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
I lost contact with him some time in 2017, until I heard he was back to Bangladesh. I assumed he would be arrested. I asked a CTTC officer about Khan and was told they had know idea where Ishak Khan is 🤷‍♂️ Though someone told me he was raising money to start a madrasa.
Turns out that tip was spot on! Khan did start a madrasa near Dhaka, in Manikganj *and* was taking regular trips to the Rohingya refugee camps. Here is a photo of him with Rohingya children. This was in February, just months back!
Another from June, as in last month. If you don't read Bangla, you need to learn the language just to appreciate the bizarre, baffling context.
Prothom Alo says Khan was going to the refugee camps to indoctrinate and incite the Rohingyas, Well, duh?! How on earth the zillions of intelligence officers swarming in the area missed it? 🙆‍♂️

prothomalo.com/bangladesh/art…জঙ্গিবাদে-উদ্বুদ্ধ-করতে-কক্সবাজারের-রোহিঙ্গা
So, after *all these months* and after moving around freely across the country Maulana Muhammad Ishak Khan has been arrested by RAB 3 on July 10/11. One of my sources claim he was picked up by DB and then handed over to RAB.
I am definitely going to keep an eye on how this story unfolds further. Meanwhile, check out the books published and marketed by Khan 📚 //

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More from @tasneem

Aug 8, 2018
*A note on BCL*

I have been talking to survivors of the recent attacks in Dhaka (from Mirpur to Dhanmondi to Bashundhara) since yesterday and the evidence is just flooding in.
There is overwhelming evidence of how BCL (student wing of ruling AL) took over the streets and terrorised, brutalised, bloodied everyone from school children to university students, with a clear aim of scaring the peaceful protesters off the streets.
The campaign of engineering fear among regular, general students is ongoing as I write (and as you read) this post.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 23, 2018
CTTC in #Bangladesh has filed a chargesheet in relation to its investigation into the jihadi carnage at Holey Artisan Bakery in July 2016. Read on for facts that are *not* cited in the chargesheet. This, to record the truth about the July 1, 2016 attack.
Fact # 1: The attack was carried out by the Bangladeshi affiliate of ISIS: Dawlatul Islam Bengal. That ISIS was behind the attack was proven very early on when Amaq started posting about the attack *and* when it posted pictures of dead hostages.

facebook.com/tasneem.khalil…
Fact # 2: The attack was planned and coordinated by Candadian-Bangladeshi jihadi Tamim Ahmed Chowdury, who is named in the chargesheet. That Tamim aka Abu Dujanah al-Bengali was the "head of military and covert operations" of ISIS in Bangladesh is *not* noted in the chargesheet.
Read 12 tweets
Jun 28, 2018
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 :-/
Read 6 tweets
Mar 5, 2018
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.
Read 12 tweets
Feb 28, 2018
New report from @crisisgroup on Bangladeshi jihadi groups. IMHO, this one does not live up to the standard we saw in previous ICG reports on Bangladesh. Here I note the bad and good.

crisisgroup.org/asia/south-asi…
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.
Read 17 tweets

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