Crossfire War: Bangladesh – Former Director of Islamic Foundation Arrested

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Night Watch: DHAKA – In a move to prevent Islamic militants from escaping Bangladesh has strengthened security at its borders with India and Myanmar and increased security at its airports.An interior ministry official was quoted by Reuters, “We hope to catch them all, but the task is not easy. The investigation is proceeding well.”

Among the six suspects arrested at Dhaka airport, while trying to board flights to London were, Moulana Fariduddin Mashud, former director of government-run Islamic Foundation and Moulana Abdus Sattar, one of the leaders of the radical Ahley Hadis group.

160 people have been detained, many of them members of the banned group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, blamed for the bombings. They have threatened counteraction if their members were arrested. Police are looking for 500 Islamists who are suspected of being involved in the bombings on Aug. 17.

Mashud, whose Islamic organizations have financed hundreds of madrassas across the country is also suspected of financing Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.

The government is still showing no signs of seriously cooperating to resolve the crisis as the infighting continues. One of the opposition parties is headed by a daughter of a former national leader while another opposition party is headed by the widow of another leader. As mentioned previously a senior opposition figure actually claimed the government itself was behind the explosions.

Dhaka is ignoring the concerns of diplomats to end the divisions and form a united front. French Charge d’Affaires Jean Romnicianu was quoted, “Even Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia and opposition leader Sheikh Hasina should work together to deal with the matter.”

The section of the capital where the diplomatic community is based was also hit by a small bomb and the French Charge d’Affaires may also suspect another country was involved in causing it-Iran. This is part of Iran’s agenda of establishing another front against India.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.