Wave of Suicide Bombings in Bangladesh Prompts Fear, Rebuke

A wave of suicide bombings in Bangladesh in the past two weeks has produced fear that "Bangladesh will develop into an Islamic terror hub and jihad launching pad,” according to the World Evangelical Alliance.

The WEA, in its most recent report on religious liberty, noted that in the last two weeks, there have been several reports of suicide bombings in the South Asian country of Bangladesh, reportedly leaving 21 dead and leaving more than a hundred injured. The most recent attack occurred on Dec. 8 in the northern town of Netrokona. Police say the two bomb explosions on Thursday occurred within minutes of each other, when hundreds of people gathered on a narrow street after police safely detonated the first bomb, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

"These suicide bombers are dangerous and daring. They are mostly poor, madrassa (Islamic religious school) educated and thoroughly brainwashed," said home ministry spokesman Khandaker Monirul Alam, according to AP.

The second bombing on Thursday killed six people instantly with a seventh dying in the hospital on Friday. A witness - who was seriously injured and currently recovering in a hospital – said the suicide bomber pulled a cord while on a bicycle. In addition, the explosion injured dozens, including three policemen, and killed the suicide bomber and wounded another bomber that police said failed to detonate his explosives. Police explosives expert said that the first bomb, which police were able to safely detonate, was “probably used as a decoy to attract people,” AP reported.

Police blame the attacks on Jumatul Majahideen (Assembly of Holy Warriors) Bangladesh (JMB), a banned Islamic extremist group believed to be responsible for the suicide bombings in the last two weeks that killed 21 people. In addition, police believe that the motive behind the JMB’s attacks is to establish Islamic rule in Bangladesh after a police found a handwritten leaflet near the site of explosion warning police to obey Islamic laws and stop protecting “manmade laws.”

"The government is trying its best to combat them. It is really difficult to capture suicide bombers who don't care for their lives," the Bangladesh home ministry spokesman said.

Despite the difficulties, the Bangladesh police detained eight suspects on Nov. 9 as a rally was held in Netrokona with about 1,000 people waving black flags and banners that read, “Arrest the bombers, punish the bombers.”

"Islam does not allow such a heinous crime against humanity," Moulana Obaidul Huq, imam of the country's main mosque in Dhaka. "We must fight against such an anti-Islamic campaign to protect our religion of peace."

Also on Friday, the United News of Bangladesh news agency reported that police found and defused a bomb outside of a college in Sirajganj – 65 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka.