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Terror transit point

world Updated: Sep 03, 2009 01:08 IST

Islamist militants fighting in Jammu and Kashmir have regularly used Bangladesh as a transit point to travel to Pakistan, an Indian militant nabbed by the police has said.

Safe havens have been built in Bangladesh to shelter and train militants for terrorist operations in the South Asian region, detained J&K terrorist Mufti Obaidullah, a top leader of the India-based Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF) has revealed.

His interrogation statement has been obtained by The Daily Star newspaper that published details on Wednesday.

ARCF works as an associate of the Pakistan-based international terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT).

Maulana Obaidullah, working undercover as a madrassa teacher for the last 14 years, was nabbed along with another alleged Indian operative, Maulana Mansoor Ali, two months ago.

Obaidullah said that Pakistani militants crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir to enter India to run terror operations. They then crossed the Indian border into Bangladesh to fly back to Pakistan.

“As it was tough to cross back to Pakistan through the India-Pakistan border, the Mujahideen would cross to Bangladesh and then leave for their destinations using fake passports and visas,” Obaidullah’s statement said.

His student Selim and a close associate Jalal helped him.

The detained J&K militant also said that he built a safe-home in Habiganj in 2002 to shelter fugitive terrorists, and recruit and train Bangladeshis to take part in terror attacks.

Obaidullah built the safe-shelter under the cover of a kindergarten named ‘Noor Shah Islami Kindergarten’ in Habiganj’s Shayestaganj upazila (sub-district).

Bangladesh intelligence sources, however, say that Obaidullah has not revealed all the details about his operations in Bangladesh since his arrival in 1995.

In his statement, Obaidullah said several other militants in Bangladesh visited his safe-home, including Moulana Mohiuddin, who he claims to have known from the Deoband madrassa, and Harkat-ul Jihad’s Bangladesh leader Mufti Abdur Rouf.

Deoband in India’s Uttar Pradesh state is where Darul Uloom, a world renowned centre for Islamic theology has been functioning. It denies having imparted any training in militancy to the thousands of students from across the world who study there.

Bangladesh authorities have in the recent weeks nabbed several militants who have yielded valuable information about the nexus among the militant groups in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and the role of international mafia don, Dawood Ibrahim.