Cop attacker suspect serves on sharia boardMay 29, 2012
Money Jihad readers will recall Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL), a large sharia bank that diverts 8 percent of its profits as zakat toward jihadist militants according to the Bangladesh home ministry.
What you don’t know is that the secretary of IBBL’s sharia advisory board is Abu Bakr Rafique, who was arrested last September on suspicion of his involvement in an attack against Bangladeshi police by Jamaat-e-Islami “activists” who seriously injured three officers.
Rafique is also the pro-vice provost of the International Islamic University in Chittagong (IIUC). The government of Bangladesh has detected $15 million that is suspected to have been funneled from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait through the IIUC to terrorist leaders in the form of “honorariums,” grants, and bogus allowances. Let’s look back to the Blitz last September 2011:
Bangladesh government has detected an annual inflow of US$ 15 million suspected terror funding from dubious sources in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which came to International Islamic University [IIU] situated in Chittagong in the country as “grant”. Pro-Vice Chancellor of IIU, Abu Bakar Rafique has been arrested on his way to Kuwait from Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong. It is alleged that, IIU was connected with a number of leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and some of the leaders of the party were receiving monthly honorarium or allowances from it. Chittagong city leader of Jamaat, Shamsul Islam, who is the secretary of the “Trustee Board” of IIU, was receiving US$ 2,000 each month as “meeting allowance”. A number of Jamaat leaders continued to draw fund from the International Islamic University as “meeting allowance”.
International Islamic University obtained approval in 1995 from the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh to start its activities.
It may be mentioned here that, dubious Afro-Arab sources are continuing to fund various madrassas and Islamic education institutes in Bangladesh for years. Earlier, Kuwait-based Islamic Heritage Revival Society and Saudi-based Al-Haramine Institutes were outlawed in Bangladesh on suspected terror involvement. Both the organizations were funding few hundred millions of dollars every year in Koranic madrassas as well as various Islamic institutions in Bangladesh. Both were banned by the previous government led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP].
There are three campuses of International Islamic University in the world. These are located in Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is believed that IIU are product of Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim Brotherhood. The late Abdullah Azzam, Bin Laden’s mentor, was a teacher at the International Islamic University in Islamabad [IIUI]. Since 2001, there have been numerous reports of IIU students and lecturers being connected to al-Qaeda.
On January 28, 2010 two Nigerians who were pursuing their Doctor of Philosophy [PhD] degrees at the Islamic University of Malaysia were arrested by the Malaysian government on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist group. Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald) reported that the terrorism suspects detained in Malaysia were believed to be linked to the Nigerian student responsible for the botched Christmas Day plane bombing near Detroit. It quoted Malaysian officials as saying they arrested the 10, including nine foreigners, for “acts of terrorism” and that they were members of an international terror outfit tracked down in cooperation with foreign intelligence groups.
British newspaper The Telegraph said, The 10 suspects were from Malaysia, Syria, Nigeria, Jordan and Yemen. Abdul Mutallab – who studied mechanical engineering at University College, London from 2005 – 2008, was arrested after he attempted to detonate explosives sewn into his underwear on-board Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit.
However in Bangladesh, leading news agency BDNEWS24 removed a news item titled ‘IIUC Chancellor questioned for dubious meetings’ which was released in 2010, while News From Bangladesh deleted a news titled ‘Militant Camp found behind International Islamic University Chittagong’ for reasons not mentioned by either of the news sites.
The controversy in the Arab world over funding and promoting Islamic extremism and ultimately exporting this form of jihadist education is alive and well in an age in which terrorism is proliferating. Islamic universities have found themselves under siege as a result of the inquiry into their promotion of jihadist teachings. The controversy though stretches beyond the Arab world. There are Islamic universities all over the world, including in the United States, for example Michigan’s Islamic American University. In addition, Russia opened its first Islamic university in 1998 in Kazan, the capital of predominantly Muslim Republic of Tatar Stan.
This issue has been brought into focus with the attempted Christmas Day bombing by the 23-year old Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Mutallab allegedly received training and education in Yemen months prior to his attempted attack on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009. Further controversy has ensued since it has been revealed that the radical, American-born, Internet preacher Anwar al-Awlaki took classes and gave lectures at Al Eman University in Sana, where Mutallab was studying Arabic.
Al Eman University in Sana, Yemen has been in the media spotlight as a result of its connection to the Christmas Day attempted bombing and terrorist plot. There is viable fear among Americans and other international counterparts that violent extremism is brewing in the halls of Al Elman and other Islamic universities. Sheik Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who was also a theological adviser to Osama bin Laden, founded Al Elman University in 1993. The United States eventually put Zindani on a list of “specially designated global terrorists” for suspected fundraising for al-Qaeda operatives. The university has approximately 4,000 students and teaches courses in Islam and Western disciplines, publicly asserting that it seeks to blend the two and not promote jihadism. The university administration denied that Sheik Zindani was ever involved in a terrorist plot against the United States. The university vehemently opposes any claim that its form of education embraces violent, conservative Islam.
It is claimed by the counter-terrorism specialist that universities are an ideal setting for indoctrinating the young to radical, fundamental Islam. The case of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab and his connection to Al Eman University has reinvigorated the debate about whether universities are being used as breeding grounds for radical Islam. British universities in particular have been questioned since Abdul Mutallab studied in London in a mechanical engineering program before his connection to al-Qaeda was revealed. Before him, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted of the murder of a Wall Street Journal reporter, attended the London School of Economics. Likewise, notorious British citizens Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Sharif were enrolled in King’s College London before launching a suicide attack in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2003. Experts fear that during the very formative years of the college experience, extremists are influencing the youth and planting radical ideas. The British Department of Education has recently said to have prepared advice for colleges on how to look for Islamic fundamentalist activity on campuses. The fear for some becomes that overseas students are sought after to fill spaces and subsequently able to move freely around campus clandestinely recruiting other young people for radical, violent jihad. The argument goes that a university setting automatically provides radicals with access to thousands of young people for recruitment. It is an environment undeniably conducive to rallying a group of prospective followers.
Clandestine jihadists in Bangladeshi universities:
There are currently above eight hundred foreign students studying at Dhaka University, various medical colleges as well as Islamic universities in Bangladesh. It is alleged that, in most cases, students in particular from Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Palestine, Syria and African countries are actively involved in Jihadist indoctrination to fellow students by generating anti-West and anti-Semitic sentiments with the tactics of telling fake stories of “American, Western and Israeli brutalities on Muslims and anti-Islam conspiracies”. Such stories generally are cooked by top-graded pro-jihadist scholars. None of the intelligence agencies in Bangladesh are yet monitoring the activities in clandestine of the foreign students in various campuses in the country.
What does it tell you about Prof. Rafique when he maintains his positions with the IBBL sharia board and the IIUC, and both entities have been implicated by his own government in terror finance schemes? And what does it tell you about IBBL that they keep a man on their sharia board who was arrested for his involvement in a failed cop killer plot?