Bangladesh experienced a decrease in terrorist activity in 2020, accompanied by an increase in terrorism-related investigations and arrests, said a report of the US State Department.
In 2020 there were three specific terrorist incidents, resulting in no deaths, according to Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT), which provides a detailed look at the counterterrorism environment.
As in prior years, the Bangladesh government denied Bangladesh-based terrorists have meaningful ties to transnational terror groups, including ISIS or AQIS.
An appeal is pending before the Bangladeshi Supreme Court following the CT Special Tribunal's 2019 sentencing of seven individuals to death for supporting roles in the 2016 Holey Artisan Bakery attack, in which attackers claiming allegiance to ISIS killed 20 people, including one American, said the report.
The report further said, "Ongoing deficits in Bangladesh's judicial system, magnified by the constraints of operating during a global pandemic, contribute to a decade-long backlog of terrorism cases and a conviction rate estimated at less than 15 percent. The Bangladesh government continued to articulate a zero-tolerance policy toward terrorism and the use of its territory as a terrorist safe haven. In January the government's new national antiterrorism unit began standing up operations, to eventually assume a role as a lead counterterrorism agency."
Throughout 2020 the CTTCU and the Rapid Action Battalion established "deradicalization and rehabilitation programs," in addition to conducting community policing efforts and investigations and arrests of suspected FTFs, the report added.