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Bangladesh Convicts Terrorists

A court in Bangladesh has sentenced to death seven terrorists responsible for the murder of two judges in the town of Jhalakath in November 2005. Among those sentenced was Shaikh Abdur Rahman, top leader of the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh, an Islamic extremist group. Siddiqul Islam, alias Bangla Bhai, said to be Rahman’s deputy and head of a group called Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, was also sentenced. “It is beyond any doubt that these men had committed the crime,” said presiding judge Reza Tarik Ahmed.

Bangladesh authorities say that terrorists led by Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai killed nearly thirty people in bomb attacks during 2005. These include the detonation of more than four-hundred bombs across Bangladesh in a single day.

Bangladesh’s prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia affirmed her country’s “commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms.” U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Patricia Butenis said the “U.S. and Bangladesh have robust relations and cooperation in law enforcing and terrorism issues.” The U.S., she said, is providing technical assistance to Bangladesh “on the drafting of new legislation here on money laundering and terrorist financing.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher says, “Recently, Bangladesh has scored some impressive victories against extremists.” The U.S., says Mr. Boucher, encourages Bangladesh “to strengthen its vigilance against violent extremists and to do so in a way that conforms to the rule of law and respects the rights of its citizens.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.