Monirul Islam, chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the DMP spoke at at a police programme on Saturday and said that DMP had set up training programmes for additional SWAT recruits.
Attacks on foreigners and local activists and bloggers have risen at an alarming rate over the past couple years. The July 1 attack on Holey Artisan Bakery and Cafe showcased the extent to which the militants would go to in order to spread terror.
According to the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP), at least 393 people were killed during terrorist attacks in Bangladesh from 2005 to July 17, 2016. Among these, 360 were civilians and 33 were members of security forces. In addition, 243 terrorists were killed as well.
CTTC Chief Monirul said: “As per the prime minister’s orders, we will root out all kinds of terrorism and militancy from the country. The SWAT team has and will continue playing a vital role in neutralizing any and all threats to the country.”
DMP Asaduzzaman Miah commended the SWAT team which consisted of 50 US-trained members. He said the 20 new recruits will also receive training in the United States.
“We will expand the team to 100 strong soon,” he added.
Although the force was initiated in 2009, there were very few opportunities to showcase their skills. However, the militant attacks over the past few years led the authorities to deploy the SWAT in a number of cases.
“With the increased manpower and new weapons, we are capable of neutralising any unexpected incidents within a very short time while launching simultaneous operations,” a police official said.
Earlier on Friday morning, the 'Shoot House' at Public Order Management division of DMP turned into a hostage zone as newly joined 20 SWAT members carried out the final episode of a rescuing drill there. During the 15-20 minutes drill, armoured SWAT members enclosed the spot and launched drive to rescue hostage blowing up the terrorists.
The session was coordinated by Ashiqur Rahman, additional deputy commissioner leading SWAT while a number of SWAT men conducted the trainin session, source said.
Proloy Kumar Joarder, deputy commissioner of DMP (action room) and Will Vaughn, the security attaché of ATA programme of Department of State were present and spoke at the programme.