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World View: Kazakhstan and Bangladesh in Shock after Terror Attacks Sunday

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Violent terror attack on Kazakhstan blamed on Islamic militants
  • Islamist militants in Bangladesh kill police officer’s wife in revenge

Violent terror attack on Kazakhstan blamed on Islamic militants

Three suspected Islamist gunmen were killed in a shootout with police in Aktobe, Kazakhstan on Sunday (vk.com)
Three suspected Islamist gunmen were killed in a shootout with police in Aktobe, Kazakhstan on Sunday (vk.com)

At least ten people were killed on Sunday when suspected Islamist militants conducted a series of attacks on targets in the city of Aktobe in northwest Kazakhstan, near the border with Russia. The armed gang first attacked a hunting supplies shop, then commandeered a bus and used it to ram the gates of a military base in the city. Inside the base, they opened fire indiscriminately, killing and wounding several servicemen.

Many of the details are unknown, because Kazakh authorities have closed off the area and have shut down all communications, including the internet.

Kazakhstan is a mostly Muslim country and jihadist attacks are rare, although Aktobe was the scene of a suicide bombing in May 2011. Kazakh authorities are hesitant to admit the Islamist militancy is a problem in Kazakhstan, although northwest Kazakhstan, where Sunday’s attack occurred, is a hotbed of militant activity.

Authorities have estimated that between 200 and 400 citizens of Kazakhstan have left the country, along with their wives and children, to take up arms alongside groups the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) in Iraq and Syria. ISIS reportedly has issued several video messages targeting Kazakhstan.

General economic unrest is increasing in Kazakhstan because of the collapse in global commodity prices, especially oil, and the ripple effect caused by Russia’s recession. Kazakhstan’s currency, the tenge, has lost 50% of its value against the US dollar, and other currencies in the region have suffered similarly.

As we reported last month, there were protests across the countries in response to announced land reforms by the government. Protesters feared that the changes would make it easier for large Chinese agribusinesses to take control of vast swaths of farmland. According to one protester, “We can’t give land to the Chinese. If they come then they won’t leave!” This atmosphere usually provides fertile ground for the spread of ISIS, al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups. EurasiaNet and Astana (Kazakhstan) Times and Reuters

Islamist militants in Bangladesh kill police officer’s wife in revenge

Islamist militants on Sunday killed Mahmuda Aktar, the wife of a decorated police officer, as she was taking her son to school. The militants arrived on motorcycle, stabbed her nine times, then shot her in the head before driving off. The child was not hurt.

There have been at least 35 similar attacks carried out in the span of 14 months. Of those, 23 have been claimed by an Islamist terror group.

Sunday’s attack occurred in the seaside town of Chittagong, which is close to Rakhine province of Myanmar (Burma), and is a hotbed of Islamist terrorism (like northwest Kazakhstan). As I wrote last month in “24-Apr-16 World View — Bangladesh in shock after university professor hacked to death”, a recent string of militant attacks may be related to continued ethnic tensions between the two sides in Bangladesh’s last generational crisis war, the incredibly bloody and brutal 1971 civil war that made the former state of East Pakistan into the independent nation of Bangladesh.

Police officer Babul Aktar, whose wife was killed in Sunday’s attack, had conducted some very effective investigations that led to busting a hideout of banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and arrest of its military wing chief Md Javed in October last year.

It is believed that Sunday’s attack was a revenge attack targeting Aktar’s wife because the militant organizations had been unsuccessful in attacking Aktar directly. BDNews24 (Dhaka) and CNN

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Kazakhstan, Aktobe, China, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Bangladesh, Chittagong, Mahmuda Aktar, Babul Aktar, Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, JMB
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