Militants from Jamaat ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) attacked and killed a Shia doctor in Jhenidah in Western Bangladesh on 14 March. Eight days later three JMB militants stabbed a Christian convert to death in Kurigam in the far North. The police also arrested five JMB suspects in Dhaka on 14 March, seizing large amounts (unspecified) of improvised explosives. The men were allegedly planning bombings during Bengali New Year celebrations on 14 April and the detentions came amid media reports suggesting that JMB and other militant groups are seeking to recruit displaced members of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority in the South-East.
Islamic State (IS) claimed both attacks through Twitter, highlighting JMB’s role in carrying out operations on IS’s behalf in Bangladesh. JMB is, however, unlikely to declare allegiance to IS formally in the coming months due to the lack of close personal links between JMB and IS leaders. IS is similarly unlikely to announce the creation of an IS ‘Wilayat’ (province) in Bangladesh in the immediate future, which reflects its limited interest in the country.