It seems the D-company of Dubai and Karachi fame is not entirely done. While Indian intelligence and the rest of the world concentrates on Pakistan and Dubai – which Dawood called his home – he has been deftly but surely moving onto newer pastures in Bangladesh. There was a recent meeting in secret of Dawood with two Bangladeshis – one a powerful young Bangladeshi politician of the ruling alliance and other an intelligence officer. The meeting has raised alarms in the Indian and Western Intelligence circles. The meeting was ostensibly to discuss ways to smuggle in arms into Bangladesh for the terrorists within the country. It is well known that Khalida Zia is very close to ISI of Pakistan.
The relations between India and Bangladesh have deteriorated since Khalida Zia came into power – which the ISI and jehadi combine wanted for a long time. The ISI, Al Qaeda and the current Bangladeshi Government orchestrated at least three attempts on Sheikh Hasina. In the last one she lost hearing capacity. Here are some details of the last attempt:
The first grenade exploded just in front of the stage near where TV cameras were set up to record the rally.
As the crowd stampeded down streets away from the initial blast, other explosions were heard.
Police said at least six grenades detonated and one was found unexploded.
The rally was being held on a street near the Awami League’s Dhaka headquarters.
As Hasina entered a bullet-proof Mercedes Benz to escape the blast site, unidentified gunmen fired at least 11 shots in a second assassination bid. Hasina’s personal security guard Mahbub Alam, who acted as a human shield to save Hasina, died from a bullet injury.
Hasina’s car bears these 10 bullet marks of which at least three punctured its rear tires.
Awami League’s Women’s Affairs Secretary Ivy Rahman was critically wounded in one of the blasts, according to doctors. Rahman, wife of Awami League presidium member Zillur Rahman MP, had both her legs amputated as a result of her injuries.
This attempt was not the first one on the life of Sheikh Hasina. There was another one which was strategized in concert with Harkat-ul-Jehad of Bangladesh, LTTE, ISI honchos and the agents in Nepal.
The LTTE was hired as they were dependable and a complicated plot comprising of American connections of ISI and a firm in Kolkatta was hatched. There was a meeting on June 6, 1999 at St. James Court Hotel in London, and the group hatched the final assassination plan. A decision was taken to pay LTTE $10 million for theirsuicide bombers. LTTE was the perfect organization for this and it would leave no trace either. Also since the LTTE would be from the Indian sub-continent, they could easily look like Bangladeshis! The Quid-pro-quo for LTTE was that if Khaleda Zia came to power, the LTTE would get use of some of islands in Bangladesh. They had used two islands (Qutubdia and Sonadia) earlier too as their godowns and safe houses earlier in 1994 too! They would store their arms in these two islands for their assaults in Sri-Lanka as well as sale to other terror groups in India.
This meeting was attended, among others, by a famous London-based radio broadcaster of Bangladeshi origin who had taken part in the 1975 coup as an Army officer. The meeting was also attended by a former Pakistani Army officer and a frontman for the ISI, Col. R.M. Ahsan, who owns Ahsan TradEx, a Karachi-based export-import firm, and Lt. Col. Khondakar Abdur Rashid and Lt. Col. S.H.M.B. Noor Chowdhury.
A decision was also taken to use Kolkata as a mid-transit point to bring the LTTE suicide bombers into Bangladesh and also to route the money to LTTE management. They recruited in a Kolkata-based computer firm owner as their agent. The modus operandi was over-invoicing – the terror team would buy software packages from the computer firm at “very high rates” and the “extra payment” or the over-invoiced money would be routed to the LTTE.
The meeting took another crucial decision. A back-up plan was formed lest the LTTE bombers failed. It decided that a huge RDX blast would be triggered in one of Hasina’s public meetings. The job was assigned to Harkat-ul-Jehad, an Islamic funadamentalist organisation based in Bangladesh.
