12 April 2016

Kaiser-Cross on ISIS in Bangladesh

In a recent Foreign Policy article, “ISIS in Bangladesh: There’s still time to stop it, but only if action is taken,” ACLED-Asia Senior Research Manager and former UT graduate student Sarah Kaiser-Cross warns that jihadist terrorism is on the rise in South Asia. ISIS in Bangladesh has been able to exploit social and political fault lines in the country to increase its popularity. There have been eight attacks in the last six months, most of which have carried out by local disenfranchised organizations who have allied with ISIS. These small-scale, “lone wolf” style attacks are difficult to prevent and effective at spreading terror.

Kaiser-Cross explains that ISIS has not yet carved out a permanent place in Bangladesh, but as the core organization’s publications devote more and more attention to “success” in Bengal, time to take preventative action is running short. She recommends intelligence sharing and election monitoring as the first steps towards preventing ISIS’s power in Bangladesh from growing.