SAUDI and other Gulf state NGOs are funding terrorist groups in Bangladesh and India, intelligence services have claimed.
The Bangladesh Finance Intelligence Unit (BFIU) revealed the bombshell conclusions of a special government taskforce meeting last month to journalists on Tuesday.
The June 21 meeting, chaired by Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan in attendance, identified 17 suspect NGOs from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and other Middle East countries.
Mr Amu said all have been placed under intense surveillance for unusual financial transactions — although some were already under scrutiny.
Officials from Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, said most of the organisations were under the control of fundamentalist Jamaat-eIslami politics — an Indian group formed in 1941 which has since split into separate organisations in Pakistan and India.
The suspected NGOs include the Bangladesh Krishi Kalyan Samity, Muslim Aid Bangladesh, Rabeta Al-Alam alIslami, Qatar Charitable Society, Islamic Relief Agency, Al-Furkan Foundation, Kuwait Joint Relief Committee, International Islamic Relief Organisation, Hayatul Ighachha, Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, Tawhidi Noor and AlMuntada al-Islami.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has been attacked for refusing to publish a terrorist funding report that could point the finger at her Saudia Arabian allies.
BFIU General Manager Devprasad Debnath said: “A number of issues including militancy funding were discussed at the June 21 meeting which came up with some important decisions.”
“Among the decisions, the issue of militant funding is very sensitive and important,” he stressed.
Mr Devnath said the surveillance has been increased against the 17 NGOs as authorities have found evidence of aid to Bangladeshi militant and terrorist activities.
He said groups were also allegedly aiding separatist insurgents in the eight states of the north-east India region, which borders Bangladesh to the east, adding the BFIU had passed on the information to the Indian government.
Bangladeshi intelligence and financial authorities have boosted monitoring and surveillance since a surge in extremist attacks began in 2012.
Five years of work have yielded more accurate information on ostensibly charitable NGOs operating in the country.
The 2014 BFIU showed an alarming rise in suspicious financial transactions, up to 619 in 2013-14 from 420 in 2012-13 and 175 in 2011-12.