International Islamist Front’s Bangladeshi Commander Captured

Abdur Rahman, one of the original signatories of Osama bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa declaring war against the West, is arrested; CNN obscures his ties to al Qaeda

In late January, reports indicated Indian police arrested Sheikh Abdur Rahman, the spiritual and ideological leader of terrorist groups Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), in the province of Bengal. The reports were incorrect. While the January reports turned out to be incorrect, Bangladeshi police announce that Abdur Rahman has been arrested after a 30 hour standoff between police at his hideout in the city of Sylhet.

The Bangladeshi newspaper Independent reports on the standoff and capture of Rahman, which included “repeated warnings over loud speakers and spraying of water and tear gas shells by armed commandos.” Rahman’s family surrendered, “But the supremo of militant group Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) who is said to have exchanged hot words with the approaching RAB commandos, refused to surrender and threatened to blow himself up with explosives strapped around his body, did not come out the house till late in the day.” It seems Rahman believes suicide in the cause for jihad is only appropriate for the foot soldiers.

CNN irresponsibly obscures Rahman’s ties to al Qaeda, “According to the security official, Bangladeshi security forces have been searching for Rahman since August and believe that he has ties with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.” The fact is Rahman is intricately tied to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, as reported here last January; “Abdur Rahman is not your run-of-the-mill local Islamist terrorist leader. Rahman is one of the select signatories to the 1998 fatwa that created the International Islamic Front, the umbrella group of Islamist terrorist groups that declared war on the West. The signatories include: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri [amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt and second in command of al Qaeda], Abu-Yasir Rifa’i Ahmad Taha [amir of the Egyptian Islamic Group] and Mir Hamzah [secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan].” Thomas Joscelyn dissects the 1998 fatwa and explains its importance in light of events in today’s fight against al Qaeda.

While Rahman’s capture is a high profile arrest and a defeat for al Qaeda, Grim warns his arrest could lead to the destabilization of Bangladesh, as the opposing political parties of the Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami descend into destructive political fighting, strikes, the crippling of Bangladesh’s nascent democracy, and the creation of a failed state in which al Qaeda can flourish. The Awami League believes Jamaat-e-Islami and the government are behind the terrorism in Bangladesh, while “J-e-I and [Industries Minister] Nizami have maintained that really, it is Indian and Israeli intelligence behind the terrorist campaign.”

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Citizen Deux says:

    What is frustrating is how the media refuses to believe that these groups could be so interconnected. If we can have individuals across the globe interconnected via blogs and the internet over the most mundane issues (knitting circles) why is it so hard to believe that a group of international terrorists would not be linked in exactly the same way (or better?).

  • kcom says:

    Because it would be too scary.

  • Grim says:

    It’s not as bad if he was arrested in Bangladesh, as the Bangladeshi government therefore controls both him and the fallout (e.g., what rumors about his testimony under interrogation get leaked to the press). Also, the cross-border implications are less.
    Which, of course, makes you wonder if he wasn’t really arrested in India after all. The Indian police confirmed it at the time, and then suddenly stopped talking about it; and now, a month later, he’s picked up in Bangladesh. I don’t normally believe in conspiracy theories in politics, but intelligence services are nothing except organized conspiracy machines: it’s quite possible they took a look at the same factors you and I did, and decided things would be better if he was “not really captured in India” and then picked up by Bangladesh “instead.”

  • Neo says:

    CNN doesn’t want to take sides. LOL
    I think the folks at CNN believe that if the clock had been set back 60 or so years, that they could freely travel around the war zone of the European theater unimpeded.
    I love to see the footage of them encountering a SS major or a Soviet captain with their neutral reporter line. It would make Bill Stewart’s 19719 encounter with the Nicaraguan National Guard look like child’s play. They should expect a similar, if not worse, outcome, but their heads-on-the-sky attitude would never let them even dream about it.

  • Al Qaeda Leader in Bangladesh is Arrested

    The head of the Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terror organization, Shiekh Maulana Abdur Rahman, has been captured after a 48 hour stand off. The JMB is al Qaeda’s affiliate organization in Bangladesh. Rahman is one of three leaders of the…

  • Links to al-Qaida aren’t always clear-cut

    I find it weird to be arguing devil’s advocate on this point. First, I am a great proponent of the theory that al-Qaida is a large-scale movement, not an organization. Therefore, it is pointless to argue that independent organizations such

  • jandrewmorrison says:

    CNN irresponsibly obscures Rahman’s ties to al-Qaeda, “According to the security official, Bangladeshi security forces have been searching for Rahman since August and believe that he has ties with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.”

