[Cross-posted in the Guardian’s ‘Comment Is Free’ section here.]
Two weeks ago, the Generals in control of Bangladesh were on the cusp on completing their coup through the ‘democracy minus-two’ plan, with the imminent exile of both previous Prime Ministers, Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina. This attempt to end their dynastic and allegedly hugely corrupt control over the country spectacularly backfired however, with the former leaders popular again, whilst the military-backed interim government has lost a huge amount of both international and domestic support and legitimacy. Then on Tuesday May 1st, three small bombs exploded in the three major cities, planted by ‘Jadid Al-Qaeda’. Political power and the responsibility that comes with it must now look far less attractive.
Before the electoral crisis erupted at the end of October last year, the rise of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh was raising the most international concern. Tuesday’s attacks have now reminded everyone that regardless of the current political posturing, outside of that arena another long-term threat to Bangladesh and the region is fermenting, and the people behind it have less interest in gaining power through the ballot box. The proliferation of jihadist groups willing to resort to terrorism must be addressed as soon as possible by
Bangladesh’s eventual democratic government. Continue reading ‘Terrorists strike again in Bangladesh’