Top Pakistani LeT militant nabbed in B`desh: Official
Last Updated: Thursday, April 08, 2010, 18:23
Dhaka: Bangladesh's elite security force on Thursday arrested a Pakistani national suspected to be a top leader of the Pakistan-based LeT who was operating here in the guise of a businessman, an official said.

"His name is Mobasser Shahid Mubin alias Yahia. We arrested him from the city?s Chankharpool area this morning after being under our intelligence vigil for the past several weeks," said Commander Mohammad Sohail, the spokesman of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

Sohail told agency that Yahia was the second suspected Pakistani militant to be arrested by RAB in weeks after the detention of an operative of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

26-year old Yahia told the RAB officials that he was involved with Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) since 1989. The outfit had sent him to Bangladesh in 1998 with a mission to "motivate and recruit Bangladeshi youths for LeT". He was operating in the country as an executive.

"Yahia told us that LeT trained him in three phases. He is an expert gunrunner along with his other skills as an organiser,? Sohail said.

The militant, who had been earlier arrested four years ago in a case related to counterfeit currency, had managed to came out on bail.

Last week a media report said some 15 foreign rightwing militant groups were active in Bangladesh. They used the territory mainly for transit to neighbouring India.

It listed the organisations as Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (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).

The report said the militant organisations operated almost undisturbed from 1991 to 1998 and then between 2001 and 2005, coinciding with periods when Bangladesh's largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami played a key role in the government-led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

The RAB had confirmed the presence of the militant outfits, saying they were largely patronised by Pakistani intelligence agencies and supported by the Bangladesh-based Harkatul Jihad (HuJI).

Amid earlier warning that Islamist militants may be trying to regroup, the police and paramilitary forces conducted massive anti-militancy operations across Bangladesh.

"Now Bangladesh is no more a comfortable place for local or foreign militants as we constantly remain vigilant and go after militants upon instructions of the government," RAB chief Hassan Mahmud Khondkar said last week.

Sheikh Hasina, who assumed office as Prime Minister last January after a landslide election win on December 29, 2008, has looked beyond her borders to tackle the terror menace by floating the idea of a regional mechanism involving all states in South Asia.

The officials said many of the militant groups were generating funds by pushing counterfeit currencies in India. They pushed counterfeit Indian rupees and US dollars, which were forged in Pakistan, to Bangladesh via Dubai.

"We've detected at least three such gangs having around 50 members. One of the gangs is led by Bangladeshi citizen Majumder, one by Pakistani citizen Sarfaraz and the other by another Pakistani named Mohammad Danish," said a top police official on condition of anonynmity.

Security forces in the past two months have arrested six suspected Pakistani militant operatives mostly belonging to LeT.


First Published: Thursday, April 08, 2010, 18:23

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