Arrested Jamaat man confirms link with northeast rebel groups
A top cadre of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) arrested near Kolkata has revealed he was trained in guerrilla warfare at a camp run by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) in Myanmar.india Updated: Jun 20, 2015 11:16 IST
A top cadre of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) arrested near Kolkata has revealed he was trained in guerrilla warfare at a camp run by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) in Myanmar.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Nurul Hoque alias Naeem, the JMB’s chief trainer, at Howrah railway station adjoining Kolkata last Thursday.
Hoque told interrogators he received advanced training in guerrilla warfare in a NSCN-K base in Myanmar shared with the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent, the rebel group led by Paresh Barua.
The Ulfa facilitated his training and some more JMB members are currently being trained in the NSCN-K base in Myanmar, Hoque said.
NIA officials believe the Ulfa helped Bangladeshi radicals connect with NSCN-K. This, they said, pointed to a plan hatched well before the Naga group walked out of a 14-year-old truce in March, to destabilise the northeast and Bangladesh, currently ruled by pro-India Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“The Ulfa’s link with Islamic radical groups is well known. There were reports of at least 200 Ulfa activists having received training in Pakistan and Afghanistan by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and Afghan mujahideen. And at home, radical groups such as the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam were the chief suppliers of arms for the Ulfa through Bangladesh,” said Assam Police chief Khagen Sarma.
Hindustan Times had reported that Ulfa-I’s elusive chief Paresh Barua used two Bangladeshi mercenaries – both former members of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) – as bodyguards.
Barua, intelligence officials said, was a regular visitor to the Pakistani port city of Karachi in the 1990s. He reportedly met slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 1996 during one of his visits there.
The training of his cadres in Rawalpindi and other parts of Pakistan included counter-intelligence, disinformation and the use of rocket launchers, explosives and assault weapons.
Like the JMB, the HuJI – the group linked to the 2010 German Bakery bombing in Pune – too had the common subversive agenda of befriending rebels from India’s northeast.
The ISI – through its Bangladeshi contacts – had reportedly sponsored several madrassas in Sylhet and Cox’s Bazaar areas of Bangladesh to store and transfer arms procured by the Ulfa from Thailand and Myanmar.
First Published: Jun 20, 2015 10:14 IST