The Bold Voice of J&K

Dhaka attack

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The Friday night terror attack at Dhaka claiming 20 lives was one of those rare non-western terror attacks to be covered widely by the world media. The attack was an indicator of the Islamic State “scaling-up” and “internationalising” its operations, a nightmare for the US which is trying desperately to curb IS’s reach. If the Islamic State begins to lose ground offensives, it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance. After key stronghold Falluja fell to Iraqi troops last week, ISIS seems to (allegedly) have hit back with two large-scale terror attacks – Istanbul, Dhaka and now Baghdad- in quick succession coming in the holy month of Ramzan for Muslims. There is a possibility that the rise of Islamic extremists reflects domestic political unrest. As it was a festival season with Eid and Ratha Yatra to be celebrated, a strict vigil was being maintained on the border. But after the attack in Bangladesh, India has further intensified vigil and special operations were on to check any such major attack. The country’s political discretion and a half-hearted crackdown on Islamists indicate a sense of denial. This, in turn, has been exploited by extremist elements. Also, in recent years, Bangladesh has put to trial many Islamic extremists who had indulged in gruesome violence during the build-up to its independence in 1971. These trials fuelled discontent amongst the country’s radical elements, who, in turn, may have instigated many to join ISIS. Given how porous the India-Bangladesh border is, India should particularly be worried. While India has not been affected much by the pro-ISIS activities yet, the group’s influence is evident in the country. The nearest and the most vulnerable is north east and eastern states which are culturally and religiously closer to Bangladesh. While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack and released photographs of the attackers on its official channel, security analysts in Dhaka and New Delhi are dismissing an Islamic State link for now. According to them, the Islamic State wants to claim responsibility to show a global footprint, while home-grown militants want to show their international clout.

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