21 January 2016
Islamist extremism has been on the rise in Bangladesh, with the usually tolerant country coming under threat from homegrown militants as well as transnational terror groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS).
Over the last few months, the IS has claimed responsibility for several attacks in the South Asian country of 160 million people, such as the fatal shooting of an Italian aid worker in September and a Japanese agriculturalist a month later. The militant group also bombed a procession commemorating the Shiite Muslim holiday in October last year and attacked a Shiite mosque the following month.
Meanwhile, Al Qaeda’s South Asia wing, the so-called Al Qaeda In the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), said it was behind attacks on two publishing firms in Dhaka last year, which resulted in the death of one of the firm’s owners. Both firms had published books by Bangladeshi-American atheist and writer Avijit Roy, who was killed in Dhaka in February. Roy was among four bloggers murdered last year after they criticised religious fundamentalism.
Mr Iftekharul Bashar, an associate research fellow with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), wrote in July last year that Islamist militant groups in Bangladesh are showing signs of revival after a decade of dormancy.
ICPVTR / Online / Print
Last updated on 21/01/2016