Amid concerns of resurgence of militancy, Bangladesh chief of Al Qaeda affiliated outfit re-arrested


Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani, the chief of the banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a militancy outfit affiliated to Al Qaeda – has been released on bail after serving a 10-year prison term. Rahmani, who had previously faced charges related to the murder of a blogger and other cases, wasted no time in trying to regroup and revive the banned organization. However, his attempts were short-lived, as he was arrested again by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit just two days after his release. This development has raised serious concerns among law enforcement agencies about the potential resurgence of extremist activities.

Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani was granted bail on January 21 after spending a decade behind bars in a high-security prison in Gazipur. His release was based on bail in five pending cases, and law enforcement agencies immediately became apprehensive about the risks associated with a prominent militant leader being back on the streets. The police were aware of Rahmani’s efforts to reconnect with supporters and were vigilant in monitoring his activities.

After his release, Rahmani engaged in a secret meeting with several individuals, leading to increased concerns among police units combating militancy and extremism. Intelligence sources revealed that members of the banned militant organization Ansar Al Islam held a clandestine meeting in the Abdullahpur area of the capital. Acting on this information, the CTTC surrounded the area and, on January 22, arrested a person named Niamul Islam Tawfiq. During the arrest, extremist books written by Rahmani and other incriminating evidence were seized from Tawfiq. Interrogation revealed that the meeting was orchestrated by Rahmani, who was present, celebrating his release as a “victory for the Jihadi movement.”

Based on Tawfiq’s revelations, the CTTC swiftly initiated an operation to locate and apprehend Rahmani. The operation concluded with Rahmani’s arrest in the Uttara area. CTTC Inspector SM Mizanur Rahman, the investigation officer of the case, reported to the court that Rahmani, after leaving prison, engaged in numerous meetings in Uttara to plan organizational activities and acts of sabotage with renewed zeal. The initial interrogation of Rahmani provided crucial information, shedding light on the potential threats posed by his release.

Jasimuddin Rahmani’s history of criminal activities dates back to August 2013 when he was arrested during a secret meeting in the South Khajurtala area on the outskirts of Barguna city. In February of the same year, he was implicated in the murder case of blogger Rajeev Haider Shobhan in the Pallavi area of the capital. Rahmani was sentenced to five years in connection with Rajeev’s murder, and his sentence has now expired. However, multiple cases, including those from Barguna, Gulshan police station, Uttara Paschim police station, and Mohammadpur police station, are still ongoing.

Law enforcement officials involved in combating militancy and extremism emphasize the risk of militants like Rahmani remaining outside of prison. The difficulty in producing witnesses in pending cases against him adds a layer of complexity to the trial process. ABT militants, under Rahmani’s leadership, have a history of targeting free-thinkers and bloggers in the country, with attacks and killings aimed at suppressing dissent. The government had previously banned Ansarullah Bangla Team in May 2015, leading its members to form another organization, ‘Ansar Al Islam,’ which was subsequently banned as well.

The government, in response to the latest developments, continues to strengthen counter-terrorism measures to ensure the safety and security of the public. CTTC’s proactive approach in uncovering and thwarting Rahmani’s attempts to reorganize the banned militant outfit underscores the importance of ongoing efforts to curb extremist activities. Authorities are likely to intensify monitoring and intelligence gathering to prevent any potential resurgence of radical groups.

The arrest of Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani, chief of the banned militant group Ansarullah Bangla Team, shortly after his release on bail, highlights the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in combating extremism. The incident underscores the need for continuous vigilance and stringent counter-terrorism measures to prevent the resurgence of banned militant organizations. As legal proceedings unfold, the government remains committed to ensuring national security and safeguarding citizens from the threats posed by radical elements.


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