Some 442 jihadists arrested over the past year
by Sumon Corraya

Although the number of attacks is down, extremists are very active online. The authorities captured Mufti Shafiqul Islam, one of the founders of Harkatul Jihad Bangladesh. Extremists who surrender and start a new life get about US$ 5,800.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Over the past year, law enforcement agencies have arrested 442 Islamic radicals, most of whom are now in prison.

With the COVID-19 crisis, the number of jihadi attacks in the country has decreased, but local authorities say that extremist groups are very active online, especially proselytising.

The arrest on Thursday of Bulbul Ahmed Monirul, a student affiliated with the extremist group Ansarullah Bangla Team, is a case in point.

According to the anti-terrorism police, he used Facebook to promote anti-government conspiracies, organise attacks, and undermine public security.

On 14 April, the authorities also captured Mufti Shafiqul Islam, one of the founders of the radical group Harkatul Jihad Bangladesh (HJB).

On the run for 21 years, he faces the death penalty for his involvement in a bomb attack. He is also accused of killing former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria.

According to intelligence sources, 18 high-level leaders still at large are reorganising HJB, engaged in fundraising, recruiting and preparing bombs and explosives.

For its part, the government continues its policy of rehabilitating extremists who decide to surrender, by providing them, among other things, with economic aid. Those who enter the programme get a subsidy of 500,000 taka (about US$ 5,800).