Bangladesh Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Mar 21, 2006
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 supersedes the Public Announcement dated September 21, 2005 and expires on September 21, 2006.
An outlawed Islamist terrorist organization, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), took responsibility for a series of bombings and suicide attacks in Bangladesh between August and December 2005 that killed approximately 30 Bangladeshis and wounded nearly 200. JMB leaflets 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. No Americans were killed or wounded in any of the attacks.
Since December 9, 2005, the Bangladesh government has captured many JMB activists, and five of JMB's top seven leaders are now in custody. The judicial process has already begun for some JMB detainees, with 22 JMB activists having been convicted and sentenced. The Government has also recovered large amounts of bomb-making materials.
On March 12, the Peace Corps decided to suspend indefinitely its program in Bangladesh due to concern that JMB elements still at large might attempt to attack Peace Corps Volunteers in Bangladesh, perhaps in retaliation for the capture of JMB leaders. Consequently, all Peace Corps volunteers have departed Bangladesh. The Embassy received several plausible but unsubstantiated threat reports involving the Peace Corps in Bangladesh. However, the decision to suspend the program followed a careful assessment of Bangladesh's broader security environment, and was not based on any single threat or incident.
It remains unclear whether JMB, despite its recent setbacks, retains the ability to launch new attacks. The target of new JMB attacks could be Americans, other Westerners, or Bangladeshis.
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 current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available via the Internet at . 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 . 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 4:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday, except for American and most local holidays.