two HuJI-B operatives, twins identified as Morsalin and Muttakin, claimed to be now in India. Unidentified Bangladeshi officials said that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sought the Interpol assistance saying Morsalin and Muttakin directly took part in the August 21, 2004 grenade attacks on the Awami League rally, the Ramna Batamul attack of 2001 and the blasts on the Communist Party of Bangladesh rally in 2005. CID sources said the outfit's 'operations commander' Mufti Abdul Hannan and his five detained accomplices gave the names of the twins during interrogation. CID sources said that both were arrested with a huge quantity of explosives from New Delhi railway station on February 26, 2006 and are currently lodged in a Delhi jail.

November 25: The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court in Dhaka placed two HuJI-B militants on a seven-day remand for their involvement in the bomb attacks on a Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) rally at national capital Dhaka's Paltan Maidan on January 21, 2001. The duo was identified as Mohibullah alias Mofizur Rahman and Sharif Shahidul Alam alias Bipul. Mohibullah is brother of the outfit's 'operations commander' Mufti Abdul Hannan, who is currently in jail.

November 18: Daily Star quoting a HuJI-B 'deserter' reported that at least 65 cadres of the outfit were trained by its 'chief trainer' Abul Kalam Azad alias Bulbul at camps in the Jhenidah district from 1999 to August 2005. Precincts of various madrassas were used for imparting the training. Rapid Action Battalion personnel on October 28 had arrested Bulbul following information extracted from the detained HuJI-B 'operations commander' Mufti Abdul Hannan.

November 17: Two more HuJI-B cadres confessed to having taken part in the grenade attacks on the August 21, 2004 Awami League rally in Dhaka that killed 24 people. Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Shahin Uddin recorded the confessional statements of Abul Kalam Azad and Jahangir Alam Bulbul after Investigating Officer Fazlul Kabir produced them before the court following a 10-day remand.

Another HuJI-B cadre, Abu Taher, was placed on a two-day fresh remand for interrogation in the same case.

November 14: The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court in Dhaka placed a HuJI-B cadre on a three-day remand in a case filed in connection with grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital Dhaka on August 21, 2004. The investigation officer in the case has requested for a seven day remand to interrogate Hafez Moulana Abu Taher, who he said was directly involved in the grenade attacks. Taher reportedly had supplied the grenades used in the attack.

November 12: Police arrested a JMB leader, Maulana Shahidul Islam, at Pathan Para in Gazipur. The arrested militant, who worked as an imam at the Al Madina Masjid is reportedly the 'divisional commander' of the group in Faridpur. He is also an accused in the August 17, 2005 country-wide bombings.

The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court in Dhaka placed HuJI-B cadre Maulana Abdul Latif on a two-day fresh remand in connection with the Ramna Batamul blast case of 2001. Latif is a close aide of the outfit's operations commander Mufti Abdul Hannan, who is currently in jail. The investigating officer of the case submitted that Latif is directly involved with the bomb blast and he needs to be interrogated to secure more information about the blast.

November 5: The Criminal Investigation Department submitted to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Golam Rabbani that the two arrested HuJI-B militants Abul Kalam Azad of Jhenidah and Jahangir Alam of Kushtia have been arrested in connection with the August 21, 2004 grenade attacks on an Awami League rally in Dhaka.

November 1: HuJI-B operations commander Mufti Mohammad Hannan and two other cadres of the outfit confessed to carrying out the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on the Awami League rally at Dhaka with the intent of killing the AL President Sheikh Hasina. The other two cadres were identified as Hannan’s brother Mohibullah alias Mafizur Rahman and Moulana Sharif Shahidul Alam alias Bipul. All three made the confessional statements under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sultan Mahmud recorded the statements in his chamber. In the statement, the militants said that they had smuggled the grenades from Afghanistan, the country where Hannan joined the Mujahideens to fight the then Soviet forces in the 80s.

October 29: Nine suspected HuJI-B militants were arrested from Narsingdi, Jhenidah, Magura, Khulna and Dhaka on October 28 and 29 along with the huge cache of arms and explosives. The cache included 60 kilograms of explosives, 16 grenades, rifles, handguns, various equipment and ammunition. RAB sources said that two of the nine arrested had taken part in the August 21, 2004 grenade blasts at an Awami League rally in capital Dhaka, while the rest were involved indirectly in the incident. The arrested were identified as Hossain Ahmed alias Tamim, Abul Kalam Azad alias Bulbul, Jahangir Alam, Abdul Kuddus, Omar Faruq, Amirul Islam, Ali Ahmed, Mokaddes Billah and Mohammad Baki Billah.

