Lone wolf terrorism growing

DailySun || Shining BD

Published: 11/28/2023 5:28:47 AM

Lone wolf terrorism has become a threat as a section of people, mostly youths, are inclining to it, say some law enforcers working to check militancy.

A big number of the militants arrested in the last few months were lone wolf terrorists, Muhammad Sanwar Hossain, superintendent of police (operations) at the Anti Terrorism Unit (ATU), told the Daily Sun.

Radical ideologies, particularly on social media sites, are a primary catalyst for the rise in lone wolf terrorism, he said.

Delhi-based think tank Observer Research Foundation says lone wolf terrorism is violent terror attacks by extremists acting upon their radicalised beliefs.

“Their actions are either inspired or influenced by a specific terrorist organisation and ideology or operate within a particular social atmosphere. Lone wolf terrorists might be loners acting individually without a particular ideological influence, and therefore without a leader, they are free to move between groups,” it says in a publication.

Sanwar says lone wolf terrorist groups are growing in the country alongside the number of those who work individually. “We have found information on 15-20 such groups. Three of them are under our scanner.”

The groups are not in a position to carry out acts of sabotage but may attack the targets with knives or other sharp weapons or small bombs in the future, the police officer further said.

He explained that a person usually becomes a lone wolf terrorist after being exposed to militancy ideologies on social media, especially YouTube. “That individual then can open a social media group where he meets others having the same sentiment.”

This is how such groups are growing, said the ATU officer, adding those who are under 18 with social media addictions are particularly vulnerable.

Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director (Legal and Media Wing) of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), told the Daily Sun they had arrested many members of lone wolf terrorism groups and those who act alone.

“Such terrorism in both forms is active. We are monitoring the situation,” he said.

Lone wolf terrorists have carried out several attacks. One of the memorable ones is the petrol bomb attack on a microbus of American International University-Bangladesh on a road adjacent to the Gulshan diplomatic zone in the capital in September 2021.

After arresting Delwar Hossain, the lone wolf terrorist responsible for the attack, said he was inspired by the Ansar Al Islam ideology as well as reading articles and watching videos on extremism online.

Shining BD