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Hizb ut-Tahrir focuses on social media

SHAMSUDDIN ILLIUS, Ctg

The banned militant outfit, Hizb ut-Tahrir, is trying to carry out its activities using social media networking websites in spite of the law enforcement agencies conducting mass arrests of its activists in the past and taking a tough stand against the organisation.
The militant outfit put up posters throughout the city, urging its followers to join an online conference using the popular social media platform, Facebook, today (Friday) at 3:30 pm.
This correspondent found yesterday that the militant outfit managed to put up posters on the walls at Muradpur, Gate No.2, GEC Circle, Chawkbazar, New Market, Bahaddarhat and the Chittagong University shuttle train, evading the law enforcement agencies. Through these posters, the militant outfit urged the people to join their online conference.    
According to the posters, the online programme has been divided in three parts and will be hosted on three websites, including its own web page.
The police and crime experts believe that being a banned outfit, the Hizb ut-Tahrir cannot organise any programme openly, forcing it to rely on technology and online platforms.
“Currently they don’t have any physical presence in the country as they were banned. So, they have chosen to conduct an online conference. It’s a clever strategy on their part since they can reach out to a large number of internet users around the world,” said Syed Mahfujul Haque Marjan, lecturer at the Department of Criminology, Dhaka University.
“They have also put up posters in Dhaka city, calling upon people to join their online political conference. It proves that they are active in the country, but have preferred to remain underground, evading the law enforcement agencies, added Mahfujul Haque Marjan.
 “On the other hand, considering that they have chosen a social media networking site for the online conference, it would be difficult for the monitoring agencies to find out the people who visit their page, guaranteeing them anonymity. It’s clear that they don’t want to reveal the extent of their network,” said Marjan. He hoped that the anti-terrorist special force of the police will be monitoring such online activities of the group more closely.
The Additional Police Commissioner (crime & operation) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police, Devdas Bhattacharya, said that the youth involved with militant activities have increasingly started using technology and social networking websites to spread and preach their ideology. “These groups are turning to internet-based technology to expand their militant network. However, we have also become more vigilant,” said Devdas.
“We have informed the BTRC to take necessary action and block their pages.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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