The Islamic State “intends” to announce “an affiliate” in Bangladesh, where it has “designated a local leader”, a US-based war research group said in a report.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its study said the radical group was preparing for a “global surge of activities” before and during the holy month of Ramadan, which falls between 6 June and 5 July, this year.
“The Islamic State continued to pursue its regional campaign objectives of establishing affiliates and increasing disorder throughout historically Muslim lands,” ISW said.
The ISW also said the Islamic State could launch new offensives in North Africa and declare new affiliates in Southeast Asia, apart from Bangladesh.
This strategy will also seek to establish resilience “elsewhere” in the region as it faces challenges in Iraq and Syria, where the radical group is based.
Earlier, in its online magazine, ‘Dabiq’, the Islamic State said they had found a leader for the Bengal region.
The magazine claimed the leader had pledged allegiance to the Khalifah Ibrahim – Al Baghdadi, who now controls parts of Iraq and Syria.
Islamic militants in Bangladesh have targeted several intellectuals, writers, teachers, religious minorities, foreign aid workers and others who criticise those with extreme views on Islam in the past two years.
Most of these murders have been claimed by the Islamic State or Al Qaeda linked groups. But the government led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina and the police say the terror groups have no presence in the country. They have instead blamed the killings on home-grown extremists backed by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami.