Wednesday, August 5, 2009

JMB believes in "Minus 2" as well

The problem of border security in the Indian-Bangladesh frontier has been highlighted in a recent confession from JMB bomb expert, "Boma Mizan." What's more, the JMB cadres that infiltrated the border were not only attempting to disrupt the recent Parliamentary elections, but kill current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (AL) and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia (BNP). Finally, "Boma Mizan" revealed that the infiltrators themselves weren't Bangladeshis. They were Indians.

His confession simply illustrates once more that improvements in border control must occur if Bangladeshis are to enjoy any security. It also highlights the necessity for the Bangladeshi and Indian governments to cooperate as much as possible to not only police and govern the borders but to address the underlying factors contributing to the ease in which militant organizations can recruit citizens. Finally, it should be a wake up call to the BNP, Ms. Khaleda Zia specifically; this is the group that senior members of your party are suspected to have protected, this is the group that your government (in coalition with the JIB) subsequently banned, and now one of their leaders has admitted to attempting to kill you.

According to an investigator, "Boma Mizan" admitted that JMB had a network in West Bengal but that it was "weakening gradually." The ring had, apparently, been setup by executed chief Abdur Rahman. Importantly, "Boma Mizan" identified the individual in West Bengal who engaged in dawati/invitational activities for the JMB.

According to his confession, 10 Indians infiltrated into Bangladesh with the goal of preventing the December 2008 parliamentary polls by eliminating the "high profile" candidates, including Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda Zia. However, due to arrests by Bangladeshi security forces the plan was not carried out. Allegedly, the Indian JMB members departed Bangladesh in early February.

Interestingly, "Boma Mizan" used to live in the village of Karimpur in Nadia district. During the 2008 Legislative assembly elections in West Bengal, JMB leadership "forbade" their Indian cadres from "casting their vote," but the Indian members refused and defected. Evidently there was a group of 20-25 Indians in the JMB (presumably in the Karimpur area) but "all of them left" and joined the Indian National League (INL), a Muslim political party. Similarly, 8-10 members in Lalgola in Murshidabad district also left and joined the INL. Finally, only about a dozen members are active in India and two Indian members are active in Bangladesh. (Daily Star)

This is a magnificent victory for Bangladesh and for India. Importantly, a number of Indian cadres abandoned the JMB and entered mainstream politics. It is clear that the JMB is slowly being dismantled for good. Bangladesh should provide any names or information to the Indian government to finally crush the western network of JMB in Bengal.

However, the confession also suggests that the JMB is getting desperate, the usage of Indian-nationals for the election disruption is an interesting move, perhaps it demonstrates the lack of viable recruits or cadres available to the JMB in Bangladesh? The targeting of the two venerable begums was probably an effort to show the Bangladeshi public that the group is still relevant. Their failure is encouraging. "Boma Mizan" did reveal part of the JMB's plan, to move into the "northern region" as they believe they have more "organization strength" in that area.

But perhaps the most encouraging news is the story of "Shahed" who was tasked with killing Ms. Khaleda Zia. After the plan failed, he "left Bangladesh for Swat in Pakistan to embrace martyrdom." Perhaps while the Indian cadres are realizing the potential danger of fighting with the group, other cadres in Bangladesh are seeing its futility.

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