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Concerns of the Security Council

Militancy is a mental illness. Like a virus, it infects people rapidly. It crosses one local area to reach other parts of the world. In establishing their own ideology, the radical followers of that genre became devastating and murderers. To correct them or to curb that tendency, it is important to talk about it and find ways to prevent it to save the next generation. In this context, it can be said that all these important steps have been tried to be highlighted in this discussion.

We know that, on 26 April 2023, the Security Council Committee of the United Nations approved the Sanctions List against Al-Qaida, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, and entities. Such sanctions which include assets freeze, travel bans and arms, etc. have been adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations pursuant to previous resolutions. With that, a clear warning has been once again initiated against the organizations active around the world. Details are attached at the end.


Security Council reviewed that counter-terrorist operations in Iraq, Syria, Mozambique, and Yemen have significantly constrained terrorists’ capabilities domestically and their ability to mount external operations. Yet, few of the Al-Qaida-affiliated groups like Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujaahidiin operating in African countries like Congo and Somalia Somalia remained a strong factor. The large population displaced from their homeland and sheltered in the camps and detention centers in the northeast of the Syrian Arab Republic constitutes a major threat to the region and beyond as they are prone to join militant groups. A more complex situation is being observed in Afghanistan since the ability of the Taliban and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) multiplied with the withdrawal of US troops. Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP) has been always inspired by the Afghan Taliban and continues its operations across the border. During a recent meeting of the Security Council, different member states of the United Nations expressed concerns about greater Taliban control of militant and extremist groups across the world.

Being organizations based on religious faith, both ISIL and Alqaida had strict control over their members and affiliated groups. But counter-terrorist pressure and wide-scale use of intelligence and tracking devices prompted them to adopt flatter, more networked, and decentralized structures. They are found to allow operational autonomy among the affiliated groups. Another recent trend among these kinds of separatist organizations is effective propaganda through various platforms aiming at gaining support, and recruiting more.


A study shows approximately 20 terrorist groups are currently operating in Afghanistan, a place of global significance for terrorism. The study also assessed that the goal of those terrorist groups is to spread their respective influence across the regions and to form governments on religious faith. The relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaida remains close and symbiotic. Al-Qaida operates covertly in Afghanistan to promote the idea that the Taliban comply with agreements not to use Afghan soil for terrorist purposes. Under the patronage of high-ranking officials of the de-facto Taliban authorities, AlQaida members infiltrate into law enforcement agencies and public administration bodies, ensuring the security of Al-Qaida cells dispersed throughout Afghanistan. Al-Qaida’s capability to conduct large-scale terror attacks remains reduced while its intent remains firm. Al-Qaida is in a reorganization phase and Afghanistan is being utilized as an ideological and logistical hub to recruit, train, and mobilize new fighters. Al-Qaida is likely to remain dormant in the short term while developing its operational capability for external operations.

Al-Qaida leaders are in the process of strengthening cooperation with regional terrorist groups of non-Afghan origin located in Afghanistan, including the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and Jamaat Ansarullah etc. intending to infiltrate and establish strongholds in countries in Central Asia. It was reported that the strength of ETIM/TIP varies between 300 and 1,200 fighters in Afghanistan and the group formulated a long-term plan to train young fighters, with hundreds already trained; engaged in drug trafficking to raise funds; and actively carries out mining activities and smuggling to provide logistical support for the group. The mid-to-long-term prospects of Al-Qaida depend on the overall situation in Afghanistan. Should Afghanistan descend into chaos and insecurity, the base for AlQaida would strengthen further.

