In 2016, the frequency of violent and deadly attacks against religious minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals, and foreigners by domestic and transnational extremist groups increased. Although the government, led by the ruling Awami League, has taken steps to investigate, arrest, and prosecute perpetrators and increase protection for likely targets, the threats and violence have heightened the sense of fear among Bangladeshi citizens of all religious groups. In addition, illegal land appropriations—commonly referred to as land-grabbing—and ownership disputes remain widespread, particularly against Hindus and Christians. Other concerns include issues related to property returns and the situation of Rohingya Muslims. In March 2016, a USCIRF staff member traveled to Bangladesh to assess the religious freedom situation.