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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 15, No. 1, July 4, 2016

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal


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Radical Escalation
Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management & South Asia Terrorism Portal

The July 2, 2016, hostage crisis and slaughter at the Holey Artisan restaurant in upscale Gulshan, Dhaka, was unprecedented in its character and scale in the history of terrorism in Bangladesh. It reflects an abrupt escalation of the challenge for the state apparatus and raises complex questions of counter-terrorist (CT) responses in the past, and of future imperatives.

CT strategies and tactics are unlikely, however, to be better informed by the shrill cacophony of global commentary on this incident, and on initiatives of the Bangladesh Government to contain Islamist radicalization and terrorism in this country. Such commentary has been overwhelmingly unaware of, or has studiously ignored, the history of state-backed Islamist radicalization under preceding regimes over decades, and the inextricable intermeshing of the principal political parties in Opposition – the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) – and processes of radicalization and violent Islamist mobilization. Worse, much of this commentary, particularly a powerful stream emerging from the West, has been actively hostile and obstructive to the Sheikh Hasina Government’s efforts to reverse trends towards radicalization in the country, including her extraordinary commitment to bring the guilty of the 1971 War Crimes to justice.

Given the sheer ignorance of or disinformation implicit in, much of the discourse, it is necessary to reiterate, here, that those who participated in the atrocities during the Liberation War of 1971 (an estimated three million were killed and 10 million were displaced in nine months of genocidal war and campaigns of mass rape waged by the Pakistan Army against its own people) were the very groups and individuals who came to dominate the processes of Islamist radicalization in the country once they were ‘rehabilitated’ to political prominence after the assassination of the country’s first President and subsequently Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the slaughter of almost his entire family, in 1975. Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana (who were outside Bangladesh at the time of the coup), were the only members of Mujibur Rahman’s immediate family to survive the massacre. Zia-ur-Rahman, an Army General who seized power after two years of chaos thereafter, and declared himself President, promulgated an Indemnity Ordinance which conferred immunity from prosecution on the Army officers who plotted and executed the bloody coup against Mujibur Rahman. Begum Khaleda Zia, the chief of the Opposition BNP, is the widow of Ziaur Rahman. There is deep, enduring, personal and bloody history here, and current incidents and trends in terrorism in Bangladesh cannot be correctly assessed unless they are placed squarely within its context.

One of the crucial questions that the Holey Artisan attack has revived – as has every stabbing and hacking incident in Bangladesh over the past months – is the role of Daesh (Islamic State, previously Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham). Daesh has regularly claimed every single incident of Islamist terrorism, including the succession of hackings/stabbings since September 2015. It is useful to remind ourselves, here, that this series of targeted attacks – against intellectuals, bloggers, atheists, ‘anti-Islamic’ individuals, minorities, and foreigners – began well before Daesh saw a propaganda opportunity in it. Indeed, ‘lists’ of individuals marked for brutal murder, were circulated soon after the Shabagh Movement was initiated in February 2013, and the first killing  in this sequence – Ahmad Rajib Haider’s – dates back to February 15, 2013. The early succession of murders attracted fitful attention; but once the local perpetrators began to announce affiliation to Daesh or to al Qaeda, these supposed acts of ‘international terrorism’ excited great attention in Western capitals and media.

The Bangladesh Government has consistently denied any international terrorist formation’s presence in the country – particularly including Daesh and al Qaeda. These denials have been cavalierly dismissed by most commentators, who have displayed a sustained preference for hysteria over reality. The problem, essentially, is that ‘presence’, ‘collaboration’, ‘affiliation’, or any of their variants, are left intentionally undefined. Consequently, the bare claim that a group or individual is ‘affiliated to’ or ‘represents’ Daesh is sufficient proof of the ‘fact’.

It is, however, meaningless to speak of such affiliation or representation unless some operational linkages – the transfer of resources, technologies, fighters, know how, training, or the chain of command and control – are demonstrated. This has not been the case in a single incident in the past.

The Holey Bakery attack, on first sight, appears to be an exception. The attackers sent pictures from the place of their butchery to a private Daesh-linked email account during their operation, and these pictures were almost immediately uploaded. To many, this suggests incontrovertible proof of the Daesh ‘presence’ in Bangladesh, and the Government’s insistence that the operation was executed by a domestic terrorist formation, the Jamaat-ul-Mujahiddeen Bangladesh (JMB), rings hollow.

