The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has rejuvenated the fear of terror within South Asia. In such discussions, we talk less about the implications of the movement of the foreign fighters in Bangladesh. WION tells you what will be the consequences of the Taliban’s victory over Bangladesh and the fear of terrorism in Bangladesh.
Terrorism in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has experienced terrorism conducted by a number of different organizations. In the past, both ISIL and other terrorist organizations had claimed to be active in the country. However, the Bangladeshi government believes that they mainly operated through local affiliates, before being neutralised by security forces.
The first Bangladeshi Islamist factions emerged in 1989, when a network of 30 different factions was established. And expanded in the following years. The main goal of most Islamist groups in Bangladesh is to create a separate Islamic state, or to govern Bangladesh according to Sharia law.
Since September 2015 Daesh has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in Bangladesh. There have been sporadic attacks against minority religious communities and security forces, including attacks using suicide bombs. On 1 July 2016 there was an attack claimed by ISIL at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the Gulshan 2 district of Dhaka, which resulted in the death of 20 hostages, mainly foreign nationals, and 2 police officers.
There have been several IED attacks targeting police and security forces in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Sylhet. The authorities continue to disrupt planned attacks and have made a number of arrests. Some operations against suspected militants have also resulted in fatalities. The Bangladeshi authorities remain at high alert. Increases in security force presence and restrictions on movement may be put in place at short notice.
Groups affiliated to Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent have also claimed responsibility for the murder of a number of people who they consider to have views and lifestyles contrary to Islam. Online activists, including secular bloggers and members of the LGBT community have been targeted.
Extremist and terrorist phenomenon in Bangladesh came hand in hand with increased terrorist activities in the international arena. In the financing of terrorist activities – Links have been found between Bangladeshi splinter/ mutant terrorist groups and their associates in other countries including the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.