  • Yeshooroon says:

    jandrewmorrison says,
    ‘wtf’ as if he’s astounded a multi-million dollar corporation like CNN can’t be irresponsible who regularly accepts leftist views without rebuttal. The SAME CNN who accepted Saddam’s conditions for NOT REPORTING anything against his wishes that would make Iraq look bad in western eyes. They bent over backwards to accept Saddam’s conditions AND DID NOT TELL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE of their agreement.
    jandrew, GAC – get a clue. I’d say ‘wtf’ is more apt for CNN’s deception to America. Now, what u say bout them apples?
    He’s a terrorist as well, but CNN did not say that either did they?
    Its taking political correctness to its most absurd point. CNN refuses to name bad guys or take sides. We might as all be fighting for good yes? We should all be blowing up innocent women and children around the worlds right? But don’t call us terrorist. Can you imagine CNN when Hitler was in office? Eichmann was “suspected of having ties” to Hitler said British intelligence.
    They cite his allegience to Osama bin Laden and his signature on the fatwa of war against the west.
    How is it that Bill Rogio can ‘one-up’ a Multi-Million dollar News agency like CNN? He did his research, read the Military site info like any good reporter should in the capture of such terrorist and he reported it as he should.
    ‘wtf’? No jandrew, you need to GAC.
    CNN is responsible for GETTING THE FACTS straight or they are considered – IRRESPONSIBLE.
    They are also considered irresponsible if they do not tell the American people that they are in CaHoooooots with a Vicious Dictator.
    Did ya say, ‘wtf’ then? Doubt it.
    CNN then writes this banal piece of script…
    “Rahman is the leader of the Muslim extremist group Jamayetul Mujahedin, which has claimed responsibility for multiple bombings across the country in August that wounded more than 100 people.”
    ‘claimed’…. uh yeah and they just happened to capture a man who was ‘thought’ to be a ‘leader’.
    What a joke in reporting, it undermines completely this WAR.
    We are in a war ‘btw’.
    Great job Bill…. go get em.

  • Yeshooroon says:

    “They cite his allegience to Osama bin Laden and his signature on the fatwa of war against the west.”
    should read, ‘they did NOT cite his allegiance…’
    This is critical “irresponsibility” CNN shows in missing this information for professional journalist who have access to all information on such terrorist and has known since 1998 of the fatwa.
    Their reporter failed and so did the editor.

  • jandrewmorrison says:

    Did you read the whole article?

    Lets pretend for a minute that the claim that Mr. Tasneem Khalel in Dhaka truly did have an agenda to report this story in such a way as to make President Bush look bad had some validity. The evidence you have to support it is based on Mr. Khalel’s failure to expand on the story enough to ensure that the American’s who read it understood that this was evidence of Bush’s success on the War on Terror which Americans are fighting.

    The story is written in Bangladesh by a Bangladeshi reporter and picked up by CNN and run on their website. The story itself deals more with the history of terrorism that has occurred in Bangladesh since August of last year, and the group this man actually claimed to head the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JuM).
    For you to think that this story of Bangladesh’s worst terrorist being captured by Bangladeshi officials after a shootout was not “Bush Freindly enough” becuase the reporter in Bangladesh did not make the tie to Al Queda clear enough is simply indicative of how you see the entire world as either “pro-Bush vs. anti-Bush”.

    Do you have any other articles written by Mr. Khalil which could show that he has a history of this type of shamelesss anti-Bush bias? Has he ever written any other articles that CNN picked up? Who is his full-time employer? Who signs his paychecks? Is he a Hillary supporter? Did he donate to Gore and Kerry? Has he been to parties at the Kennedy compound?

    Maybe the local Bangladeshi paper for which this story was written before CNN picked it up forget to ensure that the American Right Wing Talking Point about how the worst terrorist in Bangladesh with a history of bombing which terrified Bangladesh surrendered to authorities in Bangladesh is proof that American is winning the Global War on Terror wasn’t mentioned at the morning meeting at the paper in Bangladesh.

    I’m sure you realize how small your little world is, perhaps the reporter can be faulted for the same thing.

  • jandrewmorrison says:

    Eichmann was “suspected of having ties” to Hitler said British intelligence.
    Apparently our views on British Intelligence are similar (they still believe Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Niger last I heard).
    Should CNN have simply gone without the source and printed the story you wanted to see? Would this have been more “responsible”

  • “Apparently our views on British Intelligence are similar (they still believe Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Niger last I heard).”
    Iraq did attempt that purchase, as pointed out by the Washington Post and others, but there are still a great many who, like yourself, are either not adequately informed or perhaps are just being obtuse. Here’s a link to Captain Ed so you can bolster your own intelligence quotient on the Niger issue:

  • Amber says:

    International Islamist Front?s Bangladeshi Commander Captured

    From Bill Roggio at the Fourth Rail, some really electric news! This is exciting, because of similar captures in Iraq and Pakistan. The al Qaeda network is crumbling…it is not the end of the war against Islamo-fascism, as there will be other grou…


Islamic state



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