The US embassy in Dhaka yesterday issued a fresh alert for US citizens following the March 15 terrorist attack at two mosques in New Zealand.
“…We encourage U.S. citizens to exercise heightened awareness of the ongoing threat posed by transnational terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qa'ida,” read the alert issued on the US embassy website of Bangladesh.
Terrorist groups, their associates, and those inspired by such organisations remain intent on attacking US and western citizens around the world, including in Bangladesh, it said.
“Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to strike U.S. interests, but many are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles.”
Extremists are spreading propaganda online and calling for assaults on “soft” targets such as western schools, businesses, and NGOs. The embassy operations remain normal, the embassy said.
The embassy asked the US citizens to review personal security plans, be aware of surroundings, stay alert in locations frequented by westerners and monitor local media for updates.
Earlier on March 24, the US embassy had issued a security alert, saying it was looking into reports about the need for heightened vigilance in Dhaka.
Police had also beefed up security in the diplomatic zone, though authorities had explained it as routine measure ahead of Independence Day.
On March 18 and 19, Bangladesh issued a travel advisory warning for citizens travelling to New Zealand and Australia respectively, following terror attacks in New Zealand on March 15 that left five Bangladeshis killed and three injured.