The security agencies in Bangladesh have received an intelligence input that terror outfit “neo-JMB”, followers of the ISIS ideology, are planning to carry out terror attacks on the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. The terror attacks are allegedly schemed to mark the announcement of a new wing of ISIS–”Bengal Ulayat” in Bangladesh.
The police headquarters have received inputs that this new wing of ISIS could target police establishments, government establishments, and foreign missions or embassies in the country ahead of Eid-al-Adha scheduled to be held on August 1, 2020.
Following the input, several security units such as the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC), Anti-Terrorism Unit and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has been put on highest alert and instructed to take necessary actions to prevent subversive activities planned by the terrorists.
“The declaration of a new wing of a terror outfit is generally accompanied by subversive activities,” the instructions in a letter issued by Police Headquarters said while citing the data on terror activities at home and abroad.
Acting on the input and the past data, Bangladesh police have stepped up the measures to avert any untoward terror attack on its soil.
All units have been asked to increase surveillance of extremists and their organisations, maintain personal security for all police, not leave any police vehicle abandoned or empty, ensure security and identity while entering police buildings, stepping up surveillance of school-college-university students. It has also instructed the police units to intensify the searches at the check posts, search bags and bodies in case of suspicion and carry out block raids in suspected areas.
History reveals heightened activity from terrorists around August
Citing previous terror activities, the PHQ Additional Deputy Inspector General (intelligence and special affairs) Haider Ali Khan told Dhaka Tribune that terrorists have been particularly active in the month of August in the past.
Last year in September, a bomb exploded at an Awami League office in Khulna city. Before that, a people, including a female police officer, were injured in a bomb explosion near a police pickup in Dhaka’s Malibagh intersection on May 26. The police had then claimed that all the attacks were carried out by “Neo JMB”.
Last week, there was a bomb explosion in the capital’s Purana Paltan area around 8:45 pm. There was no casualty in the incident. However, the police have launched an investigation to determine who were the miscreants who planted the bomb and their affiliation with any terror outfit.
JMB’s long-standing goal is to convert Bangladesh into an Islamic caliphate like ISIS
Neo-JMB is an ultra-radical offshoot of the proscribed terror outfit Jamaat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh and followers of the ISIS ideology. JMB has a slated goal of supplanting the democratic government in Bangladesh with the Islamic state based on Sharia law. The plan to carry out targeted attacks, assassinations, bombing and other forms of attacks come on the heels of Bangladesh security agencies’ intensified clampdown against the terror activities in the country.
The Shaikh Hasina-led Bangladesh government has been particularly unsparing against the JMB, forcing many of its terrorists to flee Bangladesh through its porous borders with India. In the last few months, a bevvy of JMB terrorists has been nabbed in India and Bangladesh, chipping away at the outfit’s terror network in the two countries. With the announcement of a new wing of ISIS, the JMB possibly hopes to revitalise and mobilise its disillusioned and demoralised cadres towards its long-standing goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Bangladesh.