Al-Qaeda calls on Bangladeshi Muslims to wage jihad against Myanmar Army

The crucial JWG with 15 each from Bangladesh and Myanmar will oversee the repatriation of over 6,00,000 Rohingya refugees who have taken shelter in Bangladesh to escape ethnic violence in the latter. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh Dec 24, 2017, 06.10 AM (IST) Saad Hammadi

Literature newly released by Muhammad Miqdaad, a Bangladeshi Al-Qaeda fighter in the subcontinent, calls on the Muslims of Bangladesh to wage "jihad" against the Myanmar establishment to liberate Arakan (what is today the Rakhine state of Myanmar) for the Rohingya population.

The literature -- titled "Adopt the Call of Allah; Say “No” to Jahiliyyah!" -- was released by Al-Qaeda's As-Sahab Media on the messaging app Telegram.

Miqdaad, the author of the literature, argues that the "devil and his companions" have divided the identity of Muslims as one nation by segregating them by region and locality.

Due to the unrestrained cruelty — genocide, rape, and other war crimes — committed upon Arakanese Muslims, Jihad against the Burmese Army has become an individual obligation on every capable Muslim of Bangladesh,' literature newly released by Al-Qaeda says
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Released on December 16, the literature dates back to September, Miqdaad writes: "Specially, recently when I see the genocide, and the oppression on Arakanese Muslims… the demolishment of their dwellings… the assaults on their women… and then their attempts to enter Bangladesh or Malaysia for asylum… and then at the same time, the Bangladeshi and Malaysian Muslims’ adoption of the identity of Jahiliyyah while forgetting their real identity… thus rejecting and abandoning their own people by identifying them as Rohingya or Burmese."

The literature argues that Arakan is not part of Myanmar and was a blueprint of the "kuffar" (infidels) to "annihilate the Muslims".

The nine-page piece of literature pulls references from Quranic verses and provides a brief history of the region, making its arguments methodically.

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The literature further states: "Due to the unrestrained cruelty — genocide, rape, and other war crimes — committed upon Arakanese Muslims, Jihad against the Burmese Army has become an individual obligation on every capable Muslim of Bangladesh."

Bangladesh currently houses nearly a million Rohingya refugees, including a fresh influx of 655,000 members of the community who have sought refuge in Bangladesh's Southern Cox's Bazar since September this year. The fresh influx occurred following a crackdown by the Myanmar Army on the Rohingya population in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state. 

Security analysts say the Rohingya's vulnerable condition makes them ripe for exploitation by extremist outfits across the region.

Recent reports in the Indian media have also revealed that members of the Rohingya community, as well as jihadists from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, have been training on making and using improvised explosive devices in Mae Sot in Thailand.

The ongoing Rohingya crisis in Rakhine erupted after the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an insurgent group, killed 30 members of the Myanmar security forces on August 25.

On its Twitter page, ARSA has denied any allegiance to global terrorist organisations but the latest literature from Al-Qaeda indicates the jihadist organisation is harping on the Rohingya crisis to legitimise its own cause.