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Bangladesh preparing terrorist alert list with support from US

The report said due to deficit in the judicial system, terrorism-related cases backlogged and the conviction rate is less than 15%

With the help of the United States, Bangladesh has been preparing an alert list of suspected terrorists at the national level.

This was stated in the “Country Report on Terrorism-2019” published by the US State Department on Wednesday.

Mentioning that the number of terrorist incidents in 2019 has slightly increased from the previous year, the report mentions the situation of terrorism in Bangladesh, the activities of law enforcement agencies, financing in the fight against terrorism, local law and international cooperation.

According to the report, the government of Bangladesh claims that the terrorists stationed in Bangladesh have no links with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) or other international terrorist groups.

Notable events of 2019 were — the National Anti-Terrorism Unit in Bangladesh gained official authority and seven people were sentenced to death over the 2016 Holy Artisan Bakery terrorist attack.

However, the report said that due to deficits in the judicial system, terrorism-related cases backlogged and the conviction rate is less than 15%.

Bangladesh Advanced Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) do not review or analyze properly, the report said, adding that despite exchanging information with Interpol, there is no terrorist watch list in Bangladesh.

The international community is still concerned about the security situation at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), saying a man with a fake pistol tried to hijack a plane once and passengers have taken advantage of the security vulnerabilities several times.

The report said Washington had helped to strengthen controls at the border, land and airports. Though an explosive identifier K9 team, trained from the US, patrols HSIA, they do not always stay there.

It added that extremists had detonated six bombs in 2019, one of them at the Awami League’s Khulna office. Several people were injured in the incidents and ISIS has claimed responsibility for those attacks.

ISIS’s At-Tamkin also released a video in Bengali against the Bangladesh government, foreign governments, and religious minorities. Dhaka Metropolitan Police have arrested several people on suspicion of making the video.

Arrests of suspected extremists continue and many of them have been killed in crossfire or shoot-outs, but many observers reported that such incidents were either decorative or not properly published in the media, the report added.

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