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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Bangladesh

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Bangladesh, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcc2c.html [accessed 23 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Since coming into power in January 2009, the Awami League-led government has remained strongly committed to combating domestic and transnational terrorist groups. The government's counterterrorism efforts made it harder for transnational terrorists to operate in or establish safe havens in Bangladesh. Bangladesh and India improved their bilateral counterterrorism cooperation in 2011.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The government passed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009 and is in the process of fully implementing the law, which included Bangladesh's first counterterrorist finance provisions. The government has made numerous well-publicized seizures and arrests of persons alleged to be associated with terrorist organizations including Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh, Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh , Hizb Ut Towhid, and Lashkar e-Tayyiba, but few convictions resulted from those arrests. The judiciary moved slowly in processing terrorism and other criminal cases in general. Bangladesh cooperated with the United States to further strengthen control of its borders and land, sea, and air ports of entry. Bangladesh continued to be a good partner in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Bangladesh is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. The Bangladesh Bank (the central bank) and its Financial Intelligence Unit/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Section lead the government's effort to comply with the international sanctions regime. In 2011, the Government of Bangladesh acted to address further areas for legislative improvements in response to international peer review and the FATF International Cooperation Review Group process. During the week of June 19, the Bangladesh Cabinet approved in principle the draft AML law. At a subsequent meeting on July 11, the Cabinet approved, in principle, the draft Counterterrorist Finance (CTF) law. Both steps were an effort to improve the existing AML/CTF regime and bring Bangladesh into further compliance with FATF international financial crimes standards. Following these Cabinet actions, the Bangladesh government worked with international partners to seek additional improvements in order to address remaining areas of concern regarding Bangladesh's efforts to meet international standards. In November, the Cabinet gave final approval to the AML law.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Bangladesh Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Islamic Foundation, and USAID cooperated on Bangladesh's Leaders of Influence (LOI) project. LOI, a four-year program that ended in 2011, was designed to enhance the capacity of religious and secular leaders to contribute to national development and democratic reform efforts. In so doing, LOI set out to preserve and promote values of democracy, tolerance, diversity, social harmony, and understanding in Bangladeshi society. Under this program, at least 20,000 leaders, including approximately 10,000 imams, received training in programs that included democracy and governance, gender equality, health, nutrition, family planning, HIV/AIDS, employment generation, and disaster management. While not CVE-specific, the basic assumption underpinning the LOI program was that knowledge of different issues gained through training and exposure would help leaders of influence increase tolerance. USAID and Embassy Dhaka, in cooperation with the Bangladesh Ministry of Interior, successfully continued to implement the Community Policing Initiative, which was designed to improve police-civilian relations and reduce the appeal of extremist groups in two major provinces.

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