Vol. 5 Num 437 Thu. August 18, 2005  
Front Page

Attacks were motivated by domestic issues
Observe foreign analysts

Foreign analysts have commented that the series of explosions in Bangladesh were probably motivated more by domestic issues than international politics, but the government can no longer deny there is an issue with fundamentalists.

Jennifer Harbison, research director of information services at the Control Risks Group, a London-based security consultancy, told the that "[yesterday's] attack was definitely out of the ordinary and indicates a much more developed and coordinated effort than previously thought to be possible."

The government can no longer deny there is an issue with fundamentalists, she said adding, "It looks like they [fundamentalists] geared up for a big bang and so it's not likely that there will be another immediate attack on this scale."

She said the attackers may have intended to "flex their muscles," discredit the government and recruit new members, rather than kill.

"On the whole, the bombs went off near locations associated with the government and civilians, not with Western interests," Harbison said.

She, however, said business travel to Bangladesh remains viable and visitors should not worry about staying in the country.

Another security analyst Sajjan Gohel said, "It was a widespread attack that doesn't appear to have targeted one group."

Gohel of the London-based Asia Pacific Foundation said, "Attacks do happen a lot in Bangladesh against those people the Islamists believe are against religion."

He said it was unlikely that the bombers are linked to larger international terrorist organisations, such as al-Qaeda, given the nature of the devices and the damage inflicted.