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International Journal of Security Studies & Practice

Article Title

Revisiting Al-Qaeda and Islamic State in South Asia and their Influence on Bangladesh: A Qualitative Study

Authors

Author #1

Abstract

The transnational terrorist outfits Al-Qaeda (AQ) and Islamic State (IS) have notable strongholds in South Asia. The study was carried out to assess the existing state of AQ and IS in South Asia and their influence on Bangladesh. The author used a synchronic approach and content analysis technique to conduct the study. The data were obtained through targeted selection of topics and characteristics of news from various domestic national newspapers, books, diplomatic websites, analytical websites, world-leading online news agencies, official websites of AQ, official Facebook and Telegram sites, pages and magazines of AQ and IS from January 2015 to July 2021. It has been found that both AQ and IS persistently execute their goals by staging militant attacks in the regions. AQ has eight affiliates in South Asia where the number of affiliates of IS are seven. Through an Islamic apocalyptic narrative known as Gazwatul Hind, AQ and its linked groups are bolstering its strongholds in South Asia. AQ-inspired militants are planning an attack on the aforementioned sites in India and Bangladesh. IS associated groups' closeness poses a significant threat to these areas. Both terrorist groups are trying to exploit the unstable situation of the Rohingya refugees and the mass population of Bangladesh and India by means of communication materials translated into Bengali language as part of their propaganda campaign. Therefore, the results of the research will go a long way towards promoting pragmatic policies to combat violent extremism both in South Asia and in other parts of the world.