So how could the LTTE folks get the Bangladeshi visas with Sheikh Hasina’s Government still in power? An official in the Bangladesh High Commission in Kolkatta was used. The official rules for High Commission visas says that only residents of West Bengal and the Northeast can get their visas from the Bangladesh High Commission offices in Calcutta and Agartala. The other applicants from other parts of the country have to apply to the High Commission offices in New Delhi. This rule was bended to get the visas to the suicide bombers.
They applied for visa as Shiekh Thaslim — claiming to be a 22-year-old married Tamil girl with Khozikode as her permanent address — and Subhalakshmi, also claiming to be from South India.
The third LTTE member entered into Bangladesh through the porous Northeast borders without any visa with a Bengali pseudonym — Mahua — for carrying out a “recce.” “Explosive jackets had already reached Mahua by that time,” the NSI official said.
Now LTTE was merely an execution machine, which worked for money and not for their passion on Jehad! So they required money. The payment to the LTTE was routed by a former military officer, Col. Munirul Islam Chowdhury “Munna”, who ran a software company in North Virginia in the US. The deal was:
Munna would “buy” software from the Kolkata-based computer major and pay in dollars. The owner of the Indian firm would be paid well in excess of the value of the purchase with clear instructions to pass on $10 million to the LTTE contacts through another “over-invoicing deal.”
Now, this group had not figured out that the Western and Indian sleuths were behind on them. Munna’s movements were closely monitored by the Indian and Bangladeshi intelligence agencies in Kolkata where he stayed in Hotel Rutt Deen and Hotel Hindustan International (Room no. 615). When RAW discovered the plot, they had merely three days to decide on how to stop the money from reaching the LTTE.
Two days later, the owner of the Kolkata-based computer firm died in a road accident. The money, instead of lining the LTTE coffers, still remains frozen in Indian Bank, since no one else is authorised to withdraw it. According to Indian intelligence sources, this is the reason for the LTTE’s decision to back off from the operation.
The plot had been foiled!
The Bangladeshi diplomat, who had helped the the plotters in Kolkata, was later summoned to Bangladesh where he was interrogated by the NSI between July and October 2000 “for maintaining links with the assassins of Sheikh Mujib” and was kept under “virtual house arrest.” His role was found particularly dubious in issuing visas to highly suspicious people.
The actual folks were nabbed too:
- Subhalakshmi was arrested at the Kolkata airport by intelligence officials.
- Sheikh Thaslim was caught in Khagracheri in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh and
- Mahua was nabbed in Bangladesh’s Khulna district.
When the first plan failed, the ISI put the Plan Two into action. The HUJI was activated and 76 kg of RDX was planted 100 yards from a dais from which Sheikh Hasina was supposed to address a public meeting at Kotalipara in Gopalgunj district in August.
Coincidently, the bomb was discovered by the public one-and-a-half hours before the meeting!
Now this new offensive of Dawood’s goons is important as the elections are on the horizon! The results of the meeting was immediate as far as on ground activities are concerned:
The meeting led to prompt results. On April 16, a commander of the banned Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) of Chittagong received a consignment of arms explosives that reached Chittagong port. Reports suggest larger consignments will be reaching the port very soon, before being handed over to Islamic terrorists. Interestingly, unlike the 2004 arms haul at the same port, which could equip a full Bangladeshi Army brigade, this incident largely went unnoticed because the entire operation was carried out deftly.
On May 16, a large consignment of arms — certainly not meant for security forces — was brought in at an air force base near Dhaka by a Kuwaiti C-130 aircraft. The whole operation, being highly secretive in nature, was supervised by the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence. Investigations reveal that a Kuwaiti NGO Al-Harmain (a banned organisation having links with Al-Qaida) was the funding agency for the arms transshipment for Bangladeshi terrorists.
A major bloodshed may be imminent in Bangladesh very soon. With the heat being on for the jehadis in Pakistan and Dubai, Bangladesh is a fairly low-risk place to hide and direct actions from! To say that Al Qaeda is working despite Pakistani ISI’s efforts is a folk-lore from the “La-la” land. Only fools get to believe in such nonsense!