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Cablegate: Bangladesh: 1987 Annual Terrorism Report

O 171005Z MAR 88
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7193

UNCLAS DHAKA 02166

S/CT FOR WHARTON

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PTER BG
SUBJECT: BANGLADESH: 1987 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: STATE 42378

1. BANGLADESH.

2. RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PALESTINE LIBERATION
ORGANIZATION:

THE GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZES THE
PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION, WHICH MAINTAINS A
DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN DHAKA. FOUR PLO REPRESENTATIVES
APPEAR ON THE DIPLOMATIC LIST, AND APPARENTLY HAVE
FULL DIPLOMATIC PRIVILEGES, INCLUDING IMMUNITY AND USE
OF THE POUCH. AN ASSOCIATION OF APPROXIMATELY TWENTY
PALESTINIAN STUDENTS IS ACTIVE IN THE PORT CITY OF
CHITTAGONG. THE ASSOCIATION IS REPORTEDLY AFFILIATED
WITH THE AL-FATAH GROUP OF THE PLO. THE STUDENTS HAVE
DEMONSTRATED AGAINST U.S. POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
AND HAVE BURNED EFFIGIES OF PRESIDENT REAGAN AND ISRAELI
LEADERS.


DOMESTIC INSURGENCY - THE SHANTI BAHINI:

A SIMMERING INSURGENT MOVEMENT IS ACTIVE IN THE
CHITTAGONG HILL TRACTS REGION WHERE SOME 600,000 TRIBAL
PEOPLE LIVE. THE MOVEMENT REFLECTS CONCERN THAT THEIR
TRADITIONAL WAY OF LIFE IN THE HILL AREAS WAS BEING
UNDERMINED BY SETTLERS WHO MOVED THERE FROM THE
OVERPOPULATED PLAINS. THE INSURGENTS ARE DEMANDING
AUTONOMY FOR THE CHITTAGONG HILL TRACTS WITHIN THE
BANGLADESH STATE. ARMED CLASHES HAVE OCCURRED BETWEEN
GOVERNMENT FORCES AND A GROUP OF TRIBAL INSURGENTS KNOWN
AS THE SHANTI BAHINI ("PEACE FORCE"). THE SHANTI
BAHINI HAVE CONDUCTED HIT-AND-RUN RAIDS AGAINST MILITARY
PERSONNEL AND BENGALI SETTLEMENTS. OFFICIAL SOURCES
CLAIM THAT IN 1987, 122 PERSONS WERE KILLED, 68 PERSONS
WERE INJURED, AND 21 PERSONS WERE KIDNAPPED IN SHANTI
BAHINI VIOLENCE.


3. MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS UNDERTAKEN:

THE BANGLADESH GOVERNMENT HAS NO SPECIFIC RESPONSE
CAPABILITY BEYOND EXISTING POLICE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE
PROCEDURES. THE IMMIGRATION SERVICE IS AN ADJUNCT
OF SPECIAL BRANCH, WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR INTERNAL
SECURITY MATTERS. THERE ARE NO DESIGNATED ANTI-
TERRORISM POLICE. ANY ARMED RESPONSE TO A TERRORISM
SITUATION WOULD ALMOST CERTAINLY BE HANDLED BY THE
MILITARY, WHICH HAS NO KNOWN ANTI-TERRORIST CAPABILITY.


4. RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM:

POST IS UNAWARE OF ANY ACTION TAKEN BY THE BANGLADESH
JUDICIAL SYSTEM WITH RESPECT OF MATTERS RELATING TO
TERRORISM AFFECTING AMERICAN CITIZENS OR FACILITIES.


5. POSITION IN INTERNATIONAL FORA:

THE BANGLADESH GOVERNMENT HAS CONSISTENTLY SUPPORTED
MEASURES TO PREVENT INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. IN
INTERNATIONAL FORA, BANGLADESH HAS CONDEMNED AS CRIMINAL
ALL ACTS, METHODS, AND PRACTICES OF TERRORISM WHEREVER
AND BY WHOMEVER COMMITTED. TO POST'S KNOWLEDGE, THE
BDG HAS ENDORSED INTERNATIONAL ANTI-TERRORISM
CONVENTIONS. BANGLADESH HAS SUPPORTED EFFORTS WITHIN
THE SOUTH ASIAN ASSOCIATION FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION
(SAARC) TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM. BANGLADESH'S UNGA VOTING RECORD ON TERRORISM
IS UNAVAILABLE AT POST.


DE PREE

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