19 January 2012  




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Quilliam expresses its concern to hear that there has been an attempted military coup in Bangladesh, according to senior military sources. The coup is said to have occurred on 22 December 2011, but has only been announced today by the Bangladeshi authorities.  BDNews 24, an online Bangladeshi newspaper, is quoted as saying that on 22nd December 2011, Major Zia, a Hizb ut-Tahrir organiser, attempted to provoke a military coup, with the retired lieutenant colonel Ehsan Yusuf and Major Zakir as some of the participants in the act[1].
An anonymous senior military official has confirmed to Quilliam that they have very strong suspicions that the coup is the work of Hizb ut-Tahrir.  Quilliam knows from our own research that Hizb ut-Tahrir is the only active Islamist organisation in Bangladesh, who promotes the use of military coups to gain power.
“(change would) normally be…by the Party seeking to access the military in order to take the authority…After this the military would be capable of establishing the authority of Islām. Hence a coup d’etat would be the manifestation of a political change…”[2]
The anonymous source goes on to say that that Hizb ut-Tahrir has been actively targeting Bangladesh since the mutiny of the Bangladesh Rifle unit in 2009, when over 70 military personnel and civilians were killed.
This attempted military coup follows the 2011 Pakistani military coup attempt, led by Brigadier Ali Khan and four other senior military officers, all of whom were announced by the Armed Forces spokesperson as having ties to Hizb ut-Tahrir.
The porous border between Bangladesh and India is one that is being monopolised by extremist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, to recruit Islamist fighters to carry out attacks similar to those in Mumbai in 2008.
Maajid Nawaz, Quilliam co-founder and Chairman says
‘I have visited Bangladesh several times to speak about the activities of extremist groups in the country, and am therefore extremely concerned and saddened to hear of this attempted military coup by suspected members of my former group, Hizb ut-Tahrir’.
This attempted coup follows the British Government’s total cut in Prevent strategy funding last year to the British High Commission in Dhaka for counter-terrorism training.
Quilliam thinks that the British government should be aware of any possible links between British citizens and the attempted military coup in Bangladesh.
Noman Benotman, Quilliam’s senior analyst says
‘This attempted coup is contrary to recent democratization trends witnessed in the Arab Uprisings, and Hizb ut-Tahrir appears to be ignoring the new realities in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and other Arab Muslim majority countries. As such, Hizb ut-Tahrir and its narrative are no longer relevant to the masses of youth striving for a third way between extremism and dictatorships’.  


[1]http://bdnews24.com/details.php?cid=2&id=216375&hb=top19 January 2012.   

[2]The Method to Re-establish the Khilāfah and Resume the Islamic Way of Life’, Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain (al-Khilāfah Publications), pp. 105-6.