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
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