Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan announced the formation of a new police counter-terrorism unit yesterday.
The decision to create the new unit, including tactical field teams and intelligence experts, follows several years of attacks such as the July 2016 Dhaka cafe siege, in which 20 hostages died.
A government document detailing the planned unit said it would include 581 newly recruited officers who will focus on the “whereabouts of the suspects, tracking their movement and means of communication and keeping an eye on financing procedures.”
Currently, the police force’s Rapid Action Battalion handles hostage rescues and sieges, such as one in the capital this month where a Jama’atul Mojahedin Bangladesh militant, his two wives, two children and two associates were killed.
In July, the Bangladesh Finance Intelligence Unit named 17 NGOs from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and other Middle East nations that are under surveillance for suspected funding of extremist and terrorist groups in the country and neighbouring India.