Bangladesh Spread of McJihad
There could be a possibility of the two warring begums to come together to combat the rise of ISIS in BD.
Islamist militant groups are finding new ways to make inroads into the Bangladeshi society.
Summer has ended in Bangladesh, but terrorism continues to heat up the country. On October 24, bombs went off outside a Shia shrine in Dhaka on the day of Ashura, leaving one dead and over a hundred injured. A few weeks earlier, unknown assailants had gunned down Kunio Hoshi, an elderly Japanese citizen, in Rangpur district.
Hoshi’s murder came a few days after Cesare Tavella, an Italian aid worker, was sprayed with bullets in Dhaka’s diplomatic neighborhood. Police sources reported that five homemade bombs were used in the Ashura rally, while both Hoshi and Tavella fell to “three masked men who came by motorcycle and used a pistol.”
The SITE Intelligence Group, a jihadist watchdog focused on online snooping and sometimes employed by the US government, revealed
that Islamic State (ISIS) militants had claimed responsibility for all three attacks. Bangladeshi authorities, however, were reluctant to accept its findings.
Dhaka Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia voiced his skepticism to the press, saying, "Given the nature of attacks, I think this was done to create chaos in the country." In short, he did not believe these attacks walked or talked like ISIS and may be political in nature.
Why does Mia feel this way? Possibly because he has a solid profile of ISIS to work with, like most other law enforcement officials around the world. For starters, the militant group revels in theatrics and is a carefully choreographed cult, selling potent Islamic symbolism to postcolonial Muslims.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s ingenious brand strategy drives its meteoric rise in the Middle East and Maghreb. His affiliation system is simple and based on the franchise idea used by big multinationals like McDonalds. Islamic extremists anywhere can become a rib in the ISIS umbrella upon pledging their allegiance to caliph alBaghdadi and swearing to uphold the group’s patent barbarism.
This is a win-win situation for both parties. The inductees gain a powerful new recruiting tool and monies, while al-Baghdadi’s global stock keeps rising. It is no coincidence that established jihadist groups like Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines have jumped at the chance to ally themselves with ISIS. Al-Baghdadi’s “McJihad,” then, is ideological fast food for extremists craving purpose after Al-Qaeda’s slide from significance.