Bangladesh Arrests Extremists Targeting Muslim Converts to Christianity

ICC Note: The arrest of two Islamic extremists last month in Bangladesh has put the spotlight on Christian persecution in the country. On February 14, two members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh were arrested on suspicion of planning attacks on Muslim converts to Christianity. Their admission to targeting Muslim converts to Christianity has once again highlighted the insecurity experienced by Christians in Bangladesh.

03/02/2018 Bangladesh (World Watch Monitor) – The arrest of two members of a banned Bangladeshi militant group, who confessed to wanting to kill Christian converts, has put the spotlight on the changing tactics of Muslim extremist groups in the country.

Security forces arrested two members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) on 14 February in Dhaka, the capital, on suspicion of planning attacks on Muslims who had converted to Christianity.

According to a police official one of the two men arrested, Nuruzzaman Labu, 39, identified converts while driving them in his auto-rickshaw, given to him by the JMB.

“During interrogation, Labu said he already had targeted a man to murder. He has been following that man regularly,” the official said, as reported by the Dhaka Tribune.

The other suspect, 26-year-old Nazmul Islam Shaon, is alleged to have been involved in spreading extremist ideas and recruitment of new members.

Despite a government clampdown on the JMB in recent years, during which some of the ringleaders were executed, the organization has “regrouped” according to Indian newspaper The Pioneer. Having initially spread large-scale terror through a country-wide bombing campaign in 2005 and the bombing of a bakery in 2016, “gradually it has become selective in its choice of victims”, the newspaper said.

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