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Bangladesh Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 21, 2005

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to recent events related to the security situation in Bangladesh. Those residing in or traveling to Bangladesh are urged to use extra care and precaution while in the country. This Public Announcement expires on March 21, 2006.

An outlawed Islamist terrorist organization, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), has taken responsibility for a series of bombings and suicide attacks in Bangladesh since August against a variety of targets. The half-dozen attacks have focused on the judicial system and local government institutions, killed approximately 30 Bangladeshis, and wounded nearly 200. JMB leaflets found at attack sites and sent to local media call for the implementation of strict Islamic law in Bangladesh, justify the use of indiscriminate suicide attacks, and condemn Western social and political concepts as un-Islamic. They also identify the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom as enemies of Islam. Newspapers and Bangladeshi non-governmental organizations, including several which receive funding from the United States Government, have received threats purportedly from JMB.

JMB's introduction of suicide bombers to Bangladesh in November represented a significant escalation in its campaign of violence. JMB has also demonstrated an ability to adapt its methods and targets to defeat police counter-measures. It is unclear how the arrest of several senior JMB figures in December, and the recovery of several large arms caches, will affect JMBs ability to mount future attacks. Thus far, no American citizens have been killed or wounded in these attacks.

JMB threats receive wide coverage in the local media. On December 10, several newspapers reported that the JMB had threatened to attack women, Muslim and non-Muslim, who failed to adopt Islamic dress.

The Embassy advises all Americans in or traveling to Bangladesh to take extra care and precaution while going out in public and to be cognizant of the current situation. American citizens in Bangladesh should remain vigilant, especially if visiting courts or municipal government offices.

U.S. citizens planning to travel to Bangladesh should consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Bangladesh and the most recent Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and (202) 501-4444 from overseas.

U.S. citizens visiting or resident in Bangladesh are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy, where they may obtain updated information on travel and security within Bangladesh. Security updates are e-mailed to all registered Americans with an e-mail address. American citizens may complete a registration form on-line at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/. During normal business hours American citizens may call the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka at (880-2) 882-3805; for after-hours emergencies call (880-2)-885-5500, dial "0" and ask for the duty officer. The fax number of the consular section is (880-2) 882-4449. The U.S. Embassy is located in the diplomatic enclave north of downtown Dhaka, at Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212. The Embassy's workweek is Sunday through Thursday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. The American Citizens Services (ACS) unit is open from 1:00 pm to 4pm, Sunday through Thursday, except for American and most local holidays.

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