Digital Media and Violent Extremism in Bangladesh: Profiles and Narratives

Despite the visible presence of violent extremist groups, and evidence of their connection with transnational groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the number of empirical studies on this topic is limited in Bangladesh. There have been over 50 violent extremist attacks in Bangladesh in recent years (2013-2017) and digital media was used in different ways in most of these attacks. There appear to be no scholarly articles addressing this phenomenon in Bangladesh. To fill this gap, this project sheds light on the subject by analyzing life stories of Bangladeshi violent extremists. The data for this project was collected from content analysis of newspaper reports, Jihadi online magazines, and videos. Besides presenting current trends on how extremists are using digital media, this paper identifies challenges for counter-terrorism efforts in Bangladesh and provides suggestions to mitigate these challenges.

Tags: Bangladesh, Counterterrorism, digital mediaAl-Qaeda, ISIS, Violent extremism