Washington: US today praised the ruling Awami
League government in Bangladesh for successfully cracking down
on terrorist safe havens in the country and appreciated its
co-operation in counter-terrorism efforts with India.
The Awami League, which won a landslide electoral victory
in 2008, acted on its pledge to focus serious attention on
Bangladesh`s counter-terrorism needs, US State Department said
in its latest annual report on counter-terrorism.
"This resulted in the arrest of several high-profile
terrorism-related figures in Bangladesh, including some from
Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT)," the report said.
The crackdown on domestic and transnational terrorist
groups, the report said has resulted in Bangladesh and India
improving their counter-terrorism cooperation during the year.
This led to the arrest of several senior members of the
United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), an anti-India
The Bangladeshi government has also championed the
creation of a South Asia counter-terrorism task force that
countries could use to work together regionally to stamp out
the rise of violent extremism, it said.
In November, Bangladesh arrested several extremists
alleged to have ties to Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT), the
organization believed responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai
attack, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami Bangladesh (HUJI-B), and
other extremist groups.
"The arrests were evidence of the government`s efforts to
deny transnational terrorists safe haven and targeting
opportunities in Bangladesh," the State Department said.
Referring to the Money Laundering Prevention Act (MLPA)
and the Antiterrorism Act (ATA) adopted by the government, the
State Department report said these laws formalised ordinances
passed in 2008 under the caretaker government.
"The MLPA addressed many flaws in the 2002 money
laundering law and anti-terrorist financing into the
Bangladeshi legal system for the first time. The laws
facilitated international cooperation and established a
financial intelligence unit (FIU) at the Bangladesh Bank," it