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Rohingya Muslims: The Terror Connection

A photograph released by Myanmar's Armed Forces on October 14, 2016, with a Myanmar soldier holding a banner with Arabic writing with pouches containing bullets and documents seized inside a house during military operations in search of attackers in Maungdaw

Time and again it has been proved that Rohingya Muslims have connections with the Islamist Terrorist groups. We need to take care that our comprehensiveness as a virtue shouldn’t become a perversion of virtue. So considering national interest, Central Government’s decision’s to deport illegal immigrants Rohingya Muslims is justifiable

Last year Central Government said in Supreme Court, “Rohingya presence in the country has serious national security ramifications & it poses national security threats. The illegal influx of Rohingyas into India started in 2012-13 and inputs suggest links of some of the immigrants with Pak-based terror groups. Some Rohingyas with militant background were active in Jammu, Delhi, Hyderabad & Mewat and are a potential threat to internal security.’’ So on this background, it is necessary to know Rohingya’s terrorist organisations & their relation with Islamic terrorist groups.

Some Rohingya Muslims have the objective of creating sovereign Muslim nation on Myanmar-Bangladesh border, so lots of terrorist organisations are active to fulfil that dream. ‘Rohingya Solidarity Organization’ (RSO) was founded in early 1980’s. Their movements & plan of action are similar to terrorist organisations like those of Taliban & the Kashmir-based ‘Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’ (literal meaning-group of fighting Jihadists). RSO is allegedly working with two banned jihadist groups ‘Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh’ (JMB) & ‘Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami-Bangladesh’ (HUJI-B). RSO has denied these links. Nurul Islam is the boss of RSO. After the failure of merging with another Rohingya insurgent group to form the moderate ‘Arakan Rohingya National Organization’, RSO split into several groups, all claiming the name RSO. Out of these two groups collaborated with another group called as ‘Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front’ in 1998 & decided to merge in ‘Arakan Rohingya National Organization’ (ARNO). All these groups are active along Myanmar-Bangladesh border. ARNO, RSO, Istehadul Tullabul Muslemin (ITM) known as student front of RSO & National United Party of Arakan (NUPA) are active in Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Khagrachhari & Rangamati in Bangladesh. There are around total thousand groups like these which are active & have contact with lots of international Islamic terrorist organizations. As per South Asia Intelligence Review reports, at least one of the RSO’s groups is getting financial & technical support from various pan-Islamist organisations throughout South & Southeast Asia, including the Bangladeshi/Pakistani ‘Jamaat-e-Islami’, Afghan warlord ‘Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami’, & most importantly, HUJI-B – all of whom are unquestionably linked with ‘Al-Qaeda’. Rohingya mujahideen’s videotapes of Bangladesh’s Bandarban area training camps were acquired by the media & US intelligence during the October 2001 campaign in Afghanistan. Rohingya volunteers were among some of the Taliban Jihadis captured by the Northern Alliance & coalition forces. According to Islamist network expert Subir Bhaumik, Rohingya volunteers have been sent to international flashpoints as far away as Kashmir & Chechnya. Osama bin Laden himself had openly referred to the persecution of Muslims in Myanmar, as well as his supporters.

Rohingya Muslims are getting the active support from Muslim countries like Libya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan & Iran. They are also receiving financial support from rich Islamic organisations like Saudi Arabia’s ‘Rabitat al-Alam al-Islami’ (literal meaning- World Muslim League). Rohingya refugee camps are placed in Cox Bazar in Bangladesh. Jihadi groups in South Asia got weaponry which was smuggled from this Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar area where smuggling of weaponry has been going on a large scale. Charity organisations such as ‘International Islamic Relief Committee’ are helping these Rohingya refugees. Nobel Peace Prize winner NGO ‘Medecins sans Frontieres’ (MSM) & United Nations refugee organization ‘United Nations High Commissions For Refugees’ (UNHCFR) are front leading organisations to help Rohingyas; MSM listed ‘’Rohingyas as one of the ten world’s populations in adversity’’ in his press release on November 26, 1992. Other organisations related to United Nations are sending letters to Myanmar Government expressing concern about the situation of Rohingyas & asking for an explanation. Humanitarian organisation ‘Amnesty International’ is giving unsolicited advice like how Myanmar should treat Rohingyas or how all countries should put pressure on Myanmar etc. These so-called humanitarian organisations have always overlooked persecution of Kashmiri Pandits & kept mum on this issue. This is called as selective humanity.

Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) has suspected terror links with Al-Qaeda, Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) & other Gulf-based jihadi groups. Karachi-born Rohingya origin & Mecca-based fundamentalist leader ‘Ataullah alias Ameer Abu Amar, Abu Amar Jununi’ is said to be the head of both the ARSA & Harkat-ul Yakin. Some reports also suggest that the ARSA was born out of the Harkat-ul Yakin. In October 2016, ARSA came into notice when it attacked border security forces in Myanmar in which 9 security personnel were killed. According to International Crisis Group, the operators of Harkat-ul Yakin or the ARSA are well connected with similar outfits in Pakistan, Bangladesh & India.

Aqa Mul Mujahideen (AMM) is another terrorist outfit whose leaders were trained in Pakistan & later recruited Rohingya youth in Rakhine state. AMM is originated from the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami-Arakan (HUJI-A) & said to be in touch with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) & the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)—both active in Jammu & Kashmir. There are reports of Rohingya terrorists fighting with Pakistani extremists in Kashmir. One of their top leaders, ‘Chotta Burmi’, was killed in Kashmir along with JeM commander Adil Pathan in 2015. Earlier Burmi allegedly shared the dais with Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan. According to government sources in Dhaka, another Pakistani national of Rohingya origin ‘Abdus Qadoos Burmi’ is current HUJI-A’s chief. He developed HUJI-A network in Bangladesh, using the remote hills along its border with Myanmar; he is too close to Hafiz Saeed. Qadoos Burmi recruited ‘Hafiz Tohar’ from Maungdaw in Myanmar & now Tohar is said to be heading the AMM. Hafiz Saeed’s other terror group, Jamat ud Dawa’s (JuD) humanitarian arm, Falah-e-Insaniat (FiF), was active in Rohingya relief camps in Rakhine State after the 2012 riots. JuD launched ‘Difa-e-Musalman-e-Arakan’ conference in Pakistan in 2012 to highlight the Rohingya issue. Subsequently, two senior JuD operatives, ‘Shahid Mahmood’ & ‘Nadeem Awan’, allegedly established direct contacts with Rohingya extremists based in camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Bangladesh authorities arrested Pakistan-based Rohingya ‘Maulana Shabeer Ahmed’ who was operative in 2012 & he revealed that he was coordinating with Rohingya terrorists in Bangladesh on behalf of JeM. Pakistan-linked Rohingya terror groups are also noticed in Mae Sot area on the Thai side of the Thai-Myanmar border.

In-house jihadist weekly magazine, ‘Al-Qalam’ published in Urdu carries article penned by JeM’s Maulana Masood Azhar under the pen name ‘Sa’adi’. Azhar threatens the ‘oppressive’ Myanmar Government to prepare for ‘the thudding sound of the footsteps of its conquerors’. He states that ‘The country will be soon deprived of peace and tranquillity’. In his article headlined as ‘Betab Burma’ (Distressed Burma), he appeals Muslims of the subcontinent ‘to do something, & do it urgently’.

‘Rohingya Solidarity Organization’ (RSO) founded in early 1980’s is similar to terrorist organisations like those of Taliban & the Kashmir-based ‘Hizb-ul Mujahideen’. RSO allegedly is working with two banned jihadist groups ‘Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh’ & ‘Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami-Bangladesh’

On July 1, 2014, Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the establishment of the caliphate. In that speech he indirectly mentioned the plight of the Rohingyas: “So raise your ambitions, O soldiers of the Islamic State! For your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, & are anticipating your brigades. It is enough for you to just look at the scenes that have reached you from Central Africa, & from Burma before that. What is hidden from us is far worse. So by the grace of Allah, we will take revenge!” In November 2016, Taliban condemned “the genocide of the over one million minority Muslims of Burma,” placing the blame on the “cruel barbaric actions of the Burmese rulers” & calling on “the entire Muslim Ummah to utilise every means at their disposal to safeguard & protect the oppressed Muslims of Burma.”

In May 2013, a plot against the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta by local extremists raged by the persecution of the Rohingya by Indonesian police. Several people were arrested who were found with bomb-making material. The suspects had links with previous December 2012 plot to attack US diplomatic & commercial interests in Jakarta & Surabaya. In late November 2016, Indonesian police arrested 3 militants from a cell (whose members had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State) planning a bomb attack against the same embassy. ‘Abu Bakar Bashir’, an accused jihadist in Bali bombings issued an open letter to Myanmar President Thein Sein from prison in July 2012 in which he said, ’They (Myanmar Buddhists) burn the homes of Muslims, forbade [Islamic] worship & slaughter them like animals.’ He threatened Myanmar that if they didn’t improve their treatment of Muslims, ‘the destruction of the lands [of Myanmar] at the hands of the mujahidin (with the permission of Allah) would take place’. Jamaat-i-Islami held rallies in Lahore on June 14, 2013, in which they portrayed Rohingyas as martyred. In September 2012, Rohingya group was accused of instigating violence in Ramu in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar district in which dozen Buddhist temples & more than 50 houses were destroyed. In June 2013, four Myanmar Buddhists were killed in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, some reports blame local Malay Muslims while some reports blame Rohingya refugees.

