Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Sunday said that the crude bomb attack on police in the capitals Science Laboratory intersection might be a test case of militants for staging a major incident in future.
“It may be a test case of militants who can stage a bigger incident in future. The attack should not be played down,” he told reporters at a press briefing at his Secretariat office in the capital.The minister said though the attack was carried out on police, ministers and lawmakers could become their target in future.
Two policemen were injured in the incident around 9:20 pm on Saturday while LGRD minister Tazul Islam was passing through the spot with police escort.
When asked whether the attack is a threat to politicians, Quader, also the general secretary of the ruling Awami League, said, “I talked to the inspector general of police (IGP) and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner. They ensured that the minister was not the target.”
“But, it’s not unlikely that ministers and lawmakers would not be their targets in future,” he added.
Asked whether militant outfits are still active in the country, the minister nodded positively.
“Of course, the presence of militants exists. They have (militants) become weak. But, there is no reason to consider them inactive. Such incidents are taking place across the world,” he said.“I feel that they are preparing for a bigger attack. Three or four attacks on police could be the test cases for planning a bigger attack in future.”
Referring to the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan in 2016, the minister said, “The incidents of killing bloggers, teachers and cultural activists took place before the Gulshan attack.” He said though militant activities had been waning following crackdown by the law enforcement agencies after the Gulshan attack, police came under attacks on a few occasions recently.
“Similar attacks using remote controlled bombs were carried out at Malibagh and Gulistan,” he said.
The Middle-East-based militant outfit Islamic State or IS claimed responsibility for the crude bomb attack on police which police officials do not acknowledge. Local militants were responsible for the attack, they believe.
Asked about existence of IS in Bangladesh, Quader responded, “We don’t have anything called the Motorised Vehicle Act, but even then there are rumours that the government has increased the amount of fines for different violations. Similarly, I am unable to make any remark without receiving any verification on the rumours on IS.”
Praising the role of the law enforcement agencies, Quader said, “Our law enforcement agencies have good track records in preventing the acts of militancy, but I think they could not figure out the recent incident.”
The authorities have been alerted, he said. “They are investigating to find out the responsible group.”
Quader hoped that the intelligence bureaus of the country will be successful in preventing militant attacks in the country.