Dhaka – The Bangladesh government has banned a home-grown Islamist militant group that advocates for replacing the country’s democracy with Sharia law.
Security officials said the group had engaged in recruiting militants since its foundation in 1995 with the goal of establishing a caliphate – a state governed in accordance with Islamic law.
Many of its suspected members have been detained in recent months, they said.
Intelligence agencies have been asked to examine the activities of six other Islamic organisations to see whether they will be banned, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said earlier this month.
Bangladesh has previously banned several Islamic outfits blamed for carrying out deadly terrorist attacks.
The South Asian country witnessed a wave of attacks claimed by Islamic State and al-Qaeda or their local agents on academics, secularist bloggers, foreign nationals, priests, rights activists and people of minority faiths in 2015 and 2016.
The security forces killed more than 100 suspects in anti-militant raids launched in response to those attacks.