JMB still getting plenty of funds
Financial strength of militant organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh has been a grave concern for law enforcement agencies as the banned outfit is reportedly getting more than Tk 50 lakh a month from local and foreign sources.
JMB's activities have lately appeared on the wane following the arrest of its top brass, including its chief Moulana Saidur Rahman, and explosives experts.
But law enforcers involved with anti-militancy drives believe its network of financial support survives intact. The flow of fund in the form of supporters' monthly contributions, Zakat and donation apparently remains uninterrupted.
The officers, however, could not say who handles the funds after the arrest of Saidur in May. The JMB chief himself was in charge of its finance division.
Of their monthly earning, around Tk 6 lakh is being sent by around 3,000 JMB supporters staying in Australia, England, Italy, Canada, Malaysia and middle-east countries, according to a statement made by Saidur at Taskforce for Interrogation cell recently.
They send cash to their families mainly via people including friends and relatives. A portion of the money goes to JMB fund.
Most of the 3,000 sympathisers belong to Ahle Hadith community, a top detective branch official quoted Saidur as saying.
Saidur also claimed to have received 18,000 British pounds and 1,500 US dollars -- equivalent to around Tk 20 to 22 lakh -- at the end of 2008 and early 2009 from a person named Ahmed.
Investigators could not say any further about Ahmed, as JMB never uses real name or identity.
Saidur also said Mamun, a person who was involved in fake currency business in India, had been donating Tk 50,000 every month to JMB fund until he was arrested.
The Daily Star obtained a copy of Saidur's statement.
Saidur, also the former ameer of Habiganj district Jamaat-e-Islami, disclosed JMB gets cash around Tk 50 to Tk 60 lakh in Ramadan.
In Bangla month of Baishakh they also get around Tk 10 lakh mainly from North Bengal in the form of Zakat and Ushr (a portion of harvested crop given as donation).
The statement also reads the highest earning by a unit (comprising several villages) is Tk 10 to 12 thousand, by a upazila unit Tk 50,000, a district unit Tk 2 lakh and a divisional unit Tk 5 to 6 lakh.
An Esher (full-time) member is put in charge of each of the financial units.
Money collected from members' monthly contribution and other sources is first deposited to the unit chief. After meeting the unit's expenditure he sends the surplus to the organisation's upazila level.
Thus money flows through different tiers -- village, upazila, district and division. Finally, if there is any left over, it goes to the finance division head.
Saidur as the finance division boss was accountable to four Majlish-e-Sura (highest decision-making body) members.
Moreover, the outfit earns around Tk 50,000 from the organisations' Taxicabs, CNG-run three wheelers, vans and rickshaws.
JMB members used to operate those vehicles with two objectives -- to disguise as part of the masses and to get used to tough job.
Security and Defence analyst Prof Imtiaz Ahmed of Dhaka University International Relations department stressed the need for a big investment in research on militancy as militants, who earlier used different channels and money laundering to send money, are exploring new systems to get the job done.
Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan, director of Rab's intelligence wing, said the militancy funding is really a concern for them as they usually don't know how militants are getting or spending the money.
Contacted, Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandker said they were inquiring into the matter.