ISIS Militants Charged With Deaths Of Americans In Syria

Two militant fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization, are expected to arrive in the United States today in FBI custody on charges related to their participation in a brutal hostage-taking scheme that resulted in the deaths of four American citizens, as well as the deaths of British and Japanese nationals, in Syria.


Two ‘Beatles’ charged with hostage-taking of American citizens in Syria and other terrorism offenses that resulted in the deaths of James Wright Foley, Steven Joel Sotloff, Peter Edward Kassig, and Kayla Jean Mueller

Two militant fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization, are expected to arrive in the United States today in FBI custody on charges related to their participation in a brutal hostage-taking scheme that resulted in the deaths of four American citizens, as well as the deaths of British and Japanese nationals, in Syria.

Former British citizens Alexanda Amon Kotey, 36, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 32, are expected to make their initial appearances in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia this afternoon.

“These charges are the product of many years of hard work in pursuit of justice for our citizens slain by ISIS.  Although we cannot bring them back, we can and will seek justice for them, their families, and for all Americans,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Our message to other terrorists around the world is this — if you harm Americans, you will face American arms on the battlefield or American law in our courtrooms. Either way, you will be pursued to the ends of the earth until justice is done.”

“Today, we remember the victims, Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller, and their families who are forever affected by these senseless acts of violence,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “These families have suffered with the painful loss of their loved ones at the hands of brutal killers; today’s charges demonstrate the FBI’s dedication and commitment to giving them the justice they deserve.  We, along with our partners in the U.S. Government, remain steadfast in our duty to bring to justice those who have harmed our citizens — no matter where they are, and no matter how long it takes. I’m grateful to the men and women of the FBI, the victims’ families, and our domestic and international partners, for their tireless efforts to bring us to where we stand today with the prosecution of these men on U.S. soil.”

According to allegations in the indictment, from 2012 to 2015, Kotey, Elsheikh, Mohamed Emwazi (deceased), and a fourth British citizen (CC-1) currently incarcerated in Turkey, were ISIS fighters and participated in the abduction of American and European hostages in Syria. The men also allegedly engaged in a prolonged pattern of physical and psychological violence against the hostages, including against American citizens James Wright Foley, Kayla Jean Mueller, Steven Joel Sotloff, and Peter Edward Kassig. Due to their English accents and their history together in the United Kingdom, the four men were often referred to by hostages as “The Beatles”.

From August 2014 through October 2014, ISIS released videos depicting Emwazi’s barbaric beheadings of Foley, Sotloff, and British citizens David Haines and Alan Henning. In November 2014, ISIS released a video depicting the decapitated head of Kassig. In January 2015, ISIS released videos with images of two dead Japanese citizens.

“Kotey and Elsheikh are alleged to have committed horrific crimes in support of ISIS, including hostage taking resulting in the deaths of four American citizens,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Their alleged acts have shattered the lives of four American families. What each these families have sought more than anything else is for these defendants to have their day in court. Well, that day has come. While we cannot return their loved ones or undo the pain that these families face each day, we can do everything possible to ensure that the defendants are held accountable for their alleged savage actions.”

According to allegations in the indictment, Kotey, Elsheikh, and Emwazi, worked closely with Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, a former leading ISIS commander and chief media spokesperson. Until he was killed in a United States military airstrike in August 2016, Adnani reported directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former self-proclaimed leader of ISIS. Baghdadi was killed during a United States military operation in Syria in October 2019.

“The indictments of Alexanda Kotey and Elshafee Elsheikh are the result of more than eight years of tireless work by the FBI Washington Field Office and personnel across the U.S. Government and the international law enforcement community,” said Acting Assistant Director in Charge James A. Dawson, FBI Washington Field Office. “These individuals allegedly conducted a litany of heinous and barbaric crimes as part of their duties as members of ISIS and for too long, the families of their victims have suffered while awaiting the day they would finally see justice for their loved ones. The men and women of the FBI remain dedicated to bringing the full force of the US justice system upon those who harm our citizens in furtherance of terrorism.”

