Bangladesh youth arrested for circulating Al Qaeda message

Dhaka, Feb 18: Bangladesh’s elite anti-crime force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Tuesday morning arrested a youth for circulating an audio-clip of Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri calling for an “intifada” (uprising) in the country.

“The youth was arrested for receiving and circulating the Al Qaeda audio clip in Bangladesh,” Xinhua quoted RAB spokesman ATM Habibur Rahman as telling journalists at a press beefing in Dhaka Tuesday evening.

He said the youth, Rasel Bin Sattar Khan, received the audio clip through email from Dawah Illalah, a Pakistan-based organisation, which first uploaded it Nov 30, 2013.

He said investigation is still going on to unearth the authenticity of the audio message by Al-Zawahiri.

Khan, 21, who was presented before journalists during the press briefing, denied any connection with Dawah Illalah which, according to the anti-elite crime force, has connections with the Al Qaeda.

“As I follow the organisation’s Facebook group like many other Islamic pages and groups I receive email from it automatically,” he said.

“The allegation is virtually true that I’ve circulated the audio clip through Facebook and my blogs.”

But the youth has expressed his ignorance about the audio clip’s main source.

“I’ve no idea when and where it was made and uploaded first.”

RAB personnel nabbed Khan, a third-year student at a textile institute from Bangladesh’s central Tangail district, 97 km from capital Dhaka, Tuesday morning, within a day after the audio clip, which sparked a huge uproar in Bangladesh, was published in almost all the leading local media Sunday.

The audiovisual message purported to be from the Al Qaeda chief has made a plea to Muslims in Bangladesh to wage an intifada to confront the “crusader onslaught against Islam”.

The message alleged that thousands of people were being killed in the streets of Bangladesh for protesting the “collusion of the anti-Islam secular government with a bunch of transgressing secularists”.