State Department notes linkage of Rohingya to terrorist group

Update June 10th, 2012:  Note that the US State Department has removed the terror list link I noted below from its website so it’s a good thing that Watch sent us the text at the time.

A reader named “Watch” has alerted us to a really fascinating link at the US State Department—Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 (dated April 30, 2009).  Check it out here and note that, no surprise, Al-Shabaab is there (you remember the recruiters of our missing Somali refugee youths) and also Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LT) (note several spellings of LT).  Some theories suggest that Farooq Kathwari’s son died as a Kashmiri Jihadist with LT.  Kathwari is of course the Chairman of the Board of Refugees International, a major lobbying group advocating for increased Muslim refugee resettlement in the US.

I am getting off track, below is the whole report “Watch” has sent us on HUJI-B the Bangladeshi terrorist group linked to the Rohingya.   For new readers trying to catch up on why we are concerned about Rohingya go to our entire category on the subject here.   “Watch” posted the following here:

HARAKAT UL-JIHAD-I-ISLAMI/BANGLADESH (HUJI-B)
a.k.a. Harakat ul Jihad e Islami Bangladesh; Harkatul Jihad al Islam; Harkatul Jihad; Harakat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami; Harakat ul Jihad Islami Bangladesh; Islami Dawat-e-Kafela; IDEK

Description: Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 5, 2008. HUJI-B was formed in April 1992 by a group of former Bangladeshi Afghan veterans to establish an Islamic social system based on the “Medina Charter.” The group was banned by Bangladeshi authorities in October 2005. In May 2008, HUJI-B members formed a new organization, the Islamic Democratic Party (IDP). In November, government authorities rejected their application for registering as a party that could participate in elections. HUJI-B has connections to the Pakistani militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad-Islami (HUJI) and Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM), which advocate similar objectives in Pakistan, Jammu, and Kashmir. The leaders of HUJI-B and HUM both signed the February 1998 fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Ladin that declared American civilians to be legitimate targets for attack.

Activities: HUJI-B may be responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in India, including an October 2008 attack in a shopping area in Agartala, Tripura that killed three and wounded over 100 people. The Agartala attack may have been conducted jointly with a local Indian separatist group. HUJI-B has trained and fielded operatives in Burma to fight on behalf of the Rohingya, an Islamic minority group. Three HUJI-B members were convicted in December 2008 for the grenade attack on the British High Commissioner in May 2004 in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Bangladeshi courts issued warrants in December 2008 for the arrest of eight HUJI-B members for the bombing at a festival in April 2001 that killed 10 and injured scores of people. In May, Indian police arrested HUJI-B militant Mohammad Iqbal, a.k.a. Abdur Rehman, who was charged with plotting attacks in Delhi, India. HUJI-B and its detained leader, Mufti Hannan, are also suspected in a 2000 assassination attempt on Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Strength: HUJI-B leaders have claimed up to 400 members are Afghan war veterans, but its total membership is unknown.

Location/Area of Operation: The group operates primarily in Bangladesh, India, and Burma. HUJI-B has a network of madrassas and conducts trainings in Bangladesh.

External Aid: HUJI-B funding comes from a variety of sources. Several international Islamic NGOs such as the South African-based Servants of Suffering Humanity may have funneled money to HUJI-B and other Bangladeshi militant groups. HUJI-B also can draw funding from local militant madrassa leaders and teachers.

For new readers, we have 70 posts in the Rohingya Reports category, the bottom line is that there is a public relations campaign underway to begin resettling Rohingya in the US.  Refugees International has advocated for their resettlement.  Some have already gone to Canada and the UK.

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