Terrorism rose in Bangladesh last year: US
The US Department of State has said while terrorist attacks in 2016 decreased by 9 percent globally, at the same time Bangladesh experienced a significant increase in such activities.
However, the department praised Bangladesh's efforts and cooperation with the United States and international community in counter terrorism, law enforcement and strengthening control of its borders.
The US, in its annual "Country Reports on Terrorism 2016" released in Washington on Wednesday, said Bangladesh government articulated a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and made numerous arrests of terrorist suspects.
It observed that the Government of Bangladesh often attributed extremist violence to the political opposition and local militants. Both al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and ISIS claimed responsibility for a significant number of the attacks that took place in Bangladesh.
Terrorist outfits used social media to spread their radical ideologies and solicit followers from Bangladesh. Bangladesh was featured in multiple publications, videos and websites associated with ISIS and AQIS, it said.
The report mentioned that ISIS claimed responsibility for 18 attacks in Bangladesh in 2016.
It also said that the Department of State was working with Bangladesh to assist in developing a screening infrastructure to better secure its borders.
It added that Bangladesh continued to participate in the US State Department's Antiterrorism Assistance programme and received counterterrorism-focused training for law enforcement officers.
Bangladesh also received a Department of Justice prosecutorial skills training, and community policing support in targeted areas of the country. US' Special Operations Command Pacific continued security and stability engagements with Bangladesh Army, Navy, BGB and Coastguard.
The report found that the main terrorist finance threat to Bangladesh is from domestic groups that operate using small-scale funding derived through micro-financing methods.
While the country faces significant domestic terrorist finance risks, Bangladesh law enforcement and intelligence agencies demonstrate a strong understanding of these risks.
Still, the judicial sector is under resourced for carrying out prosecutions and obtaining convictions and the banking and non-banking sectors require further implementation of preventative measures, it said.