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  • Return from the Precipice: Bangladesh’s Fight Against Terrorism

    Return from the Precipice: Bangladesh’s Fight Against Terrorism
    Publisher: Pentagon Security International
    ISBN 978-81-8274-697-8
    Price: ₹. 595/- Purchase Download E-copy

    About the Book

    The image of Bangladesh of being a ‘moderate Muslim country’ was tarnished at the turn of the 20th century. The country known for its Sufi Islam was witnessing a spurt of Islamic radicalism. While delineating the threat posed by Islamic radicalism to Bangladeshi politics and by Indian insurgent groups to Northeast India, the book also focuses on their sources of finance. This book marks an advance over other works on the same topic as it discusses the actions taken by the Sheikh Hasina led Awami League government to counter terrorism. In the past the governments in Bangladesh not only denied the presence of Islamist groups within their territory, they also vehemently protested whenever India raised the issue of Indian insurgent groups using Bangladeshi territory for attacks in Northeast India. In the absence of cooperation on the issue of countering terrorism, the problem largely remained in the realm of speculation.

    But now as the Bangladesh government comes out of its shell and cooperates with India and the wider world, many aspects of the problem have become known. The book also makes an assessment as to what extent Bangladeshi cooperation has helped counter-terrorism activities - especially in the Northeast of India.

    About the Author

    Dr. Anand Kumar is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. After completing his PhD from School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), he joined IDSA in 2007. His area of specialization is Counter-terrorism, South Asian politics, Bangladesh, Maldives, Proliferation of Small Arms and Low intensity conflicts. Before joining IDSA he worked at South Asia Analysis Group on similar themes. He has also been with the Institute for Conflict Management which specializes on Counter-terrorism.

    His edited volume “The Terror Challenge in South Asia and Prospect of Regional Cooperation” was published in year 2011. He has published around 20 articles in reputed journals, contributed around 10 chapters in edited books and delivered lectures on security issues both in India and abroad. His latest article “Shaikh Hasina’s Visit to India and the future of Indo-Bangladesh Relations” has been published by the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, London in their official journal Asian Affairs. He regularly publishes articles in leading newspapers and magazines. Some of the select publications are “Insurgency in South Asia muted by war on terror,” The Washington Times, January 16, 2004 and The Jihadi Next Door, The Washington Times, 20 May 2010.



    1. Introduction
    Organisation of the Book

    2. Revival of Islam-Based Politics
    Quest for Identity
    Islam as Unifying Factor
    Language as Unifying Force
    Attempt to Redefine Bangladeshi National Identity
    Towards Radical Islam
    Islamisation of Polity Under Zia and Ershad
    Internal Social Processes and Islamic Upsurge
    Growing Activities of Religious Institutions and Organisations
    Islam-Based Political Parties
    Proliferation of Islamic Parties during Military Rule
    Core Ideology
    Islam-based Political Parties no Longer Defensive

    3. Jamaat-e-Islami: Fountainhead of Extremism
    Organisation of Jammat
    The Jamaat’s Idea of an Islamic State
    Jamaat’s Strategy to Increase Influence
    Indoctrination through Party and other Front Organisations
    Madrassa Education
    Jamaat Targeting Women
    Rightwing Media
    Influence of Jamaat in Administration
    Use of Police
    Use of Army
    Use of Financial Resources
    Use of International Issues
    Political Rise of Jammat after the Restoration of Democracy
    The Place of Jamaat in Bangladeshi Politics

    4. Growth of Islamist Militancy in Bangladesh
    Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B)
    Terror Activities
    Attempt of HuJI to Disguise its Radical Character
    Jama’atul Mujaheedeen Bangladesh (JMB)
    Presence of JMB in the Bordering Districts of West Bengal
    Links of Jamaat with Militant Outfits
    Link with the BNP
    Political Support to Militancy
    Links with the Army
    Attacks on Democratic Institutions
    Some other Cases Where Threats Were Issued to Judges
    Reasons for the Militants Targeting of the Judiciary
    Attack on NGOs
    Four-party Coalition Remained Defiant despite International Concern

    5. Influence of Bangladesh on Northeast Insurgency
    Bangladesh: A Safe Haven for Northeast Insurgents
    Pro-Insurgent Record of the BNP and Military Governments
    Arms Smuggling
    Fratricidal Killings among Insurgent Outfits in Dhaka
    Islamist Groups in Northeast
    Weakening Support Base of Northeast Insurgents
    ULFA’s International Linkages
    Bangladesh as an Operational Zone for ISI
    Increasing External Influence over Insurgents

    6. Financing of Terror Groups
    Financing of Islamist Groups
    Main Beneficiary Groups and Institutions
    Sources of Financing of Islamist Groups
    Dubious Role of some Islamic Charities/NGOs
    Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation (AHIF)
    Alleged Terror Links
    Proliferation of Islamic NGOs in Bangladesh
    Foreign NGOs
    Local NGOs
    Islamic NGOs under Cloud after the Serial Blasts of August 2005
    Use of Funds in Terror Attacks
    Islamic NGOs get Support of Islamist Coalition Partners
    Investment: Attempt of Islamist Organisations to Become Self-reliant
    Funding through Individuals
    Money Laundering
    Role of Financial Institutions
    Dismal Record of Bangladesh Bank in Checking Terror Finance
    Fake Currency
    Role of International Community/UN
    Attitude of Government towards Terrorist Financing
    Financing of Indian Insurgent Groups based in Bangladesh
    Arms and Contraband Trade
    Business in Bangladesh

    7. From Denial to Action Against Terror
    Soft / dubious approach of the BNP on Terror
    Pressure through Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF)
    BNP and Jamaat Leaders Revert to Hostility After Donor Meet
    Government Considered Various Options to Ward-off Donor Pressure
    Donor Funding, an Important part of Bangladesh Budget Making
    Calculated Crackdown on Islamist Terror
    Half-hearted Crackdown Increases Problems for the BNP Government
    Conviction of Islamists
    Convictions Fail to Break Terror Network
    Arrests of JMB Leaders to Pacify Western Countries
    Symbiotic Relationship
    Authorities Tried To Delay Trial of JMB Men
    JMB Leaders Provided Special Treatment
    Hanging of Condemned militants Postponed
    Terror Remained a Point of contention with India during BNP Regime
    Lack of Direction during the Fakharuddin Ahmed led Caretaker Government
    Crackdown on Terror during the Awami League Government
    Attacks on Awami League Leaders
    Terror Tears apart Pakistan
    Resurgence of the Spirit of the Liberation War
    Action against Terror Groups under Awami League
    South Asia Task-force
    BDR Mutiny Delays Action against Terror
    Reorganisation of Counter-terrorism Structure
    Two Pronged Action
    Action against Domestic Islamist Groups
    War Crime Trial
    Crackdown against Northeast Insurgents

    8. Towards a New Beginning
    Lack of Domestic Consensus
    Hesitant Approach to bring back Secularism
    Terror Down but Not Out

    Appendix I
    Appendix II


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