Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
hearing about car bombings by Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan quite
regularly. What we do not know is, these are just “practice runs” of bigger
attacks in the United States, Europe and some of the Asian nations, including
India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
(known as Daesh in Arabic) lost its caliphate in Iraq and Syria, everyone
believed, it was an end to the so-called caliphate it declared in 2014. But,
according to counterterrorism experts, ISIS were not eliminated in Afghanistan
rather it was quiet for some time to increase its strength and supply. It is
also learned by the experts, ISIS is armed with snipers, night vision equipment
and sophisticated weapons, including those killer drones.
northeastern Afghanistan, ISIS has been secretly growing in size very
dramatically and just within the span of a few months, the number of its
fighters has increased from few dozens to few thousands. Once again,
Afghanistan is becoming into the base for international terrorism.
2019, Alexander Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) told
a conference in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan that 5,000 militants
affiliated to Islamic State are active in northern Afghanistan, at least double
the US estimate for the group’s fighters in the whole country.
to US military estimation, there are 600-1,000 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.
2019, a senior US intelligence official told the media that ISIS-K [Islamic
State Khosaran] had mounted six big attacks in Kabul, the capital city of
Afghanistan in 2016. That number grew to 18 in 2017 and 24 in 2018. The group
had targeted its recruitment efforts at university students in Kabul who could
get visas and travel to the Western countries. Meaning, ISIS is now taking full
preparation in Afghanistan of exporting terrorism.
remember, in spite of heavy casualties suffered in Iraq and Syria, Islamic
State has retained a sufficient potential for launching attacks worldwide,
especially with the support of its foreign counterparts.
Kabulov, special envoy of President Vladimir Putin to Afghanistan said, ISIS
came to Afghanistan not for fighting against the Americans but to establish a
jihadist Launchpad with the target of further expanding within Central Asia.
“sleeps through” this threat, then it and its allies in the region could face a
“large force” of militants on their doorstep. He pointed out that the Amu Darya
and Panj rivers separate Afghanistan from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. From
there, Isis could try to move into Russia or establish stronger links with
jihadists in the country’s North Caucasus region.
British newspaper The Times reported that Russia was funding Taliban military
operations against NATO in Afghanistan through laundered fuel sales. The same
year, CNN said that the Taliban were using weaponry that appeared to have been
supplied by the Russian government.
The K in
ISIS-K stands for Khorasan, the Islamic State’s affiliate in Pakistan and
Afghanistan, where U.S.-led forces have fought Taliban and al Qaeda militants
since 2001. About 14,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, half of them
assigned to counter-terrorism missions, including combating ISIS-K militants.
The K in ISIS-K stands for Khorasan, the Islamic State’s affiliate in Pakistan
and Afghanistan, where U.S.-led forces have fought Taliban and al Qaeda
militants since 2001. About 14,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, half of
them assigned to counter-terrorism missions, including combating ISIS-K
spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has deeper connections with
Talibans as well as the members of ISIS-K.
of Female Jihadists
to intelligence sources, ISIS-K has taken a very dangerous project of
recruiting female jihadists from former Soviet republics, especially Uzbekistan
as well as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Belarus, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia,
Ukraine and Georgia with the agenda of sending them to the Western and
‘non-Muslim’ nations in the world for launching suicide attacks as well as ‘sex
groups are eyeing on spreading HIV viruses within the Western and ‘non-Muslim’
nations at a much higher number by sending girls and women who already are HIV
positive. These girls and women would visit those nations under the disguise of
sex workers, members of escort service or business executives. Their prime
target would be infecting as many as people with HIV virus through physical
to information, hundreds of Uzbek girls and women have already spread
throughout Thailand, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Taiwan,
Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China and the Western nations including the United
States and Britain. Most of these girls and women already are part of ‘sex
jihad’ promoted by ISIS as well as Al Qaeda. Well-organized crime racket is
trafficking these girls and women by dodging the immigration authorities in the
Jihadist Nexus in South Asia
few years, a notorious jihadist outfit named Hizbut Towhid (HT) has re-emerged
in Bangladesh after remaining silent for some time. This group has started
holding meetings in various cities and towns in Bangladesh. According to a
video clip dated June 13, 2019, a leader of this notorious group is seen
encouraging its members of continuing jihad and ‘qital’ [slaughter] of Jews and
Christians. This group also has been running a channel on YouTube.