Should the country achieve stability, Al-Qaida would likely seek to shift the core to other theatres, such as Yemen or North Africa. Ayman al-Zawahiri was an Egyptian-born militant and physician who served as the second general emir of al-Qaeda from June 2011 until being killed on July 31, 2022, shortly after 6:00 AM local time in an early-morning drone strike conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the upscale Sherpur neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan, reportedly in a house owned by a top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, a senior official in the Taliban government. UN Security Council assessed that Sayf al-Adl succeeded him and is reportedly still in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Al-Qaida core in Afghanistan remains stable at 30 to 60 members, while all AlQaida fighters in the country are estimated to be 400, reaching 2,000 with family members and supporters. Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has approximately 200 fighters, with Osama Mehmood being the emir. AlQaida is shaping AQIS to spread its operations into neighboring Bangladesh, Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir, and Myanmar.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan (ISIL – K) is being considered as the most serious terrorist threat in Afghanistan and the wider region, benefiting from increased operational capabilities inside Afghanistan. ISIL-K is estimated to have from 4,000 to 6,000 members, including family members. Sanaullah Ghafari (alias Shahab al-Muhajir) is viewed as the most ambitious leader of ISIL-K though there are sayings that he has been killed by now. Mawlawi Rajab is the leader of external operations.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is gaining momentum in its operations against forces loyal to the Pakistan Government. Since the reunification with several splinter groups, TTP has aspired to re-establish control of territory in Pakistan after being emboldened by the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. The group is focused on high-value targets in border areas and soft targets in urban areas. Member States of the UN are concerned that TTP could become a regional threat if it continues to have a safe operating base in Afghanistan. Recently, there has been a tendency to strengthen cooperation between the main terrorist groups in Southeast Asia, including those under the ISIL (Da’esh) banner. A few such terrorist groups are ISIL-SEA, Maute Group (known as Dawlah Islamiya) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Philippines, Uzbek individuals, Khatiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (KTJ) of Syria, Jihad alMahdi fi Bilad al-Arakan of Myanmar’s border regions.

RAB intensifies anti-militancy drive in CHT


Bangladesh was born with the spirit of secularism. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibor Rahman explained that ‘Secularism doesn’t mean the absence of religion ——- There is no irreligiousness on the soil of Bangladesh but there is secularism. —– — none would be allowed to exploit the people in the name of religion. No communal politics will be allowed in the country”. After his assassination on the fateful night of 15 August 1975, the Anti-Mujib elements in power turned towards the Western countries including China in the East and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. Islamization was boosted by President Husain Muhammad Ershad who enacted the 18th Amendment of the constitution which declared Islam as the state religion. New political parties and their student fronts were found active under different Islamic names. During Soviet – Afgan War (1979-1989) was explained as the “War to Save Islam” and a number of Bangladeshi people who joined this war learned how to fight and brought that knowledge and experience back to the country. They could spread ultra-extremist ideology with huge financial assistance from the Muslim World and there was mushroom growth of organizations. One such organization was Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) which was established in 1992. Jamaat-ulMujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was established exactly one decade ago under the leadership of Shayekh Abdur Rahman, a close affiliate of Osama Bin Laden.

Editors of British multinational publisher Routledge once commented that Bangladesh is an exciting and often paradoxical case for terrorism studies in general and one of the paradoxical elements is that “most of the key coordinators or leaders of the new generational groups of terrorists are educated in secular universities, either in Bangladesh or abroad” against a typical perception that religious seminaries, known as madrasas, are the breeding ground of Islamic terrorism. Terrorism and counterterrorism are currently among the most contested issues within contemporary Bangladeshi politics having local, regional as well and global implications.

A number of incidents mark the existence of different streams of Islamic militant organizations in Bangladesh. Attempt to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 17 February 2000 using 76 KG of explosive, Attack on British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Anwar Choudhury on 21 May 2004, Granade attack on Awami League Meeting at Gulistan on 21 August 2004, explosion of 500 bombs at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh on 17 August 2005, Bomb charge and Killing of 2 judges at Jhalaikathi are few of the examples of atrocities carried out by militants in the name Islam.

On the night of 15 February 2013, atheist blogger Rajib Haider was attacked as he was leaving his house in the Mirpur area of Dhaka. His body was found lying in a pool of blood, mutilated to the point that his friends could not recognize him. On 2 March, the Detective Branch of local police arrested five suspects. It was then learned that they were members of the newly formed extremist organization Ansar al-Islam (AAI), also known as Ansarullah Bangla Team. The group takes its ideology from Anwar AlAwlaki, a Yemen-based Al-Qaeda activist who was killed in 2011. It was a significant message to realize Al-Qaeda’s presence in Bangladesh. Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was responsible for the 2016 Holey Artisan Café attack. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the incident and released photographs of the gunmen, but the Home Minister of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal stated that the perpetrators belonged to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen and were not affiliated with ISIL. On October 6, 2022, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, arrested seven members of a new militant organization, Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya. While members of the group have been active since 2017, it was only in 2019 that they took on the name Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya after bringing together leaders and workers of several Islamist militant groups including the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Ansar al-Islam (AAI), and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HUJI-B).

