Several things are still uncertain in the recent terrorist attack in Dhaka, the only certainty is the 22 people killed at the Holey Artisan Bakery. Both Islamic State (IS) and a group affiliated with Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia Bangladesh, claimed the attack. Nonetheless, according to the local authorities, both for the weapons used (knives, long machetes, small bombs, some Ak 22 rifle used for hunting small birds), than for the way the attack was conducted, there is no real presence of IS in the country. Actually, the terrorists involved in the attacks seemed like normal, middle-class people, who also went to top schools and universities. It is impressive to see the smiling pictures of Nibras Islam, Mir Sabih Mubashsher, Rohan Imtiaz, with weapons in hand , red and white keffiyeh and black dresses, posted on social networks just before committing the terrible attack. So, many ask, why becoming terrorists? However, other point to the fact that their profile fits a certain pattern of IS recruits, including "Jihadi John".
According to the local authorities, the terrorists were probably members of the Islamist group Jamaat-ul Mujahideen, with a historical presence in Bangladesh; nonetheless, the claims of the massacre made by Daesh in some websites of the Caliphate are also to be taken under consideration. Actually, in Bangladesh there are followers of various Islamist groups that may be more or less affiliated or interested in the cause of IS and several killings are attributed to individual IS fanatics, as a Buddhist monk, a Hindu guru, a university professor, writers, bloggers and members of the homosexual community. Obviously, terrorist organisations in Bangladesh can easily found affiliates in poor and exploited classes. It is also certain that such an attack is very strange in a secular country like Bangladesh, which obviously is not prepared for such danger: there is no suitably trained police force to deploy in these emergencies and, indeed, after several hours of negotiations, the government of Bangladesh pushed the army ahead with a hundred soldiers. Actually, the sequence of events demonstrates the need to train police forces devoted to such kind of issues in any country, as well as to improve the intelligence. Indeed, the first intervention of the police had ended in failure, with the killing of two officers and wounding a dozen other police officers, as a result of a grenade. Afterwards, three members of the terrorist commando were seen monitoring the area, both from the terrace of the second floor from the ground floor hall, where most of the hostages had been collected.
The next morning, Saturday, July 2, at 7.42, the army started an operation with the deployment of fifteen armoured vehicles, two of which have broken through the fence and the wall at the entrance of the place. This operation lasted about ten minutes, while the operation as a whole, which also involved the reclamation of the area, detonating the explosives, the attack and the hostage-taking, lasted about forty minutes. As stated by Paolo Gentiloni, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, «we must be aware that we are faced with a truly global threat: from West Africa to Southeast Asia, from the Gulf of Guinea to the Gulf of Bengal, with different shapes, Daesh, Al-Qaeda and local groups might be different but they have a common denominator, which is the terrorist fundamentalism, with a capacity of attraction, very special, of Daesh». Nowadays, Daesh is losing ground in Syria and Iraq and might be responding with an increase of terrorist attacks, while Italy is giving a significant contribution with its armed forces in the anti-terrorist coalition that deals to cut funding to Daesh that, if it loses money, finds increasingly difficult to maintain its network of terror. However, the first cause of terrorism is social injustice, a typical occurrence in Bangladesh, where poverty, marginalization, exploitation and easy indoctrination create an explosive mixture in a country where the political class has failed, just to give an example, in solving the humanitarian plague of the country: a huge mass of people pouring into the capital Dhaka, to work in the textile industries for the main big brands of the world.
Fabio Di Nunno