The Islamic State (IS) militant group has warned that it is preparing for fresh attacks in Bangladesh “to rise and expand in Bengal.”
The group dedicated a full article to their activities in Bangladesh or "Bengal" as it refers to the country in the latest edition of its online propaganda magazine Dabiq where its strategic expansion to countries like Bangladesh is discussed at length.
The article titled The Revival of Jihad in Bengal claimed that while IS was busy preparing for further attacks, the secular Awami League government continued to “twist the facts” on the ground and play a blame game. That perhaps refers to the claims by the Bangladesh government that there was no Islamic State presence in the country and that elements out to destabilise it were behind the murders of two foreigners.
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The IS also referred to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-Jamaat alliance as a ‘coalition of murtaddin (apostates)’.
“The former government, which consisted mainly of a coalition of murtaddin from both the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, foolishly thought that the call of tawhid, jihad, and khilafah would be crushed by the martyrdom of a few righteous scholars,” read a paragraph of the article.
However, the IS article calls the banned Islamic militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) a “proper jihad organisation in Bangladesh based on the Kuran and Sunnah.”
“A security cell belonging to the soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal assassinated an Italian crusader named Cesare Tavella on the streets of Gulshan in the city of Dhaka … only days later another security cell targeted a Japanese citizen in the northern region of Rangpur,” the magazine said reiterating its claim earlier circulated by the U.S. based monitoring website, SITE, of carrying out the attacks.
“These back-to-back attacks have caused havoc among the citizens of the crusader nations and their allies living in Bengal and forced their diplomats, tourists and expats to limit their movements and live in a constant state of fear,” it claimed.
The article claimed that Bangladesh had been drowned in “shirk and bidah” - polytheism and religious innovation for hundreds of years due to the “effects of both European colonisation and Hindu cultural invasion.”
It concluded by saying that the soldiers of the so-called caliphate would continue to rise and expand in “Bengal” and would continue to carry out acts of terrorism.
'Boasting' about Paris attacks
In the magazine, IS boasted that its “brave knights” brought Paris “down on its knees.” The issue of the English-language online magazine also talked about the horrific multiple attacks in Paris which claimed over 130 lives.
“France haughtily began executing air strikes against the Khilafah. Like Russia, it was blinded by hubris [arrogance], thinking that its geographical distance from the lands of the Khilafah would protect it,” the magazine read.
IS also put out images of what it claims to be the bomb that downed a Russian jet last month, killing over 220 people. The photograph shows a soft drink can and two components that appear to be a detonator and a switch.
Quoting the article, USA’s NBC News reported that the militant group IS is displaying a “voracious appetite” for conventional military conquests, an expansion into countries such as Bangladesh. It also said U.S. and allied counterterrorism officials are scrutinising the publication for indications of what IS might do next.
It mentioned that, in a separate article, IS described Bangladesh as a new battleground as it continues its strategic expansion.