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'Bonafide' LeT sets up base in WB district

'Bonafide' LeT sets up base in WB district

Author: Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Publication: DNA (Daily News & Analysis)
Date: August 1, 2008
URL: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1181019

Underground Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups have extended their network in several Bengal districts along Indo-Bangladesh border under the garb of frontal welfare organisations, a Bengal police report says.

The most alarming of such networks is by Lashkar-e-Toiba, which over the past couple of years, has extended their network through the frontal welfare organisation, Ahl-e-Hadis.

A confidential study by the intelligence branch of the state police reveals that over the years, these frontal organisations have gained substantial popularity among the local populace through their development activities in the region.

According to IB sources, the local police and the undercover sleuths never suspected them because these groups avoided all religious talks.

"Their real face was uncovered after we recently arrested two Lashkar persons from Murshidabad district, who were part of the Ahl-e-Hadis. Investigations revealed that this frontal organisation is also operating in a similar manner in Bangladesh for the past few years," a senior IB official said.

The IB also recovered from them several incriminating documents including maps of some vital defence installations.

The investigators say further interrogations of the two Lashkar militants may provide some vital clues to the recent blasts at Bangalore and Ahmedabad. "One thing was clear during their interrogation that besides travelling to Bangladesh, the two suspects often frequented Mumbai and Ahmedabad," the IB official said.

They further pointed out that unlike Harkat-ul-Jihadi-Islami (Huji), the Lashkar under the garb of Ahl-e-Hadis never made an attempt to expand its network to all the Indo-Bangladesh bordering districts of Bengal. "They only concentrated in Murshidabad and Maldah districts because of the sheer multi-connectivity advantages these two districts enjoy over other bordering districts," the IB official said.

He said that unlike any Bengal district along Bangladesh border, Maldah and Murshidabad provide easy access to Bangladesh and Nepal.

"At the same time, from both these districts, one can easily move out to Bengal's neighbouring state of Jharkhand. Also, Murshidabad and Maldah are the only two Indo-Bangladesh bordering districts of Bengal, which have direct railways connectivity to major stations of Howrah and Sealdah," he said.

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