US, UK sheltering war criminals of 1971 Bangladesh genocide

By Abhinandan Mishra

Ahead of the 7 January general election in Bangladesh, the incumbent Sheikh Hasina government has come under intense attack from the Western lobby led by the United States and Britain to the extent that it is now being seen as an attempt by the proverbial “white man” to influence the election in India’s immediate neighbourhood.

In September, the US administration imposed visa restrictions on an unspecified number of Bangladeshis for “undermining the democratic election process”. Members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition were among those included, the US State Department said.

Similarly, Britain also asked Sheikh Hasina’s government to ensure elections are “free, fair, participatory and peaceful” thereby trying to give a message that the earlier polls were not free or fair.

What has raised more questions about the incessant targeting of Hasina by Washington and London is the fact while both these Western entities are speaking about upholding democracy, they continue to provide shelter and haven to 1971 Bangladesh war criminals including members of the dreaded Islamist outfit Jamaat-e-Islami, which has been calling for a regime change in Dhaka to bring back its iron brother, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to power.

The arguments being given by US and Britain to target Hasina too resonates with what Jamaat and BNP have been alleging, leading to further questions on whether Biden administration and 10 Downing Street were under the influence of the influential Jamaat lobby.

The BNP’s association with the Jamaat-e-Islami can be traced back to the time of Bangladesh’s first military dictator, General Ziaur Rahman who had established the BNP following the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975. The assassination of Rahman is now widely accepted as a part of an international conspiracy in which Pakistan and other Western powers were involved.

Under the subsequent leadership of Gen Zia’s successor, Khaleda Zia, and their son Tarique Rahman, key figures from the Jamaate-Islami were appointed as ministers, underscoring a close political collaboration between the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

JeI’s links to terror and its effort in spreading Islamic terror is well documented across the globe now. The 1971 Bangladesh mass genocide is regarded as one of the most notorious crimes against humanity in which 30 lakh people were killed and 1 crore people displaced in wake of the terror perpetrated by the Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistani army Razakaar and Al-Badr, two local paramilitary groups that collaborated with the Pakistan army.

For many years now, Bangladesh has been actively pursuing the prosecution of individuals implicated as war criminals for their involvement in acts of terror against the civilian population.

Despite these efforts, a considerable number of Jamaat-e-Islami members, originating from both Bangladesh and Pakistan, have managed to evade justice by fleeing the country and resettling abroad. A significant portion of them has chosen to establish their base in Western countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.


Upon assuming power in 2008, Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the Awami League, made a commitment to establish a war crimes tribunal for prosecuting individuals involved in war crimes, with the assistance of the United Nations.

Following this, she set up the War Crimes Facts Finding Committee (WCFFC) in 2008, appointing Dr M.A. Hasan as its convenor.

While the tribunal has successfully prosecuted some of the masterminds behind the war crimes, it has encountered difficulties in bringing justice to other key figures who have sought refuge in Western countries and continue to reside there with impunity.

Some of these individuals who were or are now staying in the US and UK are:


Chowdhury Mueen Uddin is a former Al-Badr leader, who has been complicit in the mass genocide, lives in the UK. In 2013, he was indicted in absentia by Bangladesh’s special war crimes court for crimes against humanity, pertaining to the murder of 18 individuals during the final month of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

Chowdhury has denied all accusations and instead claims to be a journalist. He admits to being part of the student wing of the Jamaate-Islami Bangladesh in 1971.

Worthwhile to note that Razakaar, Al Badr, and AlShams were drawn from the student wing of Jamaate-Islami. He claims to have settled in the UK in 1973, almost two years after Bangladesh gained independence.

Despite enough witness accounts, presented by Bangladesh, he has not been extradited and continues to be a citizen of the UK. Despite his dubious background, he has managed to get asylum from the UK government.

After settling in the UK, he set up scores of organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). He also founded the Islamic Forum of Europe (IEF), which is known as the European wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.

He was also director of the Islamic Foundation between 1995 and 2005, which was founded by Khurshid Ahmed. He also helped set up “Muslim Aid” in the UK, which later expanded to various countries including the United States, Australia, and Canada.

In March 2010, Muslim Aid was found to have funded eight organisations linked to the terror groups Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad. Muslim Aid had previously been accused by Spain of financing Mujahideen fighters in Bosnia.


Ashrafuz Zaman Khan was born in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and became an imam. He is a Pakistani Bengali American and one of the convicted masterminds of the 1971 killing of Bangladeshi civilians.

After the war, he fled the United Kingdom and became a member of Radio Pakistan. He was responsible for shooting 7 teachers of Dhaka University in the killing zones of Mirpur while he was a commander of the Al Badr militia.

