On the list of 163 nations included in the most recent edition of the Global Terrorism Index (2023), our nation has performed well in combatting terrorism and risen two positions to rank 43rd, surpassing countries such as India and the United States.
Bangladesh has been one of the most effective nations in combating terrorism since 2016, and the country has steadily risen in the rankings each year. Bangladesh improved two notches in the most recent edition of the Global Terrorism Index, from 41 in 2022 to 43 in 2023, according to the report by Global Terrorism Index -2023 (GTI).
Bangladesh received a score of 3.827 on a scale of 0 to 10 that measures the impact of terrorism in a particular nation, where 0 indicates no impact and 10 indicates the greatest measurable impact. Such growth is remarkable for the nation, particularly considering that it has surpassed the majority of its contemporaries in the South Asian region, with India ranked thirteenth and Pakistan ranked sixth.
Bangladesh has also surpassed the United States, which currently ranks 30th among the nations most afflicted by terrorist activities. Such success for Bangladesh after several setbacks is a testament to the country’s will to fight terrorism without compromising its values.
Latest GTI report shows lower terrorism rate
Terrorist deaths decreased by 9% in 2022, the analysis found, reaching a total of 6,701. The decline in fatalities was followed by a decrease in the number of incidents, which decreased by nearly 28 percent from 5,463 in 2021 to 3,955 in 2022. Afghanistan (8.822), Burkina Faso (8.564), Somalia (8.463), Mali (8.412), Syria (8.161), Pakistan (8.160), Iraq (8.139), Nigeria (8.065), Myanmar (7.977), and Niger (7.616) rank among the top 10 countries with the highest GTI score.
South Asian region has the worst GTI!
Even though South Asia reflects the global trend of a decline in terrorism-related deaths in 2022, it has the worst average GTI score, the same as the year before. The region recorded 1,354 terrorism-related fatalities in 2022, a decrease of 30% from the previous year. Bhutan is the only country in the region with a GTI score of 0, indicating that it has not experienced a terrorist incident in the past five years. In terms of the impact of terrorism, Bhutan ranked 93rd globally, behind Bangladesh (43), Nepal (36), Sri Lanka (29), India (13), Pakistan (6), and Afghanistan (1).
India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, three of the South Asian nations, are among the top 15 nations most likely to be affected by terrorist activities.
India was 8th in the number of deaths from terrorism that went down in the last year, but it is very high on the GTI list. The country’s religious and communal diversity readily sows the seeds of terrorism. Since ages, Pakistani Jihadist gangs have been terrorizing Jammu & Kashmir. Notably, terrorism with profound Maoist roots is an additional problem in Northern India.
Pakistan recorded 643 casualties from terrorist attacks in 2022, a 120% increase compared to 2021. The majority of deaths are attributable to Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), the terrorist organization with the quickest growth rate. In addition, three of the ten deadliest terrorist organizations were active in Pakistan last year. The developing country once had a bright future, but its ominous ties to terrorist organizations and the government’s reluctance to combat them with force have created a constant state of chaos and insecurity in the lives of its citizens.
Afghanistan continued to be the nation most afflicted by terrorism for the fourth consecutive year, despite a 75% and 58% decrease in attacks and fatalities, respectively. The nation received a total score of 8.822 on this year’s evaluation.
How Bangladesh’s outstanding performance can be a model for neighboring countries?
As mentioned, a higher rank with a lower score indicates less terrorism impact; therefore, Bangladesh has done a commendable job of regulating terrorism in the country, as it ranks 43rd, while India ranks 13th and the United States ranks 30th. Bangladesh also outranked many South Asian countries.
Bangladesh saw the second-greatest reduction in the impact of terrorism in South Asia in 2022, followed closely by Nepal, which recorded two attacks but no fatalities.
In Bangladesh, the anti-terrorism mission is based on the strong will of the government and the active participation of various branches of law enforcement. Pakistan’s current situation exemplifies how rapidly terrorism can become an impediment to a country’s development. As a result, Bangladesh spared no effort in maintaining its international reputation as a pro-peace nation. As Bangladesh has performed better than Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, there is no doubt that the country’s South Asian counterparts can learn from the country’s achievements.
In 2005, the Muslim militant organization called Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) carried out 459 explosions in 63 districts within 30 minutes. This horrifying event made the country realize that terrorism has arrived on its frontiers. In 2009, terrorist activities had increased even more. Bangladesh did not the infrastructure to deal with such a crisis at the time, but the Awami League government doubled down on militants with all that it had available, and it worked extremely well in combating the country’s militancy threat.
Bangladesh’s proactive counter-terrorism strategy began with the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Act (amended in 2023), 2012 Money Laundering Prevention Act (first to include terrorist fund provisions), the formation of a National Committee for Intelligence Coordination, a 17-member National Committee on Militancy Resistance and Prevention headed by the state minister for Home Affairs, and the banning of all UN-designated terrorist groups.
Government also took steps to integrate the Aliya and Quami madrasas into the secular and mainstream educational system after discovering that radical beliefs were being taught to students who would later go on to engage in terrorist acts.
The prompt and thorough response
To track down militants, a zero-tolerance policy was implemented, the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) was established, and a joint clearance operations strategy was implemented by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC). In addition, the government increased the surveillance of cyberspace and social media, where terrorists were discovered to be constructing their network.
The clearance operations resulted in the fatalities of seventy-nine individuals and the arrests of over five hundred and twenty individuals, thereby ensuring that the Holey Artisan tragedy wouldn’t be repeated in the country. Since 2016, the number of terrorist attacks in Bangladesh has decreased steadily, which can be attributed in large part to the country’s unwavering commitment to the anti-terrorism struggle.
The government’s dedicated vigilance in addressing any security-related issues has contributed to the eradication of terrorism from its roots and helped Bangladesh to steadily perform well in the global arena.
|The Institute for Economics and Peace publishes the Global Terrorism Index annually. Since 2000, the index provides a comprehensive overview of the most significant global trends and patterns of terrorism. Over a five-year period, terrorism-related fatalities, incidents, captives, and injuries are factored into the GTI score calculation. Institute for Economics and Peace uses data from Terrorism Tracker and other sources to compile the report.