Available intelligence, however, suggests that these were one-way communications, and that no contact between the perpetrators of the Holey Bakery attack and Daesh command existed prior to the attack. Of course, once the photographs had been sent, Daesh quickly seized the opportunity to claim the attack, but there is no suggestion that it had any prior awareness even of the existence of this group. This has been the pattern of past claims as well, absent the ‘validating’ photographs, with local killers claiming Daesh affiliation and Daesh grabbing the chance to claim another wilayat (province) in its imagined global empire.

What is actually happening, here, is that factions or elements within existing domestic terrorist or radicalised groups have announced a transfer of their loyality to Daesh, even as they continue to engage in precisely the kind of activities they were involved in even before such a transfer. There is no augmentation of capacities or of resources.

The reality is, the Sheikh Hasina Government has decimated the leadership of established Islamist terrorist formations and their sympathetic institutions, and fragmented their remnants. Enormously weakened splinters have long been attempting to regroup, but have found few takers for their domestic agenda, despite the enormous proliferation of Islamist fundamentalist and radical institutions in the country over the past decades. In identifying with global jihadist organizations the surviving fractions evidently hope to improve their capacities for local mobilization – and are being enormously aided in this by the Western media and political leaderships who have accepted all claims of such institutional and ideological identity at face value, and compounded the sensation and hysteria around even the most minor acts of terrorism, offering vast quantities of the ‘oxygen of publicity’ to tiny and marginalized groupings. At the same time, they have mounted vicious critiques of Dhaka, on the one hand, for its ‘failure’ to rein in terrorists, and, on the other, against the purported ‘excesses’ against political groups aligned to these.

This does, of course, raise the question of the abrupt escalation in the Holey Bakery attack, from the stabbings and hackings of the past (though this was the method of choice by which the perpetrators dispatched their hostages in this case as well) to this relatively sophisticated operation using automatic weapons and explosives. Such capabilities have long existed within terrorist groups in Bangladesh, though they were not domestically deployed. Indeed, through 2004-2008, a Bangladeshi ‘footprint’ was recorded in almost every major Islamist terrorist attack in India, outside Jammu & Kashmir, particularly involving Harkat-ul-Jihad Isalmi Bangladesh (HuJI-B), often in collaboration with Pakistani formations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Harkat-ul-Mujahiddeen (HuM), among others, as well as with the Indian Mujahiddeen (IM). Bangladesh has, moreover, long been a major transit route for the smuggling of small arms and explosives into India’s troubled Northeast, and is domestically awash with such weapons. These capacities were not domestically deployed, first, because radical Islamist groups enjoyed significant state support under the BNP-JeI regime, and were used to sustain a calibrated campaign of intimidation through low grade terrorism and street violence; and subsequently, under the shock of the sweeping measures initiated by the Sheikh Hasina regime since 2009, which decapitated and dismantled most of the established terrorist formations in the country. Evidently, a degree of recovery, at least by small cells, has now been engineered.

Significantly, the Bangladesh Government has suggested that Pakistan and its external intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), were likely behind the Holey Artisan attack. Given the record of history, this is a credible thesis. Pakistan has long meddled in internal affairs in Bangladesh, principally through the BNP-JeI combine, and its affiliate radical formations. Crucially, after US and coalition forces swept across Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan facilitated the transfer of large numbers of foreign and Bangladeshi fighters to Bangladesh, and then fomented an accelerated process of radicalization, creating a measure of instability that inspired some of the more febrile minds of the time to describe the country as “the next Afghanistan”. History and generalized allegations, however, cannot suffice. Bangladeshi authorities will have to provide concrete evidence of direct operational linkages between the terrorists at the Holey Artisan and the Pakistani intelligence establishment or its proxies, if these charges are to stick.

