Country Report on Terrorism 2019 - Chapter 5 - Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)

Aka HUJI-B; Harakat ul Jihad e Islami Bangladesh; Harkatul Jihad al Islam; Harkatul Jihad; Harakat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami; Harakat ul Jihad Islami Bangladesh; Islami Dawat-e-Kafela; IDEK

Description:  Designated as an FTO on March 5, 2008, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B) was formed in April 1992 by a group of former Bangladeshi Afghan veterans seeking to establish Islamist rule in Bangladesh.  In October 2005, Bangladeshi authorities banned the group.  The leaders of HUJI-B signed the February 1998 fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Laden that declared U.S. civilians legitimate targets.  HUJI-B has connections to al-Qa’ida and Pakistani terrorist groups advocating similar objectives, including HUJI and Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT).

Activities:  In December 2008, three HUJI-B members, including HUJI-B leader Mufti Abdul Hannan, were convicted for the May 2004 grenade attack that wounded the British High Commissioner in Sylhet, Bangladesh.  In 2011, Bangladeshi authorities formally charged multiple suspects, including Hannan, with the killing of former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria in a grenade attack on January 27, 2005.  In 2013, Bangladeshi police arrested a group of terrorists, including HUJI-B members, who were preparing attacks on public gatherings and prominent individuals.  In 2014, HUJI-B continued its operations; reports at the time suggested that some HUJI-B members may have traveled to Pakistan to receive military training from LeT.

On April 12, 2017, Bangladeshi authorities executed HUJI-B leader Hannan and two associates for the May 2004 grenade attack. In October 2019, Dhaka police arrested three HUJI-B operatives reportedly attempting to revive the group’s operations.

Strength:  HUJI-B leaders claim that up to 400 of its members are Afghan war veterans; its total membership is unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Bangladesh and India

Funding and External Aid:  HUJI-B funding comes from a variety of sources.  Several international NGOs may have funneled money to HUJI-B.