Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
For past several months, we have been warning about the possibility of the Rohingya refugees joining jihad or terrorist activities and formation of an alliance between Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and global jihadist outfits such as Islamic State. Now our fear has turned real. According to Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Foreign Minister, hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas in refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar area have started experiencing terrorist activities. Such terrorist activities may increase due to the long presence of such a huge number of people in Bangladesh.
The foreign minister warned, increased terrorist activities will ruin existing and planned investments in Myanmar by its friendly countries.
Dr. Momen said, “Recently, some terrorist activities have started. We anticipated this earlier that if such a large number of people stay somewhere there is always a possibility of (creation of) pockets of radicalism. Terrorist activities may increase. Therefore, we will tell Myanmar to keep their promise and take these people [Rohingyas] back”.
He said, “Recently, we have told their [Myanmar] friendly countries and will tell them forcefully that you have advised us to discuss with them [Myanmar] bilaterally. Tell your friends to take their people back. If they are not taken back, terrorist activities may increase and the investments you made and are planning to make, will all be ruined. If there is uncertainty, development does not take place easily”.
From the statement of Bangladesh foreign minister, it is clearly understood that the government is already aware of terrorist activities within the Rohingya refugees. But of course, the minister might not have mentioned about these refugees becoming increasingly frustrated and might at one point opt for waging jihad against Myanmar and its allies. There also are a trend of the growing radicalization of the Rohingya refugee children.
Radical Islamic militancy groups such as Islamic State and Al Qaeda may take advantage of the vulnerability of the Rohingya refugees and provoke them in joining jihad.