October 23: A Dhaka court placed the HuJI-B ‘operations commander’ Mufti Abdul Hannan on a 10-day remand in a case filed in connection with the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in capital Dhaka. With this, Hannan has been on 135 days of remand so far in several cases, including the August 17, 2005 countrywide bomb blasts, the 2001 Ramna Batamul blast and the 2004 grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in Sylhet.

September 2: Indian media reports that Bangladesh police arrested Mohammad Sharifuddin alias Abu Hamza, an operative of the HuJI-BD, at an unspecified place on the India-Bangladesh border following information from police in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh in south India. According to Hyderabad Police sources, Hamza, once a resident of the Santoshnagar area in the city, was involved in the blasts at the State Task Force office in October 2005 and at the Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007. Police also believe that Hamza was responsible for smuggling RDX into the country on the orders of HuJI ‘commander’ Shahid Bilal. Bangladesh authorities subsequently deny any such arrest.

July 31: The Additional District and Sessions Judge in Sylhet framed charges against Mufti Abdul Hannan, chief of the outlawed HuJI-B, and three others, including Hannan's brother Mofizur Rahman and the outfit’s operatives Delwar Hossain Ripon and Sharif Shahedul Alam alias Bipul, for the grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in Sylhet in 2004.

2006

December 23: The Awami League (AL) party enters into a deal with the Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, which is linked to the HUJI. Both the sides agree, among other points, to recognise fatwa (religious edict) by certified Hakkani alems (educated clerics) and implement government recognition to the degree conferred by traditional Madrassa if the AL-led alliance came to power.

November 18: HuJI-B leader Mufti Abdul Hannan confessed to plotting and leading several grenade attacks, including those on the Udichi programme in Jessore, Ramna Batamul, and the British High Commissioner in Sylhet.

November 12: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dhaka placed Mufti Abdul Hannan, 'operations commander' of the HuJI-B, his brother Mahibullah alias Mafizur Rahman and their close associate Badrul Alam Mizan on a five-day fresh remand for each in connection with the killings of two civilians, Shahidul Islam and Sayem, near a Bashundhara project under Badda police station on September 19, 2003.

November 10: A detained HuJI-B operative confessed to have carried out the grenade attack on the Awami League rally at Derai in Sunamganj in June 2004.

November 2: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dhaka placed Mufti Abdul Hannan, 'operations commander' of the HuJI-B, his brother Mahibullah alias Mafizur Rahman and close associate Badrul Alam Mizan on an eight-day remand in connection with the case filed with Badda Police Station related to the killings of Shahidul Islam and Sayem near the Bashundhara project on September 19, 2003.

October 27: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Dhaka remands ‘operations commander’ of the HuJI-B, Mufti Abdul Hannan, and his brother as well as a cadre of the outfit, Mahibullah alias Mafizur Rahman, for five days in connection with the killing of Arif alias Dil on November 5, 2001.

October 16: Two HuJI-B cadres, who were placed on remand on October 15 in connection with the grenade attack on the British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in 2004 in Sylhet, confess to their involvement in the incident. They also confess that they were involved in the bomb attacks on Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran and former Awami League lawmaker Syeda Zebunnesa Haque.

October 15: Sylhet Sadar Cognizance Magistrate places two HuJI-B cadres, Sharif Shahedul and Delwar Hossain Ripon of Moulvibazar district, on a five-day remand in connection with the grenade attack on the British High Commissioner in 2004.

October 10: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Dhaka places Mufti Abdul Hannan, HuJI-B’s ‘operations commander’ and his brother Mohibullah alias Mofizur Rahman on a 10-day remand in the murder case filed with Mohammadpur Police Station in connection with the killing of Mohammad Bazlur Rahman on July 17, 2004.

October 4: Four arrested HuJI-Bcadres are remanded in the Detective Branch custody for 10 days by the first-class magistrate court in Sylhet for interrogation in connection with the grenade attack on the Sylhet Mayor on December 3, 2005.