Bangladesh is a country of over 160 million, primarily Sunni, Muslims – the population profile purportedly most susceptible to the Wahabi lunacy that Daesh and al Qaeda represent. And yet, the numbers of Bangladeshis who are believed to have joined Daesh forces in Iraq-Syria are in the low single digits (compared to the thousands who have flooded this theatre from Western countries with minuscule Muslim populations). Indeed, Daesh admits to its failure in what it describes as ‘Bengal’, even while it claims the various domestic terrorist strikes there. Thus, in a detailed profile of its sole Bangladeshi ‘martyr’, the latest volume (14) of Dabiq, the Daesh mouthpiece, concedes that he is among the very few who have joined its jihad in Iraq-Syria from this country, observing,
Abu Jandal al-Bangali (may Allah accept him) was among the few muwahhidn who emigrated from the land of Bengal to the blessed land of Sham by Allah's grace… Abu Jandalgrew up in Dhaka and came from an affluent family with deep connections in the Bengali military. His father was a murtadd officer of the taghut forces and was killed during an internal mutiny of "Bangladesh" border guards in "2009."

This did not happen on its own. With all its faults – and I am not competent to comment on its political and economic attainments or failings – the Sheikh Hasina Government has done infinitely more against Islamist terrorism and radicalization, certainly, than any other Government in South Asia, and possibly any other Government in the world; and it has done so despite the enormous hostility of powerful forces in the West.

A second perversity of the responses to the Holey Bakery attack is the astonishment expressed by many to the profile of the attackers – who came from ‘well to do’ backgrounds and some of the best educational institutions in the country. This astonishment should, in fact, be astonishing. Despite voluminous documentation to the contrary, the fiction that all Islamist terrorists are drawn from madrassahs and from impoverished backgrounds, dominates the commentary, and every time numerous exceptions are brought to light (as, indeed, in the case of the Holey Artisan attackers), this information is received with an air of bewilderment. The reality is, there has always been a significant representation of educated and relatively affluent individuals (Osama bin Laden was not brought up in destitution, nor was Ayman al Zawahiri), not only among Islamist terrorists, but in terrorist movements across the world. Why does the presence of some modestly upper class children among terrorists in Bangladesh raise so many questions, while Anders Behring Breivik, scion of a wealthy family in the very staid and peaceful community of Oslo in Norway, and who slaughtered 77 of his own countrymen and women, provokes no comparable paroxysms of psychological analysis? Post World War II terrorist movements in the West, including the Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof Gang), the Japanese and German Red Armies, the Italian Red Brigade, among others, found their leaderships and recruits among the educated and well off in Europe and Japan. Across South Asia, numberless youth drawn from notable – and not just moderately well off – families have joined various state-backed and global ‘jihads’.

There has, of course, been a further skew towards the mobilization of the more educated and relatively affluent among those who are attracted to Daesh. The reason for this should be fairly obvious. Traditional Islamist terrorist recruitment was face-to-face, and often preyed relatively disproportionately on the poor and the poorly educated, and among its purportedly ‘natural’ constituency in madrassahs, mosques and other fundamentalist idaras. Daesh’s global outreach is overwhelmingly through the internet, and this creates a natural educational and economic barrier to its mobilization. Unless an individual is sufficiently educated to acquire a certain minimal proficiency in the use of the internet, and has access to a personal or private computer – internet cafes are unlikely to be safe places to try to get into Daesh websites over any extended period – they cannot be targeted by Daesh propaganda and recruitment campaigns.

It is crucial, here, to distinguish between radicalization and mobilization/ recruitment. Despite all the noise about cyber radicalization, very little radicalization actually takes places on the internet. Individuals radicalized within their own communities, or in sub-cultures within their own communities, preferentially access extremist Islamist propaganda material – including Daesh campaigns – on the internet. It is, consequently, far more accurate to speak of cyber mobilization and recruitment, rather than cyber radicalization. This distinction is crucial, and would have critical impact on the application of CT resources and policies.

The Holey Artisan has brought disproportionate attention to Islamist terrorism and extremism in Bangladesh, and many have speculated that this will catalyze a spike in terrorism, not only in this country, but across the region. Some ‘experts’ are particularly concerned that Bangladesh may emerge as a ‘base’ for attacks against India. Apart from the fact that this has been the case in the past, and that India needs to take care of its own security much better than it presently does, it should equally be realized that the prominence that this incident has secured is a double edged weapon. Just as too much attention has resulted in a crystallization of forces against Daesh in Iraq-Syria, and consequent and mounting reverses, the escalation that the Holey Artisan attack represents can only galvanize the Sheikh Hasina Government to redouble its efforts to identify and neutralize the Islamist extremist complex in the country.

