Both affluent and marginalised vulnerable to terrorism: study | The Daily Star
02:35 AM, July 02, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:40 AM, July 02, 2020

Both affluent and marginalised vulnerable to terrorism: study

Both affluent and marginalised people can be vulnerable to involvement in terrorism as terrorists do not pursue violence simply based on ideology, according to a study.

"We found two groups of people -- affluent and marginalised society -- are vulnerable to terrorism," said Monirul Islam, chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Only a few get involved in terrorism for the sake of ideology, said Monirul. "Ideology only works on people after they have dedicated themselves towards terrorism activities," he also said.

While there is no one reason to get involved in terrorism research found people aged between 15 to 30 years are among the most vulnerable, said the CTTC chief.

Monirul shared the findings at the pre-launch ceremony of a book titled "Terrorism in Bangladesh: The Process of Radicalization and Youth Vulnerabilities."

He worked as co-author of the book with Professor Zia Rahman, chairman of criminology department at Dhaka University.

Imtiaz Ahmed, professor of International Relations department and director of the Center for Genocide Studies at DU moderated the event, while Humayun Kabir, former ambassador and vice president of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, also spoke at the ceremony.

The ceremony was broadcast live on the official Facebook page of UPL, the publishing house, around 7:30pm yesterday.

"While working on the book, we found that terrorism offenders were also victims as they were dragged into militancy through false explanation of religion as they did not have proper knowledge…," said Monirul.

The militants used the support of online platforms to drag people into militancy, he added.

"They first attract people through social media and only meet them when they are convinced and ready to join the extremist outfit," the CTTC chief said.

The research also found the terrorists are now using advanced technology and are even using dark web and collecting virtual coins.

Regarding the necessity of publishing books, Monirul said that they have upgraded research findings regarding the second phase of terrorism, especially when the international militant outfit Islamic State (IS) emerged with its activities in 2014.

"We wanted to give our work a shape and took the steps to publish a research oriented book," he added.

While addressing the occasion, Prof Zia Rahman gave an outline of the book.

He explained that the book is the first of its kind on empirical study of terrorists based in Bangladesh, focusing on the process of radicalisation they went through, the motivations they fostered, the ideology they held and pursued along with youth vulnerabilities which led them to the path of adopting violence.

The book was written based on information collected from 51 terrorist suspects, 14 family members, 11 law enforcement officials and 15 experts on various disciplines along with secondary data, according to the authors.

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