Bangladesh: Kuwaiti NGO funding militancy

Four officials of a Kuwaiti non-governmental organisation, Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, widely suspected to have channelled funds to militant organisations, have been asked to leave Bangladesh by 31 July, according to sources.
The sources said intelligence agencies found evidence that Heritage had channelled over 716,000 dollars to extremist organisations at home and abroad.
The officials asked to leave the country were Sudanese Sajly Rifat Osman Mohammad, Abbas Bao, Mohammad Ahmed, and a Yemeni national, Abdur Rahman. Sajly Rifat is the assistant director-general of the group. The officials of the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society had been under surveillance since last year.

Four Bangladeshi intelligence agencies - the Defence Forces Intelligence, the Criminal Investigation Department, the Special Branch and the National Security Intelligence - conducted an investigation into the clandestine activities of the group and submitted a report to the prime minister's office last month.

The report said that the organisation had failed to give any satisfactory explanation of how the money was spent.

The intelligence agencies also seized some documents in which they found that Sajly Rifat Osman had channelled over 143,000 dollars to militants in Sudan while 573,000 dollars was spent for militant outfits in Bangladesh.

On Thursday, a report on the Bosnian daily Nezavisne vovine, said that investigators are probing the Bosnian branch of the humanitarian organisation Revival of Islamic Heritage Society for possible terrorist links and financing of an Islamic terrorist organisation. The report said that the group channelled some 17.8 million dollars to its sister organisation in Bosnia between 1 January, 2002 and December 2005, and that the group did not have records on how the money was spent.

Dhaka, 30 June 2006