22/02/2018 22:21 27/11/2015 22:25
THE conflicting narratives that are being presented to the nation by the Islamic State, the government and the law enforcement agencies in regards to the presence of IS militants, or to the extent of it, in Bangladesh, is only making the whole picture even more obscure for the public, let alone reassure them. Although an online IS magazine claimed that its members are currently operating in Bangladesh, saying that it is preparing for fresh attacks within the country, the home minister on Tuesday, as quoted by New Age on Wednesday, said that ‘there is no existence of the militant organisation Islamic State in Bangladesh’. The same day, however, one suspected coordinator of IS in Bangladesh and three of his associates were charged with plotting subversive activities in the country. IS, in its online magazine, claimed the responsibility for a number of atrocities perpetrated on the Bangladeshi soil in recent times, describing the incidents in significant details. Although it is not impossible for IS to acquire the details from various sources, including the internet, given the severity of the situation, it is worth investigating whether the incidents were, indeed, perpetrated by members of the Islamic State. It further said that despite the fact that the two major parties are using these incidents to further their political agendas through blame games, they will not stop the organisation from carrying out its objectives in the region. The magazine also mentioned that its soldiers in Bangladesh had pledged their allegiance to the Khalifah, uniting their ranks and nominating a regional leader. Although no proof regarding the presence of that leader in Bangladesh was given by IS, nor found by law enforcement agencies, as of yet, it is important to remember that the law enforcers did claim to have arrested more than 30 suspected followers of IS in Bangladesh until the killing of an Italian aid worker in September. Despite these worrying signs, members within the government have constantly insisted that there is no presence of the militant organisation in the country, with the prime minister ruling out the presence of IS, saying that there was ‘a tremendous international pressure on Bangladesh to admit to the IS presence in Bangladesh’, which is nothing short of a ploy by external forces meant ‘to taint’ the image of the country. Whatever the truth may be, it is quite obvious that all of this does not bode well for Bangladesh’s national interests. The severity of the situation demands proper investigation and more transparency from the government about the presence of IS militancy. This is needed to ensure that the country does, indeed, remain free from such extremist threats which are not only a threat to law and order but also to the overall stability of the nation. We, thus, expect that the government would explain and make clear the truth of the situation to its citizens and differentiate the facts from fiction so that citizens are made aware of the extent of any looming danger, or lack thereof.
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