Friday, December 02, 2005

Mac's Regional Intelligence Bulletin 01/12/2005



In Bangladesh: gETTING down to business today, in Air defense drills its always safe to stay at a place which has been bombed once, we are of course talking about bombs falling from the AIR, wonder if the rules have changed for bombs in the gROUND, for today in an apparent double whammy for the JMB mullahs, down in gHAZIPUR very close to the capital Dhaka (takes about 25 minutes in a car although we have a terrific highway which should have got us there in about 10) – the story as it goes as of now SO lets hear the loudest scream thus far from MonstersAndCritics :Two killed in bomb attack by Islamic militants in Bangladesh:

At least two people were killed and 20 others critically injured in an attack Thursday by a suspected suicide bomber on a court in the Bangladesh town of Gazipur, about 55 kilometres north of the capital Dhaka, witnesses said. This is the second deadly blast in the town since Tuesday allegedly triggered by Islamic militants belonging to the Jamiatul Mujahideen, a banned extremist group that wants to establish an Islamic state in Bangladesh by force.

I am not at all surprised that the while shadowy JMB has been mentioned BUT I am a wee bit surprised that today even the prim-and-propah Reuters did what it could to make sure the word ‘suicide bombing’ wasn’t used even ONCE in describing events in this report, other than implying that this was a “normal bomb attack” which usually happens on our hartal holidays and does cause --- an occasional DEATH!

The Buzz in the knowledgeable areas around the diplomatic enclave however is ‘Did Bangladesh really see its first suicide bomb attack’? For me things look like a bit too amiss on this one, nearing 48 hours after the attacks within the available OSINT there are valuable questions bubbling that needs more than a conspiracy theorist to sort out.

Today the Media has been for instance busy profiling the ‘one-that-got-away-to-tell-a-story’ and here it how it goes folks:

He, who earlier gave confusing information identifying himself once as Abul Bashar and again as Ahmad Hossain after recovering from unconscious state on Tuesday evening, also confirmed his name as Hossain Ali, sources said. Son of one farmer Mojammel Hossain of Takerdala of Shakhipur, Tangail, and a student of Baset Khan High School, Hossain confessed that the notes recovered after the November 14 blast in Jhalakathi and Tuesday's suicidal blast in Chittagong were written by him

"It is essential to keep him alive to get more concrete information about the JMB and its activities," said the commissioner

but alas Abul Bashar aka Ahmad Hossain aka Hossain Ali from the JMB as Reuters would report who also lost both legs and his right hand in the blast died in hospital on Thursday, police said. It took the death toll from suicide blasts since Tuesday to 12, including three bombers, police said.

Whether the dude was bumped off or what I am not too sure, but this morning it seemed other than the fact that he was saying 3 different names and fixing on a finale for our Intelligence dudes to bite upon and record as the REAL TRUTH - , as up until

Which left me wondering why on earth do we Not have a full profile of the gUY who is like a HERO in the Bangladesh Hall of Infamy its FIRST SUICIDE BOMBER? So I went looking and folks this is what I found. Didn’t miss the BBC dude when he reports:

The only way to get into the ruined lawyers' library at Gazipur courthouse was by stepping over the body of the man the police believe was responsible for the destruction. He was lying prone on the floor in a pool of blood, naked except for a small piece of cloth. He was small, with the dark skin and wiry build that marks out a man who works hard in the sun for a living. It was only when the large crowd that had gathered had had the chance for a good look that the corpse was bundled into a roll of bamboo matting and carried away. It was roughly done, with much shouting and shoving. But if it turns out that the police's suspicions are correct then this little man will have his own grisly place in history. (Hall of Infamy) "What we have found here initially suggests it's the act of a suicide bomber," inspector general of police Abdul Qaiyum told the BBC at the scene. If that proves to be the case, it will be Bangladesh's first suicide attack - a major escalation in what has become a campaign of violence.

Amazing is the obduracy of the Police to arrive at such a hugely bewildering conclusion to the extent of even speaking to the BBC and reaching an ‘initial suggestions’ without the forensics haven’t even being done? To think of it: it is the British tax payer who are apparently pumping in millions to improve efficiency of the Bangladesh Police (after the HC was hit) – and then to have a top-cop so inept—even at handling the media? gOSH.

The Indians however said it was like this :

In the Gazipur incident, a suicide bomber dressed as a lawyer entered the office of the local bar association without being properly checked by the security guard and set off the explosion. The bomber himself and six other died----five on the spot and two others in a hospital….NO MORE

Now to profile the ‘suicide bomber’ here is Mahfuz and what his Daily Star Citizens Intelligence Unit of uN-Reliable Sources dg out:

The police and witnesses said the bomber, aged around 25, was wearing a black gown similar to what lawyers wear when he entered the hall building. After the explosion, his body with wires tied around his thighs and waist was left on the floor for a couple of hours. Intelligence sources suspect the bomber might have carried the bomb on his left thigh, the flesh on which was ripped off in the blast.

