The latest issue of Islamic State magazine Dabiq features two pieces calling for more jihadists activities in Bangladesh, where a string of lynching of secular bloggers indicate popular support for Sharia law may be increasing.
The magazine features an interview with Shayk Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif, identified as the “amir” of the Islamic State to Bangladesh. He is asked why the region of Bengal matters to the Islamic State, so heavily active in Syria and Iraq.
“Bengal is an important region for the Khilafah and the global jihad due to its strategic geographic position,” explained al-Hanif. “Bengal is located on the eastern side of India, whereas Wilayat Khurasan [Pakistan-Afghanistan] is located on its western side.”
Al-Hanif also told the magazine that the actions of the radical Islamists in Bangladesh have pleased the Muslims in the country.
“They saw that with the help of Allah, a small number of mujahidin with limited means are able to target and intimidate the various sects of kufr [infidels] in any part of the region despite all the false claims of supremacy attributed to the taghut [rebel] forces and designed to intimidate the believers,” he said.
Bangladesh has faced 45 attacks since September of 2015 and the Islamic State claimed ten of them. However, the Bangladeshi government insists that the Islamic State is not a threat in the country.
“There is an effort by a group of people in different parts of the country – probably being supported from foreign lands – to destabilize Bangladesh. We are not immune to what is happening in the rest of the world. But the government is determined not to allow them to succeed,” said minister of foreign affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam.
Al-Hanif says in the interview that the terrorists continue to plan more attacks and threats on atheist or secular bloggers in Bangladesh.
“But it is not the methodology of the Khilafah’s soldiers to send more threats to the enemies of Allah,” he stated. “Rather, we let our actions do the talking. And our soldiers are presently sharpening their knives to slaughter the atheists, the mockers of the Prophet, and every other apostate in the region, bi idnillah.”
A different piece in the magazine highlights the death of a young Bangladeshi jihadi to Syria, identified as Abū Jandal al-Bangālī. When Jandal reached the Islamic State, the author claimed “his heart was full of joy, and he became the youngest brother among the Bengali muhājirīn.” He insisted on entering a battle for the terrorist group. They allowed him to fight in ‘Ayn ‘Īsā, located in Syria, where he received a hit from a 23mm autocannon.
They ended the article with a letter Jandal left for his Bengali brethren as a way to recruit more fighters to the Islamic State. “One can see from his letter that despite being involved in jihad, one of the greatest acts of sacrifice and worship, he continually sought to improve himself and strengthen his relationship with his Lord,” concluded the author. “May Allah accept him among the shuhadā’ and inspire many more through his words and deeds.”
The obituary comes only a week after men attacked and hacked to death liberal blogger Nazimuddin Samad, 26, in Bagladesh. Radical Islamists have slaughtered six bloggers and activists in the past year:
August 6 – Niloy Chatterjee, blogger, hacked to death at his home in Dhaka.
May 12 – Ananta Bijoy Das, blogger for Mukto-Mona website, killed while on his way to work in the city of Sylhet.
March 30 – Washiqur Rahman Babu, blogger, hacked to death by three men in Dhaka.
February 26 – Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, killed while walking with his wife outside Dhaka University.
Samad, an atheist, often criticized religion on his Facebook page.
“Religion is the most uncivilised invention by some barbaric people. It is always a tool for oppression used by the powerful people and the rulers. By showing people the fear of almighty the powerful people become almighty themselves,” he wrote in one post.