In July 2012, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) considered as Pakistani Taliban, threatened Myanmar that they would avenge the targeting of Rohingya & their spokesman ‘Ehsanullah Ehsan’ demanded that Pakistan Government should cut off ties with Myanmar & their embassy should be closed down. In 2016, under international pressure, Myanmar government formed an Advisory Commission under the former UN secretary-general, ‘Kofi Annan’. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, accepted those recommendations but ARSA carried out its attacks just hours after that report was made public.

Maybe it was to take revenge of persecution of Rohingyas by Myanmar Military or Myanmar Buddhist or for carving separate Muslim nation from Myanmar or to fulfil the demand of autonomy of Muslim majority state or to get citizenship rights or recognised by the government in 135 ethnic groups etc. Whatever reason may it be but it’s true that Rohingyas have formed terrorist groups & also they have close contact with other international Islamic terrorist organisations. Also, they are involved in terrorist activities. It should be noted that Rohingyas are predominantly influenced by the Wahhabi-Salafism which is considered as a puritanical & violent strain in Islam. Kashmiri Pandits were persecuted in almost similar manner & have been living in refugee camps for more than two decades but have you ever heard that Kashmiri Pandits formed any terrorist organisation & launched attack to retaliate it?

Muslim organisations had organised a rally on August 11, 2012, at Azad Maidan in Mumbai to protest alleged atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Protesters turned violent & it resulted in riots in which protesters went on a rampage, attacking police, media persons & vehicles. Two policewomen were molested & stabbed by the unruly crowd. Amar Jawan Jyoti Memorial was vandalised by Abdul Qadir Ansari & Shahbaz Abdul Kadir Shaikh who were arrested afterwards. 2 youths killed, 52 including 44 polices injured in this riot. A Rohingya Muslim named Yusuf Khan, an illegal immigrant from Myanmar was arrested on an allegation of being a source of provocative messages that were in circulation around a week before these riots. Yusuf was regularly in touch with a Maulana in Baramulla district, a religious leader in Myanmar & another person in Bangladesh. Yusuf with Myanmar identity card, claimed he had come to Delhi to collect donations & stayed in UP, then he came to Mumbai a few years ago. One of those persons who delivered an aggressive speech at Azad Maidan was from the mosque in Garib Nagar in Bandra (East) in which Yusuf was working as a cleaner.

As per Former IG BSF, V K Gaur’s article in Outlook India, ‘’Rohingyas also pose a serious threat to the security of India’s north-eastern state Nagaland as around 2,000 local Muslims have volunteered to take up arms against the Nagas if the latter try to drive them out. Around 20 ISIS terrorists/operatives have entered Nagaland to train them. They are planning suicide bomb attacks and bomb blasts throughout Nagaland….. The sources confirmed that the Imam of Dimapur is contacting the Rohingya rebels & has commenced collecting a huge amount of arms and ammunition from Bangladesh. The Imam is reportedly planning to attack Hebron and Kehoi camp posts through which it will be convenient for them to capture Nagaland.’’ So on this background Centre’s decision to deport Rohingyas is absolutely correct. It’s true that all Rohingya Muslims are not terrorists but how can we identify who is terrorist or who is not?

India is deporting Rohingya Muslims but at the same time, India is providing relief and aid of total 7,000 metric tonnes on the humanitarian ground under ‘Operation Insaniyat’ (ie. Humanity) to Rohingya Muslims refugee camps in Bangladesh. Recently bilateral framework has been signed between Myanmar & Bangladesh under which Rohingya refugees would be repatriated to Myanmar. One thing is clear that accepting the refugees or illegal immigrants is not a permanent solution, so India has signed first Government-to-Government pact with Myanmar under which India will build pre-fabricated homes for these returning Rohingyas including $25 million for development projects like building schools, healthcare facilities, bridges, roads, setting up self-help groups to generate employment & economic activities for the returning refugees. India is helping in terms of basic & fundamental facilities. This is excellent & true humanitarian step taken by the Indian government.

Refugees from Chakma, Buddhists from Muslim-majority Bangladesh & Rohingya Muslims from Buddhist-majority Myanmar are taking shelter in India. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, Jews all are safe & secure in Hindu-majority India. We need to take care that our comprehensiveness as a virtue shouldn’t become a perversion of virtue so considering national interest, Central Government’s decisions to deport illegal immigrants Rohingya Muslims is justifiable.

Courtesy: Organiser


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