Bangladesh student held for ‘circulating’al-Qaeda chief’s message

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:35 pm IST

Published - February 18, 2014 04:42 pm IST - Dhaka

Bangladesh’s elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested a youth for circulating the controversial message of al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri calling for an ‘intifada’ (uprising) in Bangladesh.

Rasel Bin Sattar Khan (21) is an admin of controversial Facebook page Basherkella and some other pages believed to be run by extremist operatives, according to the elite force. He is a third year student of a textile institute. RAB said Rasel has also connections with al-Qaeda.

The force also recovered laptops and jihadi books from him.

The suspect was arrested following circulation of an audio message with a still photo of the al-Qaeda chief. In the message, the terrorist leader is seen calling Bangladeshi Muslims to start a massive uprising against the ‘enemies of Islam’.

The militant leader is heard accusing the government in Arabic of having killed “thousands of people” during last year’s crackdown on a violent Hifazat-e Islam rally in Dhaka.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Adviser for Security Affairs, Tariq Ahmed Siddique, had earlier told newsmen that the government knows where the al-Qaeda’s message was transmitted from.

Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Sunday said, once the source of message was authenticated, it might prove that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami’s “ties to international militancy.”

The BNP, however, claimed the government was trying to link it to the international terror group to win over the U.S. and the West to its side. Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir claimed in a statement that they had no links with al-Qaeda.

Basherkella came to the fore after the start of the war crimes trial in Bangladesh.

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