Pakistani coordinator of LeT held in B`desh

A Pakistani national suspected to be the chief coordinator of the Pakistan-based banned militant outfit LeT in Bangladesh was arrested.

Last Updated: Oct 04, 2010, 23:40 PM IST

Dhaka: A Pakistani national suspected to
be the chief coordinator of the Pakistan-based banned militant
outfit LeT in Bangladesh was arrested along with two of his
associates in the capital, police said on Monday.

"The detective branch of police arrested Pakistani
national Khurram alias Mohammad Selim (42) along with two of
his associates, who too are Pakistani nationals from a hotel
at Bangabandhu Avenue,? a police spokesman told a news
briefing where the three also appeared briefly for a photo
session.

India has blamed the LeT for 2008 Mumbai attacks that
killed nearly 180 people.

The spokesman, however, did not say exactly when the
suspected Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives were arrested. He
said the three Pakistani nationals are being quizzed after
being remanded for two days by a court.

The Lashkar activists were providing money to
Bangladeshi militant groups and recruiting operatives to be
trained in `Pakistan. Khurram was tasked to coordinate with
banned outfits, including Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)
and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji), the spokesman said.

Another official, however, said on condition of
anonymity that the three were arrested two days ago while the
announcement came today as massive raids were underway to find
more Lashkar cadres.

Policeman Hassan Mahmud Khondkar told PTI that the
militant groups were under pressure due to the "coordinated
anti-militant campaign" by the Awami League-led government.

"I tell you this much now that like the domestic
militant groups, the foreign terrorist groups like LeT too
are now in a dilapidated state in view of our coordinated
anti-militant campaign... in fact LeT now virtually has no
activities in the country," policeman Hassan Mahmud Khondkar
told PTI.

Amid earlier warnings that Islamaist militants may be
trying to regroup, the police and paramilitary forces have
conducted massive anti-militancy operations across the
country.

The latest announcement comes five days after elite
anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested a suspected
LeT operative from suburban Narayanganj.

RAB troops earlier in April arrested a Pakistani
national, Mobasser Shahid Mubin alias Yahia, suspecting him to
be the top LeT organiser who was operating in the guise of a
businessman.

Officials at the time said some 15 foreign extreme
rightwing militant groups were still active in Bangladesh and
used the territory mainly for transit to neighbouring India.

Bangladehi officials listed organisations included
Pakistan-based LeT, Tehrik-e-Jehad-e-Islami-Kashmiri (TJI),
Harkat-ul Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Jehadul Islami, Hizb-ul
Mujahideen (HuM), Hezbe Islami, Jamiatul Mujahideen, Harkatul
Ansar, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF),
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), India-based Asif Reza Commando Force
(ARCF), Myanmar-based militant groups Rohingya Solidarity
Organisation (RSO), Arakan Rohingya National Organization
(ARNO) and National United Party of Arakan (NUPA).

According to security officials, the militant
organizations operated almost undisturbed from 1991 to 1998
and then between 2001 and 2005, the periods when ex-prime
minister Khaleda Zia?s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was
in power with key support of radical Jamaat-e-Islami.

Security forces here said the detained foreign
militants admitted that they were patronised by Pakistani spy
agency ISI.

The officials said currently some militant groups
were generating funds for their operations by pushing
counterfeit Indian currencies into India. The counterfeit
Indian currencies and US dollars were mainly being forged in
Pakistan and carried to Bangladesh via Dubai.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who survived a grenade
attack on August 21, 2004 when HuJI activists hurled 13
grenades at her rally, has underlined her government`s
determination to root out terrorism from the country.

PTI