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. According to 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. Website of this group is hezbuttawheed.org. Facebook page of this group is facebook.com/htiwot, facebook.com/systempaltai, etc. This 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 series of investigative reports and research-based articles published in Blitz, the government had blacklisted this notorious group a few years back. Ever since its emergence, HT had published lots of jihadist propaganda materials and books promoting religious hatred, jihad, and killing of non-Muslims. This group is clearly asking its followers to wage jihad and has been openly demonizing anti-jihadist forces.
Quoting Koran, leader of HT are seen asking people to wage jihad and confront those who are denouncing jihad and killing of innocent people in the name of jihad.
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 Jews and Christians.
Leaders of this group are pronouncing jihad and killing of Jews and Christians as mandatory for the Muslims by quoting Koranic verses.
It is a matter of grave concern as to how Bangladesh authorities are allowing such open activities of this notorious group. Such activities of HT are continuing in a time when fighters of Islamic State are displaced from Iraq and Syria and are feared to have been spreading throughout the world. Notorious jihadist outfits like Al Qaeda and Islamic State would find Hizbut Towhid as their ideological allies.
It may be mentioned here that, Hizbut Towhid denounces democratic system and advocated Caliphate. It also denounces 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 regional and global securities, as under-cover members of this outfit are being spread throughout the world.
What is Hizbut Towhid?
According to Wikipedia, this 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 hammer, which are considered to be the most convenient weapon in killing “enemies of Islam”. They spray tobacco powder on the eyes of their targets and his the target’s head with hammer.
Hizbut Towhid wants to destroy ‘Judeo-Christian’ populace
According to information, leaders of notorious Hizbut Towhid give extreme jihadist indoctrination to its members and encourage them to destroy ‘Judeo-Christian’ populace as well as the Western nations and Israel. With this mission, members of HT have been entering various Western nations since the formation of this group. It is also learned that members of HT are gathering information on various five-star hotels, restaurants and key-point installations in Bangladesh under the disguise of an event management company. Owner of this event management company has been an active member of this group for many years.
Hizbut Towhid joined hands with JMB
Members of the Bangladeshi security agencies are completely unaware of a fact that since 2014, Hizbut Towhid has secretly formed an alliance with banned militancy outfit Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB). It was already learned by the counter-militancy and counter-terrorism organizations that since 2015, JMB has been working as the franchise of Islamic State (ISIS) in Bangladesh. It is a matter of grave concern as to how the Bangladesh authorities are allowing a notorious group like Hizbut Towhid to operate openly in the country, recruit members and continue giving jihadist indoctrination to people.
Bangladesh government needs to immediately ban Hizbut Towhid and bring the members of this notorious group into the book.