AFTER remaining underground for many years, notorious militancy outfit Hizbut Towhid (HT) has re-emerged and has started holding meetings in various cities and towns in Bangladesh.
In a video clip dated June 13, 2019, a leader of this notorious group is seen encouraging its members in continuing jihad and ‘qital’ [slaughter] of Jews and Christians. This group also has been running a channel on YouTube.
The YouTube channel named ‘Hezbut Tawheed’ has 17,681 subscribers and thousands of people are watching these extremely disturbing videos. This vile extremist group also runs a vernacular newspaper named Dainik Bojrshokti, while it also runs a news portal named JTV Online. Another daily newspaper named Dainik Desher Potro was banned by the government in 2014.
It may be mentioned here that, due to investigative reports and research-based articles published by Bangladesh-based Blitz, the government had outlawed this notorious group.
For years, HT had published a wealth of jihadist propaganda materials and books promoting religious hatred, jihad, and the killing of non-Muslims.
Quoting from the Koran, the leader of HT are often seen asking people to wage jihad and to confront those who are denouncing Islam, and calling for the killing of innocent people in the name of an Islamic ‘Holy War’.
The leaders of HT even are claiming to have been cleared by the law enforcing and security agencies in Bangladesh for the continuation of their activities.
One of the notorious publications of HT is ‘Dajjal’, a book demonizing Jews and Christians and encouraging Muslims in waging jihad and killing non-Muslims.
It is a matter of grave concern as to how Bangladesh authorities are allowing such open activities of HT. Such activities of this notorious militancy outfit continues at a time when fighters of Islamic State are currently displaced from Iraq and Syria and are feared to be spreading-out across the world.
Notorious jihadist outfits like Al Qaeda and Islamic State would find Hizbut Towhid as their ideological allies.
Hizbut Towhid also denounces the democratic system and advocated Caliphate. It also denouncing the empowerment of women.
As a counter-militancy expert, in my understanding, this re-emergence of Hizbut Towhid poses a grave threat to Bangladesh’s internal security as well as to regional and global securities, as under-cover members of this outfit are being spread throughout the world.
According to Wikipedia, Hizbut Towhid is a Bangladesh based religious group, which is currently blacklisted by Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies for their connection with militancy. Muhammad Bayazeed Khan Panni, the family of the traditional Panni family of Tangail, founded Hezbut Tawheed on 16 February 1995. After the death of Panni in 2012, Hossain Mohammad Selim of Noakhali district took charge of the organization. According to its website, it has offices and organizational activities in all the districts of Bangladesh. Hizbut Towhid’s current leader Salim’s father is a union council member in Noakhali district.
Although the organization claims that they are working against militancy and communalism, the group was blacklisted by Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies in 2008. Bangladesh Bank also issued a warning to the banking sectors of Bangladesh against joining any program organized by the group or its associated bodies.
As part of their determination of waging jihad, Hizbut Towhid members carry tobacco powder and a hammer, which, bizarrely, are considered to be the most convenient weapons in killing “enemies of Islam”. They spray tobacco powder on the eyes of their targets and allegedly hit the target’s head with a hammer.
Members of the Bangladeshi security agencies seem completely unaware of the claim that, since 2014, Hizbut Towhid has secretly formed an alliance with banned militancy outfit Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) – a franchise of Islamic State.
The Bangladesh government needs to immediately ban Hizbut Towhid and bring the members of this notorious group to account.