IS targeting Hindus, other minorities in Bangladesh

Wednesday 04th May 2016 06:17 EDT

DHAKA: A Hindu tailor was hacked to death by machete-wielding Islamic State militants in his shop in central Bangladesh. The latest in a series of brutal attacks on intellectuals, activists and the minorities, Nikhil Joarder, 50, was killed by three assailants. Gopalpur police station officer in-charge Mohammad Abdul Jalil said, “Three assailants entered Joarder's house-cum shop and slit his throat.” Not only did the attackers flee the scene immediately after murder, they left behind a black bag at the spot containing three to four bomb-like objects.

A case was filed against Joarder in 2012 for making “derogatory” comment about the Prophet. While the police said he had been arrested for allegedly making the comments and then released, media reports suggested the deceased served three months of imprisonment in 2012 for his “crime”.

US-based intelligence assessment company Stratfor said the Islamic State will claim more attacks on minorities and foreigners in a bid to please the local extremists, as part of its global expansion plan.

In their magazine Dabiq, the head of IS operations in Bangladesh, Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif discussed the group's “goals” for the Muslim-majority country. “Bangladesh is strategically important for several reasons as it provides a location from which to expand future operations into eastern India and Myanmar. The group has carried out some small attacks in Bangladesh, but it wants to conduct a large attack to boost its credentials among local jihadists and promote the interests of the larger organisation.”

Over 20 people belonging to minority groups, mostly Hindus, have faced the wrath of the terrorist group. A group of people had attacked a temple in February; hacking the priest to death, and firing gunshots at a devotee. Al-Hanif, in the report, listed a range of potential targets, including Christian missionaries, Hindu figures, Shias and foreigners in general. “In a sign of things to come, he indicated that the group intends to also target the military and other radical Islamist groups,” it said.

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