Bangladesh: Islamists emboldened by Taliban win in Afghanistan

“Go forward (Taliban), the longer term world is ready so that you can lead it,” S. Islam, a person from the northeastern Bangladeshi metropolis of Sylhet, wrote on the DW Bengali service’s Fb web page.

Shek, one other Fb person from the district of Sirajganj, considers the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul “a victory of Islam.” “I’m so completely satisfied to see the victory of Islam earlier than my dying. I used to be by no means that completely satisfied earlier than in my total life,” he wrote.

1000’s of customers have been incessantly posting feedback on social media to reward the Islamic fundamentalist group’s victory and denounce Western media retailers “for propagating” towards it.

Radicals prepared to affix Taliban

Earlier this yr, police within the capital, Dhaka, arrested at the very least 4 suspected Islamists who needed to journey to Afghanistan through India and Pakistan to affix the Taliban.

They had been a part of a gaggle of 10 individuals who had been trying to find methods to grow to be members of the fundamentalist group. Two of them have reportedly already been in a position to be part of the Taliban.

“We’ve got received a whole lot of data from the arrested individuals. Nevertheless it’s not but clear what number of Islamists have moved from Bangladesh to Afghanistan to affix the Taliban fighters,” Asaduzzaman Khan, the chief of the counterterrorism unit of Dhaka police, informed DW.

In the meantime, Indian newspapers have reported that the nation’s border safety drive is on alert alongside the India-Bangladesh border after the police chief of Dhaka claimed that a number of radical Bangladeshi youths had been trying to sneak into India to make their approach to be part of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

How apprehensive ought to Bangladesh be?

Islamic fundamentalists who had traveled from Bangladesh to Afghanistan within the Nineteen Seventies and 80s to combat alongside the Afghans towards the then Soviet Union later returned house and shaped militant teams together with Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (HuJIB) and Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

For years, such teams have actively tried to destabilize the nation by finishing up terror assaults.

Nonetheless, consultants say that Bangladesh needn’t fear any greater than different South Asian international locations following the brand new developments in Afghanistan.

“The regional influence of the Taliban rule will rely on how they behave and whether or not they backtrack from their promise to not let any terrorist group use Afghanistan as its base,” Ali Riaz, a political science professor at Illinois State College, informed DW.

“Whether or not battle ensues may even be a figuring out issue,” he stated, including: “Bangladesh ought to be cautious, however neither ought to or not it’s overly involved nor use this as a pretext to clamp down on reliable detractors of the federal government, falsely accusing them as Taliban sympathizers.”

Michael Kugelman, a South Asia knowledgeable on the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Middle for Students, echoed this opinion.

“Bangladesh’s issues with Islamist militancy aren’t as critical as they’re in Pakistan, however given the presence of some teams, native and overseas, within the nation, there ought to be some cause for concern,” he informed DW.

“The excellent news is that the Taliban themselves have no real interest in stoking regional terrorism. Their considerations and pursuits are Afghanistan-focused,” he stated, including: “So, it’s not just like the Taliban will encourage militants to hold out assaults outdoors Afghanistan. The issue is that militants will probably be impressed themselves to take action.”

Bangladesh’s ‘iron fist’ strategy may backfire

Bangladeshi police haven’t disclosed any data on what number of fundamentalists they’ve stored below surveillance, however they’ve acknowledged figuring out networks which have prior to now lured youths into becoming a member of the Taliban.

“We monitor the cyber world usually and take motion after we discover somebody who has been attempting to grow to be a militant,” Dhaka police chief Shafiqul Islam informed DW.

“We initially attempt to cease the individual by informing their household about their intention to grow to be a militant. If nothing works, we arrest the individual to cease them from being radicalized,” he added.

Consultants argue that whereas Bangladeshi police’s “iron fist” strategy to curbing militancy had gained some preliminary success, it may backfire in the long term.

“Bangladesh’s authorities has taken an iron fist strategy to militancy. It’s cracked down on everybody, together with innocents who had nothing to do with militancy,” Kugelman stated.

“So Dhaka’s counterterrorism achievements could also be Pyrrhic victories: They killed terrorists and degraded their capacities, however additionally they could have laid the groundwork for future radicalizations of non-militant Islamists that resent how they’ve been handled by the state,” he stated.

Professor Riaz additionally says Dhaka’s actions towards militants have paid off solely within the brief run, by weakening terror teams like al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” within the nation.

“However militancy doesn’t develop in a vacuum; there are elements which permit it to thrive,” he stated, including: “On that rely, the scenario has not improved in Bangladesh. I’m afraid that violent extremism has gained extra assist and sympathy inside society than ever earlier than.”

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