Reports coming out from the Bangladesh attack said the terrorists separated the locals from the foreigners before hacking them to death, sparing the locals. The IS and Al Qaeda were at loggerheads on the tactics to kill at random or only kill the non Muslims. Al Qaeda has been attacking the IS tactics especially in the triple suicide bombing in Istanbul. To quote the NYT report reproduced in the Today paper on 4 Jul, this was what the Al Qaeda twittered. ‘The Turkish people are Muslims & their blood is sacred. A true Mujahid would give his life for them, not massacre them….’
The earlier tactic of wanton attack had let to Muslims and Muslim countries being the target. And it would be tough to explain to their fighters and supporters should their families and homes be hit. They were making enemies of everyone, indiscriminately and wildly. This change in IS tactics would have very serious implications on who they would attack and what kind of establishments or targets would be hit.
The Bangladesh attack was an attack on foreigners and foreign establishments. The NYT report said, ‘The bakery is in what expatriates affectionately call the “Tri State” area of Dhaka…that are popular with foreigners. It was founded to provide expatriates with the comfort foods they missed, including American bagels and cream cheese.’
With this new development, would IS attacks be more predictable, attacking foreigners or establishments of foreigners or their enemies instead of hitting at anything anywhere? How would this relate to the safety or high risk areas or establishments here in our little island? Would Muslim countries like Malaysia and Indonesia be safer, be spared from IS and Al Qaeda attacks or if it so happened, would be against the so called, ‘nationals from Crusader nations in Bangladesh’?
Singapore is not really a Muslim state but has a substantial Muslim population and a bigger presence of ‘nationals from Crusader nations’. How would this play out and how would our anti terrorist organizations respond to this tactical change? Would the Puchong bombing in Malaysia be a sign of things to come in the Asean countries? Our intelligence and security agencies would now be under pressure to monitor closely the numerous establishments, particularly the ‘sinful’ types in the Clark Quay, Boat Quay and Mohammed Sultan areas. What about MacDonald and Kentucky, the comfort food providers?