Can you carry 20 kg of weight for four hours at a stretch? Can you run 3 km in 13 minutes 30 secs? Can you crawl 50 m in 70 seconds? These are some of the eligibility requirements for the potential recruits of Islamic State (IS) which have been uploaded on a Bengali website launched by the terror outfit recently.
“The points below will be your first step towards your preparation. This will prove your sacrifice...,” says the website. Then it proceeds to put down the criteria – jogging 10 km at a stretch in less than 70 minutes, running 3 km within 13.5 minutes, carrying 20 kg for at least four hours, doing 70-100 push-ups at a stretch (10 to begin with and increasing by 3 every day), crawling 50 meters in 70 seconds, nonstop skipping 1,000-1,500 times with a rope.
The potential candidate should also know swimming, how to ride bikes, drive small vehicles and survive on dry food for a long time.
The eligibility criteria were uploaded on October 15 last year, a month before IS formally declared its presence in Bangladesh in its mouthpiece Dabiq published last November. IS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s message released in December-end was translated into Bengali and uploaded by January 3.
“There is evidence that IS has launched an aggressive bid to wean hardliner and terrorist elements in Bangladesh from the folds of al-Qaeda, which is also trying to spread its tentacles in the country,” a senior intelligence officer said on Wednesday.
In October 2014, HT reported how an al Qaeda leaflet propagated formation on a ‘Syria-like’ caliphate in Bangladesh, also comprising the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam. “Bangladesh might be the prime target of both the outfits, but they also have their eyes on Bengal, Assam,” said another intelligence officer.