Kotey, Elsheikh, and Emwazi met repeatedly with Adnani concerning the hostage-taking scheme and other matters. Between November 2012 and February 2015, Kotey, Elsheikh, Emwazi, and other ISIS fighters committed acts inflicting pain, suffering, cruelty and mistreatment on American, British, and other hostages in captivity.   

Throughout the captivity of the American hostages and others, Kotey, Elsheikh, and Emwazi allegedly supervised detention facilities holding hostages and were responsible for transferring hostages between detention facilities, in addition to engaging in a prolonged pattern of physical and psychological violence against hostages. From November 2013 to February 2015, Kotey and Elsheikh allegedly coordinated the Western-hostage ransom negotiations conducted by email. Kotey and Elsheikh knew and understood that the release of American and other hostages was conditioned on the transfer of large sums of money or concessions from the United States government, such as the release of Muslim prisoners.

According to allegations in the indictment, on or about April 25, 2014, Kotey, Elsheikh, and Emwazi forcibly moved the Italian, Danish, and German citizens, along with two other European humanitarian aid workers, to an isolated area approximately two miles from their prison to witness the execution of a Syrian prisoner. Kotey and Elsheikh knew and understood this execution was part of the hostage negotiation process. Emwazi executed the Syrian prisoner by shooting him in the back of the head and then numerous times in the torso as he fell into a grave. Kotey instructed the hostages to kneel at the side of the grave and witness the execution while holding handmade signs pleading for their release. Elsheikh videotaped the execution of the Syrian hostage, and after the execution the three men returned the European hostages to the prison with Elsheikh telling one hostage, “You’re next, [First name].”

The indictment alleges that ISIS fighters also forcibly seized the following additional individuals: Two United Kingdom citizens, an Italian citizen, a Danish citizen, a German citizen, four French citizens, three Spanish citizens, a New Zealand citizen, and a Russian citizen.

Kotey and Elsheikh were captured together in January 2018 by the Syrian Democratic Forces as they attempted to escape Syria for Turkey. Emwazi was killed in a United States military airstrike conducted in November 2015 in Syria.      

The American Victims

James Wright Foley – In November 2012, Kotey, Elsheikh, Emwazi, and other ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Foley, a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. On or about Aug. 19, 2014, ISIS’s media center released a video depicting Emwazi beheading Foley.

Kayla Jean Mueller – In August 2013, ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Mueller in Syria. Beginning in or about October 2014, Baghdadi sexually abused Mueller against her will while she was held captive in Syria. On or about Feb. 7, 2015, Mueller’s family received an email from ISIS fighters confirming Mueller’s death in Syria.

Steven Joel Sotloff – In August 2013, ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Sotloff in Syria. On or about Sept. 2, 2014, ISIS’s media center released a video depicting Emwazi beheading Sotloff.

Peter Edward Kassig – In October 2013, ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Kassig in Syria. On or about Nov. 16, 2014, ISIS’s media center released a video depicting the decapitated head of Kassig.

Kotey and Elsheikh are each charged with conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death; four counts of hostage taking resulting in death; conspiracy to murder United States citizens outside of the United States; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists — hostage taking and murder — resulting in death; and conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization resulting in death. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The Department of Justice expresses its profound appreciation to the United Kingdom government as well as the Syrian Democratic Forces for their dedicated commitment to assist the United States in seeking justice for all the victims of the alleged crimes.  

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The Justice Department’s National Security Division and Office of International Affairs provided valuable assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis M. Fitzpatrick, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Gibbs and Aidan Taft Grano are handling the prosecution, with the assistance of Trial Attorney Alicia Cook of the National Security Division‘s Counterterrorism Section (CTS) and CTS Deputy Chief Bridget Behling.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (October 2020)  ISIS Militants Charged With Deaths Of Americans In Syria

United States Seizes Domain Names Used by Foreign Terrorist Organization

The United States has seized “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org,” two websites, which were unlawfully utilized by Kata’ib Hizballah, a Specially Designated National and a Foreign Terrorist Organization.


