EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article is written by Brenda West of Family Security Matters (FSM). FSM is a project of the Centre for Security Policy described as a hawkish security policy think tank and advocacy group. One part of the article which might prove libelous has been deleted.
The Bangladeshi Bandit strikes again. Previously, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury pulled off one of the biggest scams of the decade. He conned broad swathes of the Western world into believing that he was an anti-Islamist and “Muslim Zionist” journalist and publisher, a persecuted friend of the West in need of support and protection. But the persecution, set in motion by a staged arrest at a Bangladesh airport, was a fake. Choudhury’s ruse bought him lots of fame, donations, and the opportunity to swindle large amounts of even more money from his female Jewish supporters.
Choudhury, the fake freedom fighter, uses his online newspaper to publish articles favoring Islamists and to shill for the horrid dictatorship of North Korea, friend of Islamist Iran and enemy of the West and Israel.
An official in the Bangladeshi embassy declares that Choudhury is well-known throughout his own country as a “complete liar and cheat.” A Bangladeshi nun – a genuine human rights activist – explains why Choudhury has not been brought to justice: he has too many ties to powerful Islamists and mobsters.
Choudhury likes to boast that he is an “award-winning journalist.”
In his latest scam iteration he is using his newspaper to intimidate the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica into paying him mega-bucks as hush money for alleged scandals. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit became a target for Choudhury’s Weekly Blitz starting in November, 2011. The Blitz ran a series of articles accusing Skerrit of a variety of crimes: selling passports and diplomatic immunity to people who did not deserve them, having ties to Iranian mobsters who counterfeit U.S money, accepting money from the Ghaddafi family, being involved with Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, giving refuge to criminals from India – the arch enemy of Bangladeshi fundamentalists, Choudhury’s previous and unreconstructed political identity.
In short, Choudhury claimed in his newspaper that Skerrit and his attorney, Anthony Astaphan, are running a rogue regime that has turned Dominica into “the safe haven of criminals and the mafia.” Choudhury never saw fit to offer any proof for these allegations. Readers of my previous articles on Choudhury will remember that he has been shown to have ties to mobsters and Islamists; readers of the Blitz will also see numerous articles there speaking well of the Ghaddafi regime. So his efforts to accuse someone else of his own bad actions are laughable, at best.
More serious is the following extortion letter, forwarded to me by Dominican journalist Lennox Linton in response to my series of articles exposing Choudhury’s various frauds. The letter – written by a representative for Choudhury, as is identified in the first sentence – demands $60,000 upfront and $10,000 monthly maintenance money from the Prime Minister to cease publishing bad news about him. Mr. Astaphan, to whom the letter was sent, is as stated above the attorney for Mr. Skerrit:
From: Khurshid Ahmed Khan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 6:47 PM
Subject: Bangladesh Newspaper on Dominica – Top Secret
Dear Mr. Anthony Astaphana,
I am contacting you under the instructions of the editor of Weekly Blitz newspaper Mr. Choudhury, who has asked me to convey the following message to the government and the Honorable Prime Minister of Dominica through your good office:
We do not have any enimity with government of Dominica or the Honorable PM Mr. Roosevelt Skeritt,
Weekly Blitz is a newspaper with tremendous influence globally,
The team already has prepared many installments of the to be published reports, which surely will put the government of Dominica and the PM in huge political crisis,
You can assume, some political opponents of Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Roosevelt Skeritt along with some other forces are also providing lot many information on the issue,
If you can directly check with the Honorable PM Mr. Skeritt, if he and his government is willing to use the global influence of Weekly Blitz in not publishing the pending reports, rather join hands with his government in combating all lies of thedominican.net and other people therein,
In such case, of course a mutually beneficial arrangement should be reached in immediately,
The Honorable PM can either accept or reject this cooperation offer,
If you want to accept this offer, this must be kept TOP SECRET and all such communication should only be on this email,
We provide political campaign service to some governments and organizations in the world, under specific fees, which is as follows:
Upfront payment for becoming our top secret special client: US$ 60k. Total fees per month: US$ 10k (the upfront amount will be adjusted with the due monthly installment on 50:50 basis. All such financial dealing must be done in third country. (emphasis added.)
If we do not hear from you in next few hours, we shall consider our offer to have been rejected. If you accept the offer, be rest assured, your client will get multiple fold benefit of the amount they are paying to Blitz.
And then the blistering articles on the Skerrit regime stopped. Five old articles attacking Skerrit were pulled from the Blitz, as one can see on the Blitz’s index page. Still standing, however, is the impact of the Blitz in Dominican press articles and its insinuation of itself into the comments section of Dominican articles. To this day, even though the stories have been pulled, there has been no apology published in the Blitz.
Choudhury tries to back out of his crime by claiming that he – the award-winning journalist, who surely should know how to conduct an investigation – was misled by others even as he contradictorily assures readers that the Blitz was conducting its own research.
Whether Mr. Skerrit is guilty or innocent of Choudhury’s incendiary claims is not the focus of this report. That would be a matter for a different investigation.
What the world must know is that a serious crime has been committed. Choudhury, the fraudulent “peace activist,” has presumed to extort money from the duly elected head of a government, one that is half way around the world from his own country.
The reach of this global criminal has been extended. Choudhury is like a pirate riding the high seas of the Internet, looking for his next victim. He must be stopped.
Keep in mind that the legislative bodies of the United States, Europe, and Australia have all been deceived into passing resolutions honoring Choudhury as a moral journalist, and pressuring Bangladesh to stop harassing him, if indeed that harassment ever really happened. Those resolutions must be reversed. Choudhury is using them as cover to commit crimes of increasing boldness. New resolutions must be passed urging Bangladesh to put this monster behind bars and bring the world just a little bit closer to real peace.
Family Security Matter’s Editor’s update: Mr. Skerrit did not pay Choudhury any money and declined to sue him because it was too costly to bring charges against someone in Bangladesh.