September 19: Abu Taher alias Abu Sayeed alias Abu Jafar, a top HuJI-B leader, admits to having links with a number of militant organisations across the world, including the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Harkat-ul-Ansar.

September 17: Mohibullah alias Mofizur Rahman, brother of HuJI-B ‘operations commander’ Mufti Abdul Hannan, is shown as arrested in the Ramna Batamul explosions of April 16, 2001 case and placed on remand for five days.

September 10: Mufti Abdul Hannan, ‘operations commander’ of the HuJI-B, who is charged with involvement in the Ramna Batamul explosions, is placed on an eight-day remand by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court Dhaka.

August 21: The HuJI-B is reported to have held a meeting in the capital Dhaka on August 18 under the banner of Sachetan Islami Janata at the north gate of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. The Government, however, claimed ignorance about the meeting. State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar said on August 20 that he learnt about the meeting from newspaper reports on August 19.

April 28: A HUJI leader, identified as Abul Hossain alias Khokon, is charge sheeted before the Gopalgonj Judge Court for his involvement in a case of an attempt on the life of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed.

January 23: Chief of the banned HuJI-B, Mufti Hannan, is sent to the Dhaka Central Jail after completion of a 106-day remand.

2005

October 17: The Government proscribes the HuJI terming it as a ‘self-confessed terrorist group’.

October 9: HuJI threatens to blow up key installations in the Khulna city if its leader Mufti Abdul Hannan was not released unconditionally. A caller identifying himself as a HuJI regional leader warned that the attacks will be more devastating than the August 17 bombings.

October 1: HuJI ‘operations commander’ Mufti Abdul Hannan is arrested from the Madhya Badda locality of capital Dhaka.

2004

June 17: Maulana Mohammed Habibur Rahman, Principal of Jamea Madania Islamia Madrassa (seminary), at Kazirpar in the Sylhet district admits visiting the Harkatul Jihad offices in Karachi and Peshawar in 1998 along with eight other Muslim leaders.

June 1: Police neutralises a HuJI training camp located in the interior hilly area of Pori-Kup Mulatoli in Chittagong district and seizes 24 inactive AK-47 rifles, sharp weapons and instruments and uniforms.

2002

October 7: Indian police arrest Myanmarese-born HuJI weapons courier Fazle Karim alias Abu Fuzi, in Kolkata on arrival from Kashmir. He was reportedly trained at Al Qaeda camps in eastern Afghanistan.

May 9: Sixty-three representatives of nine Islamic groups-including Rohingya forces, the Islamic Oikya Jote and the ULFA-meet in Ukhia and form Bangladesh Islamic Manch, a united council under the HUJI's leadership.

January 22: A group allied to the HUJI, Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF) claims responsibility for the terrorist attack on the American Centre in Kolkata.

2001

June 14: Maoulana Mohammad Akbar Hossain, the prime suspect in the April 14-bomb blast at a New Year concert in Dhaka, in which eight persons were killed, is produced before a Court in Dhaka.

June 8: The accused in the June 3-Baniachang Church bomb blast, suspected top-ranking leader of the HuJI and a vice-principal of a seminary, the Siddirganj Madaninagar Qumi Madrassah, is arrested along with three more accomplices in the Kakrail area, Dhaka.

June 3: The HuJI is suspected behind the explosion that rocked a Roman Catholic Church at Baniachang, in Gopalganj, while the morning Mass was in progress, killing 10 worshippers and injuring more than 24 others.

April 14: Suspected HuJI cadres set-off a blast at a New Year’s day celebration in Dhaka killing at least eight people.

January 26: Charge-sheet is filed against Mufti Hannan and 16 others for plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

2000

July 23: Sixty kg of explosives, two big live bombs, 21 kg of liquid chemical, three kg of gun powder and some other explosive materials are recovered from the soap factory of Mufti Hannan and the residence of Hasmot Ali Kazi.

Explosives are recovered from the helipad in Kotalipara, which Prime Minister Hasina normally uses.

July 21: Police recover a metal box containing explosives from a playground near the venue of a public rally at Kotalipara, in Gopaganj district, near her hometown Tungipara. It is later detected that the HuJI had planted the explosives.

July 16: Suspected HuJI cadres kill journalist Shamsur Rahman in Jessore.

 

 

 

 

 
Copyright 2001 SATP. All rights reserved.




SAIR