On 25 December, The Tribune (of India) reports that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a mosque in Bagmara town, 250 km northwest of Dhaka, wounding 10. The bomber had the device hidden under his clothes.
The targeted mosque belongs the minority Ahmadi sect, which believes in ejecting all violent and war-like concepts from Islam and promoting the religion by peaceful means, only.
At the time of the attack, the mosque was packed for Friday prayers and the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Mohammad (Eid-e-Milad-un Nabi), which, based on the lunar calendar, falls on December 25th this year.
No group has claimed responsibility as of yet, but authorities suspect Islamists, specifically Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and/or ISIS. ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings of Shia mosques in Bogra district in recent weeks. These type groups see the Ahmadi as non-Muslims (infidels or kufir), or worse, hypocrites (“fake Muslims,” or munafik.)
Earlier in December, JMB attackers threw two Molotov cocktails at a Bangladeshi naval base mosque in Chittagong, injuring six, says Channel News Asia. Authorities also found five unexploded bombs nearby.
These attacks are part of a continuing effort by JMB, ISIS, and like Islamists to, a) purify Bangladesh of non Islamist Muslims/non Muslims, and b) to pressure the government, especially the security and defense forces, to abandon their fight against radical Islamists.
This pattern of activity matches identically with ISIS attacks in countries such as Saudi Arabia and others. ISIS is pairing with radical groups and individual Islamists the world over and conducting attacks to purify, destabilize, and gain sensational headlines, the latter of which tremendously aids in recruiting efforts.
Two years ago in Bangladesh, Islamists mostly staged rowdy and/or violent street demonstrations to spread their ideology. In recent months, however, they have begun to assassinate and bomb. With the geometric, global expansion of the ISIS “brand,” these attacks will increase. Additionally, the likelihood of expanded Islamist operations in Bangladesh, to include light infantry attacks similar or identical to Paris, will increase as well.
Sources and further reading:
“Suicide bomber blows himself up at Bangladesh mosque, 10 injured,” The Tribune, 25 December 2015.
“Six wounded in blasts at mosque in Bangladesh naval base,” Chanel News Asia, 18 December 2015.
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