Bangladesh Acknowledging ISIS as Present
28 May 2016
By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Bangladesh is one of the world's most highly populated countries. Ranking the
world's seventh, with a population of 160 million, Bangladesh is also
considered one of the most densely populated Muslim nations, ranking third
after Indonesia and Pakistan.
Four main political parties exist in Bangladesh, the most being
Islamist parties enjoy the freedom to perform their political and social
However, frequent acts of extremist violence prove that a radical mindset is
established at the early stages when founding or recruiting terror groups.
Bangladesh witnessed dangerous transformation led by religious groups that are
similar to those that had formerly established terror groups in Afghanistan,
Pakistan and the Middle East.
Previous terror crimes were accounted to the responsibility of local
Local opposition groups were the typical party accused for past terror crimes
in Bangladesh. The government refused to admit the problem, and to describe it
as terrorism-spreading in the country.
Last year, an Italian working for a humanitarian organization, and a Japanese
man working in agriculture, were killed.
Going against the Bangladesh government's denial, the worldwide recognized
terrorist ISIS group claimed the abduction and murder of more than 20
hostages; most of them Italian and Japanese.
The government refused to admit the problem, and to label it as terrorism.
These operations were carried out nationwide, and targeted cultural and
A publisher was killed in Dhaka. Before that, a writer was stabbed and another
shot. One of the victims had reported receiving ISIS threats to police, but
authorities considered the threats as an individual act that's not affiliated
to an organized terrorist group. Four bloggers had also been killed.
Since the recent abduction involved the murder of more than 20 hostages and
received international attention, there is no longer doubt about the validity
of ISIS's claim of responsibility.
ISIS, however, does not always exist as a well-organized group. The group's
most elaborate solid manifestations are its self-declared caliphates in Raqqa,
Syria and Mosul, Iraq. Nonetheless, the group chiefly works for a project
missioned to spread terrorist ideology through modern means of communication.
One can assume that modern day terrorism acts like transcontinental companies,
working on a multinational capacity and dependent on promotion and trade.
In the past 10 years, we have seen many manifestations of extremism traveling
to Bangladesh from Middle East, via extremist religious preaching and
collecting funds in the name of charity.
There are no occupying forces or foreign powers in Bangladesh. There is no
civil war and most of its population is Muslim, the majority being Sunni.
However, this did not prevent extremism, which suggests the presence of
Western culture and immoral values that must be counteracted.
What is happening in Bangladesh is happening in several other countries and
displaying the same methods. However, cooperation between countries is limited
as to enhance the process of exchanging information about potent terrorist
groups and criminals, and their financial transactions and marketing tools.
Current cooperation does not tackle primary terrorist ideology, nor does it
attend environments fostering extremist mindsets. What is the point of this
delayed cooperation when the disease has spread?
Al Rashed is the general manager of Al -Arabiya television. He is also the
former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al- Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly
magazine, Al Majalla. He is also a senior Columnist in the daily newspapers of
Al Madina and Al Bilad. He is a US post-graduate degree in mass
communications. He has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is
currently based in Dubai.