Dhaka, July 4: The authorities in Dhaka said on Sunday that they were ruling out the role of the ISIS and the probe was now focused on the Jammat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and also the role of the ISI, Pakistan. After the attack it was the ISIS which immediately called the same, but the authorities dismissed the same.
The JMB has been responsible for 15 attacks in 2016 alone including the one at Dhaka. With the name of the JMB cropping up, Dhaka has every reason to suspect the role of the ISI.
Also read: JMB was rebranded as Islamic State in 2014
The ISI has been channeling funds to the JMB for sometime now and this was evident when one Pakistan diplomat was asked to leave Bangladesh recently.
The ISI, JMB link
The ISI had laid out a plan many years back in which it would target India from Bangladesh. The first terrorist group that they nurtured in Bangladesh was the Harkat-ul-JIhadi Islami or the HuJI. The HuJI was considered to be a sister concern of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba would attack India through Kashmir while HuJI was asked to launch strikes on India from Bangladesh.
However with the HuJI fading out, the ISI then decided to nurture the JMB. While the ISI does not involve itself too much in the training programme of the JMB cadres, it does fund the outfit heavily.
On December 23 2015, a Pakistan diplomat Farina Arshad was withdrawn from Bangladesh. After Bangladesh found that she was channeling funds from Pakistan to the JMB, she was withdrawn and sent back to Pakistan.
Incidentally this is the second such incident that took place where a Pakistan diplomat was asked to leave on charges of funding the JMB.
For the ISI, funding the JMB is important because of the India factor. The JMB has not just been active in Bangladesh, but also in West Bengal and Assam. The ISI feels that by funding this group extensively it would grow and become a force to reckon with in India.
Moreover it also is cost effective for the ISI to nurture a JMB. Sending cadres from Pakistan to hit at states such as WB or Assam is not always feasible for the ISI. In funding the JMB, the ISI has taken care of that aspect.