The Rohingyas, as described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, are "one of, if not the most discriminated people in the world." Native to Myanmar's Rakhine state, Rohingyas are a stateless Muslim minority. Myanmar does not recognize them as citizens and considers them illegal immigrants. According to the Human Rights Watch, various laws in place discriminate against them, including prohibitions on their freedom of movement, education, and employment.
In late December 2021, Bangladeshi counter-terrorism agencies warned about the possible resurgence of Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh (AIB), which also functions as an official wing of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and staunchly supports the Afghan Taliban’s Islamic Emirate. According to these agencies, AIB has been recruiting and training in the hinterlands of Bangladesh.
In early May 2020, the Bangladeshi police counter-terrorism unit arrested 17 members of the banned terrorist group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in Dhaka. At the time of the arrest, the JMB operatives planned to join Imam Mahdi, the spiritual redeemer of Islam, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Chapter 07: Exacerbating the Pandemic? Assessing The Critical Role of Religious Congregations in the Indian Subcontinent.
Rohan Kumar Gunaratna and Mohd Mizan Aslam (ed), COVID-19 Pandemic: The Threat and Response, Routledge, 2022. See for details @ https://www.routledge.com/COVID-19-Pandemic-The-Threat-and-Response/Gun…
On May 5, Bangladeshi police arrested Mohammad Shakib and Ali Hasan Osama, two members of the al- Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Islam terrorist group. They were arrested for “planning and instigating” an attack on the National Parliament (also called the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban) in the capital Dhaka. Shakib was arrested with a sword and black flag near the parliament while Ali Hasan Osama was apprehended in the Rajbari area of Dhaka (BDNews24.com, May 6).
After facing a huge leadership crisis due to the arrests of its top leaders in March 2021, mainly due to violent protests and media allegations about its radical activities, the HeI attempted to rebuild its image by restructuring the organisation. The new Secretary-General of Hefazat-e-Islam, Nurul Islam Jihadi, announced a new central committee (CC) formation at a press briefing at Al Jamiatul Islamia Makhzanul Uloom Madrasa in Khilgaon, Dhaka on June 7. The new CC has 33 members, with Junaid Babunagari as its chief (Ameer).
In late 2020, French authorities detained Saif Rahman (a.k.a. Totan) a 24-year-old Bangladeshi national, who was attempting to travel to Islamic State (IS)-controlled territory in Syria. During his interrogation, the French authorities uncovered his extremist beliefs and intention to join IS in the Middle East.