A Bangladeshi tabloid has speculated about links between alleged Federal Reserve Bank bomb plotter Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis and radicals at a national university. The Weekly Blitz claims that Nafis was a student at the North South University in Dhaka, an institution it alleges has had links to anti-democratic Islamist movements link Hizb ut-Tahrir [HuT].
"In past few months, a large number of students from the same university have also entered United States, some of whom had affiliation with Hizbut Tahrir or Hizb Ut Towhid," the Weekly Blitz wrote. A spokesperson for the ruling Bangladesh Awami League also noted that the government was investigating the potential involvement of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, which it accuses of spreading Islamist militancy.
HuT advocates the overthrow of Western economic and political systems and the reestablishment of the Islamic super state, the Caliphate. Jamaat-e-Islami activists have been affiliated with terrorists, although the group generally works within the local political system to achieve a similar goal. But its leaders in Bangladesh have recently been indicted for participating in war crimes during the nation's war for independence.
The quotes may also shed some light on prosecutor Loretta Lynch's statement that Nafis arrived in United States "already radicalized," as well as comments by the would-be terrorist.
"All I had in my mind are how to destroy America... I came up to this conclusion that targeting America's economy is most efficient way to draw the path of obliteration of America as well as the path of establishment of Khilapha," the criminal complaint quotes him saying. The statement mirrors quotes from both organizations.
Both HuT and Jamaat-e-Islami are active in the United States, with HuT maintaining a branch here.
The Islamic Circle of North America, which bills itself as a "a leading grassroots organization in the American Muslim community," has an active relationship with Jamaat-e-Islami ideology and leadership throughout South Asia. One of its leaders, Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, allegedly led a death squad during Bangladesh's war of independence.