Recently number of youths left their houses in the name of ‘hijrat’ after being involved in militancy, which is on the rise. There are reports of more than 50 youths from different parts of the country leaving their houses for ‘hijrat’. Some six years after the horrifying militant attack at Gulshan’s upscale Holey Artisan Bakery, such a trend of leaving homes motivated by militancy among the youths is quite alarming, according to the experts. It has been learned that certain militant outfits started training youths in different militant hideouts with the spirit of Ansar Al Islam, which follows Al Qaeda from an ideological point of view. Information about more than 50 youths, who similarly left their home, were confirmed by the police.


Chances of Islamist militancy in Bangladesh increased with the repeated findings that women are pushed into terrorism through marital bonds with male terrorists though there’s a considerable number of women who are self-radicalised and have joined terrorism due to their ideological convictions. An analytical study proves that the government under Sheikh Hasina has shown “Zero Tolerance” against militancy. Unfortunately, there is criticism that the efficacy of counterterrorism laws in Bangladesh is often incompatible with national constitutional principles and international human rights standards. Citing a lack of sufficient and effective judicial oversight, critics argue that many of the accused have been denied the right to a fair trial, especially the right to a speedy trial. They claim that the array of laws and regulations introduced over the last decade and the micro-surveillance systems put into practice in the name of counterterrorism indicate the intensification of authoritarianism in Bangladesh. Such distrust is a serious barrier in the path of the government’s efforts to combat militancy. The militant challenge is real and it deserves a comprehensive strategy to overcome it. It is time to realize maximum militant organizations gained momentum in the aftermath of IS declaring a “Global Caliphate” in June 2014 and started functioning with a decentralized command structure. In an article published in The Diplomat in May 2022, it was pointed out that Muslim militancy in Bangladesh has been going through a silent phase, a phase of recruitment and fundraising. Recent arrests of over 500 militants and the formation of a new militant organization indicate that militants have been recruiting robustly in Bangladesh. An arrested militant, who spoke to the media said he was invited to join the new organization by his cousin. When he was not convinced to join it, he was sent a lot of videos of Muslim persecution across the globe, especially that of Muslims in Myanmar. Youth unemployment and poor governance are of concern to many Bangladeshis. Meanwhile, the presence of global jihadist groups is growing.

Bangladesh’s government needs to reach a national consensus on the problem of religious extremism and adopt comprehensive Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) initiatives. Security forces have a major role to play in combating both online and offline radicalization. Bangladeshis still believe that the country is resilient to the call of militant ideology. It is expected by the masses that Bangladesh will be on the right track and never become like Talibanized Afghanistan.


Africa (Central and Southern Africa)

  • Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujaahidiin (Africa Region)
  • Ansar al-Islam (Mali)
  • Ahlu Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) Mozambique
  • Al-Shabaab, Somalia
  • Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) Mali, Burkina Faso etc.
  • Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) Burkina Faso, Mali and the Niger.
  • The Katiba Macina, Mali
  • Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), West Africa
  • Boko Haram (Nigeria)

North Africa

  • Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (AIGA)
  • In Algeria, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Algeria
  • Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia (JAK-T)
  • Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Libya (ISIL-Libya)
  • Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) Egypt

Arabian Peninsula

  • Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yemen
  • Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Yemen (ISIL-Yemen)
  • Army of Islam (Jerusalem)
  • Egyptian Islamic Jihad
  • Hamas (Palestine)
  • Turkistan Islamic Party (ETIM/TIP), based in Syria
  • Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), Syria
  • The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (QDe.088), also known as the
  • Hurras al-Din (HAD) Syria
  • Khatiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (KTJ-formerly known as Jannat Oshiklari), Syria
  • Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, Syria
  • Islamic State, Iraq and Syria
  • Tahrir al-Sham, Syria
  • Hizb-ut Tahrir, Jordan and Lebanon


  • (Few detachments of different groups are active)

Asia (Central and South Asia)

  • Al-Qaeda (Pakistan)
  • The Taliban (Afghanistan)
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba (Pakistan)
  • Jaish-e-Mohammed (Pakistan)
  • Jemaah Islamiyah (Indonesia)
  • Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Pakistan)
  • Harkat-ul-Mujahideen(Kashmir)
  • Indian Mujahideen
  • Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
  • Khatiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (KTJ) Central Asia
  • Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
  • Ansarullah, Central Asia.
  • ISIL-K Afghanistan
  • Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
  • ISIL-South-East Asia (ISIL-SEA) Philippines
  • Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Philippines
  • Jihad al-Mahdi fi Bilad al-Arakan, Myanmar

The post MILITANCY: ZERO TOLERANCE TO TERRORISM appeared first on Press Xpress.

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