MNA Editorial Desk: The crude bomb attack on police in Dhaka should not be played down, said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, adding that the blast could be a precursor to a bigger plot by militants.
The roads and bridges minister warned that although the attack was ostensibly aimed at the police, ministers and parliamentarians could become targets in future.
Two policemen were injured in the incident that took place around 9:20 pm on Saturday in Dhaka’s Science Laboratory intersection.
One of them was escorting LGRD Minister Tazul Islam through the area.
“Police were undoubtedly the target of the attack. It is possible they’re implementing these smaller incidents as ‘test cases’ ahead of a bigger attack,” Quader told a media briefing on Sunday.
On whether politicians are now vulnerable to such attacks, the minister said, “I have spoken to the IG and the police commissioner and they assured me that the minister was not the target of the blast.”
“But it is not confirmation that ministers and MPs will never become the target in future. They may be targeted.”
Asked if the militant outfits are still active in the country, Quader said, “Of course they are. They have been weakened but not completely eliminated. Similar incidents are taking place all over the world.”
“I feel they’re preparing for a bigger attack. Three or four attacks on the police could be test cases for planning a bigger attack in future.”
Prior to the unprecedented terrorist attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan in 2016, there had been a few stray incidents involving attacks on bloggers, teachers and cultural activists, reports bdnews24.com.
Militant activities have been on the wane following the crackdown by law enforcement agencies in the aftermath of the Gulshan attack. But the police have come under attack on a few occasions recently.
“There were similar attacks using remote controlled bombs in Malibagh and Gulistan,” said Quader.
Middle-East-based militant outfit Islamic State or IS claimed responsibility for the crude bomb attack on police which the police officials do not acknowledge. The local militants were responsible for the attack, they believe.
Asked about the existence of IS in Bangladesh, Quader responded, “We don’t have anything called the Motorized Vehicle Act but even then there are rumors that the government has increased the amount of fines for different violations. Similarly, I am unable to make any remark without receiving any verification on the rumors on IS.”
“Our law enforcement agencies have good track record in preventing militant attacks, but I think they could not figure out the recent incident,” Quader praised the law enforcement agencies.
The authorities have been alerted, he said. “They are investigating to find out the responsible group.”
Obaidul Quader hoped that the intelligence bureaus in the country will be successful in preventing the militant attacks in the country.