channel named ‘Hezbut Tawheed’ has 17, 681 subscribers and thousands of people
are watching these extremely disturbing videos. Website of this group is
hezbuttawheed.org. Facebook page of this group are facebook.com/htiwot,
facebook.com/system paltai etc. This group also runs a vernacular newspaper
named Dainik Bojrshokti, while it also runs a news portal named JTV Online.
Another daily newspaper named Dainik Desher Potro was banned by the government
It may be
mentioned here that, due to series of investigative reports and research-based
articles written by me and published in Blitz, the Bangladesh government had
blacklisted this notorious group.
Hizbut Towhid had published lots of jihadist propaganda materials and books
promoting religious hatred, jihad and killing of non-Muslims. This group is
clearly asking its followers to wage jihad and has been openly demonizing
leader of HT are seen asking people to wage jihad and confront those who are denouncing
jihad and killing of innocent people in the name of jihad.
of HT even are claiming to have been cleared by the law enforcing and security
agencies in Bangladesh for the continuation of their activities.
One of the
notorious publications of HT is ‘Dajjal’, a book demonizing Jews and Christians
and encouraging Muslims in waging jihad and killing Jews and Christians.
this group clearly are pronouncing quoting Quranic verses are pronouncing jihad
and killing of Jews and Christians as mandatory for the Muslims.
It is a
matter of grave concern as to how Bangladesh authorities are allowing such open
activities of HT. Such activities of this notorious militancy outfit are
continuing in a time when fighters of Islamic State are displaced from Iraq and
Syria and are feared to have been spreading throughout the world. Notorious
jihadist outfits like Al Qaeda and Islamic State would find Hizbut Towhid as
their ideological allies.
It may be
mentioned here that, Hizbut Towhid denounces democratic system and advocated
Caliphate. It also denounces empowerment of women.
to Wikipedia, this is a Bangladesh based religious group, which is currently
blacklisted by Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies for their connection with
militancy. Muhammad Bayazeed Khan Panni, the family of the traditional Panni
family of Tangail, founded Hezbut Tawheed on 16 February 1995. After the death
of Panni in 2012, Hossain Mohammad Selim of Noakhali district took charge of
the organization. According to its website, it has offices and organizational
activities in all the districts of Bangladesh. Hizbut Towhid’s current leader
Salim’s father is a union council member in Noakhali district.
the organization claims that they are working against militancy and
communalism, the group was blacklisted by Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies in
2008. Bangladesh Bank also issued a warning to the banking sectors of
Bangladesh against joining any program organized by the group or its associated
As part of
their determination of waging jihad, Hizbut Towhid members carry tobacco powder
and hammer, which are considered to be the most convenient weapon in killing
“enemies of Islam”. They spray tobacco powder on the eyes of their targets and
his the target’s head with hammer.
Towhid Wants To Destroy ‘Judeo-Christian’ Populace
to information, leaders of notorious Hizbut Towhid give extreme jihadist
indoctrination to its members and encourage them to destroy ‘Judeo-Christian’
populace as well as the Western nations and Israel. With this mission, members
of HT have been entering various Western nations since the formation of this
group. It is also learned that members of HT are gathering information on
various five-star hotels, restaurants and key-point installations in Bangladesh
under the disguise of an event management company. Owner of this event
management company has been an active member of this group for many years.
