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New extremist group causes headache in Bangladesh
ICC Note:
Authorities in Bangladesh have a challenge in front of them to “crush” the newly discovered extremist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).  They claim to be affiliated with al-Qaeda and have already wreaked havoc in the capital city, Dhaka. Members of the group were arrested for the murder of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider who spoke out against Islam. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said, “We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding religious extremism. Unfortunately, a section of the younger generation is being derailed with false promises.”

By Shahriar Sharif

4/3/2013 Bangladesh (Khabar)- Only months after law enforcement agencies said they had made considerable inroads in subduing radical Islamist groups Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the recent discovery of another extremist group concerns authorities.
The existence of Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) came to light in early March during the interrogations of five students enrolled at a prestigious university in Dhaka – all arrested in the brutal murder of prominent blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider. Rajib played a key role organising the Shahbagh movement demanding execution of Islamists on trial for alleged atrocities committed during the liberation war in 1971.
“We came to know about the group during interrogation. They appear to be more radical than the JMB and Hizb,” Monirul Islam, deputy commissioner Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told Khabar South Asia.
“It has posed a new challenge for us but we are determined to get to the bottom of it and we will succeed in crushing them the way we were able to crush the JMB and Hizb,” Islam said.

Law enforcement officials have so far been able to establish ABT’s direct links to two violent acts. Besides the murder of Rajib, police allege its members also participated in the brutal January 14th stabbing of blogger Asif Mohiuddin, who miraculously survived.
During interrogation, the arrested students: Faisal Bin Nayeem, 22, Maksudul Hasan, 23, Ehsan Reza, 23, Nayeem Sikder, 19 and Nafis Imtiaz, 22, reportedly told police about their “big brothers” at the helm of ABT.
“But we cannot divulge their identities at this moment for the sake of [the] investigation,” police official Islam said.
Religious scholars say some young people, like the arrested students, are victims of brainwashing by extremist elements who lack even a basic understanding of Islam.
“They have very limited knowledge about Islam, religion, faith and jihad. They are being misled by vested interest groups,” Kazi Nurul Islam, professor emeritus of Religious Studies at Dhaka University, told Khabar.

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