The Los Angeles Times has an editorial on the prescence of terrorists in Bangladesh and the support of officials for Islamic extremism.
What makes the situation more precarious is that Bangladesh only just admitted that violent extremists were a problem. Since 2001, Western intelligence agencies have reported the presence in Bangladesh of Taliban remnants along with various other militant groups. It was not until February 2005, however, that Bangladesh addressed the issue at the behest of the international community, banning two terrorist groups and putting some of their ranks in prison.
But acknowledgment of a problem is just the first step in solving it. Bangladesh has yet to deal with one of the more disturbing aspects of its problem: the implicit support by some Bangladeshi officials of various Islamic extremist groups. The increasing involvement of mostly peaceful Islamic parties in the Bangladesh National Party’s coalition government is a positive development. But some ministers and officials are widely believed to have sympathy for the militant counterparts of those parties.
Bangladesh is far from becoming a haven for terrorists like Afghanistan was (and, some say, still is). But the development of ties among Bangladeshi politicians, local militants and extremists abroad could endanger an already tense region. Dhaka should break those ties whenever they are exposed.[Dangerous ties]
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