As Bangladesh prepares to hang six militants convicted in a string of bombings, a newly “interrogated” member of the network claims some 5,000 followers of outlawed Islamist groups are still active in the country, and receiving aid from supporters abroad, including Saudi Arabia and the United States. Mostafizur Rahman Shahin, detained in the northern district of Pabna March 14, confessed to being a senior member of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, led by Shayek Abdur Rahman.
Both Shayek and Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, purported leader of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, are slated to be executed within weeks. They were sentenced to death last year for masterminding bomb attacks in late 2005, which killed at least 30 people, including judges, lawyers and police.
The military-backed interim government, headed by former central bank chief Fakhruddin Ahmed, is planning to enact a law to ban any group linked to Islamist militants. (Reuters, Iran, March 21)
See our last post on Bangladesh.