Shibir 3rd among top non-state armed groups
The Islami Chhatra Shibir was the third most active non-state armed group in the world last year, according to the study of a US-based defence thinktank.
The IHS Jane's Global Terrorism & Insurgency Attack Index 2013 places the Taliban immediately above Shibir and Barisan Revolusi Nasional of Thailand at the top of the list of 10 such groups.
The index is an annual report highlighting key data and global trends from a database of terrorist and insurgent events. IHS Inc owns Jane's Information Group, which publishes Jane's Defence Weekly, a magazine reporting on military and corporate affairs.
The report says the number of attacks by non-state armed groups around the world has rapidly increased in just five years.
It adds, “The epicentre of 2013 activity was in the Middle East, with significant pockets of violence radiating out to neighbouring regions in Africa and South Asia.”
The Communist Party of India-Maoist stands fourth, al-Qaeda in Iraq fifth, al-Shabaab sixth, Colombia's FARC seventh, New People's Army of the Philippines eighth, Syrian Jabhat al-Nusra ninth and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist 10th on the list, according to a press release posted on the IHS website on February 13.
Shibir, the student body of the Jamaat-e-Islami, was known as the Islami Chhatra Sangha before the emergence of Bangladesh.
It was the Chhatra Sangha's leaders and members who formed the notorious auxiliary force Al-Badr Bahini and killed Bangalee intellectuals towards the end of the Liberation War in 1971.
The Chhatra Sangha's operations came to a halt when newly independent Bangladesh banned five communal parties, the including Jamaat-e-Islami.
The Jamaat regrouped after the ban was lifted by the Ziaur Rahman regime. Chhatra Sangha was reborn in February 1977 as the Islami Chhatra Shibir.
In the 1980s and 90s, Shibir became known for the ferocity of its attacks in turf wars on university campuses. Severing the tendons of rival activists is its signature.
In February last year, soon after the pronouncement of the war crimes verdict against Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee, Shibir activists unleashed terror in different parts of the country.
Throughout 2013, they hogged the headlines by beating up policemen, torching public vehicles and properties, exploding bombs, felling trees and uprooting railway tracks.
In addition, they ran smear campaigns online against the war crimes trials, and instigated religious violence.