The United States has seized “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org,” two websites, which were unlawfully utilized by Kata’ib Hizballah, a Specially Designated National and a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“Once again we see designated foreign terrorist organizations turning to the internet to push their message and recruit followers for their violent causes,” said John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.  “We will continue to fight terror recruitment and propaganda efforts in the digital world, as we do elsewhere.” 

“Our system of commerce and our infrastructure, whether physical or electronic, is to be used by lawfully,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak for the Northern District of Georgia.  “We will not allow groups that have been rightfully prohibited from obtaining goods and services in the United States to use our internet services – especially to further their terrorist agenda.  This seizure underscores national collaboration and a commitment to protecting our commerce and infrastructure.”

“The District of Arizona is home to many successful technology companies whose goods and services are capable of being used by individuals across the world,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Bailey for the District of Arizona.  “We will not allow members of terrorist organizations to illegally use those goods and services to further their propaganda and agenda.”

“The National Security of the United States is, and will always be, the top priority for the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement.  Attempts to surreptitiously utilize U.S. based online networks and services to promote Iran backed terrorist propaganda will immediately be disrupted, disabled, and seized,” said P. Lee Smith, Performing the Non-exclusive Functions and Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce.  “The Bureau of Industry and Security is committed to ensuring the stability of the Iraqi government and protecting our troops and Allied Forces against terrorist acts of violence”

On July 2, 2009, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury designated Kata’ib Hizballah, an Iran-backed terrorist group active in Iraq, as a Specially Designated National for committing, directing, supporting, and posing a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces.  On the same day, the U.S. Department of State designated Kata’ib Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization for committing or posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.

“Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org,” acted as Kata’ib Hizballah’s media arm and published internet communications such as videos, articles, and photographs.  These communications included numerous articles designed to further Kata’ib Hizballah’s agenda, particularly destabilizing Iraq and recruiting others to join their cause.  They also functioned as a live online television broadcast channel, “Al-etejah TV.”  Portions of the communications expressly noted that they were published by Kata’ib Hizballah.

Federal law prohibits designated entities like Kata’ib Hizballah from obtaining or utilizing goods or services, including website and domain services, in the United States without a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org” are domain names that are owned and operated by a United States company based in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Kata’ib Hizballah did not obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control prior to utilizing the domain names.

On August 31, 2020, pursuant to a seizure warrant, the United States seized “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org.” 

Visitors to the site received the following message:

This seizure was investigated by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Northern District of Georgia, Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the District of Arizona, and trial lawyers from the Department of Justice National Security Division prosecuted the seizure.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (September 2020) United States Seizes Domain Names Used by Foreign Terrorist Organization

Global Disruption of Three Terror Finance Cyber-Enabled Campaigns

The Justice Department on Thursday announced the dismantling of three terrorist financing cyber-enabled campaigns, involving the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).


Largest Ever Seizure of Terrorist Organizations’ Cryptocurrency Accounts

The Justice Department on Thursday announced the dismantling of three terrorist financing cyber-enabled campaigns, involving the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). 

This coordinated operation is detailed in three forfeiture complaints and a criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia.  These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context.

These three terror finance campaigns all relied on sophisticated cyber-tools, including the solicitation of cryptocurrency donations from around the world.  The action demonstrates how different terrorist groups have similarly adapted their terror finance activities to the cyber age. 

Each group used cryptocurrency and social media to garner attention and raise funds for their terror campaigns.  Pursuant to judicially-authorized warrants, U.S. authorities seized millions of dollars, over 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites, and four Facebook pages all related to the criminal enterprise.

Funds successfully forfeited with a connection to a state sponsor of terrorism may in whole or in part be directed to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (http://www.usvsst.com/) after the conclusion of the case.

