Is there any nexus between extremist groups of the past and present?

Is there any nexus between extremist groups of the past and present?

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A concrete link between newly formed Islamist group Jamaatul Ansar fil Hindal Sharqiya with the escape of death-sentenced members of the banned militant organization Ansar al-Islam has yet to be confirmed, but officials and experts believe both groups are involved. are connected.

It has long been a strategy of extremist organizations to stay relevant by mixing with new followers of militancy.

While militant activities have subsided following a crackdown by security forces in the wake of the horrific incidents at Holy Artisan Bakery in 2015, militancy has come under fresh scrutiny after two death row convicts managed to escape from a crowded court complex. has come within the scope of Dhaka, 20 November.

Both of them are said to be leaders of Ansar al-Islam. A decade ago, the group gained notoriety for carrying out the murders of several writers, publishers and online activists.

According to intelligence officials, the Ansar al-Islam came from the Ansarullah Bangla team led by Mufti Jasim Uddin Rahmani, who is now behind bars. Dismissed army officer Syed Ziaul Haq alias Major Zia is believed to be the leader of the group.

Police say Zia hatched an audacious plot to snatch two terrorists from the custody of law enforcers while they were being taken to the lockup after testifying in court. Fugitive militants Abu Siddique Sohail alias Shakib Sohail Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Sameer were sentenced to death for killing Faisal Arefin Deepan, publisher of Jagruti Prokshoni, along with Jiya.

Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami, or HuJI, was the first militant group to come into the public consciousness, followed by the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, or JMB.

Law enforcement officials have maintained that no international terrorist group had any inroads into Bangladesh, despite various messages issued in the name of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State before and after the Holly Artisan attack.

The people involved in Gulshan’s cafe massacre six years ago were identified by the country’s intelligence agencies as members of the Neo-JMB, an offshoot of the JMB. Ansar al-Islam also emerged at the same time.

Recently, the Rapid Action Battalion, an anti-crime and anti-terrorist unit of the police, discovered a new Islamist group, Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, while investigating the disappearance of several youths.

Mohammad Asaduzzaman, head of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit of the police, said that Jamaatul Ansar’s ranks are filled with former terrorists from other banned organisations.

Shafqat Munir, head of the Bangladesh Center for Terrorism Research (BCTR), said,

“In our research and analysis, we have observed that one characteristic of extremist groups is that they are always trying to regroup. As a result, we see the emergence of new extremist organizations.

“They do this out of a desire to increase their capacity and spread their ideology to a wider audience. As part of this, they may be trying to recruit youth to leave their homes and form a ‘functional coalition’.

“It is clear that they [militants] trying to do something. At the turn of the century police chief Muhammad Nurul Huda said, “Different groups of people who share the same radical beliefs are involved in militancy.”

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan believes that the culprits were tipped off to the police because they could provide information about the whereabouts of other terrorists who were in hiding.

According to retired Major General Abdur Rashid, the militant organizations are now trying to reform and regroup.

“It is a ploy of the militants. When there is strong resistance, they bend down, and when resistance decreases, they try to rise.

Why new militant groups are formed

Elaborating on the rise of new militant groups, Abdur Rashid said, “The main reason is that the militant organizations of the past have lost their ideological appeal. Supporters and active members have become inactive due to organizational fragmentation. They come up with new Huh.” agenda and new strategies to revitalize the ideas they support.

Rasheed believes that the formation of new militant organizations is the result of conflicts in the leadership of the groups that preceded them.

“Although they talk about ideological differences, there is basically a leadership struggle, which creates factions. If these factions face strong resistance and cannot overcome it on their own, a common agenda is made.”

According to him mentors also play a big role in the genesis of new organizations. He said that they often put pressure on disgruntled elements to regroup and gain strength. But identifying the patrons and sources of funds of terrorists is a difficult task.

“Militancy in Bangladesh has always revolved around politics. National elections are drawing near. Concerns about terrorist groups being used for political gains cannot be ruled out.”

Khandekar Farzana Rahman, chair of the criminology department of Dhaka University, highlighted the shortcomings of the police and prison administration.

“Since extremist groups are recruiting members online, we have seen many young people go missing in recent months. Also with elections approaching. Overall, I think they have used laws and regulations to create instability. By disrupting the situation of the system, a kind of conspiracy has been started to destroy the spirit of patriotism and liberation struggle.

According to Rashid, extremist groups recruit new members by offering them various financial incentives.

“They have to provide some sort of incentive to keep people busy. Be it in the form of legal aid to another terrorist, financial aid to the family in case someone dies and even helping death row convicts escape Could. It is a part of their strategy,” he said.

According to RAB, around 70 youths have left their homes in the past two years, many of whom have joined the Jamaatul Ansar.

The RAB published a list of 38 suspected militants in October after locating 55 young adults who had gone missing over the past two years.

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