Towhid Joined Hands with JMB
the Bangladeshi security agencies are completely unaware of a fact that since
2014, Hizbut Towhid has secretly formed an alliance with banned militancy
outfit Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB). It was already learned by the
counter-militancy and counter-terrorism organizations that since 2015, JMB has
been working as the franchise of Islamic State (ISIS) in Bangladesh. It is a
matter of grave concern as to how the Bangladesh authorities are allowing a
notorious group like Hizbut Towhid to operate openly in the country, recruit
members and continue giving jihadist indoctrination to people.
between HT and JMB and ISIS
ideologically Hizbut Towhid, Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh and Islamic State
are almost similar, there already is indication of formation of a nexus amongst
these jihadist outfits. Counterterrorism experts even are seeing the risk of
Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) joining this nexus in the near future, if
it already has not joined.
Muslims have also constituted a few terrorist organizations, including the
Rohingya Solidarity Organization, the Harkat-al Yaqin, the Arakan Rohingya and
Salvation Army (ARSA) to wage war and establish an independent Muslim state.
Unfortunately, a few Muslim terrorist organizations, especially in Pakistan,
started assisting these terrorist outfits. Besides Pakistan, few Muslim
organizations in the Afro-Arab nations, such as Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas etc.,
also pumped petro dollars into the coffers of Rohingya terrorist outfits.
formed by Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi, a Rohingya man born in Karachi, Pakistan
and grew up in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Jununi, in a video posted online stated,
“Our primary objective under ARSA is to liberate out people from dehumanizing
operation perpetrated by all successive Burmese regimes”. Although the groups
claims themselves as ‘ethno-nationalist’ and denied allegations of being
Islamists, it follows many traditional Islamic practices such as having
recruits swear an oath to the Quran, referring to the leader as emir and asking
for fatwas [sermons] from foreign Muslim clerics.
State (IS), which has put a massive hate material on the Internet, was able to
recruit a few Rohingya Muslims who went to Syria and Iraq to fight in
conjunction with the IS. There are also
reports that the IS and the Lashkar-e-Taiba are trying to recruit Rohingyas
staying in Jammu while the Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent has also
supported the Rohingyas.
members, the terrorist outfit of Rohingya Muslims, have links with the
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and
Lashkar-e-Taiba. There are also reports
that the Rohingyas, settled in Jammu illegally.
number of NGOs, working with the Rohingyas, especially funded by Iran and
Turkey, have Islamic extremist leanings and inculcate radicalism in them.
Poses Security Threat
Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), an Islamist militancy group, whose attacks on
Burmese security posts triggered the Myanmar army’s indiscriminate “clearance
operations,” has already pledged to continue its insurgent campaign against
what it calls “Burmese state-sponsored terrorism.” The Bangladeshi security
establishment is concerned both that ARSA will try to recruit within camps, and
that it will use the camps as a base for cross-border fighting.
always been a big question about any connections between ARSA and regional or
international terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Islamic State,
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) etc. On January 23, 2017, Al
Qaeda is the subcontinent issued a declaration urging Bangladeshi Muslims to
mount an armed rebellion in support of the Rohingyas. Similar statement had
also been repeated by other militancy groups.
Nations termed it as “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya in Myanmar while the Army
over there said that military action is against terrorists and that they are
not averse to civilians. Unqualified Rohingya refugees are unacceptable as they
are regarded as a burden on the economy. A majority of the Buddhist community
in Myanmar considers Rohingyas as illegal Bengali migrants. No citizenship
rights were given to the Rohingyas and numerous restrictions were imposed on
them. Rohingyas are Sunni Muslims and have fought for an independent country in
the past. In 1947 and 1971, they struggled to join East Pakistan and Bangladesh
In 2017, as
Myanmar military began a crackdown on the Rohingya ethnic minority group, over
one million fled the Rakhine state and took refuge in Bangladesh. In today’s
world, Rohingya refugee is the highest size of refugees. A developing nation
like Bangladesh has to bear the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars
each year towards food, housing, medical and other basic needs of these
unfortunate people. Ever since the emergence of this crisis, Bangladeshi Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government have been relentlessly trying to
mobilize global communities in putting pressure on Myanmar in immediately resolving
the crisis. Unfortunately, until now, none of the mighty nations in the world,
including the United States, China, Russia, and India, in particular, are
showing real interest in this issue, except for some mere lip-service, while
China and India in particular, as well as Russia, are silently siding towards Myanmar.
