25 February 2016
Bangladesh must have a long term approach to check the growth of Islamic State. Rather than denying the growing transnational linkages of the local terrorist groups, Bangladesh must plug the loopholes in its counterterrorism strategy.
The recent killing of a Hindu priest in the northern region of Bangladesh is reflective of the continued threat of terrorism in the country. There has been more than ten attacks since September 2015 for which the self-styled Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility. The recent deportation of 26 Bangladeshi terrorist suspects from Singapore is evidence that a segment of the Bangladeshi diaspora community overseas is also affected by violent extremist ideologies. With this backdrop, the effectiveness of the current counterterrorism response of the Bangladesh government appears to be inadequate.
The major problem is that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is still in a ‘denial mode’. The government is not acknowledging that the country has groups and individuals who support transnational terrorist movements like IS and Al Qaeda. The Bangladesh government needs to give a clear message that it remains committed to its much publicised policy of zero-tolerance against terrorism.
… Iftekharul Bashar is an Associate Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 26/02/2016