Monday, May 27, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Misleading the masses: 80% of arrested militants are uneducated

  • 74% of educated militants from general education background
  • Data based on 34 studies 
Update : 13 Oct 2023, 06:49 PM

The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC) has found that more than 80% of arrested militants have no educational background.

The CTTC revealed the data after reviewing a comprehensive database of 512 terrorists apprehended at various times, as well as information on individuals in contact with them, including those involved in various forms of criminal activities. CTTC's research also examined the educational qualifications of militants apprehended between 2016 and 2021. 

The research found that 19.5% of the arrested militants were educated, including 13.10% who passed the SSC exam, 20.70% the HSC exam, 30.8% with undergraduate degrees, and 15% with postgraduate degrees. While 74% received a general education, 23% of the arrested militants have a background in madrasa education.

The data further revealed that 68.7% of the apprehended militants fall within the 15-34 age range, indicating a concentrated effort by militant organizations to engage younger elements in their activities. 

Among the arrested militants, 27.5% are between 20 and 24 years old, 20.1% are aged 25 to 29, 13.5% are between 30 and 34 years old, and 7.6% are aged 15 to 19.

CTTC sources said their militant database undergoes constant monitoring. When someone is arrested on charges related to militancy, CTTC collects vital information on their social background in the search for evidence of their involvement in extremist activities. 

This information is later presented in court proceedings, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the accused's identity, address and other pertinent details.

The CTTC has collected data based on 34 studies conducted at different times. Another 10 studies on militants are ongoing.

Shifting focus to online

The CTTC reports that militants are finding it increasingly challenging to organize and execute coordinated attacks or acts of terrorism as they have in the past due to vigilant cyber monitoring and continuous law enforcement operations. 

This positive trend in Bangladesh's efforts to prevent and control militancy is reflected in its improving position in the Global Terrorism Index.

In response to heightened restrictions, militants have shifted their focus to online activities, including recruitment and training facilitated by various apps. 

CTTC sources have highlighted the resurgence of online activities among banned groups such as Ansar al-Islam, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and New JMB. 

Additionally, the recent arrest of leaders from Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, a faction formed from Ansarullah Bangla Team, has led to the proscription of this organization.

CTTC data reveal that 82% of active militants now utilize social media platforms for recruiting potential targets for radicalization. 

Meanwhile, CTTC chief Additional Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman recently said militant organizations are intensifying their activities ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Terrorist activities decreased

According to CTTC, due to stringent law enforcement efforts and public participation, terrorist activities have notably decreased. 

While militancy surged in Bangladesh in 2015-2016, militant attacks within the country ceased altogether in 2022. 

Over the seven-year span from 2015 to 2021, the nation experienced 50 terrorist attacks, with the highest number occurring in 2016 (21 attacks). However, 2022 marked a turning point, with no recorded terrorist attacks.

Progression in global ranking

Bangladesh's efforts in preventing and controlling militancy have led to progress in the Global Terrorism Index rankings over the years.  The country was ranked 22nd in 2016, 21st in 2017, 25th in 2018, 31st in 2019, 33rd in 2020, 40th in 2022, and 43rd in 2023.

CTTC Additional Commissioner Asaduzzaman emphasized the importance of combating extremism and militancy on a global scale, as incidents in one country can impact worldwide perceptions. 

He said Bangladesh has become a role model in the fight against terrorism and extremism, crediting both hard and soft approaches in the efforts to eliminate factors that give rise to extremism.

Top Brokers


Popular Links