World Powers Are Silent On Myanmar Issue
to Myanmar’s own Department of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration
(DGSE), there is a huge stock of mineral resources such as gold, copper, tin,
and zinc, within the Rakhine state, which are yet to be explored. In addition
to this, there are potential gas and oil reserves. It may be mentioned here
that, several nations are already competing – either openly or discreetly in deepening
relations with Myanmar with the hope of getting a stake in the huge stock of
mineral resources within the Rakhine state as well as other parts of the
country. For this particular reason, many of the nations, particularly China
and India even are shy in uttering the word ‘Rohingya’ thinking it may hurt
their Burmese counterpart.
nation is actually eyeing on Myanmar’s natural resources and that is one of the
key reasons that stop them from speaking out loud enough on the Rohingya issue.
In this case, China and India already have greatly succeeded in deepening
relations with Myanmar, and most definitely, for this reason, both the nations
are unwilling to annoy Myanmar by helping Bangladesh in a real sense in
resolving the crisis.
A Crisis Is Not A Lone Burden For Bangladesh And Myanmar
everyone in the world may think, Rohingya refugee the issue is a lone burden on
Bangladesh and Myanmar and it is the responsibility of Dhaka and Naypyitaw to
resolve the matter through “mutual dialogues”. What some of the countries do
not realize is, for Myanmar, it is actually a priority in keeping the Rohingyas
out of the land for the sake of ensuring a favourable atmosphere in the Rakhine
state, which would enable Naypyitaw in having foreign investors in larger
number for investing billions of dollars in the exploration of mineral
Myanmar Wants Rohingyas Out of The Land
million Muslim population in the Rakhine state in Myanmar actually is
considered as a liability than human resources by the policymakers in
Naypyitaw. The main reason behind such perception is –the majority of these
Rohingyas are uneducated, unskilled and to some extent radicalized Muslims.
Rohingyas have tried in 1947 and again in 1971 for making Rakhine state a part
of the then East Pakistan and then Bangladesh. It means they are not loyal to
Naypyitaw. The reason behind such sentiment is decade-old persecution and
hostilities these Rohingyas have been enduring mostly from the Buddhist
majority populace as well as Myanmar’s military junta. Myanmar’s military and
the Buddhists see Islam as a threat to country’s peace, stability, and even
integrity because the next-door neighbours of Myanmar are Bangladesh, a Muslim
majority country and India, a country with over 180 million Muslim population.
Myanmar does not want the Rohingyas to attain legitimacy as a citizen of the
country and ultimate form any type of nexus under the garb of solidarity of the
Advantageous Situation for ISIS and Al Qaeda
counterterrorism experts already are seeing the possibility of ISIS expanding
into central and south Asia, while Rohingya crisis may open the scope for both
ISIS and Al Qaeda in finding ‘partners’ in ARSA, JMB, and HT; it may also
extend further and establish relations with the Chechen jihadists as well as
Uyghur Muslims in China.
Spy Agency Becomes the Key Handler Of Jihadists
decades, Pakistan has been harbouring terrorism and jihad by extending support
to the jihadist groups in Asia. In recent years, its spy agency, Inter Service
Intelligence (ISI) has been actively helping ARSA as well as other regional
terror outfits with logistics and training. Pakistani ISI has hands behind
trafficking in narcotics as well as printing and distributing counterfeit
currency [mostly Indian rupees], which helps it in generating fund.
type of drugs named Yaba is being manufactured in Myanmar, which also is
trafficked into Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan,
Korea, and China, Philippines, the Middle East, and the Western nations.
According to intelligence sources, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army and Myanmar
Army are mainly controlling those Yaba manufacturing factories in Myanmar,
while it is being trafficked internationally under the supervision of notorious
terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company and Pakistani spy agency. In recent years,
the volume of Yaba trade crosses a few billion dollars per year.
Source: Weekly Blitz