A key Indian accused in the October 2014 Burdwan blasts investigations involving proscribed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) has told his interrogators that the terror group had plans to target West Bengal and Assam after overthrowing the Sheikh Hasina regime in Dhaka. Lal Mohammed alias Ibrahim, JMB recruiter and idelogue, was arrested by Jharkhand police with support of Indian security agencies in Pakur district on April 18. The information has been shared by Indian agencies with their Bangladeshi counterparts.
During interrogation, Ibrahim, 30-year-old resident of Murshidabad, said that he had recruited more than 150 persons including women for jihad in India since 2010-2011. He claims to have indoctrinated these persons in Simulia mosque in Burdwan and Lal Golla mosque in Murshidabad by undertaking religious courses, affiliated to Ahle-Hadis ideology, ranging from two to five days. “A number of persons selected during these indoctrination courses were trained in assembly of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by JMB experts like Sadiq alias Suman and Hathkata Suhail. Both are currently absconding,” said a senior official.
The interrogation of Ibrahim, key aide of now arrested JMB head in India Sajid Sheikh, is important as for the first time it is evident that the Burdwan bomb making factory was not only to wage jihad against the Hasina government but to also prepare for spreading the JMB fundamentalist ideology in the strategic states of West Bengal and Assam. “Even though Ibrahim says that there activities in Assam were to counter Bodo aggression, it is now amply clear that JMB had plans to spread to states neighbouring Bangladesh,” said a home ministry official.
According to security agencies, Ibrahim had been associated with JMB since 2008 and was in-charge of training centres affiliated with the radical group, which was founded by Abdur Rehman in 1998 in Dhaka division. The JMB is all for setting up of Islamic state in Bangladesh based on Sharia.
While the agencies have found no evidence to link JMB modules in West Bengal to any Indian or Bangladesh political party till now, the fact is that all top leaders of this group have come out of Islamic Chhatra Shivir (ICS), student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh. “It could be a tactical decision to compartmentalise activities of the two radical groups, but both India and Bangladesh agencies are trying to investigate whether there is any other pan-Islamic group involved in this plan,” said the official.