The recent attack at Dhaka was not just an attempt to keep the ruling dispensation on the edge but also a long term objective of promoting radical Islam in the country and beyond.
This is a great cause of concern not just for Bangladesh but India which shares a border as there is a great danger of a spill over.
It becomes imperative for the intelligence and security establishments in both India and Bangladesh to view the Dhaka attack as a wake up call and evolve a joint mechanism to deal with the challenge says, former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, C D Sahay.
In this interview with OneIndia, Sahay says that India has decades of experience in dealing with terrorism and it is now time for us to reciprocate as Bangladesh has done a great deal for us.
What role should India play in the aftermath of the Dhaka attack?
Going by what transpired at Dhaka, the agenda of the terrorists was not just limited to keeping the ruling dispensation on the edge. It is likely to be much more sinister with long term objective of promoting radical Islam in the country and beyond, certainly impacting India.
Hence it is imperative for the intelligence and security establishments in both countries to take the Dhaka incident as a serious wake up call and evolve a joint mechanism to deal with the emerging challenges in an effective manner.
India has decades of experience in dealing with terrorism and has fairly well developed counter-terrorism capabilities. Bangladesh has a done a great deal for us. It's our turn to reciprocate.
Has Bangladesh recognised the rapid rise in radicalisation?
Yes they have. It has also initiated measures to deal with these issues. However this virus is rapidly growing and it seems Bangladesh has not yet reached a definitive conclusion on the identity of forces or groups behind the killing of secular, progressive campaigners.
After each such incident, including the latest one, a couple of well identified radical extremist such as Jama'at ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), or Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), or Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent(AQIS) or ISIS claim responsibility for the event.
Does the AQIS or ISIS have a base in Bangladesh or do they operate through their franchises?
The AQIS and ISIS brand of highly radicalised Islam has gained significant traction in the sub-continent. Both organisations are competing for influence in the region.
While they may not be having a formal tie-up with the local group of radicals, it is convenient for them to claim ownership of any high profile incident to enhance their brand appeal in the region for strategic advantage.
The fact also remains that AQIS and ISIS literature have been regularly recovered in the recent past in the course of police raids on the ABT or JMB modules.
The fact also remains that these local groups have come to adverse notice for using the AQIS or ISIS brand names in their recruitment and radicalization related activities.
Perhaps, the interrogation of one of the terrorists captured alive during the Dhaka operation, would shed greater light on the network responsible.
Bangladesh maintains that the Dhaka attack was home grown. Can the ISIS/AQIS threat be ignored?
No the threat cannot and should not be ignored. Bangladesh started off as a moderate Islamic state. However today radicalisation has set in and taken deep roots.
I do not subscribe to the view that the Dhaka attack was all home grown. Take for instance the Brussels attack, it was attributed to the ISIS brand of Islam.