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In Bangladesh, terrorists signal their arrival

| 9 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

The nationwide bombings were a small demonstration of their organisation

The terrorists who set off explosions all over Bangladesh warned the American president and the British prime minister to get out of Muslim countries, asserting that 'their days of ruling over Muslim countries are over'. The terrorists think that setting of explosions in an already impoverished Muslim country, terrorising innocent people, a majority of who are Muslims anyway, will strike fear in the hearts of the United States and Britain. Taken at face value, it appears that the terrorists who carried out the attacks in Bangladesh suffered from both an overblown sense of self-importance and an extremely poor understanding of international affairs. The truth is, far from scaring the West out of Muslim countries, the attacks will further bolster the international perception that Bangladesh is on the brink of state failure.

As usual Bangladesh's two political formations have carried themselves appallingly. The ruling Bangladesh National Party of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been in a comfortable alliance with Bangladesh's Islamist parties. Its longtime policy of outright denial was recently replaced by a reluctant admission that jihadi terrorist did pose a threat to national security. After the blasts it has begun to arrest members of a terrorist group whose existence it had denied until recently. But its Islamist coalition partners have already begun rolling out the conspiracy theories, claiming that the attacks were a conspiracy to malign the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. On the other hand, the Awami League, the main opposition party has acted along predictable lines (via Rezwan). It called for a general strike to protest against the government's failure to prevent the attacks.

But it is inconceivable that the terrorists who carried out such a sophisticated and well-planned series of attacks intended to just make loud noises across the country. In a country where the writ of the government is diminishing, the explosions were the terrorists way of demonstrating their power. Theirs is calculated move to intimidate the general population as the Islamic extremists get on with their job of oppressing religious minorities and stamping out the politics of plurality. If Bangladesh fails to provide an answer to this from within its democratic setup, as it is now, this is the path that leads to Kandahar.

Bangladesh is no Afghanistan. But it may yet end up as a source of international terrorism. There is little to differentiate Bangladesh's constant denials that it is hosting terrorist training camps and wanted terrorists on its soil, from those of Pakistan that continue to this day. The world ignored Pakistan's jihadi apparatus to its own peril --- and finally woke up to the threat after it was too late. It now runs the risk of repeating its mistake. But what is an urgent need for the international community is an immediate one for India, which has already offered to assist Bangladesh in investigating these terror attacks. It is unlikely that the Khaleda Zia government will take up this offer. That, however, should not deter India from following a more forceful policy towards Bangladesh as far as the terrorism is concerned. For an independent Bangladesh is as much in India's national interests today as it was in 1971.

Tailpiece: Opportunistic illegal immigrants have been caught running a racket in Kolkata, collecting donations in the name of al Qaeda. And the editor of Arab News speculates that the explosions may have been a pitch by Bangladeshi start-up jihadis to seek an investment from the al-Qaeda. Update: Just to make things more interesting, Indian and Bangladeshi forces are trading fire over the border.

2 TrackBacks

Tracked: August 20, 2005 12:43 PM
Dawn Patrol from Mudville Gazette
Excerpt: Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link...
Tracked: August 22, 2005 6:35 AM
Around The 'Sphere August 22, 2005 from The Moderate Voice
Excerpt: Our occasional linkfest of posts of ALL viewpoints. Links do not necessarily reflect the views of TMV or its co-bloggers. A Superb Analy...

9 Comments

down with the bangali government they are all murtads. they all promote democracy which is forbidden in Islam and against everything Muhammad(saw) said and did. How can you be Muslim and not want an islamic state. allahu akbar

Mmm.

Anyway, IIRC the Indians are building a genocide-apartheid fence along the border.

Colt,

I really hope you are using those words in jest. Do you have facts to justify calling it a "genocide-apartheid" fence?

The reason why India is building a fence with Bangladesh is rather similar to the one the United States is building on the border with Mexico. The intention is to curb mass illegal immigration, as well as protect against the more sinister part of it -- terrorism. And it is important to add that Bangladesh does not disagree with the idea of a fence but only on the where the border is (and hence where the fence should be).

The reason why India is building a fence with Bangladesh is rather similar to the one the United States is building on the border with Mexico. The intention is to curb mass illegal immigration, as well as protect against the more sinister part of it -- terrorism.
To clarify: the portion in italics is more specific to Bangladesh. I don't think that terrorists crossing over from Mexico are a serious concern.

Nitin,

He's using those words in irony, as a way of highlighting the world's utter non-reaction to a similar effort under similar circumstances, the only difference being that Jews aren't involved.

Joe's right.

There was an op-ed a while ago, which described the 'I's building a fence to protect against terrorist infiltration by the 'P's - India and Pakistan - and the remarkable lack of people giving a damn. Fortunately for the Indians, they are considered as 'I's rather than 'J's.

Joe and Colt,

Thanks for clarifying. :-)

It is difficult not to be overly sensitive on matters of such gravity as genocide or apartheid.

No harm done. If weren't sure the person were kidding, I'd have jumped on it, too.

I don't think that terrorists crossing over from Mexico are a serious concern.

It damn well ought to be.

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