Islamic State in Bangladesh
After al-Qaeda, Huji and Hizb-ut Tahrir, now another international militant group Islamic State or Dae’sh wants to set up a strong base in Bangladesh eying a Shariah-based country adding some parts of Myanmar and India.
Analyzing media reports, it is evident that al-Qaeda has got its affiliate in Bangladesh, the Ansarullah Bangla Team. Meanwhile, the IS has also got their men inside the country, supposedly through JMB and Hizb ut-Tahrir. Jamaat’s radical student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir is coordinating the whole process of mobilizing the extremists and setting the targets.
Analysts say political opponents of the ruling Awami League – BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Oikyo Jote and Hefazat-e-Islam – are patronizing the militants to uproot the government. Their operations may increase in the near future because of the government’s reluctance to hold elections before 2019 and the execution of the top Jamaat leaders for the 1971 war crimes.
The claims of responsibility for murders and attacks by IS are reported by SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based website monitoring jihadist activities, based on posts shared by IS’ Amaq news agency.
Meanwhile, it is the US who has long been trying to convince the government that IS is actively operating in Bangladesh. But they have not given the government any documentary proof to support the claim.
IS made the first claim last year after the death of Italian citizen Cesare Tavella on September 28. Coincidentally, it came only days after the intelligence agencies from the so-called Five Eyes alliance – Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States – received information that the militants were planning an attack on foreigners in Bangladesh.
The last attack claimed by IS members (identified as the soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal) was the July 1 mass murder at Gulshan’s Holey Artisan Bakery and O’ Kitchen when 17 foreigners and three Bangladeshi guests were killed by gunshots and brutal stab injuries. Two police officers were killed and around 50 other lawmen injured by bullets and grenade splinters when they went close to the cafe. In the operation carried out by the army’s para commandos the next morning, five attackers and a chef were killed. Another assistant chef, who was detained as a suspect, died at a hospital under police custody.
In most of the 25 attacks, the law enforcers found the involvement of Islami Chhatra Shibir, JMB and Hizb ut-Tahrir members. IS Attacks:
# 1: September 28, 2015: Italian citizen Cesare Tavella killed in Gulshan;
# 2: October 3, 2015: Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio killed in Rangpur;
# 3: October 24, 2015: Two killed in attack on Dhaka’s Hussaini Dalan;
# 4: November 4, 2015: Police constable Mukul Hossain killed at Ashulia;
# 5: November 8, 2015: Bahai Centre director Ruhul Amin injured in Rangpur;
# 6: November 10, 2015: Murder of shrine caretaker Rahmat Ali in Rangpur;
# 7: November 18, 2015: Italian priest Piero Parolari injured in Dinajpur;
# 8: November 26, 2015: One killed in gun attack on Shia mosque in Bogra;
# 9: December 26, 2015: Suicide bomber killed at Ahmadiyya mosque Rajshahi;
# 10: January 7, 2016: Homoeopathy doctor Chhamir Uddin Mandal killed in Jhenidah;
# 11: February 8, 2016: Hindu businessman Tarun Datta killed in Gaibandha;
# 12: February 21, 2016: Panchagarh Hindu priest Joggeshwar Roy slaughtered;
# 13: March 14, 2016: Shia preacher Abdur Razzaq killed in Jhenaidah;
# 14: March 22, 2016: Christian convert Hossain Ali Sarker slaughtered in Kurigram;
# 15: April 23, 2016: Rajshahi University teacher Prof Dr AFM Rezaul Karim Siddique killed;
# 16: April 30, 2016: Hindu tailor Nikhil Chandra Joarder hacked to death in Tangail;
# 17: May 14, 2016: Buddhist Priest Maung Shue U slaughtered in Bandarban;
# 18: May 20, 2016: Homoeopathy doctor Sanwar Hossain killed in Kushtia;
# 19: May 25, 2016: Hindu shoe trader Debesh Chandra Pramanik killed in Gaibandha;
# 20: June 5, 2016: Christian grocer Sunil Gomez killed in Natore;
# 21: June 7, 2016: Hindu priest Anando Gopal Ganguli killed in Jhenaidah;
# 22: June 10, 2016: Hindu priest Nityanando Pandey killed in Pabna;
#23: June 30, 2016: Awami League leader Mong Sanu Marma killed in Bandarban;
#24: July 1, 2016: Hindu priest Shymanondo Das killed in Jhenaidah;
# 25: July 1, 2016: Gulshan attack kills 22 people;
Arrest of IS recruiters, recruits:
The law enforcers say around 30 Bangladeshis have joined the IS in Syria while some of them have died. On the other hand, several militant groups trained around 200 youths inside Bangladesh.