Crucially, in this context, there is urgent need to abandon the hypocrisy and opportunism that has dominated global responses to terrorism, if any enduring success is to be achieved. Every time there is an attack in the West, there are calls for global cooperation against terror; every time there is a stabbing, hacking, or, in the present case, major terrorist incident, in Bangladesh, a tirade of criticism is unleashed against the Sheikh Hasina regime, arguing that her ‘stifling of the political opposition’ has strengthened the extremists. This is contrafactual nonsense, and displays an ignorance of trends in radicalization, Islamist extremism and terrorism in Bangladesh.

It is not clear how arresting Islamists affiliated to political formations that openly advocate radical Islam as their official ideology is a violation of human rights in Bangladesh; but banning the burqa, shutting down mosques, indiscriminate arrests, and a rising politics of racist hatred in the West, uphold the same human rights and makes democracy secure. It is time to acknowledge that domestic radicalization is the base on which international terrorism builds, and that this is, equally, the case in the ‘advanced’ countries, as it is in the relatively disadvantaged. If there is to be any meaningful CT cooperation across the world, there must be a clear recognition of the political formations that contribute to and support Islamist radicalization, on the one hand; and of those that have stood firmly against these trends, on the other.


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Manipur: ILP: Impending Crisis
Deepak Kumar Nayak
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On June 23, 2016, normal life in Imphal and other areas was crippled on the first day of the 48 hours State-wide bandh (general shut down strike) imposed by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) demanding implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Manipur.

On the same day, acting on specific intelligence, District Police arrested Nameirakpam Mangi aka Yaima (48), the ‘publicity in-charge’ of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), Sagolband New Cachar unit, along with 27 Gelatine sticks, 50 detonators, two 6-foot long non-electric safety fuses, two mobile phones and one Honda Activa during a raid of on house in Yurembam Mayai Leikai in Imphal West District. Nameirakpam, a member of National Revolutionary Front of Manipur (NRFM), further revealed that he was working under the direct command of NRFM ‘commander’ Binodon aka Kishan aka Wangba, and Dhabalo aka Paikhomba.

Earlier, on June 15, 2016, a scuffle erupted between the Police and protesters when Police fired tear gas shells as protesters tried to storm the Chief Minister’s (CM) office after a joint sit-in protest at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai Community Hall in Imphal West District, over the ILP issue. Women protesters lay down on the streets of Keishampat shouting slogans such as, ‘Implement ILPS in the State’, ‘Go back foreigners’, ‘Long live Manipur’ and ‘We condemn wanted tag on Kh Ratan’ [Khomdram Ratan is the JCILPS convenor], etc., as Police attempted to stop them from marching towards the CM’s office.

ILP is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to permit inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indians residing outside such restricted areas to obtain permission prior to entering them. The system was introduced by the British to protect their commercial interests, particularly in oil and tea, and continues now essentially as a mechanism to firewall the tribal peoples and their cultures from economic and cultural onslaughts by outsiders.

The first demand for the extension of the ILP system to Manipur was made in the Indian Parliament in 1980. The mass movement in support of this demand Manipur commenced in 2011, after Census of Manipur showed that the population of Non-Manipuris in the State had grown at an alarming rate. According to the 2011 Census, Manipur’s population is 2.7 million, of which 1.7 million are indigenous people, while the remaining one million have their roots outside the State. The ILP system, intended to regulate the influx of migrants and foreigners, presently exists in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Significantly, urging the Centre to introduce to include Manipur under the scheme, the Manipur Assembly passed a resolution on July 13, 2012, declaring: “That the Manipur Legislative Assembly passes a Resolution to extend and adopt the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, with necessary changes in the point of details to the State of Manipur and to urge the Government of India to comply with the same.” The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, are the legislative underpinning of the ILP. Further, during a debate in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) on November 29, 2012, Dr. Thokchom Meinya, the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Inner Manipur constituency, strongly urged upon the Union Government and the Home Ministry in particular to immediately look into the matter of introducing the ILP system in the State. 

