THE arrest of Shaekh Abdur Rahman, the supremo of the terrorist organisation -- Jammatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) -- on Thursday morning, marks a very significant achievement in the drive against terrorism. The JMB cadres burst out in full fury with their countrywide terrorist attacks in August last year. But the tenacious operations of the law enforcers since then, especially the activities of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have had a remarkable impact on detecting the layers of the terrorist network, arresting many of their members including their top organisers and leaders and seizing large quantities of explosive substances and devices. With the arrest of Shaekh Abdur Rahman, four of the seven members of the Majilis-e-Sura, the highest body of the JMB, are now in internment. The arrests of high ranking JMB men one by one after the August incidents and the capping of it all by taking into custody Shaekh Abdur Rahman himself, are real accomplishments by the country's security agencies. They all deserve the wholehearted appreciation for their very laudable endeavours.
However, the worry is whether the Shaekh's arrest will create a lull in the drive against terrorism. Many things are now expected to come out from his interrogation that would help the security agencies to know more about the JMB. The three other nabbed members of its Majilis-e-Sura divulged considerable information about the mode of operation, strategies and means of their sustenance. But these information may not be enough for completely uprooting the extremist organisation or to prevent its reorganisation. Finding out much greater details about the functioning of the JMB will depend on how successfully the arrested Shaekh can be persuaded to tell all about his group.
Meanwhile, there must not be any slack against the terrorist threat. The followers of the JMB who are at large could be led by the Shaekh's arrest to carry out violent activities in different places as a form of reprisal. Thus, security agencies need to be on special alert all over the country. Whatever could be known about the JMB so far suggests that it has a large following and most of them have been trained in different ways of terrorism. Thus, there can be no ease until all of them are gaoled. The JMB has thousands of full timers who get regular funds from it. It is extremely important to find out the sources of such funds and to choke them off. Foreign organisations or NGOs which had a role to play in beefing up the JMB must be expelled from the country or their activities in Bangladesh -- specially on the financial side -- must be made fully transparent.
Furthermore, the present government in Bangladesh as well as the future ones will have to consider the grievances that helped the rise of the JMB. The charges of malgovernance or corruption, immorality and injustices in Bangladesh society that have been raised by the JMB are its ploys to fan up obscurantist forces. Poor or unjust governance can motivate particularly emotional youth and other alienated ones in the society to take up the romantic path of ill-conceived revolution of any label. The main redress against such a lack of proper governance is taking steps, honestly and sincerely, towards good governance that ensures justice and creates economic opportunities not for a few but for all. No government in Bangladesh can lose sight of these very important factors in its move against terrorism in all its manifestations.