A series of bombs went off at Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong railway stations Tuesday morning, spreading panic among commuters. A rickshawpuller was injured in the Chittagong blast. All the bombs exploded between 6:45am and 7:00am.
Aluminium plates inscribed with militant slogans purported to be from an al-Qaeda network were found at the bomb sites.
This seems only a sign by the militants that they are here. The Chief of Police also confirms that militants are active in the country.
Journalist Ahmede Hussain has detailed round up and international press reactions. From his Blog:
Jadid Al-Qaeda, an unknown group believed to be linked to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network has planted three bombs at three major railway terminals across the country early today (May 1, 2007).
In a message inscribed in one of the bombs that did not take off, the group "has ordered everyone working with Non Government Organisations (NGO) to leave their job". "... If Hazrat (Prophet) Mohammad is not declared the superman of the world by May 10, all non-governmental organisations will be blown up,"
One leaflet found said: "We are ready to die" and another called to cut ties with the Ahmadiyas. Muslim Bangladesh's Ahmadiya community is frequently targeted by extremists in the majority Sunni community who have called on the government to pass a law declaring them "non-Muslim." It also says all 'Kadianis' must recognize Prophet Muhammad (SM) or face death.
The BBC's John Sudworth in Dhaka says that the authorities are investigating whether Jadid al-Qaeda is a new group, or a manifestation of a hard line group that already exists. "We are puzzled over the motives (of those who planted the bombs). But they dared to take the risk," said another police officer.
The law adviser is looking at the incidents of bombing as acts of sabotage against the caretaker government. He however said inquiries are underway.
Photo Credit: Retuers
Drishtipat Blog reports:
What Kind of terrorist unit inscribes message on aluminium plate? Did they do it at home, or in a shop? If in a shop, isn’t there high chance of discovery? My theory, once again Bangladesh being used as a chess board for puppetmasters. Who benefits?
News came very slowly. I SMS’ed 15 people, only 2 had heard the news before. Partially it’s because maybe a holiday, and people are not checking the news.
Dhakashohor Blog has more updates and pictures:
Daily Star reports pretty much the same times of explosion as above but calls it "near-simultaneous". We have a lot to be worried about when it comes to this sort of things, but needless panic mongering is not going to help!
Dhaka: 6:45 am
Syhlet: 7:15 am
Chittagong: 9:30 am
Before we blame "foreign interests", it's much more productive to look ourselves in the mirror and ask: what are we doing wrong? These blasts are at best gimmicks. A sort of publicity stunt for a very dangerous message. However, they do point to that very awful trend where the whole concept of civil society and NGO are being reified (as discussed in DP and on this blog a few days back). Aren't there Islamic NGOs active in Bangladesh too?
Rajputro Blog says:
Many Bangladeshis were travelling out of Dhaka taking advantage of a two-day public holiday for May Day and a Buddhist religious festival on Wednesday. Since friday and saturday are weekly holidays, if you take leave on thursday you'll make it a five day holiday. But now people are afraid of making a move.
Intelligence groups last month alerted the government that Islamist militants were regrouping after the execution of the militant leaders of the outlawed Islamist group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.
Expat Blogger Gabrielle comments:
Unfortunately these kind of incidents are not that uncommon in this part of the world and life moves on as usual.
'My thoughts and Ideas' says:
The Caretaker Government of Bangladesh cannot afford to ignore this alarming and most serious crisis. They must take concrete actions against the militancy. We need a "Zero Tolerance- No Excuse Policy" against militancy.
This has come in a time when the government is trying to ban student politics and people are voicing there opinion about banning religious politics.
Related reading: Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh: Militant Islamist Terror