Has the UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman been put into discomfort?


While Britons by nature are known for their rich tradition of courtesy and always giving importance to media, the UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman certainly is not expected to remain silent when a senior journalist puts forward a couple of crucial questions.

On June 30, 2023, through a letter which was delivered on the same day, I sought information from Secretary Suella Braverman on a Bangladeshi convicted terrorist under UK’s Freedom of Information Act, which was passed on November 30, 2000.

In the above letter, it was stated:

I would like to submit the following information about a Bangladeshi politician who also is a convicted terrorist and connected to cross-border terrorist acts.

Back in 2007, a Bangladeshi politician named Tarique Rahman went to the United Kingdom along with his wife Dr. Zubaida Rahman and daughter Zaima Rahman and has subsequently sought political asylum in the United Kingdom.

On November 3, 2008, then US ambassador to Bangladesh, James F. Moriarty in a confidential cable (Canonical ID 08DHAKA1143_a) to the Secretary of State, seeking suspending entry of Tarique Rahman to the United State wrote: “The Embassy is seeking a security advisory opinion under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Presidential Proclamation 7750, suspending the entry into the United States of Tarique Rahman (aka Tarique), born on November 20, 1967 in Bangladesh. The Embassy believes Tarique is guilty of egregious political corruption that has had a serious adverse effect on US national interests mentioned in Section 4 of the proclamation, namely the stability of democratic institutions and US foreign assistance goals. The Embassy is not seeking to apply a 212(f) finding to Tarique Rahaman’s wife, Dr. Zubaida Rahman, to their daughter, Zaima Rahman, or to his mother Begum Khaleda Zia, a former Prime Minister of Bangladesh”.

Ambassador Moriarty further wrote: “Tarique Rahman, the notorious and widely feared son of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, was released on bail from prison on September 3. He departed Bangladesh to seek medical treatment in the UK on September 11. Having served as the Senior Joint Secretary General of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Tarique is an extremely high-profile political figure. Notorious for flagrantly and frequently demanding bribes in connection with government procurement actions and appointments to political officeTarique is a symbol of kleptocratic government and violent politics in Bangladesh. His release occurred despite multiple pending cases against him on charges of, inter alia, corruption, extortion, bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion. With deep political ties that reach the highest court in the land, Tarique managed to manipulate the judicial process and overcome a concerted effort by the Caretaker Government to block his bail. We believe Tarique has several passports, including a new one in which the UK issued him a visa in September. Another passport contains a five year multiple-entry B1/B2 visa (issued May 11, 2005). We suspect that passport is being held by the government”.

Accusing Tarique Rahman of accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars, Ambassador James F. Moriarty wrote:

“Tarique reportedly has accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit wealth. There are multiple extortion cases pending against him, founded on the testimony of numerous prominent business owners who he victimized and exploited. In one case, Tarique allegedly threatened Al Amin Construction owner Amin Ahmed with closure of the company unless he received a payment of 150,000 USD. Other local business leaders, including Mohammad Aftab Uddin Khan of Reza Construction, Ltd, Mir Zahir Hossian of Mir Akhter Hossain Ltd., and Harun Ferdousi have each filed accusations detailing a systematic pattern of extortion on a multi-million dollar scale. The ACC has also filed charges of concealing ill-gotten wealth, and the National Board of Revenue has brought tax evasion charges against Tarique”.

Tarique Rahman, the acting chairman of the BNP, who is not only a convicted terrorist but has also been involved in funding and supporting cross-border insurgency groups in India. Major General Gaganjit Singh, former Deputy Director General of India’s Defense Intelligence Agency, has labeled Tarique Rahman as the mastermind behind a major arms haul in Chattogram (Chittagong) in 2004. The arms were intended for multiple rebel groups in India’s northeast, with the BNP-Jamaat alliance providing sanctuary and support for these activities.

