12:00 AM, February 17, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 17, 2014

Govt plays down Qaeda existence

Govt plays down Qaeda existence

Jamaat concerned at Zawahiri message
Star Report

Shahriar Alam, state minister for foreign affairs, yesterday ruled out the possibility of the existence of terrorist outfit al-Qaeda in the country.
The much-talked-about audiovisual message of al-Qaeda was almost similar to that of the anti-liberation discourse of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, he said while talking to reporters at the foreign ministry.
The party [Jamaat-e-Islami] might have some connection with it, he alleged.
An audiovisual message purported to be from al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri had 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 government does have the mechanism to detect the sources of such activities and will be able to find out its authenticity, Alam told reporters.
He also said whatever the network al-Qaeda had in the country in the past had already been destroyed during the tenure of the immediate past government, reports UNB.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday issued a statement regarding media reports on the audiovisual message of al-Qaeda leader.
"We are deeply concerned about the video message of the so-called al-Qaeda group's incumbent chief Ayman al Zawahiri which has asked the Muslim of Bangladesh to launch protest against those who had declared war against Islam," said Dr Shafiqur Rahman, acting secretary general of Jamaat, in the statement.  
"The people are deeply worried apprehending this campaign as a new conspiracy against the independence, sovereignty, Islam and patriotic citizens of the country.
"Bangladesh is free from any types of extremism, militancy and terrorism," the statement read.
"We do not have any knowledge even whether the religious section and the mainstream Islamic parties of Bangladesh have any ties with al-Qaeda," it said.
A few news media had published bogus reports citing the relation between Jamaat-e-Islami and al-Qaeda, which was totally false and baseless.
"We want to assert that no question arose at all from the side of Jamaat-e-Islami or Islami Chhatra Shibir of having relationship with al-Qaeda.
"We sincerely and truly hate any types of militancy," said the statement signed by Md Ibrahim of the party's central publicity department.



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