One of those WTH moments. When I first saw this photo this morning, my jaw dropped. One of the top al-Qaeda/Ansar al-Islam ideologues in #Bangladesh, visiting a #Rohingya refugee camp, in broad daylight 🤨 And posting about it on Facebook 🤪
So this is Maulana Muhammad Ishak Khan, an AQIS/Ansar leader whom I interviewed once and had correspondence with on and off. Khan is the Bengali translator and publisher of Anwar al-Awalaki's lectures. He is also a top lieutenant of Jasimuddin Rahmani.
My interview with Khan was focused on Bangladeshi followers of Awlaki. That was back in 2016. He was (most likely) hiding in Malaysia then, and touring through the region, hosted by the jihadis there. Here is Khan somewhere in Indonesia
Thread: interesting development in Bangla jihad front. Bangladesh police now saying Shahjahan Bacchu (publisher, freethinker, atheist) was killed by JMB (real, not the fake one). The kicker? Police has already executed the prime suspect. This was first reported by @labu8080
According to a report in BT, "the main plotter" of the assassination Abdur Rahman was arrested on June 24. He was killed by the police in a *gunfight* (euphemism for extrajudicial execution) last night (Wednesday, June 27).
Abdur Rahman was a member/leader of JMB and apparently interrogated at some length by regular police and CTTC. He was killed only after "all important details" were "extracted from him". We will never know the details, since this is not going to court, just like other cases :-/
I usually am very critical of #Bangladesh government and its security agencies. This time I will make an exception b/c how the GoB and BD police handled the jihadi threat and attack against Dr. Muhammed Zafar Iqbal is commendable. Credit must be given where credit is due.
This case is a good example of how the jihadi threat against Bangladeshi intellectuals *should be* handled. GoB and its LEA must offer protection to all Bangladeshi intellectuals (bloggers, writers, freethinkers) under jihadi threat, esp. from AQIS/Ansar, ISIS.
Three broad points re: state protection offered to Muhammed Zafar Iqbal (MZI).
First, Bangladeshi LEA took the jihadi threat against MZI seriously AND deployed a police detail round-the-clock for his protection. This did play a *huge role* in MZI's survival in the latest attack.
I will start with the most glaring mistake in the report. That is how it presents the ISIS position re: Rohingya. The report cites an April 2016 interview in Dabiq and claims: "a Bangladeshi ISIS commander [sounded] a rallying cry to fight for Rohingya rights" 🤦♂️
Anyone who has read that Dabiq (# 14) interview (with Sajit Debnath aka Saifullah Ozaki aka Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif) knows that this claim (of "rallying cry") is demonstrably false. I am actually quite surprised to see such a serious misreading of jihadi messaging in an ICG report.