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B'desh intelligence warns of terror attacks

Intelligence agencies have warned of terror attacks ahead of the execution of top Islamists of the JMB.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Dhaka
UPDATED ON MAR 17, 2007 03:56 PM IST

Bangladesh's intelligence agencies have warned of terror attacks ahead of the execution of some top Islamist leaders of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

The military-led joint forces were working out comprehensive strategies to put an end to all overt and covert activities of the militants in the country as the agencies feared a strike by the Islamic outfits as execution of some top leaders of the banned JMB neared, intelligence sources were reported as saying in the media on Saturday.

Intelligence officials say JMB might use its women terror units to carry out destructive activities. Law enforcers have launched fresh drives across the country netting about three dozens suspected operatives of the JMB.

"Rooting out extremist forces is being considered with utmost importance as the militants did not only kill scores of innocent people but damaged the country's image to a great extent through deadly attacks," an official of the joint forces told the New Age."

Anyone having direct or indirect links with such evil designs will be hunted down so that they could not unleash further terror attacks," he said.

Britain, the US and UN have also warned their staffs to be alert against possible attacks by the militant groups ahead of the execution.

The British High Commission in Dhaka, in its travel advisory updated on March 13, warned its citizens of "high threat of terrorism in Bangladesh" with the expected execution of six members of the JMB.

"Western interests or westerners could become the targets for retaliatory attacks or kidnapping," the mission said.

Sources in the intelligence agencies said Islamist outfits were trying to regroup while getting liberal funds from various sources. JMB, Harkatul Jihad al-Islami and Jagrata Muslim Janata were behind most of the grenade and bomb attacks in the country since 1999, killing at least 150 people.

JMB carried out synchronised bombings on August 17, 2005 and subsequent suicide attacks that left at least 30 people dead, including two judges, lawyers and policemen.

JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, brother Ataur Rahman Sunny, son-in-law Abdul Awal and Majlish-e-Shura members Khaled Saifullah, Salauddin and Hafez Maumud are now in jail.

Shaikh, Siddiqul, Sunny, Awal, Saifullah and suicide bomber Iftekhar Al Mamun are on death row for murdering two judges in the southern district town of Jhalakati. Another condemned convict, Asadul Islam alias Arif is on the run. They are likely to be executed by April.

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