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 consumer from the northeastern Bangladeshi metropolis of Sylhet, wrote on the DW Bengali service’s Fb web page.

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

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

Radicals prepared to affix Taliban

Earlier this 12 months, 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 have been a part of a bunch of 10 individuals who have been trying to find methods to turn out to be members of the fundamentalist group. Two of them have reportedly already been capable of be part of the Taliban.

“We’ve received numerous data from the arrested individuals. However 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 power is on alert alongside the India-Bangladesh border after the police chief of Dhaka claimed that a number of radical Bangladeshi youths have been trying to sneak into India to make their method 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 battle alongside the Afghans in opposition to the then Soviet Union later returned dwelling 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, specialists say that Bangladesh needn’t fear any greater than different South Asian international locations following the brand new developments in Afghanistan.

“The regional impression of the Taliban rule will rely upon 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 also be a figuring out issue,” he mentioned, including: “Bangladesh needs to be cautious, however neither ought to or not it’s overly involved nor use this as a pretext to clamp down on respectable detractors of the federal government, falsely accusing them as Taliban sympathizers.”

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

“Bangladesh’s issues with Islamist militancy aren’t as severe as they’re in Pakistan, however given the presence of some teams, native and overseas, within the nation, there needs to be some purpose 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 mentioned, including: “So, it’s not just like the Taliban will encourage militants to hold out assaults outdoors Afghanistan. The issue is that militants might be impressed themselves to take action.”

Bangladesh’s ‘iron fist’ strategy might backfire

Bangladeshi police haven’t disclosed any data on what number of fundamentalists they’ve saved 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 often and take motion after we discover somebody who has been making an attempt to turn out 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 turn out to be a militant. If nothing works, we arrest the individual to cease them from being radicalized,” he added.

Specialists argue that whereas Bangladeshi police’s “iron fist” strategy to curbing militancy had gained some preliminary success, it might 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 mentioned.

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

Professor Riaz additionally says Dhaka’s actions in opposition to 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 mentioned, including: “On that depend, the state of affairs has not improved in Bangladesh. I’m afraid that violent extremism has gained extra help and sympathy inside society than ever earlier than.”

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