Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Bangladesh
Bangladesh emerged as a sovereign nation in 1971 after a bloody and fierce war against Pakistan. The bitter and violent relationships between major political parties and their ‘zero-sum’ mentality to acquire or retain political power may create a favorable ground for the growth of radicalism. Islamist militancy in Bangladesh has developed due to a convergence of domestic, regional and international factors. According to the estimate of the South Asia Terrorism Portal, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJIB) has around 15,000 members in Bangladesh, including local residents and foreigners. The acrimonious nature of the political environment is a significant factor for thriving radicalism in Bangladesh. The violence committed by the Islamist militants started in the late 1990s and increased exponentially in the first half of the 2000s. The HuJIB was formed by a group of Afghan war veterans under the leadership of Sheikh Abdus Salam.