June 09, 2016

Two Islamist terror groups may be behind the killings in Bangladesh

India Today

Bangladesh bloggers' killing solved: Two radical Islamic groups identified

Monirul Islam, the chief of Bangladesh's police counter-terrorism unit who took charge in February, said the investigation into the deaths of bloggers has finally helped them in identifying the two groups- Ansar al-Islam and Jama'atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh-responsible for the recent attacks.

IndiaToday.in | Edited by Yashaswani Sehrawat
New Delhi, June 9, 2016 | UPDATED 16:09 IST


1 Militant groups chose their targets carefully to gather public support.
2 They want to convert Bangladesh into Islamic nation.
3 Monirul Islam dismissed involvement of Al-Qaeda, ISIS.

Bangladesh has identified two radical Islamist groups- Ansar al-Islam and Jama'atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh- for the series of murders of bloggers, atheists and gay rights campaigners in the country since 2013, the New York Times reported.

Monirul Islam, the new chief of Bangladesh's police counter-terrorism unit, in an interview to NYT, revealed the names of two militant Islamic groups are behind the murders- Ansar al-Islam and Jama'atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh.Â


Monirul Islam said these groups choose their targets carefully to gather public support.
The groups reportedly want to convert the Muslim-majority secular country into an Islamist one.
Ansar al-Islam, led by a fiery cleric and a well-trained operational commander, have about 25 trained killers.
Jama'atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh is an offshoot of a group banned in 2005 for setting off nearly 500 bombs.
The top cop dismissed claims of involvement of al-Qaeda and ISIS.


Both ISIS as well as al-Qaeda's branch in the country have claimed responsibility for the killings

While the ISIS has claimed attacks on 16 persons so far, al-Qaeda took responsibility for two murders, calling the victims "blasphemers."

Other radical Islamic groups too have claimed that they were behind some of the attacks.

Ansarullah Bangla Team had claimed responsibility for some of the attacks in 2015. The police had arrested few members, but nobody has been persecuted.

Hefazat-e-Islam had publicly sought the execution of atheists who organised mass protests against the rise of political Islam in March 2013. Around 50 people died in a huge counter-protest organised by the group in May 2013.


William Mila, former US ambassador to the country, had blamed the Awami League's governance for the rise in violence.

Surprisingly, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan had said in April that nobody had the right to attack religious leaders and that the government would scrutinize the writings of Nazimuddin Samad, the blogger murdered in April this year.


There has been a sudden surge in the number of attacks recently with the latest murder this week of the wife of a police officer pursuing the suspected militants.

As many as three persons have been murdered this month already, four were killed in May and five people were hacked to death in April this year.

The attacks which began in early 2013 have claimed 39 lives so far.