WikiLeaks: Bangladesh intelligence backed Islamists’ political wing

Friday, December 17, 2010

DHAKA - A Bangladeshi intelligence agency supported the idea of an Islamist terrorist group forming a political party as the South Asian country was being governed by a military-backed administration two years ago, media Friday quoted WikiLeaks documents as saying.

The documents, published by the private Bangladeshi news website, said that the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence had supported floating a political wing of the banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami while the interim government was in power from 2007 to 2008.

An attempt to form the Islamic Democratic Party was made before the 2008 general elections, according to a cable sent by the US embassy.

Bangladesh’s election commission, however, turned down an application for the party to be registered due to widespread criticism at the time.

The US embassy strongly opposed the creation of the political wing, believing that it could act violently against US missions or interests and may improve the group’s ability to support and carry out terrorist activities.

Another Bangladeshi intelligence agency, the National Security Intelligence, also voiced concern that the party would free extremists to pursue militant activity under the cover of a moderate front, the document said.

Filed under: Terrorism

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