Islamic State not involved in murder of foreigners in Bangladesh: Indian intelligence

Indian intelligence agencies are discounting the possibility of Islamic State's involvement in the recent killings of an Italian and a Japanese national in Bangladesh, says the ' Times of India' newspaper.

Published : 6 Oct 2015, 04:06 AM
Updated : 6 Oct 2015, 05:45 AM

The report, quoting Indian intelligence officials, said they suspect the involvement of Jamaat-e-Islami hardliners and see the murderous attacks as a ploy to draw attention of the Western nations to the “targeting of its top leaders for 1971 war crimes without proper trial”.

"The hanging of some top Jamaat-e-Islami  leaders may be due in the near future; one of the most prominent leaders on the death row is Motiur Rahman Nizami, whose appeal is now being heard by the Supreme Court," a senior officer of the Indian intelligence establishment pointed out.

"The attacks on foreigners seem to aimed at drawing the immediate attention of the West. Also, given that IS generates the widest interest across the globe, JeI (Jamaat) may be projecting attacks by extremists linked to it as those executed by IS. This attracts immediate condemnation by the Western world and may further JeI's intention to project the Hasina government as ineffective in managing the security situation," said the officer said, but was not named.

Indian agencies feel the Bangladesh killings do not bear the IS hallmark like beheading of victims and videographing the brutal murders, both known modus operandi of IS . The killings in Bangladesh were both shooting incidents.

Though Bangladesh has rounded up some suspects, no evidence of their links with IS has been found so far, the 'TOI report said.

Japanese national Hoshi Kunio was killed in Rangpur the same way Italian citizen Tavella was murdered.

"Those detained may not be the real perpetrators, but investigations are on to identify them...but until now, there is nothing beyond a claim to establish any IS link," said an intelligence official monitoring the events in Bangladesh.

"The only explanation that can be found is that Jamaat elements, hurt by the war crimes trial of its senior leaders are hitting back at Hasina regime by indulging in sensational murders of foreign citizens on its soil.

"The purpose may be to put the Hasina regime on the backfoot, considering that it had managed to keep things under check over the last couple of years, earning international approval," said another Indian intelligence officer.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also ruled out involvement of the Islamic State in the murders and said the Middle East-based radical group has no presence in Bangladesh.

The US, however, takes the IS claims of involvement in the twin murders 'seriously', its Dhaka envoy Marcia Bernicat has said.

She also promised US help to Bangladesh to fight the IS menace.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher