The government is trying to win favour of the US, cashing in on the “so-called” al-Qaeda threat, acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged yesterday.
“In a bid to gain US favour, the government is spreading the so-called al-Qaeda threat, since the whole world as
well as the US rejected the January 5 election,” the BNP leader told a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan office.
Fakhrul's comments came two days after the media reported that al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audiovisual message urged the Muslims in Bangladesh to wage an intifada (popular uprising) to confront the “crusader onslaught against Islam”.
Posted in Jihadology.net, the message alleged 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”.
The message titled “Bangladesh: A Massacre behind a Wall of Silence” was released on January 14, but it surfaced in the media on Saturday.
Raising allegations that BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Hefajat-e Islam have links with al-Qaeda, ministers and ruling party lawmakers said al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri's message reflected the statements of BNP, Jamaat and Hefajat.
They said the al-Qaeda threat is part of a conspiracy against the country.
In response to the allegation, Fakhrul said, "While the state minister for foreign affairs is unclear about the authenticity of the message, some ministers and ruling party leaders are linking it to BNP. The claim is not only illogical and false but also ridiculous."
If one accuses the BNP of having ties with al-Qaeda just for the similarity between its statement and the al-Qaeda's message, then international community and the country's civil society that spoke against the government's misrule too should face the same accusation, he added.
Jamaat, a key component of the BNP-led alliance, also binned the allegation that the Islamist party has any connections with al-Qaeda.
In a statement on Sunday, acting Jamaat secretary general Shafiqur Rahman said media reports that Jamaat has links with al-Qaeda are absolutely false.
The “so-called” al-Qaeda message could be part of a conspiracy against the Muslims of the country, said the Jamaat leader.
Hefajat also refuted the allegation of having any ties with al-Qaeda.
In a statement on Saturday, the Qawmi madrasa-based organisation alleged that it might be a plot against the Muslims.