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Wednesday, November 19, 2014, Agrahayan 5, 1421, Muharram 25, 1436 Hijr

Terrorism risk for Bangladesh rises
Country ranks 23rd in IEP Global Terrorism Index
Publish Date : 2014-11-19,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 21
Staff Correspondent
Bangladesh is among 13 countries which are at high risk of being hit by terrorism, said a Global Terrorism Index (GTI) released by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
This annual report also shows Bangladesh scored 5.25 for 2013 which places it at 23rd among 162 countries.
Bangladesh had been 57th among 162 countries in the index for 2012.
It witnessed widespread violence in 2013 during war crimes trials of top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and during the opposition agitation before and after the 10th national election held in January, 2014.
Among the South Asian countries, Pakistan held 3rd position and India is the 6th, Nepal is 24th and Sri Lanka is in 36th position.
Talking to The Daily Observer, Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor of International Relations at Dhaka University, said "Among the South Asian countries, Bangladesh is ranked 23rd and Pakistan and India secured 3rd and 6th position respectively. "We should not be too scared of the position Bangladesh holds, rather we need to think deeply over terrorism rating of India and Pakistan. They are in dire straits and as per the IEP index of countries plagued by terrorism."
"Bangladesh is 23rd, this, of course, is not good news but ranking of other South Asian countries must be taken seriously and we must investigate what kind of terrorism is going on in India and Pakistan, and also in Nepal and Sri Lanka."
Imtiaz said that terror risk in Bangladesh, however, can be worsened due to "political instability and lack of intergroup cohesion. These may engender Bangladesh in terrorist turmoil. Social cohesions can minimise the threat of terrorism significantly."
Along with Bangladesh, other 12 terror-prone countries are: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Iran, Israel, Mali, Mexico, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Uganda.
Humayun Kabir, former ambassador and Vice President of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, told this correspondent, "The report published by IEP is important to me for two reasons: the arrest of the recent JMB militants who allegedly masterminded Burdwan blast and vulnerable political environment in Bangladesh."
"As soon as the political atmosphere becomes inclusive, the risk of terrorist activities will minimise in future. It is tested that the extremists and militants always take the opportunity of political instability in any country", he observed.
"Government's initiatives to tackle terrorism and extremism are praiseworthy, but the government will also be able to make the country's political environment a healthy one", he added.
The IEP report summarises that over 80 per cent of the life lost to terrorist activities in 2013 that occurred in only five countries- Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
Iraq, where 6,362 died in 2,492 terror attacks last year, has topped the list scoring 10.
The international research body said Iraq suffered most damage for terrorism and militancy and observed that the world not only witnessed intensified terror during last year but saw it spread as well.
A total 17,958 lost their lives to terror in 2013, 61 per cent more than the previous year's. Nearly 10,000 terror attacks took place, 44 per cent more than the year ago.
The international research body stated that in 2013, 66 per cent of all fatalities from claimed terrorist attacks were caused by four terrorist groups: the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also called as ISIS) and al Qaeda.
There are three significant factors associated with terrorism: state sponsored violence, group grievances and high levels of criminality, according to the report.
 "Political terror refers to human and physical rights abuses as measured by Amnesty International and US State Department. This includes violations of human rights, state-sanctioned killings, torture and political imprisonment," the report stated.
The definition of 'terrorism' used by the GTI is: "the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation".
The report is the second edition of the GTI report which provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 14 years beginning in 2000 and ending in 2013.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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