Friday, April 10, 2009

Funding Militants: Kuwait-based NGO director deported

Friday, April 10, 2009

The government on Wednesday deported Sudan national Abbas Bao, director of Bangladesh chapter of Kuwait-based NGO Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), and asked him not return as he is an "unexpected" person in the country, sources say.

The sources from the Special Branch (SB) of police say they called him in at their Uttara office on Tuesday and asked him to leave the country immediately.

A senior SB official confirmed that Bao left the country soon after that meeting.

"He is one of the listed people who are prohibited to stay in or enter the country," the official added.

There are allegations that RIHS used to provide funds to the militants of Ahab, JMB and other organisations, investigators had said earlier.

Contacted, ABM Zakir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Uttara police, said he saw Bao to go to the SB office, which is located in the same building of the police station.

The NGO Affairs Bureau cancelled RIHS's registration in May 2007 following a government decision made over intelligence recommendations. Ahle Hadith Andolan, Bangladesh (Ahab) chief Asadullah Al Galib helped RIHS get registered in November 1996.

RIHS Deputy Director General Bao was serving as the NGO's country director. He came to Bangladesh in 1996 and married a Bangladeshi woman, who hailed from Kishoreganj. He also has two children.

Sources say there is another African national, Abdur Rahman, who is a close associate of Bao and also married the sister of Bao's wife.

Earlier, one Akramuzzaman was the director of the RIHS Bangladesh chapter. His nephew Nasrullah was a Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leader and was killed in a blast in Rangamati while making bombs, the sources add.

After the government banned al-Qaeda donor-suspect Al Haramain Foundation [now outlawed worldwide] in 2003, many Haramain staffs including five foreign nationals joined RIHS. Four of the foreign nationals were later withdrawn from the country following the August 17 serial blasts in 2005.

Meanwhile, RIHS has appealed to the Bureau for reconsidering cancellation of its registration, officials say.

Executed JMB chief Abdur Rahman himself told the media in 2004 that he used to get funds from the RIHS and Saudi Arabian NGO Rabitat-e Alam al Islami, which is allegedly run by Jamaat-e-Islami men.

The RIHS has so far erected 1,000 mosques, madrasas and orphanages across the country, many of which were used by JMB militants, said the investigators.


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