Terror attack fears spur more security for Hasina


Dhaka : Bangladesh has stepped up security for former prime minister Sheikh Hasina following intelligence reports that terrorists were planning to assassinate her, it was reported Sunday.

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Security and intelligence agencies last month warned Hasina of possible attempts on her life by extremist groups including the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) and Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), The Daily Star newspaper said.

It said that the Special Security Force (SSF) had assumed responsibility for her security.

An Indian TV channel recently reported that Indian intelligence agencies had warned Bangladesh that a six-member suicide squad of the banned HuJI had been trained to assassinate Hasina.

It added that an officer of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) had trained the HuJI men for two months at Kaliganj in Satkhira district in Bangladesh.

There have been at least three attempts on the life of Hasina in the last decade.

She and her sisters were the only ones in the family to survive the mass murder of her family, including their father and then president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in a military-backed coup in August 1975.

SSF director general Major General Ashraf Abdullah Yussuf told The Daily Star: “We often receive such leads and none of these is less important to us. We have taken extra safety precautions for Sheikh Hasina.”

Yussuf said they had further improved security for the country’s leaders, particularly after the terror attacks in Mumbai.