08 August 2015
Islamist militant groups in Bangladesh are showing signs of revival. According to Bangladeshi authorities, militants from at least two banned outfits — Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) — are preparing for attacks in the country, including targeted assassinations involving individuals whom they consider apostates or obstacles to establishing an Islamic State in Bangladesh. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the launch of Al Qaeda’s South Asia chapter, known as Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), have led to increasing militant activism in Bangladesh.
Since ISIS declared the establishment of the caliphate in June 2014, Bangladesh has witnessed the emergence of pro-ISIS outfits, pledges of allegiances to ISIS and ISIS recruitment drives both online and on the ground. Many members of the existing local militant groups support ISIS and are recruiting fighters into the Syrian theatres.
A newly-emerged group called Jund al-Tawheed wal Khilafah (JTK) has stated that they were seeking recruits from Bangladesh and expressed its intentions to raise funds for militant activities in South Asia for establishing a new ‘caliphate’ called ‘Hind’. The group declared that it is making preparations for the ‘Final Battle of Hind’ in the Indian subcontinent, with an eye to establishing an ‘Islamic State’ encompassing Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Bangladeshi authorities suspect that JTK is the key platform for recruiting Bangladeshi militants bound for the Syrian battlefield.
… Iftekharul Bashar is an Associate Research Fellow with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015