DHAKA, (Pakistan Point News - APP -29th Augst,2016) : US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday there was evidence to link the extremists behind a recent series of deadly attacks in Bangladesh to the Islamic State group. Bangladesh's government has staunchly denied that IS or any international extremists network has gained a foothold in the country. Instead it has blamed local extremists for a deadly siege at a cafe in Dhaka last month and a series of killings of liberal activists and people from religious minorities.
But speaking after meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on a one-day visit to the capital, Dhaka, Kerry said there was "no argument" that extremists operating in Bangladesh had links to counterparts in Syria and Iraq. "There is evidence that ISIL in Iraq and Syria has contacts with about eight different entities around the world and one of them is in South Asia," Kerry said after meeting with Hasina. "They are connected to some degree with some of the operatives here and we made that very clear in our conversation.
There was no argument about it." IS has claimed responsibility for the July 1 attack on the upscale cafe in Dhaka in which 22 people were killed and pictures of the attackers holding IS flags were posted online. Kerry however defended Hasina's administration against accusations that it is in denial about the nature of the extremist threat it faces. "I don't believe that the government of Bangladesh has its head in the sand. I do not believe that," he said. Kerry said the United States stood firmly behind Bangladesh in its fight against militants, and both countries have agreed to increase cooperation between their respective intelligence agencies.