Burdwan blast: Why India should be worried about comeback of Bangla terror outfit JMB

In the year 2006, the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was beaten down by the Bangladeshi establishment. The outfit, which had 2500 modules in the North Western part of that country, was reduced to a meagre 120 modules. However, the outfit still had its most lethal weapon, which was patience and this ensured that it returned in a big way and was looking to strike big before the Burdwan blast happened.

JMB's sole intent is to overthrow the Sheikh Hasina regime in Bangladesh

An Intelligence Bureau dossier gives out shocking details of how this outfit made a come back with the sole intent of throwing the Awami League in Bangladesh out of power. When the initial raids against the JMB happened after 2006 it was left with very few modules. They decided that they could no longer function freely in Bangladesh and hence began shifting out and moved towards West Bengal and Assam.

They sought the help of the Lashkar and the Al-Qaeda which ran two dawahs for them in a bid to re-establish themselves. What they ensured was to fight the establishment directly and not indulge in mad war where civilians were targeted.

The Dawahs wanted to target only Bangladeshi establishment and not target civilians

The dawahs, one religious and the other military oriented, decided that the target would only be the Bangladesh establishment and not target civilians. Targeting civilians would mean losing the local support and they wanted this at any cost. They did not want to make the mistake that the rest of the terror groups normally make where they become less popular after targeting civilians in a bid to fight the establishment.

They used the same recruitment tactics with the help of the Ahle Hadith, Islami Chatra Shibir and also the Jamaat-e-Islami. The Jamaat-e-Islami helped them get in touch with locals in West Bengal as they were already associated with the SIMI. The Ahle Hadith helped with the spread of ideology for newer recruits while the ICS which had a deep rooted connection in Tamil Nadu and Kerala ensured that the funds kept flowing from the Middle East through the major Hawala channel that has been established in Kerala.

Women played an important role in JMB's rebirth

The women folk played a very important role in the rebirth of the JMB. They were roped in to coax the younger lot to join the force. They wanted to ensure that all the modules were linked through families. The JMB's strategy was to rope in family members connected with each other so that the working pattern would be a united one. Further, they also encouraged several members part of the JMB to marry the women and ensure that it becomes one full fledged family.

The money trail

The agencies have found that there was a two-pronged strategy that was involved in the raising of funds. There were hundi operations in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and also crop donations from Bangladesh which helped them raise funds. A possibility of money being raised through counterfeiting is also not being ruled. The JMB has several sympathisers in the Middle East who run the hundi operations for it.

How funds were channelised to Bangladesh

The money is collected from businessmen in the Middle East through these hundi operations and then sent across to Bangladesh through a hawala channel. While this is one part of the funding operation, the JMB also relied heavily on crop donations within Bangladesh. This was a modus operandi that they relied upon and it was largely restricted to the rural areas of Bangladesh where farmers had to pay a small sum of money to the JMB to run their operations. Further some of the farmers who also felt the need to earn more money would contribute to the JMB who in turn would help them infiltrate into India.

The fake currency connection

The fake currency racket is yet another source of funding that would be on the ED's agenda to track down. Intelligence Bureau officials say that there was a lot of reliance on this form of fund raising in the year 2007-08. The JMB had tied up with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba to further this business. Lashkar cadres from Pakistan would drop money with the JMB members who with their easy access to India would circulate fake currency.

Infiltrators facilitated by JMB

Scores of infiltrators who wanted to find jobs in India due to poor conditions in Bangladesh would be facilitated by the JMB. These infiltrators were told to carry in fake currency into India and circulate it around. However with the norms being tightened, the reliance is more on hundi operations from the Middle East when compared to the fake currency circulation. There has been a money trail that has also been found from Britain where a considerable number of Bangladeshi nationals are residing.

Transactions between JMB and Bengal government officials?

The IB has also found that money has flown in to set up Madrasas on government land in West Bengal. Sources say that there has been transactions between the JMB members and local government officials to illegally set up Madrasas on government land. Intelligence agencies have also stated that members of the JMB had tried to infiltrate into gram panchayats and work there. They had enough and more documents to certify them as Indians and this had helped them a great deal in carrying out this racket.

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