International terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda is stepping up their activities in the Indian subcontinent. The activities of the organisation is also increasing in Bangladesh, said a report of a research organisation presented during the hearing of a US House of Representatives sub-committee related to Homeland Security.
During the hearing it was also said that the terrorist organisation has appointed a hundred of its members in the subcontinent this year.
Speaking on the issue, a senior official of Dhaka metropolitan police’s counter terrorism unit seeking anonymity said according to the reports collected from other intelligence agencies, they are also sure that the activities of the Al Qaeda followers has increased in India and Pakistan. However, information about activities of the terrorist group in Bangladesh is not correct in the present scenario.
RAND Corporation, an organisation that provides research and analysis to the US military, presented the report before the House of Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Counter terrorism and Intelligence on Thursday.
Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, Seth G Jones attended the hearing on behalf of the organisation.
The US formed the Homeland Security Department after the 9/11 attack. The mission of this influential department is to secure the nation from the many threats US faces and to look after the immigration related issues of US to counter the threat of terrorism.
During the hearing, Seth G Jones said Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has recruited hundreds of members this year. They have a number of cells in different provinces of Afghanistan. They are in large numbers in Afghanistan compared to the last 5 to 10 years.
According to the expert, Al Qaeda is particularly active in Bangladesh. They are carrying out a steady propaganda campaign from its media arm As-Sahab.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said, “There is nothing as such. All this is made up by them only. There is no Al Qaeda in Bangladesh. Some misguided people write on the Facebook and social sites. There is nothing to worry about them.”
Local militant group Ansar Al Islam has declared themselves to be the Bangladesh section of AQIS. The group was earlier known to be Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).
The militant group first came to light after they killed blogger Rajib Haidar in front of his home in Dhaka in February 2013.
They also came to attention for killing a number of other bloggers and dissident writers. The most recent activity of the group was to kill LGBT activist Julhas Mannan and artist Mahbub Tanay in Kalabagan last year.
The militant group acknowledged killing a total of 11 people and to be involved in a number of other attacks.
A senior official of DMP’s Counter Terrorism Unit said continuous drive against the group has made them cornered. The remaining members and leaders of the group are using the ‘online platform’ for recruiting new members.
The members of law enforcement agencies have killed a total of 64 people in different drives following the Holey Artisan Bakery militant attack on 1 July last year. The list includes senior leaders of the militant group Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB) as well women and children of their family.
Meanwhile, law enforcers are yet to arrest a number of leaders of Ansar Al Islam, which is also the follower of Al Qaeda’s ideology. The list includes Ansar al Islam’s military wing commander Major Syed Ziaul Haque.