“It should not surprise anyone that our enemies use modern technology, social media platforms and cryptocurrency to facilitate their evil and violent agendas,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.   “The Department of Justice will employ all available resources to protect the lives and safety of the American public from terrorist groups.  We will prosecute their money laundering, terrorist financing and violent illegal activities wherever we find them.  And, as announced today, we will seize the funds and the instrumentalities that provide a lifeline for their operations whenever possible.  I want to thank the investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the prosecutors from the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office and National Security Division for their hard and innovative work in attacking the networks that allow these terrorists to recruit for and fund their dangerous actions.”

“Terrorist networks have adapted to technology, conducting complex financial transactions in the digital world, including through cryptocurrencies. IRS-CI special agents in the DC cybercrimes unit work diligently to unravel these financial networks,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.  “Today’s actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to holding malign actors accountable for their crimes.” 

“The Department of Homeland Security was born after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and, nearly 20 years later, we remain steadfast in executing our critical mission to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf.  “Today’s announcement detailing these enforcement actions targeting foreign terrorist organizations is yet another example of the Department’s commitment to our mission. After launching investigations that identified suspected online payments being funneled to and in support of terrorist networks, Homeland Security Investigations skillfully leveraged their cyber, financial, and trade investigative expertise to disrupt and dismantle cyber-criminal networks that sought to fund acts of terrorism against the United States and our allies.  Together with our federal law enforcement partners, the Department will utilize every resource available to ensure that our Homeland is and remains secure.”    

“These important cases reflect the resolve of the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office to target and dismantle these sophisticated cyber-terrorism and money laundering actors across the globe,” stated Acting United States Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.  “While these individuals believe they operate anonymously in the digital space, we have the skill and resolve to find, fix and prosecute these actors under the full extent of the law.” 

“IRS-CI’s ability to trace funds used by terrorist groups to their source and dismantle these radical group’s communication and financial networks directly prevents them from wreaking havoc throughout the world,” said Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation.  “Today the world is a safer place.”

“As the primary law enforcement agency charged with defeating terrorism, the FBI will continue to combat illicit terrorist financing regardless of platform or method employed by our adversaries,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “As demonstrated by this recent operation, the FBI remains committed to cutting off the financial lifeblood of these organizations that seek to harm Americans at home and abroad.”

“Homeland Security Investigations continues to demonstrate their investigative expertise with these enforcement actions,” said ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Matthew T. Albence.  “Together with law enforcement partners, HSI has utilized their unique authorities to bring to justice those cyber-criminal networks who would do us harm.”

Al-Qassam Brigades Campaign

The first action involves the al-Qassam Brigades and its online cryptocurrency fundraising efforts.  In the beginning of 2019, the al-Qassam Brigades posted a call on its social media page for bitcoin donations to fund its campaign of terror.  The al-Qassam Brigades then moved this request to its official websites, alqassam.net, alqassam.ps, and qassam.ps.

The al-Qassam Brigades boasted that bitcoin donations were untraceable and would be used for violent causes.  Their websites offered video instruction on how to anonymously make donations, in part by using unique bitcoin addresses generated for each individual donor.   

However, such donations were not anonymous.  Working together, IRS, HSI, and FBI agents tracked and seized all 150 cryptocurrency accounts that laundered funds to and from the al-Qassam Brigades’ accounts.  Simultaneously, law enforcement executed criminal search warrants relating to United States-based subjects who donated to the terrorist campaign. 

With judicial authorization, law enforcement seized the infrastructure of the al-Qassam Brigades websites and subsequently covertly operated alqassam.net.   During that covert operation, the website received funds from persons seeking to provide material support to the terrorist organization, however, they instead donated the funds bitcoin wallets controlled by the United States.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia also unsealed criminal charges for two Turkish individuals, Mehmet Akti and Hüsamettin Karataş, who acted as related money launderers while operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.   