# June 29, 2014: IS declares Khilafah in Syria and Iraq.
# August 2014: Five Bangladeshis take oath to work for IS and upload a video on YouTube.
# September 18, 2014: Acting JMB chief Abdullah Al Tasnim and six others were arrested for IS connection.
# September 24, 2014: Two Ansarullah members and IS recruits were arrested in Dhaka – Asif Adnan Shuvo, 26, son of a former High Court judge, and Fazle Elahi Tanzil, 24, son of a senior bureaucrat, from Eskaton.
# September 25, 2014: Police arrested Md Hifzur Rahman, 22, from Purana Paltan before leaving for Syria to join IS.
# September 29, 2014: British citizen of Bangladeshi origin Saimun Rahman alias Ibne Hamdad, 24, was arrested in Dhaka for recruiting Bangladeshi nationals for IS. Two of his recruits were arrested on September 24. # October 2014: Four IS leaders from Syria visited Chittagong and held meetings with the top leaders of JMB, Huji, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and Ansarullah. They planned to turn Bangladesh into a model Islamic country by 2020 under a new umbrella named “International Lions Force of Hindustan.”
# January 18, 2015: Detectives arrested four militants including chief IS coordinator in Bangladesh Shafayatul Kabir, son of a retired army captain, from Jatrabari. Kabir’s brother-in-law Shamim and another Sayem died in Pakistan before going to Syria.
# February 21, 2015: Military Institute of Science and Technology student Md Ashequr Rahman alias Jilani was reportedly missing after going to Turkey to attend a conference.
# May 5, 2015: Mairuna Parveen, 19, was sent back to Dhaka from Turkey’s Kamal Ataturk Airport as she wanted to go to Syria.
# May 26, 2015: Detectives arrested IS recruiter Coca-Cola IT chief Aminul Islam Baig and one of his 20 recruits Sakib bin Kamal, principal of an English medium school in Lalmatia. 302 others were interested to take training.
Aminul earlier worked for Samsung, RAB and BTRC as IT consultant. He is the nephew of former planning secretary Syed Ahmed Baig. Sakib is the son-in-law of Dr Sufia Khatun, a former caretaker government adviser.
# May 31, 2015: Militant group Junud Al Towhid Wal Khalifah chief Abdullah Al Ghalib, son of a former army major, was arrested in Dhaka’s Baridhara DOHS for recruiting IS fighters and giving them training. He was a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and also served as an assistant coordinator of Ansarullah. He trained around 20 youths. He passed “O” and “A” levels from the capital’s Penspan International School and College.
# June 7, 2015: Detectives arrested IS recruiter and Ghalib’s friend Fida Muntasir Saker, 32, son of retired Navy commander Mohammad Saker, from the DOHS area. He was earlier involved with Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ansarullah.
# June 7, 2015: Bangladesh Jihadi Group leader Maulana Nurullah Kashemi, who worked for IS, was arrested in Dhaka.
# June 12, 2015: Detectives arrested IS member and Ghalib’s friend Faiyaz Ishmam Khan, son of retired Lt Col Farid Haider Khan, from Dhaka Cantonment area.
# December 10, 2015: UK-based Bangladeshi IT expert Saiful Islam (Haque) Sujon who went to Syria through Bangladesh and became its hackers’ team chief was killed in an airstrike in Raqqa.
# April 2016: IS fighter Abu Jandal Al Banglaee, son of a former army officer killed in BDR mutiny, was killed in Syria.
# April 2016: Abu Dojana Al Bangalee or Mehedi Hasan, 19, was killed in Syria. He was a member of Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys. Six of them traveled to Syria through Turkey in October 2013. The others are team leader Iftekhar Zaman, Mamunur Rashid, Hamidur Rahman, Masudur Chowdhury and Asaduzzaman. Hamidur was killed in July 2014, Mamunur on October 21 and Mehedi on October 24. Abu Hamza Zakir of London City was killed around the same time. Masudur was arrested at the Gateweek airport while fleeing Syria.