(AFP) – Mar 26, 2009
DHAKA (AFP) — British and Bangladeshi authorities on Thursday probed allegations that a charity was linked to a huge cache of weapons and bomb-making equipment found in a religious school in Bangladesh.
Police raided the Islamic seminary, or madrassa, on the remote island of Bhola in the south of the country earlier this week, uncovering firearms, bullets and explosive devices.
The recently opened madrassa is owned by the British-based Green Crescent charity.
Bangladeshi authorities have long viewed madrassas with suspicion, fearing they could be potential recruiting grounds for Islamic militant groups.
The Charity Commission, which regulates charities in Britain, announced it would investigate the extent of alleged links between Green Crescent and the arms haul.
"We are working with relevant law enforcement and other agencies to investigate the allegation that terrorist activity is connected with the charity," Andrew Hind, head of the commission, said.
Bangladeshi police said on Thursday they had been surprised by how sophisticated the weapons uncovered were.
"All the bomb-making materials and arms are from a foreign country. In the past we have recovered arms caches from militant groups, but none were as destructive as these," Lieutenant Colonel Monirul Haque told AFP.
Jihadi literature was also found during the raid, including books that encouraged Muslims to take up arms.
The seizure comes as authorities in Bangladesh investigate dozens of Muslim charities over allegations they are funding extremists.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »