India’s intelligence services had warned of a heightened risk of an Islamic State strike on Dhaka in a series of assessments shared last month, quoting a senior security official of Bangladesh the Indian Express reports.
The assessments did not contain any intelligence that could have directly helped prevent Friday’s attack, but flagged evidence that Bangladeshi extremists were training at secret facilities in India, said the official. They also warned of heightened Islamic State propaganda, he added.
“The Indian warnings were one of many pieces of intelligence that jihadists were planning a major operation. There were some pieces of the puzzle available to us, but not enough to piece together a picture of the plot,” said the the official.
Bangladesh investigators, another official said, are now focusing their efforts on understanding the training and logistics behind the terrorists who carried out the Dhaka strike — timed to coincide with the last Friday of Ramzan, one of the holiest days of the month of fasting.
In April, the Islamic State’s house magazine Dabiq had threatened future strikes in Bangladesh. And since 2014, the Jama’at-ul-Mujahideen — the main Bangladeshi terror outfit that has now branded itself the Islamic State — had staged a series of execution-style killings of foreign aid workers, religious minorities and political progressives using small arms and machetes. It had also conducted a number of bombings — some, allegedly, from stocks prepared at a secret factory in Burdwan, West Bengal.