"How Bangladesh Became Fertile Ground For Al-Qa`Ida And The Islamic State" CTC Sentinel, May 2016

Abstract: Despite government denials, Bangladesh has increasingly become fertile ground for al-Qa`ida and the Islamic State. Both groups have taken advantage of an upsurge in Islamist militancy in the country over anger at the execution of Islamist political leaders in 2013, and both hope to expand their footprint there by building alliances with local groups. Bangladeshi police suspect the Bangladeshi wing of al-Qa`ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which has claimed a series of attacks on secular bloggers, is liaising with top leadership of the terrorist network in Pakistan. An increasingly assertive, local chapter of the Islamic State has launched attacks on foreigners and sectarian targets in a bid to build its support base in the country. With radicalized Bangladeshis being drawn to both groups, the security climate is likely to worsen until the government acknowledges the threat. Follow @sspconline


Bangladesh, the fourth-largest Muslim majority country in the world, has been in the limelight of late because of growing political and religious violence, including increasingly frequent targeted killings of secularists by radical Islamists. Over the last three years the country has become increasingly polarized between moderate and secular-leaning forces on one side and Islamists on the other, which has resulted in growing radicalization and increasingly energized and strengthened local radical networks. While local dynamics explain much of the rise of violence, this article will document how both al-Qa`ida and the Islamic State are increasingly eyeing Bangladesh for expansion and taking advantage of local radical networks to expand their presence and support base in the country.

Full Text, Visit CTC Sentinel Webportal.  (Combating Terrorism Center, West Point, US

CTC Sentinel (West Point, US)