After a relatively long period of calm, Islamist militancy in Bangladesh is showing new signs of life, even in the face of continuous crackdowns on terrorist infrastructure and activity by counterterrorism forces in the country.
Security officials have long established that many of the outlawed terrorist groups have been trying to regroup and reorganize after lying low (mostly in northwestern and southwestern Bangladesh) after a state of emergency was declared in January 2007. In June 2008, reports came quickly of the reemergence of terrorist groups such as Jama’at ul-Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB), Allahr Dal, Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami (HuJI) and Hizb-ut Towhid (HuT). The revival was especially strong in the southwestern districts of Kushtia, Meherpur, Jhenidah, Magura, Chuadanga, Jessore, and Satkhira. Intelligence sources revealed that all these groups have maintained close operational ties and carried out terrorist operations on Bangladeshi soil. One estimate suggested there were about 12,000 cadres actively operating in the country, mostly madrassa (Islamic seminary) teachers, students and clerics of mosques (Daily Star [Dhaka], June 12, 2008). In April of this year, Bangladesh intelligence agencies declared that the Islamist terrorist groups are reorganizing with the aim of making a deadly comeback (Daily Star, April 29).
A mid-June report based on the confessional statement of a JMB terrorist shed some light on this resilient outfit… >>>