On March 16, 2015, the State Assembly passed a Bill "The Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants & Migrant Workers Bill 2015" with a clause that purportedly enables migrants to purchase land in Manipur. However, the Bill made it mandatory for non-Manipuris to register themselves with the Government for reasons of “their safety and security and for the maintenance of public order”, upon entering the State. The Bill was a step towards regulating the movement of ‘outsiders’ and fulfilled the longstanding demand of powerful local groups, but failed to satisfy the hardliners. Expectedly, on June 25, 2015, the JCILPS, an umbrella organisation of 30 civil bodies in Manipur, restarted its agitation demanding withdrawal of the Bill and also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh, urging the State to introduce a fresh Bill that would restrict and regulate the influx of outsiders and internal migrants, whose demographic influence ‘threatened the socio-economic, cultural and political practices of the people of the State’.

Regrettably, the stir intensified with the killing of Sapam Robin Hood, a class XI student, in Police firing on July 8, 2015, when a large number of students from leading schools of Imphal who joined the protesters to demand the introduction of the ILP Bill in the July assembly session. The State faced a complete blockade on numerous occasions. Subsequently, on July 12, 2015, the Manipur Government withdrew the controversial Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers' Bill, 2015. Thereafter, on August 28, 2015, the Manipur Legislative Assembly passed three Bills - The Protection of Manipur People’s Bill, 2015; The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill 2015 and The Manipur Shops and Establishment (MS&E) (2nd Amendment) Bill 2015, each intended to check various aspects of demographic imbalances in the State. The Bills place restrictions on the entry into and exit from Manipur for Non Manipur persons and tenants; prohibit the sale of land belonging to a Scheduled Tribe (ST) person in the Valley areas to a non-ST persons without the prior consent of the Deputy Commissioner concerned; and make it mandatory for all shop owners to register their employees, respectively.

The tribal communities in Manipur, including the Hmars, Nagas and Kukis, have, however, spoken in unison against the Bills as they suspect that these would lead to dilution of tribal rights over their lands. Tribal groups like the Kuki Students' Organisation (KSO), the All Naga Students' Union of Manipur (ANSAM) and the United Naga Council (UNC) raised a united voice, particularly against the land Bill. The crux of the problem of the Bills is in their interpretation. While the Valley people, predominantly Meiteis, view the Bills as a mechanism to protect the State and its people from outsiders, the Hill people (various tribal formations) see the Bills as a threat to their rights over identity and land.

Unfortunately, the agitation intensified when nine protesting tribal youth were killed in Police firing on August 31, 2015, at Churachandpur District. According to reports, the bodies of the victims are still being kept at a morgue, as family members refuse to claim them as a mark of protest. H. Mangchinkhup, the convener of the Joint Action Committee against Inner Line Permit (JACILP) declared, on December 9, 2015, “We will not bury the bodies till the three Bills are repealed. They will be kept in the morgue in Churachandpur till our demands are met.” In view of the opposition from the tribal groups in the State, the Governor did not give his assent to the Bills but sent them to the President on September 16, 2015, with the remark: "I reserve the Bills for consideration of the President."

Significantly, on May 11, 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee issued his response, remarking: "I withhold assent from the Bills." However, the Chief Minister of Manipur and other political leaders kept this information as a closely guarded secret for over a month, while people continued to demonstrate in the streets demanding implementation of ILP.

On June 19, 2016, JACILP thanked the President of India and the Union Government for upholding the sanctity of the Constitution by withholding the Protection of Manipur People’s Bill, 2015, and wished and prayed that the Bill along with the other two ‘anti-tribal’ Bills – the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 – be rejected.

The recent chain of protests was sparked on June 10, 2016, when a 10-day economic blockade and ban on construction of all ongoing national projects in Hill (tribal) areas began in Manipur, leaving a large number of goods-laden trucks stranded on the inter-State borders. The blockade was jointly called by JAC of Churachandpur and an apex tribal body Outer Manipur Tribal’s Forum (OMTF) comprising UNC, Zomi Council, Thadou Inpi, Hmar Inpui and Mizo People Convention (MPC), protesting against the process of implementation of ILPS in Manipur through conversion of the three ILP-related Bills into Acts.

