The Emir of ISIS in Bangladesh, Bangladesh-born Canadian citizen, Tamim Chowdhury was killed Saturday after police stormed a militant hideout, shooting dead the suspected mastermind of an horrific attack on a cafe that killed 22 hostages. Is this the end of ISIS aspirations for Bangladesh?
Bangladesh police kill ‘mastermind’ of Dhaka cafe attack: Reuters
“DHAKA, Bangladesh: Bangladesh security forces killed three Islamist militants Saturday including a Bangladesh-born Canadian citizen alleged to have masterminded an attack on a cafe in Dhaka last month in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed, police said.
The militants were cornered in a hideout on the outskirts of the capital and, having refused to surrender, were killed in the ensuing gunbattle, Monirul Islam, the head of the Dhaka police counter terrorism unit, told Reuters.
He initially said four militants had been killed but later revised the number to three.
The success notched up by the security forces came ahead of a visit on Monday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is expected to discuss security in the wake of a series of killings of liberals and religious minorities in the mostly Muslim country.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the assault on the cafe in a posh neighborhood of the capital, during which militants singled out non-Muslims and foreigners, killing Italians, Japanese, an American and an Indian.
The government has steadfastly denied the presence in the country of any transnational militant organization, like al Qaeda or Islamic State.”
The Bangladesh security services appear to have finally started gaining headway in their response to increasing Islamic fundamentalist attacks in the country. No doubt the removal of Tamim Chowdhury as the appointed Emir of ISIS or the de facto head of JMB, which ever the government deem fit to present him as, regardless, is a major success for the government and a potential setback for ISIS aspirations for Bangladesh. Or is it?
The extent of the network that Tamim Chowdhury has built up in his three years on the ground in Bangladesh is extensive. The reach and structure of that network will potentially withstand his demise. There is no arguing that the security services are finally eradicating elements of this network, the recent events speak volumes for that.
However, is it too little too late is the question? ISS Risk will be publishing our own analysis of the extent of that network in the coming weeks. Although this should be a major blow to Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh the reality is that with the passage of time that network may be more embedded and resilient than is being presented currently.
Phill Hynes is an analyst for ISS Risk, a frontier and emerging markets political risk management company covering North, South and Southeast Asia from headquarters in Hong Kong