The arrest of Myanmar national Khalid Mohammad in connection with the Burdwan blast has raised major security concerns about possible terror attacks in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, security officials told HT on Tuesday.
Officials said Khalid’s arrest links the Rohingya Muslim militancy in Myanmar with Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). “It is a cause for concern as Khalid is suspected of having made attempts to recruit youth from the large concentration of Rohingya refugees staying in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh,” a senior security official said.
HT accessed intelligence reports that say LeT and JMB created a new outfit — Jamaat-ul-Arakan (JuA) — believed to be operating out of Bangladesh and running training camps in the Bandarban district of Bangladesh.
“While JuA is active now, this is an extension of LeT’s efforts that began in 2012,” a senior intelligence official told HT. “From what Bangladeshi security agencies have shared, we know that LeT created a platform known as Difa-e-Musalman Arakan (Defence of Muslims in Myanmar) which was used to recruit and train Rohingyas in Myanmar and Bangladesh.”
Bangladeshi security agencies also shared details of the growing alliance between the LeT, al-Qaeda and JMB with their Indian counterparts.
Arrests made by Bangladeshi agencies revealed how a Pakistan-based al-Qaeda member, identified as Nur Bashar, travelled to Bangladesh to train Rohingya Muslim youth in the use of explosives and firearms.
The arrest of another operative from Bangladesh’s Cox Bazaar revealed Rohingya militants transferred funds to Bangladesh from Karachi for these activities.
“Khalid’s arrest shows the growing linkages between Pakistani and Bangladeshi terror outfits training Rohingyas for attacks against India, Bangladesh and Myanmar,” a Union home ministry official said. According to the ministry, growing Rohingya Muslim population in places like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh has increased India’s internal security concerns.
Rohingya Muslims migrated in huge numbers to India and Bangladesh after their persecution by Buddhists in Myanmar.
A series of blasts rocked the Buddhist shrine at Both Gaya, Bihar in July last year, believed to be a reprisal attack against the Rohingyas’ persecution.