On the other hand, demanding the speedy implementation of the ILP system, on June 25, 2016, a group of people staged a protest demonstration under the aegis of the Thangmeiband Kendra Development Organisation (TAKDO), led by Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency (AC) Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Khomdram Joykisan. Protestors displayed placards that read: “Government of Manipur should not blemish democracy”, “Enforce ILPS in Manipur”, “We condemn declaration of former JCILPS convenor Khomdram Ratan as wanted man” etc.

Other groups of the State also came forward to show their solidarity with the demand for implementation of ILP. On June 27, 2016, sit-in-protests were staged at different places in the State under the aegis of JCILPS, with participation of numerous organisations, including Haobam Marak Lourembam Leikai, Haobam Marak Chingtham Leikai, Konjeng Leikai Club Keithel, Konjeng Langpoklakpam Leikai, Kwakeithel Konjeng Leikai, Kwakeithel Konjeng Awang Leikai and Kwakeithel Lamdong Leikai. Women’s groups such as Women’s Welfare Association, Yumnam Khunou Makha Leikai, Women’s Empowerment Association, Yumnam Khunou, Meira Paibis (Mothers’ Association) of Wangkhei Khunou, Sinam and Ishikha, also participated in the protests.

Meanwhile, apprehensions were raised among other groups as well. Announcing the formation of the United Gorkha Committee Manipur (UGCM) on June 27, 2016, Hari Prasad Nepal, Bhumi Prasad Vikas and Shiva Kumar Basnet, who were elected as president, vice president and general secretary, respectively, gave an assurance that grievances and issues related to the Gorkha community would be addressed, and that the Gorkha position would be voiced before the new drafting committee on ILP system. 

On June 28, 2016, Manipur Deputy CM Gaikhangam urged all stakeholders of the Hills and Valley to extend sincere cooperation to the State Government in drafting a new and inclusive ILP related Bill in the State Assembly, asserting, “The anti-Bill group from the Hills is still reluctant to come out for a clear-cut solution. They should also join the effort to help introduce a new Bill.”

The issue of ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ has been a cause of major conflict in Manipur – and, indeed, across much of India’s Northeast – and has also aggravated tensions between various ethnic communities. The Centre’s propensity to brushing the issue under the carpet, even as the continued and substantial influx of foreigners is tolerated, has made locals hostile even to migrants from other parts of India. These competing ethnic demands and rivalries, and the failure of the State to resolve the consequent conflicts, continue to undermine peace in the State.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
June 27-July 3, 2016



Security Force Personnel





Islamist Terrorism




Jammu and Kashmir


Left-Wing Extremism








Total (INDIA)











Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


28 persons including 20 civilians, six militants and two Police officers killed in hostage crisis in Dhaka city: 28 persons including 20 civilians, six militants and two Police officers were killed in a hostage crisis at Holey Artisan Bakery, a Spanish restaurant at Dhaka city's Gulshan diplomatic zone. Joint Security Force led by Army brought to end an unprecedented hostage situation rescuing 13 people who include Indian and Japanese citizens almost 12 hours after gunmen stormed the popular restaurant. Around 53 people, including several Policemen, were injured in an exchange of gunfire between Police and gunmen who stormed a Spanish restaurant on July 1 night and took the people inside hostage. One militant was arrested in the incident. According to US-based SITE Intelligence Group, Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility of the attack. The Daily Star, July 2, 2016.

Prime Minister blames BNP-JeI alliance for carrying out secret killings: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while speaking at Parliament on June 29 blamed the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) alliance for carrying out secret killings. "The man [Golam Faizullah Fahim] who had attacked a Madaripur college teacher was caught red-handed by local people. My question is why Khaleda Zia is crying crocodile tears for him," the Prime Minister PM told Parliament. This proves that the BNP-JeI has a link with the secret killings, she claimed. The Daily Star, June 30, 2016.

A militant kingpin had been residing in country and she is BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, says Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim: Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim while speaking as the chief guest at a discussion and Iftar Mahfil organised at Doctor Milon Auditorium of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) at Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka city on June 27 said that a militant kingpin had been residing in the country and she is Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia. "Peace will be restored in the country if she could be restrained," he said. Dhaka Tribune, June 28, 2016.


