Washigton, DC (BBN)– Bangladesh’s foreign and domestic policies are heavily influenced by the region’s major powers, particularly India, a US report said.

“In past years, the India-Bangladesh relationship has provided openings for transnational threats, but the current government has demonstrated its interest in regional cooperation on counterterrorism,” the US said in its ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2013’, released on Wednesday.

The report also said Bangladesh, an influential counterterrorism partner in the region, continued to make strides against international terrorism. “The government’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts have made it more difficult for transnational terrorists to operate in or use Bangladeshi territory, and there were no major terrorist incidents in Bangladesh in 2013.”

The United States and Bangladesh signed a Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative on October 22, 2013, to enhance bilateral cooperation.

“The Government of Bangladesh has demonstrated political will and firm commitment to
combat domestic and transnational terrorist groups, and its counterterrorism efforts made it harder for tran snational terrorists to operate or establish safe havens in Bangladesh.”
Bangladesh is active in the full range of international fora,the report said, adding that the  Bangladesh is party to various counterterrorism protocols under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and is bringing the country’s counterterrorism efforts in line with the four pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
It also said Bangladesh uses strategic communication to counter violent extremism, especially among youth.

This report provides the Department of State’s annual, statutorily mandated assessment of trends and events in international terrorism that transpired in 2013, including country-by-country breakdowns of foreign government counterterrorism cooperation, and profiles of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
South Asia remained a front line in the battle against terrorism. Although al-Qa’ida’s (AQ) core in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been seriously degraded, AQ’s global leadership continued to operate from its safe haven in the region and struggled to communicate effectively with affiliate groups outside of South Asia, according to the report.

“AQ maintained ties with other terrorist organizations in the region, such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network (HQN). These alliances continued to provide the group with additional resources and capabilities,” it noted.

In 2013, terrorists in South Asia carried out operations in heavily populated areas and continued to target regional governmental representatives and U.S. persons. On numerous occasions, civilians throughout South Asia were wounded or killed in terrorist events, the report mentioned.

BBN/SSR/AD-01May14-11:56 am (BST)