DHAKA: The dreaded Islamic State terror group has appointed a 'regional leader' in Bangladesh and threatened more attacks on the "crusaders and their allies" wherever they may be found.
"The soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal pledged their allegiance to the Khalifah Ibrahim (Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi), unified their ranks, nominated a regional leader, gathered behind him and dissolved their former factions," the outfit said in an article in its latest online magazine 'Dabiq'.
However, it does not name the leader nor does it provide any clue to who it could be.
The article says that the militants have "performed the necessary military preparations, and hastened to answer the order from the Islamic State leadership, by targeting the crusaders and their allies wherever they may be found."
Indian and Western intelligence officials say the 'core' of this unified jihadi platform that has linked up with the Islamic State includes elements of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), according to Bdnews24.
The JMB, which seemingly meets the Islamic State's Salafist standards, has presence in Bangladesh and in bordering states in India, it added.
An explosion in a bomb-making factory in West Bengal's Burdwan town in October last year blew the lid on the considerable JMB presence in India.
The post in 'Dabiq' criticises Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led Awami League government for insisting there is no Islamic State presence in Bangladesh.
"There is no use denying IS presence in Bangladesh," the post says.
The outfit has claimed several operations in Bangladesh in recent months including shooting and injuring an elderly Italian priest, killing an Italian aid worker and a Japanese farmer.