BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. Star file photo
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged that Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, masterminded the recent audiovisual message of al-Qaeda.
Khaleda also claimed that there was no existence of al-Qaeda in the country, Jahangir Alam Prodhan, general secretary of a faction of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ ) told The Daily Star Wednesday evening.
Prodhan took part in a view exchange meeting between the BNP chief and pro-BNP-Jamaat journalists that ended at 12:05am.
Latest political development including the government's statement linking the party with the alleged audiovisual message of al-Qaeda were discussed in the meeting.
The meeting began around 9:30pm at Khaleda’s Gulshan residence, said Sayrul Kabir Khan, a media wing staff of the party.
Among the invited journalists, Jatiya Press Club President Kamal Uddin Shabuj and General Secretary Sayed Abdal Ahmad, Dhaka Reporters' Unity General Secretary Elias Khan and presidents and general secretaries of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and Dhaka Union of Journalist were present.
Reporters were not allowed to cover the programme, Sayrul told The Daily Star.
Several ministers of the ruling Awami League recently linked BNP with the alleged audiovisual message said to be from al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
In the message, the al-Qaeda chief urged the Muslims in Bangladesh to wage an Intifada (popular uprising) to confront the “crusader onslaught against Islam”.
Earlier, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon alleged that BNP issued the threat through al-Qaeda, while several ministers and lawmakers of the AL-backed government including Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, JSD lawmaker Mainuddin Khan Badol, Workers Party MP Fazle Hossain Badsha and Tarikat Federation Chairman Syed Nozibul Bashar Maizbhandari alleged BNP of having links with the message.
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.