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Combatting Terrorism and Extremism in Bangladesh

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The concept of extremism and militant nationalism is a one which is quite well known to the world and has managed to label itself as a crucial barrier in the path of attaining global peace. There wasn’t a significant beginning to this branch of terrorism but is something that has built up overtime and is at its peak now. The Middle East countries and Africa have witnessed the horrors of terrorism the most due to organizations such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab but now it is also spreading to most of Asia. These terror groups are formed as certain section of people start feeling threatened about their interests and social groups.

However nowadays governments have started taking collective steps in order to eliminate these anti-social elements from the society such as: strengthening their anti-terrorism units, providing no land to terrorists within their country, and many more such policies.

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Recently an organization known as Jamaat-ul Mujahideen has cropped up as an Islamist militant organization operating in Bangladesh. The organization was officially banned by the government of Bangladesh in February 2005 but the group has reorganized and has executed many attacks ever since.

There have been various attacks ranging from suicide bombings to explosions to political and religious killings.

An attack in 2016 at the capital of Bangladesh – Dhaka had killed 22 people bringing Bangladesh on the radar. One year later, Bangladesh has faded from the headlines, yet terrorist attacks continue, and the country’s deep secular traditions have never been more vulnerable thanks to Islamist extremists’ increasing inroads into society.

Also several Rohingya refugee groups pose as a serious threat because they are vulnerable and can be easily exploited by the Rohingya Terrorists of Myanmar and several other terrorist organizations. Moreover there have been clashes between locals and the Rohingya refugees as well sparking security concerns.

There are also rumors of growing ISIS bases in the country as they have claimed responsibility of some previous attacks.Therefore Bangladesh needs to also put forward their needs and approach the issue directly, tactfully and diplomatically to receive support from other states.

Steps taken by government

The PM Sheikh Hasina has condemned these terrorist groups and has adopted a zero tolerance policy against the terror groups. It has adopted the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism strategy by implementation of Counter Terrorism Task force. It has also amended its Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009 making it effective against newer threats and offering harsher punishments.

Bangladesh also enacted Money Laundering Prevention Act of 2012 following which steps have been taken to stop terrorism funding. It has also tied up with India for taking steps to strengthen its counter terrorism infrastructure.

Potential solutions

In the aftermath of these attacks, a natural government response is to increase the power of and boost spending for the nation’s myriad security forces, complete with a liberal use of law enforcement authority.

Education and skills development opportunities are lagging behind the growth of the young population. The lack of employment opportunities in the region account for widespread poverty in many states. The lack of upward socio-economic mobility in almost all states has contributed to the sense of hopelessness that results in producing a recipe for extremism. This must be combated and economic conditions must be improved.

More jobs must be created to prevent such a situation. Also more awareness must be spread and measures should be taken to ensure that different social groups live in harmony with the rights and interests of neither of them being compromised.

Conclusion

All in all, Bangladesh hopes to gain international support and financial support for combatting terrorism and extremism in the country. It strongly condemns such acts and stands in support of other countries facing a similar problem. It is also ready to extend friendly ties with other countries having similar issues so that everyone as a whole can drive away this menace as a united force.

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