- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

DHAKA, BANGLADESH (AP) - Police detained the head of a British-based charity Monday that funded an Islamic school in southern Bangladesh where authorities seized weapons and explosives, an official said.

Faisal Mustafa _ who runs the London-based Green Crescent charity _ was held for questioning along with an aide, said A.K. Azad, a spokesman for the Rapid Action Battalion, a special anti-crime force.

Mustafa’s family earlier told local media he has been missing since March 26, two days after police raided the Green Crescent Madrassah and Orphanage, about 60 miles south of the capital of Dhaka.

Police found a large cache of guns, bullets and bomb-making materials as well as books on jihad, or holy war, at the school and arrested four employees, including a religious teacher, said Mamunur Rashid, an officer who led last month’s raid.

The school, which also houses orphans, was opened a few months ago in a remote area of the coastal district with funds from the Green Crescent charity, Rashid said.

Police suspect the school has links to banned militant groups, which want to establish strict Islamic rule in this Muslim-majority nation governed by secular laws.

Bangladesh has seen a spate of bomb attacks by Islamic radicals at political rallies, courts and cultural venues in recent years.

Last month, Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith said authorities were examining the activities and sources of funding of some Islamic charities that were approved by the previous alliance government, which included two Islamic parties.

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