The BNP’s involvement in terrorist activities extends further, as evidenced by the orchestrated grenade attacks on Sheikh Hasina and leaders of the Awami League in 2004. These attacks resulted in the loss of 24 lives and numerous injuries. Tarique Rahman, along with other BNP members and former top intelligence officials, was found guilty and received various punishments for their involvement in the attacks. In fact, Rahman himself was sentenced to life in prison. The verdicts and convictions leave no room for doubt about the BNP’s terrorist agenda and its leaders’ direct involvement in heinous acts.

The United States Department of Justice has published court documents indicating that the BNP is considered an undesignated terrorist organization under US law. The organization has been associated with terrorist groups like Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB), Ansar Al Islam, Hizbut Tahrir, and others. Shockingly, despite these damning connections, Western politicians have been accepting lobbying assignments from the BNP and supporting its return to power, thereby jeopardizing the stability and secular nature of Bangladesh.

From its inception, the BNP, led by military dictator General Ziaur Rahman, has pursued an anti-India, anti-Hindu, and pro-Islamist agenda, seeking to transform Bangladesh into a Taliban-like state. During its rule from 2001 to 2006, BNP supporters openly chanted extremist slogans and expressed hostility toward the United States. The party has also sponsored and patronized Islamist militant outfits like Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB), Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI), and Khatmey Nabuwat Movement, which have been responsible for targeting religious minorities and carrying out terrorist acts.

The BNP’s deeper ties with Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI), an organization advocating for the transformation of Bangladesh into a caliphate, further highlight its extremist ideology. Under BNP’s patronage, HeI has made a 13-point demand that includes suppressing freedom of expression, promoting discrimination against religious minorities, and imposing strict Islamic education in schools. These demands bear a striking resemblance to those of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, raising serious concerns about the BNP’s radical connections and intentions.

Major General Gaganjit Singh, former Deputy Director General of India’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), said BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman was the mastermind of 10 truck arms haul in Chattogram [Chittagong] in 2004.

Talking to India Today and a television channel in Bangladesh, he said the arms were being supplied under direct patronization of the then BNP-Jamaat alliance to use Bangladesh as a sanctuary.

Ten trucks full of arms seized at Chittagong in April 2004 were meant not only for the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) but also for a few other rebel groups in India’s northeast to destabilize the country, he added. The arms were being supplied by taking advantage of the BNP-Jamaat alliance to use Bangladesh as a sanctuary, Singh revealed.

It may be mentioned here that, on August 21, 2004, at the direct instructions of Tarique Rahman, terrorists of BNP along with members of militancy outfits such as Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI) had launched grenade attacks targeting Sheikh Hasina and leaders of Awami League. According to the court verdict, this gruesome attack was a well-orchestrated plan through abuse of state power. And all the accused, including BNP Senior Vice Chairman (now acting chairman) Tarique Rahman and former top intelligence officials, were found guilty and handed down various punishments for the grenade attacks that killed 24 people and injured scores. In the murder case, Tarique Rahman and 18 others were sentenced to life in prison.

It may also be mentioned here that Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami is believed to have been founded as an offshoot of a Pakistani group in 1992 with money and support from suspected global terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The United Nations Security Council has termed Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam as a “violent extremist group operating throughout South Asia, which has carried out numerous terrorist attacks in India and Pakistan”.

In the letter, I asked the following questions to UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman:

To my understanding, Tarique Rahman has been living a luxurious life in the United Kingdom and been spending dirty cash he has amassed through corruption and extortion. Sitting in the United Kingdom, he also has been continuing subversive activities against Bangladesh despite the fact of being a convicted terrorist with direct involvement in cross-border terrorist acts.

Under the above-stated information, may I please humbly ask, if the United Kingdom allows a convicted terrorist to still be considered eligible for asylum. Furthermore, I would also like to know, if an extortionist and corrupt individual is allowed to use his ill-gotten money in the United Kingdom or if authorities concerned in the United Kingdom have asked Tarique Rahman to show his source of income.

To my understanding, it doesn’t take for the UK Home Office to address this letter and send their replies. But unfortunate fact is – Suella Braverman or UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and senior officials of the administration may not have the courage of addressing these issues, as the United Kingdom has been harboring terrorists, corrupt individuals, crime gang members and even Interpol-wanted terror-funders for years.


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