The recovery of a sophisticated sniper rifle and military suits in Chittagong yesterday and Friday's suicide blast at an Ahmadiyya mosque in Rajshahi are alarming additions to the country's security situation, says a security analyst.
Militant groups are reaching new heights with each targeted attack on different religious groups and security forces, said Major General (retd) ANM Muniruzzaman while talking to The Daily Star about the extent of extremism.
“We have never seen such a modern and sophisticated sniper rifle belonging to any criminal or militant group in the country.”
Threats of militancy are on the rise as the country sees attacks on an array of targets with the use of new technology, said Muniruzzaman, president of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies.
“Every day, they are striking a new target,” he said, citing that the suicide bombing had brought about a completely new dimension to militancy in the country.
An analysis of the attacks made in the last few months concludes that every religious minority group in society has been targeted.
“First on Shia and then on Ahmadiyya, Hindu temple and on pir.”
Regarding attacks on security forces, Muniruzzaman said militants had first targeted policemen -- hacking on-duty cops to death.
Then military police came under attack in broad daylight in Dhaka city, followed by an attack on two mosques in a highly secured naval base in Chittagong, he said, adding the series of targeted attacks gave an alarming signal.
“Look at the frequency. There was a raid on a JMB den in Mirpur [in the capital] and then they [militants] targeted the Ahmadiyya mosque.”
Regarding motives behind bringing in sniper rifle and army vests, he said militants were changing techniques.
Perhaps, they are striving to be as powerful as other global militant groups by acquiring modern arms and weapons, he explained.
Recovery of army vests, however, demands an in-depth investigation, Muniruzzaman said. How those vests went into their hands and what were the sources should be found out.
“The motive might be carrying out an operation in disguise [in the guise of army men],” he said.
Analysing the overall situation, the security expert said militancy was rising rapidly in the country.
“We have to take the issue very seriously. It's a threat to national security and we have to look at it from that point of view.”