Singapore and Bangladesh officials discuss counter-terrorism efforts in Dhaka meeting
Soldiers carry the coffin of a victim of the siege on the Holey Artisan Bakery, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility. Photograph: (Getty)
Singapore's senior minister for defence and foreign affairs, Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, visited his Bangladeshi counterpart Shahriar Alam in Dhaka this week to discuss counter-terrorism efforts between the two countries among other bilateral issues.
Singapore has deported at least 37 Bangladeshi workers after the country's internal security department found incriminating materials linking them to jihadist ideologies.
Last May, the security department detained eight Bangladeshis suspected of being members of "Islamic State in Bangladesh".
Singaporean investigators said members of the terror outfit intend to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. "However, as they felt that it would be difficult for them to make their way to Syria, they focused their plans instead on returning to Bangladesh to overthrow the democratically-elected government through the use of force, establish an Islamic State in Bangladesh and bring it under ISIS' self-declared caliphate," says a press release issued by the Singapore's ministry of home affairs.
Bangladeshi authorities however, said they have not found link of the group with any of the existing terror outfits in the country.
"We didn't get any connection with those who were deported from Singapore with the killers in our country," Monirul Islam, chief of Bangladesh's Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime told WION.
He continued, "They were workers in Singapore. They have been working there for a long time. Some of them have stayed there for three to eight years. Before going to Singapore they were not radicals. We think it was someone from Singapore who played a key role in radicalising these people. "
Investigators told WION that members of Neo Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh have been waging attacks in the country by pledging their allegiance to Islamic State while another group Ansar Al Islam with affiliation to Al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has been carrying out attacks in the home soil.
At least 30 people, including atheist bloggers, academicians, clerics of Hindu, Buddhist and Christian faiths, an LGBT activist and and policemen have been killed in machete attacks across Bangladesh since 2013.
Last July, Bangladesh experienced the deadliest terror attack in which 20 civilians including 17 foreign nationals were killed at an upmarket restaurant in Dhaka. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.