Dhaka says no ‘security threat,’ in response to new US travel advisory

Officials in Bangladesh have denied that there are any new security threats to US citizens in Bangladesh. (AFP)
Updated 23 April 2018
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Dhaka says no ‘security threat,’ in response to new US travel advisory

DHAKA: Officials in Bangladesh have denied that there are any new security threats to US citizens in Bangladesh.
The US State Department on Friday issued a new travel advisory for Bangladesh, urging US citizens to reconsider travel to Dhaka due to crime and terrorism. The advisory put Bangladesh at Level 2, which means “exercise increased caution.”
Hayatul Islam Khan, deputy commissioner, Diplomatic Security Division of Bangladesh Police, told Arab News that they were not aware so far of any threats. “We don’t have any information of a security threat to US citizens.”
The latest US travel advisory says, “There is a possibility of terrorist attacks in urban areas despite the heavy police presence.”
In the advisory, the State Department urged its citizens to “exercise increased caution” while visiting Bangladesh.
Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Abdur Rasid, a well-known security analyst, said that whenever one country puts out this type of security alert, other countries soon follow. Bangladesh experienced such an alert two years ago during the Holy Artisan Bakery attack in the Gulshan area in Dhaka.
“In recent times, our law enforcement agencies have carried out many successful operations against extremist groups. Sometimes we receive intelligence information from neighboring countries such as India, but not from Western countries who give public security alerts before sharing it with the host countries,” added Rashid.
Hayatul Islam said that the US Embassy in Dhaka had not informed the Bangladesh police of any new security threat. “We have not been notified,” he said.


‘Unprecedented’ crackdown on crime welcomed by Afghans

Updated 18 January 2019
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‘Unprecedented’ crackdown on crime welcomed by Afghans

  • Interior Minister Amruallah Saleh's first act was to order his subordinates to ignore the long-standing tradition of presenting politicians with flowers and gowns when they are promoted
  • Saleh has also banned politicians and lawmakers from traveling with their ubiquitous security details (

KABUL: When Amruallah Saleh took office as Afghanistan’s interior minister last month, he wasted no time setting out his stall. His first act was to order his subordinates to ignore the long-standing tradition of presenting politicians with flowers and gowns when they are promoted.

“Lay down the flowers that you have bought as gifts for me on the graves of martyrs who you know from the security forces,” he said in a speech after assuming office last month. “Put the gown that you have bought for me on the shoulders of the broken-hearted fathers of the fallen.”

He went on to discuss his determination to act “mercilessly against criminals and the enemy.” At the time, many assumed Saleh’s comments to be the usual empty political promises so often heard from Afghan politicians assuming office in recent years, particularly as attacks by militants and criminal activity increased in Kabul in the early weeks of Saleh’s tenure. 

However, it seems as though Saleh, a former spymaster, is making good on his promise. The joint measures he has instigated with Kabul’s police chiefs to crack down on crime — including naming and shaming those wanted for involvement in criminal activity — have been a success. Some arrests have already been made, and a number of individuals on the blacklist have reportedly turned themselves in for questioning.

“He has shown decisiveness and courage by naming some of the culprits. That in itself is an initiative that has made people optimistic,” security analyst and retired general Attiqullah Amarkhail told Arab News.

Saleh has also banned politicians and lawmakers from traveling with their ubiquitous security details (usually traveling in a convoy of blacked-out vehicles) inside Kabul. Unsurprisingly, that move has attracted criticism from some senators, but has been welcomed by residents and other politicians.

Zaki Nadery, a Kabul resident, said the nation was “thirsty for reform” and that people already feel more secure in the city now that steps have been taken against lawbreakers, a sentiment echoed by several people interviewed by Arab News.

“People now have a relative sense of psychological and mental security. This is the result of tangible results from the work of the new minister. People have begun to trust and respect the police,” Nadery said.