Dhaka, Nov 13: Fundamentalist elements in Bangladesh may stage fresh sabotages including a possible plane hijack to halt the ongoing trial and expected execution of several top war criminals who committed human rights violations during the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan, security agencies fear.
Police's Special Branch (SB) recently submitted a report to the home ministry saying a certain group was planning subversive and terror activities to "free war criminals now under trial", the Daily Star newspaper reported today quoting unidentified sources.
The report said the group might hijack a plane on international or domestic routes, abduct or kill any VIP and stage blasts to commit atrocities as it was wants to "tarnish the image of the nation by creating anarchy and degrading law and order in the country".
The report came as the Supreme Court is set to hear petitions seeking to review the death penalty of influential leader of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's BNP - Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury - and its crucial ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami's secretary general Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujaheed on November 17.
The apex court had earlier upheld their capital punishment originally handed down by a special Bangladeshi tribunal for crimes against humanity they had committed during the 1971 Liberation War, siding with the Pakistani troops.
Bangladesh has witnessed a series of systematic attacks in the recent past that left nine people including two foreigners dead and nearly 100 wounded. Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was killed by unidentified assailants in Dhaka in September and and five days later a Japanese farmer Kunio Hoshi was murdered.
Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State affiliated militants. In subsequent days, a moderate Sufi saint and state-run Power Development Board's former chief Khizir Khan, progressive book publisher Faisal Arefin Dipon, two on duty policemen and aide of a Muslim Sufi shrine were murdered.
Security analysts said the pattern of the attacks suggested the assailants targeted law enforcement or security agency members, secular writers and bloggers and moderate Muslim Sufis who were opposed to Islamists or religious extremism apart from the foreigners.
"They (assailants) clearly want to demoralise the law enforcement agencies and the forces opposed to religious fanaticism and seek to draw international attention targeting foreign nationals," a senior police officer familiar with the attack investigations said.