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Terrorists in Bangladesh?

Another Musharraf could emerge if the US doesn't act.

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While the CIA and the Pentagon search in vain for Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Pakistan, an Al Qaeda affiliate has been quietly building up terrorist bases in the jungles of Bangladesh under the protective aegis of a new military regime in Dhaka allied with Islamist forces.

The founding leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami in Bangladesh, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, was one of the six signatories of Mr. bin Laden's first declaration of holy war against the United States, and a US State Department study reports that Harkat "maintains contact with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan."

Bush administration officials privately endorse mounting Indian evidence that Bangladeshi Harkat agents spearheaded a series of terrorist attacks in India. But the US has conspicuously failed to press Bangladesh's military ruler, Gen. Moeen U Ahmed, for a crackdown on Harkat and for the removal of highly placed intelligence officials with Islamist ties.

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