Monday, July 04, 2016

#DhakaAttack: #Daesh Extends Franchise to Established Terror

People at a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Dhaka bakery attack in which 20 hostages and two policemen were killed. Photo: Reuters

The self-styled "Islamic State," facing setbacks on its home ground, moves East and co-opts existing terror factions. A self-serving, insular regime in Bangladesh has made it easy for them

From Livemint:
“This was done by JMB,” Khan said, referring to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which claims to represent Islamic State in Bangladesh. 
Analysts say that as Islamic State loses territory in Iraq and Syria and its finances get drained, it may be trying to build affiliates in countries such as Bangladesh for jihadists to launch attacks locally and cheaply. 
Also Read: Hostage-takers were from Bangladesh group, not IS: minister 
Deputy inspector general of police, Shahidur Rahman, told Reuters on Sunday authorities were investigating any connection between the attackers and trans-national groups such as Islamic State or al Qaeda. 
He said the militants were mostly educated and from rich families, but declined to give any more details. 
National police chief Shahidul Hoque said all the gunmen were Bangladeshi. 
“Five of them were listed as militants and law enforcers made several drives to arrest them,” Hoque told reporters in Dhaka late on Saturday.

In a televised speech, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her administration had successfully handled what was an unprecedented terrorist attack in Dhaka. "Terrorists have no religion," she said. "Our security forces conducted a successful operation and killed almost all of the terrorists. None escaped." 
The last time Bangladesh faced a large-scale terrorist attack was in 2005, when a banned militant group called Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh set off a series of bombs in all but one of Bangladesh's 64 districts in the space of an hour, killing more than 30 people. 
The government at the time captured and hanged JMB leaders. But the organization has regrouped recently and claimed responsibility for dozens of assassinations of religious minorities, secular thinkers and foreigners over the past year. 
Last year, Islamic State's propaganda magazine, Dabiq, endorsed the JMB and said it was the only jihadist group in Bangladesh "with the correct beliefs." The issue devoted an entire chapter on "the revival of Jihad in Bengal."

In its claim of responsibility, the Islamic State group said its operatives had targeted the citizens of "Crusader countries" in the attack, warning that citizens of such countries would not be safe "as long as their warplanes kill Muslims." The statement was circulated in a manner consistent with past IS claims of responsibility. 
The Amaq news agency, affiliated with IS, also published photos of five smiling young men, each holding what appear to be assault rifles and posing in front of a black IS flag, and identified them as the restaurant attackers, according to the SITE Intelligence Service, which monitors jihadi online activity. The men in those photographs appeared to match the bodies shown in police images of the dead assailants in the restaurant after the hostage crisis ended.

Reuters on economic repercussions:
"It is a strong slap to our image. It will put pressure on our business, but we cannot say to what extent at the moment." 
A Bangladesh-based executive for a French-based garment buyer said he feared a deep slump in business in the coming days. 
But other industry figures said heightened security fears could be managed and that manufacturers could hold more meetings with Western customers outside Bangladesh, in Asian cities such as Singapore or Hong Kong, a trend that had begun some time ago. 
"Concerns on visiting our factories, holding meetings, etc, by foreign nationals will be there for a few months but I believe within six months, the intensity will thaw and things will be back to normal," said Abdullah Hil Rakib, head of exporter Brothers Fashion Ltd.

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