KHAOSOD, Bangladesh — A new breed is emerging in Bangladesh, one that is trying to sow terror and mayhem across the country.
The terror is not being waged on the streets, but in schools, where the children are indoctrinated into radical Islam and are told to fight the Bengali people for their own gains.
It is a very sad phenomenon, but it is happening because of the country’s political and economic problems, said Ranaa Ahmad, a researcher at the Jamia Millia Islamia, an Islamic education foundation in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has been plagued by violent clashes between the Muslim minority and the Hindu majority for centuries.
It has been at the forefront of the conflict since independence in 1971, when India-backed Pakistani rebels waged a bloody struggle against Bangladesh’s military-backed government.
As many as 150,000 people have died since then, according to the United Nations, including the worst attack in Bangladesh’s history, the December 2005 massacre at the Bazar Chowk shopping mall in the northern city of Mardan.
A decade later, a new breed, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), emerged as a political force, winning power in elections in 2014 and establishing its base in the capital, Dhaka.
Its main aim is to impose sharia law on the Muslim majority and implement a version of Islamic law.
JI has since expanded its activities to include recruiting followers to wage jihad.
This is a new strain of terrorism that is spreading across Bangladesh, said Mohammad Aziz, the director of the University of California-Los Angeles Center for International Studies in Bangladesh and a former government official.
“We are living in a new world of terror,” he said.
Ahmad believes that the Muslim threat is getting more severe in Bangladesh because of political instability and economic decline.
With the country experiencing an economic slump and the number of refugees arriving at the border with India increasing, it is becoming a breeding ground for extremists.
For years, the Bangladeshi government has sought to contain the rise of extremism.
But as it has been struggling to cope with the crisis, the government has turned to the military to address the problem.
While the military is well equipped, it has a long way to go to contain an entire religious group, said Abul Karim Shah, an expert on terrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington.
And it is not just the military that has struggled to control extremism.
In recent years, extremist attacks have become more brazen.
Last year, three Bangladese soldiers were killed by an Islamist militant.
The military has also been accused of failing to prevent a deadly suicide attack on a military camp near Dhaka that killed 28 people in June last year.
But the military’s focus on stopping the threat is not helping.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the military will be given the power to carry out counter-terrorism operations.
But there are doubts about whether the military can carry out the type of operations that the government is now seeking.
Shah said that the military needs a new approach, which he said was based on an understanding that a military operation can not defeat the threat.
That approach is different than the one the military has adopted in recent years.
It focuses on the political goals of the ruling coalition, he said, and not the security needs of the people of Bangladesh.
That approach, Shah said, is a mistake.
It is also based on a political strategy that was not based on security, but on power.
On Thursday, the military launched a major operation against suspected terrorists in the Dhaka suburb of Garhi, killing 15 militants and seizing a vehicle.
But analysts say it is unlikely that the operation will have a lasting effect on the extremists.