The International Crimes Tribunal in 2013 found him to be the “Chief Executor” of the Al Badr force. Later, he went to the US and became a US citizen and resided in the Jamaica region of New York. Since 2019, he has been associated with Pakistan’s Jamaat-eIslami’s US wing—Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) (since 1989), and also led their Queens, New York City branch.

ICNA is a notorious group with several chapters across the US. The group has a colourful history of supporting terrorism including glorifying Hizbul Mujahideen commander and Al Badr founder, Syed Salahuddin.

ICNA masquerades as a human rights advocacy group to run anti-India campaigns alongside the Jamaat-backed anti-India lobbying groups in the US.

In other words, ICNA is essentially run by Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami in the garb of “activism”.

ICNA’s charity front, “Helping Hand for Relief & Development” (HHRD) has been given financial support by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) in the past. In 2021, USAID gave HHRD US$110,000 and 50% of its employees have been based in Pakistan.

The group has proven links with radical and terror fronts including Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jamaat-e-Islami. Furthermore, Ashrafuz Zaman Khan is the founding member of another USbased Jamaat front, “Burma Task Force (BTF)”.

The group has been exposed for working closely with the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to lobby the commission against India by paying US$267K between 2018 and 2020. As a result, USCIRF blacklisted India consecutively for all these years.

In 2013, he was sentenced to death in absentia alongside Chowdhury Mueen Uddin for abducting and killing 18 people—nine Dhaka University teachers, six journalists and three physicians—in December 1971. He continues to live in the US with impunity.


Khurram Jha Murad was the translator and interpreter of Mawlana Maududi (founder of Jamaat-e-Islami), who was complicit in the genocide of Bangladeshis in 1971, is looked upon as a great leader by the US wing of Jamaat-eIslami.

In an interview in 2013, Jamaat-e-Islami founder’s son Syed Haider Farooq Mawdudi revealed that Murad was superior to Al Badr leader Motiur Rahman Nizami and went by the name Khurrad “Jha” Murad.

As per one of the commission reports, he killed 15 Bengali individuals just to check whether his three-not-three rifle was working or not. After escaping from Bangladesh in 1971, Murad went to the UK and became trustee, and director general of the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, UK.

Islamic Foundation was founded by Khurshid Ahmed, a former Pakistan Jamaat-eIslami member, and father of modern Islamic economics. Islamic Foundation has also been regarded as a UKbased think-tank of Jamaate-Islami. He died on 19 December 1996, in Leicester, United Kingdom.

The Murad dynasty is spread in both the US and the UK. His son Ahmed Murad held the position of Vice President at Jamaat’s US’ multimedia wing, Sound Vision until 2012.

Murad Senior’s other son Farooq Salman Murad, was the chairman of Muslim Aid (UK) and one of the trustees of Muslim Aid Pakistan.


Motiur Rahman Nizami was the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party and a minister in a coalition government until October 2006. In a case filed by a former Bangladeshi freedom fighter, Nizami was accused along with 12 others of helping the Pakistani army plan mass killings in which thousands of villagers died.

Nizami was the fifth such convict, who was hanged after being awarded with death sentence by the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICTB). In 2016, he was posthumously awarded by the ICNA for his lifetime contribution to Islam and his role in 1971.


Interestingly, the close links between these people and their overall masters who control them while sitting in Pakistan can also be made out by analysing the network of Toby Cadman, a London based lawyer.

Cadman, who is the co-founder of a law firm, was serving as Counsel to the government of Pakistan in 2020. Cadman also represented Chowdhury Mueen Uddin (JeI Bangladesh), another 1971 Bangladesh war criminal and Al-Badr member, for his role in the killing of 18 people during the 1971 liberation war.

In 2011, Toby was defending JeI Bangladesh and 1971 war criminals like Motiur Rahman Nizami. Cadman strongly opposed the extradition and hanging of Motiur Rahman Nizami.

In January 2023, Toby Cadman’s UK-based “Guernica 37” firm filed a case against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the Swiss Court, ahead of his planned visit to the World Economic Forum event.

Toby Cadman has a history of working for the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat-eIslami criminals, Dawood Ibrahim Company members, and even the Pakistan government.

In 2019, Toby Cadman led the defence of Jabir Moti, who was accused of money laundering for $1.4-million from narcotics smuggling and syndicate crime.

Jabir is a senior member of the D Company and aide of the 1993 Mumbai blast accused, Dawood Ibrahim.

The man who stood as a guarantor for Moti in the court, Mumtaz Khan, who also goes by the name of Taz Khan in January 2022, was in January 2022 awarded the MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire—the third highest civilian award of the United Kingdom, which shows the clout enjoyed by the radicals in UK. not free or fair. Courtesy: The Sunday Guardian