International Terrorism Monitor—Paper No. 268
Global News Blog
Monday, August 20, 2007
Copyright Â© B. Raman – South Asia Analysis Group
By B. Raman
The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency has reported as follows on August 20, 2007: “Fifteen suspected Al QaedaÂ operatives have been arrested from Moreh town in Chandel district of Manipur bordering Myanmar, official sources said on Monday. While 10 operatives were Myanmarese, five were from Bangladesh, the sources said. Assam Rifles personnel, acting on a tip-off, nabbed them from a house at Moreh Ward number 3, about 120 km from Imphal on August 17, the sources said. All of them had entered India without valid documents, they said.
They were proceeding to Bangladesh via Manipur and Silchar in Assam, the sources said.Â Foreign currency, including US dollars, were seized from the arrested persons, the sources said. The other currencies recovered from them were Bangladeshi taka, Myanmarese kyat and some coins. While one of the activists had a work permit of Thailand, identity card, hospital card, income tax card, a bank receipt of a Kuala Lumpur bank were also seized from the others, the sources said.Â The activists were identified as Md Nasen (42), Faizu Rehaman (17), Sled Salam (21), Abul Hussein (42) and Md Rehman (18), all Bangladeshi nationals.The rest were identified as Mahabu Basar (22), Md Junet (28), Basir Ahmad (21), Md Salim (23), Sabir Ahmad (31), Md Rohid (17), Abdullah (32), Md Abdul (18), B Ahmad (18) and Sali Ahmad (32), all from Myanmar-Bangladesh border, the sources said. They were being interrogated and likely to be handed over to the police on Monday, the sources said.”
2. Among the significant seizures from them are reportedly a Thai work permit and a receipt issued by a bank in Kuala Lumpur. The place of origin of the hospital card is not clear. Thailand has a sizeable number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and from the Arakan area of Myanmar. In the past, there had been reports of links between them and the jihadis indulging in acts of terrorism in Southern Thailand. There were also reports that the jihadis operating in Southern Thailand were being trained in secret camps of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JUM) in Bangladesh territory.
3.Â It is, therefore, necessary to thoroughly verify the antecedents of the arrested persons and their links, if any, with the ongoing jihad in Southern Thailand.
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)