The Dhaka Metropolitan Police counter terrorism and transnational crime unit officials have said that they are examining the threat messages from ‘Islamic State’.
‘We are not ignoring it rather have started working soon after getting information about it,’ unit deputy commissioner Saiful Islam told New Age on Thursday, adding that they started collecting information about the threat.
On telegram channel At-Tamkin Media on March 11, the IS leader Abu Muhammad Al-Bengali urged youths living in ‘Dawlatul Islam of Bangla’ to ‘regroup and communicate with their representative in Bangladesh’.
Referring to a number of verses from Qur’an, he also urged their ‘sympathisers’ to work in small groups and carry out attacks with cars or knives.
The message also urged their members and supporters not to be afraid of security agencies, despite the onslaught of arrests and torture.
‘We got the information two days ago,’ said Saiful, adding, ‘we have heard the name of Abu Muhammad Al-Bengali but his message seems new.’
Another official at the counter terrorism unit said that they were working on it and enhancing their intelligence work.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan in a function in Rawjan upazila of Chattogram on Thursday said that with the help of the people, Bangladesh now was free from extremism.
Bangladesh-origin Swedish journalist and extremism researcher Tasneem Khalil in his tweet stated the latest message did not name the representative of the Khilafah in Bangladesh.
‘These are all concrete calls for action that show ISIS is trying to regroup and launch new attacks in Bangladesh, esp. attacks targeting security forces and government officials,’ he stated.
Tasneem also considered that it was ‘a clear call for lone-wolf attacks on “taghut” (secular state) targets using cars and knives.’
Since September 2015, the Islamic State reportedly claimed series of attacks on secular writers, leaders of religious minorities, international aid worker and finally the attack on up-scale restaurant Holey Artisan in the capital’s Gulshan on July 1, 2016. Twenty-nine people including 17 foreigners and five suspects were killed in 12-hours standoff.
The government, however, ruled out the presence of the representatives of the Islamic State rather branded them as a faction of banned local extremist group Jamaatul Mujaheedin Bangladesh.