UMHA presents report card to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on internal security: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) on July 1 gave a detailed presentation to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on the country's internal security scenario and the steps taken to strengthen it through multi-pronged strategy. Led by Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh, the top brass of the home ministry briefed the Prime Minister on issues ranging from terrorism, infiltration from across the border, activities of left wing extremism, situation in Jammu & Kashmir and northeast during the three-hour-long meeting. Times of India, July 2, 2016.

Centre urges to hold Unified Command meets more often: The Centre on June 27 asked four Naxal-Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit States-Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal-to frequently hold Unified Command meetings for formulating a strategy to tackle the issue effectively. The Union Minister of Home Affairs (UMH) Rajnath Singh conveyed this at the Eastern Zonal Council meeting held in Ranchi, official sources said. Singh also cited the example of Jharkhand where splinter groups of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have been active and tackling them required coordination among forces and better strategy. Times of India July 2, 2016.

US designates AQIS in the 'foreign terrorist organisation: The United States (US) on June 30, designated al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) as a "foreign terrorist organisation" (FTO) and added its 'chief' Asim Umar to its list of global terrorists. The US State Department's Bureau of Counterterrorism announced the designation, coinciding with the visit to India by US Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon. He met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and NSA Ajit K Doval, a day after meeting counterpart Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. The Indian Express, July 1, 2016.

HM warns of retaliatory strikes in Delhi: The militant group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) on June 28, warned of attacks in New Delhi if 'innocent civilians were targeted' in Jammu and Kashmir. "[Security] Forces harass and target civilians and such tactics will have serious ramifications. If they continue to target innocent civilians, then militants will spread their net in New Delhi and will strike there," said HM chief Syed Salahuddin in a statement issued to news services in Srinagar. Salahuddin, who according to the statement chaired a meeting at an undisclosed location in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK), praised the militants for intensifying their attacks on the Security Forces in Kashmir. The Hindu, June 30, 2016.

Pakistan Army training LeT and JeM terrorists in Pakistan's Punjab province, adjacent to Indian border, says report: A report on June 30 claimed that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) have set up terror camps in Pakistan's Punjab province, which is adjacent to the Indian borders. The report said the terrorists are being trained by Pakistani Army. Report further stated that the terrorists belonging to the dreaded Pakistan based terror groups are trying to infiltrate and planning to execute Pathankot-type attack in India. Zee News , June 30, 2016.

Gorkhas form body to meet new drafting committee on ILPS Bills in Manipur: The Gorkhas of Manipur on June 27 formed a new organization to be the apex body of the Gorkha community in the State to address the grievances and issues related to the Gorkhas and represent the Gorkha community in sharing views and opinions with the new drafting committee on Inner Line Permit System (ILPS). The newly formed Gorkha organization christened United Gorkha Committee Manipur (UGCM) was formed during a meeting at Rose English High School in Kanglatongbi in Imphal West District. The Sangaie Epress, June 29, 2016.


Federalism implementation committee holds first meeting under Chairmanship of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli: The first meeting of the High-Level Federalism Implementation and Administration Restructuring Directive Committee was held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister and Committee Chairman, KP Sharma Oli, at Singha Durbar in Kathmandu, on July 1. The meeting was held with an objective of accelerating works related to federalism, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Bhim Rawal. My Republica, July 2, 2016.


Drones killed only 64 to 116 civilians since 2009, says United States: The White House released a report on July 1 claiming that US drones killed only 64 to 116 civilians in 473 strikes launched between January 20, 2009 and December 31, 2015. The drone strikes also killed 2,372 to 2,581 combatants during this period, the White House added. The report covers strikes only in areas "outside of active hostilities", which include Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are not covered because they fall in "areas of active hostilities". Dawn, July 2, 2016.

Islamabad allows Afghan refugees to stay in country until December 31, 2016: Pakistan Government on the request of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi on June 29, extended the deadline for voluntary repatriation of registered Afghan refugees until December 31, 2016. According to the sources, Grandi had asked the Government to extend the stay of the Afghan refugees in the country for another three years. The Government however told him that it could not host the Afghan refugees for another three years due to security and economic reasons. Daily Times, June 30, 2016.

The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

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