Al-Qaeda Campaign

The second cyber-enabled terror finance campaign involves a scheme by al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, largely based out of Syria.  As the forfeiture complaint details, these terrorist organizations operated a bitcoin money laundering network using Telegram channels and other social media platforms to solicit cryptocurrency donations to further their terrorist goals.  In some instances, they purported to act as charities when, in fact, they were openly and explicitly soliciting funds for violent terrorist attacks.  For example, one post from a charity sought donations to equip terrorists in Syria with weapons:

Undercover HSI agents communicated with the administrator of Reminder for Syria, a related charity that was seeking to finance terrorism via bitcoin donations.  The administrator stated that he hoped for the destruction of the United States, discussed the price for funding surface-to air missles, and warned about possible criminal consequences from carrying out a jihad in the United States.

Posts from another Syrian charity similarly explicitly referenced weapons and extremist activities:

Al-Qaeda and the affiliated terrorist groups together created these posts and used complicated obfuscation techniques, uncovered by law enforcement, to layer their transactions so to conceal their actions.  Today’s complaint seeks forfeiture of the 155 virtual currency assets tied to this terrorist campaign.   

ISIS Campaign

The final complaint combines the Department’s initiatives of combatting COVID-19 related fraud with combatting terrorism financing.  The complaint highlights a scheme by Murat Cakar, an ISIS facilitator who is responsible for managing select ISIS hacking operations, to sell fake personal protective equipment via FaceMaskCenter.com (displayed below)

The website claimed to sell FDA approved N95 respirator masks, when in fact the items were not FDA approved.  Site administrators claimed to have near unlimited supplies of the masks, in spite of such items being officially-designated as scarce.  The site administrators offered to sell these items to customers across the globe, including a customer in the United States who sought to purchase N95 masks and other protective equipment for hospitals, nursing homes, and fire departments.

The unsealed forfeiture complaint seized Cakar’s website as well as four related Facebook pages used to facilitate the scheme.  With this third action, the United States has averted the further victimization of those seeking COVID-19 protective gear, and disrupted the continued funding of ISIS. 

The claims made in these three complaints are only allegations and do not constitute a determination of liability.  The burden to prove forfeitability in a civil forfeiture proceeding is upon the government.  Further, charges contained in criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

IRS-CI Cyber Crimes Unit (Washington, D.C.), HSI’s Philadelphia Office, and FBI’s Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles field offices are investigating the case. Assistant U.S Attorneys Jessi Camille Brooks and Zia M. Faruqui, and National Security Division Trial Attorneys Danielle Rosborough and Alexandra Hughes are litigating the case, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Brian Rickers and Bria Cunningham, and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick.  Additional assistance has been provided by Chainalysis and Excygent.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (August 2020) Global Disruption of Three Terror Finance Cyber-Enabled Campaigns

IDF Thwarts Terror Attack from Syria

On August 2, 2020, the IDF thwarted an attempt by four terrorists to place an improvised explosive device (IED) by the Israeli security fence. The terrorists crossed the buffer zone between Israel and Syria near the Alpha Line before they were stopped by IDF troops.


On August 2, 2020, the IDF thwarted an attempt by four terrorists to place an improvised explosive device (IED) by the Israeli security fence. The terrorists crossed the buffer zone between Israel and Syria near the Alpha Line before they were stopped by IDF troops.

This attack from Syria follows an attempted infiltration into Israel from Lebanon by a Hezbollah terror squad on July 27, 2020, which you can read about here.

Following the security incident in northern Israel on July 27, 2020, the IDF gave instructions to Israeli civilians living in northern Israel in close proximity to the Blue Line. Civilians were asked to temporarily stay in their homes and avoid any activity in open areas. In addition, the IDF closed roads in the area to minimize movement.

Iran and Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, are using Syria as a launchpad for terror against Israeli civilians. Since the outbreak of conflict in Syria in 2011, Iran has provided significant military and financial support to the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad. Iran has long-sought influence over Syria as control over Syria increases Iran’s ability to threaten Israel with attacks and its overall control in the region.

The Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iranian proxy groups—like Hezbollah—took advantage of the instability in Syria in the aftermath of conflict, and have used this opportunity to entrench themselves in Syria, to establish a permanent base for Iranian operations. In total, since the beginning of 2018, Iran and Hezbollah have launched eight separate attacks on Israel from Syria.

After the attempted terror attack of August 2nd, the IDF conducted a patrol of the area  and discovered weapons and a bag with explosives—ready to be used—left by the terror squad just 25 meters from the Israeli security fence.  

In response to the attempted terror attack on August 2, 2020, IDF aircraft and fighter jets struck Syrian Armed Forces military sites in southern Syria on August 3, 2020. Among the targets included: observation posts, intelligence collection systems, anti-aircraft artillery, and command and control systems. 

The IDF holds the Syrian government responsible for all activities on Syrian soil, and will continue operating with determination against any violation of Israeli sovereignty.

Blogs to Follow:

IDF.IL (August 2020) IDF Thwarts Terror Attack from Syria; IDF Thwarts Hezbollah Infiltration Into Northern Israel

Bangladesh: “Security alert over possible militant attack before Eid”

The police have received intelligence the members of Neo-JMB, who follow the Islamic State (IS) ideology, could try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, Dhaka Tribune has reported.


The police, airports, embassies, Shia-Ahmadiyya shrines, mosques, churches, pagodas and temples could be the targets

The police have received intelligence the members of Neo-JMB, who follow the Islamic State (IS) ideology, could try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, Dhaka Tribune has reported.

The police headquarters (PHQ) has warned all police units to take strict security measures across the country.  

A letter was sent recently from the police headquarters with such warnings and other instructions. 

The PHQ sources said a review on the national-global context and intelligence has revealed that the so-called IS took an initiative to declare a new wing “Bengal Ulayat” ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.   

Analyzing the trend of International and regional events, it seems like “Bengal Ulayat” will be declared through a major terrorist attack. 

In this situation, Neo-JMB, an ultra-radical offshoot of the banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and the indigenous followers of IS, can carry out subversive activities, including assassinations, bombing and other form of attacks. 

Therefore, all police units must take appropriate precautions and take appropriate security measures, the PHQ instructed. 

Militant outfits active in August 

The PHQ Additional Deputy Inspector General (intelligence and special affairs) Haider Ali Khan told Dhaka Tribune that in the past, militant outfits were active in the month of August. 

“Therefore, we have stepped up security measures,” he added

The police sources said the police (any police team, installation or vehicle), airports, embassies, Shia-Ahmadiyya shrines, mosques, churches, pagodas and temples could be the targets. 

The PHQ instructed all units to increase surveillance of extremists and their organizations, maintain personal security for all police, not leave police vehicles empty or abandoned, ensure security and identity while entering police buildings, increase surveillance of school-college-university students. 

It has instructed the units concerned to increase searches at the check posts, search bags and bodies in case of suspicion and conduct block raids in suspicious areas. 

The PHQ specifically asked the militancy units, including the police counter-terrorism unit, to take maximum preparation. 

Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) Chief Additional Inspector General of Police Md Kamrul Ahsan told Dhaka tribune that during special day and occasion, they always beef up the security and always remain alert. 

Previously on Saturday, a traffic police left behind his personal motorcycle in Gulistan area around 9:30pm. He came back after a while to find a bag hanging on his motorcycle. A bomb-like object was found inside the bag. 

Later, the bomb disposal unit rushed there and later tests revealed that it was nothing dangerous, but a fake grenade. 

In 2019 during this period, police recovered explosive materials and on April 30, a hand grenade was hurled at a traffic police in Gulistan. On May 26, 2019, a police pickup was bombed in front of the Special Branch office in Malibagh.

Blogs to Follow:

Dhakatribune.com (July 2020) Security alert over possible militant attack before Eid