The bomb was so powerful it torn away a ceiling fan and bent two others. The fire burnt all the furniture, files and other documents in the room. The shock broke all the glasses and windowpanes of the room, its upper floor and an adjacent building. Several ventilators of the room also splintered.

That was a HUGE BLAST -but Just incase you missed anything so far

The police and witnesses said the bomber, aged around 25, was wearing a black gown similar to what lawyers wear when he entered the hall building. After the explosion, his body with wires tied around his thighs and waist was left on the floor for a couple of hours. Intelligence sources suspect the bomber might have carried the bomb on his left thigh, the flesh on which was ripped off in the blast. The bomb was so powerful it tore away a ceiling fan and bent two others. The fire burnt all the furniture, files and other documents in the room. The shock broke all the glasses and windowpanes of the room, its upper floor and an adjacent building. Several ventilators of the room also splintered.

– but was it a suicide bomber?

Folks sorry for using the photograph above – but just to make a point here, note the (black gown) ‘lawyers robe’ above was most probably used initially as a Body bag, maybe even a make-shift shroud – but I have a more ghastly picture in Manabzamin (a racy Tabloid in Bengali language with strong Civil and Mil-Intell links – the Editor the Bangladesh correspondent of the VOA?) where we have a the dead "suicide bomber", his body FULLY INTACT, and a lawyers gown (wrapped around his neck) as if somebody was doing the dead dude a great favour – exposing his lower portions -- where things were like frightfully INTACT?

Now a blast that size, punches a hole in the roof, takes fan off the ceiling and seriously injures people even 50 feet away – and the BODY IS INTACT?

However New Age is smarter and has an uncanny way of putting things read this

It smashed windowpanes, jolted fans of the ceiling and triggered a fire with a thick plume of smoke. The furniture was blown into pieces and one of the four windows went flying out the building with its frame. As the smoke cleared, a big hole could be seen in the roof. The explosion occurred moments after a man in lawyer’s gown, believed to be the suicide bomber, entered the library, according to witnesses.

but we still do not have the NAME Of the suicide bomber -- hold your breathe while you read this:

Two were identified as Bashir Uddin, a former member of Gachha Union Parishad, and Abdur Rab, a retired warrant officer of the Bangladesh Army. Their bodies were sent to the district hospital for autopsy. The identity of the suspected bomber could not be ascertained and his body was lying at the blast site till 4:00pm.

A retired warrant officer of the Bangladesh Army doing what in court (settling a divorce maybe!) – which perhaps explains DEEPAK ACHARJEE first report in the Daily Independent with this most vague report:

Combing operation named ‘Clean Militants Operation’ like ‘clean-heart operation’ by the members of Army, BDR, Police and Ansar is likely to be launched next week simultaneously across the country to nab and root out the members of different banned Islamist militant organisations like Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Jagrata Muslim Janata (JMJ) and "Allahar Dal".

Really an open declaration of an OPEN SEASON—on the BUSINESS OF PLUNDER – note the ‘next week’ (Saturday – like on the 3rd December) advance notice for the jihadist to flee as also we are IN FOR A LONG RIDE with:

The operation will be continued until the nabbing of Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqur Rahman alias ‘Bangla Bhai’, the masterminds of countrywide bombing on August 17 who are controlling the bomb attackers, sources said.

So where is the MEAT?

During the operation, the members of said forces would use modern intelligence equipment, arms and bullet proof jackets and they will raid suspected residences of the militants across the country including the capital city. The border areas will be sealed during the operation. The members of the joint force would be given permission to shoot at sight if required, sources farther added.

$$$$$ for equipments to be sold and deprive you and me off our civil liberty with shoot-at-sight? gOD is this for REAL?

Meanwhile the Chinese were a little very civil and displayed no shamelessness in this report – precise and to the point:

Combing operation named "Clean Militants Operation" by the members of Army, paramilitary the Bangladesh Rifles, police and Ansar (militia) is likely to be launched next week simultaneously across Bangladesh to nab and root out the members of different banned Islamist militant organizations.

Meanwhile my friend, the RABIDLY PRO-POOR (Sir!) Nurul Kabir writing in the Pakistani daily DAWN has his as usual scholarly interpretations of things – which of course I do not always agree:

A sizable section of the country’s poor these days find fundamentalism a political solution to all problems they have been facing for decades now. None can deny that the political parties ruling the state since 1971 have perpetually pursued and practiced a politics of exclusion – exclusion of there poor masses from the rulers’ development paradigms that were, and still are – insensitive to basic needs of the majority of the people. The result is obvious: the marginalized sections of the poor find themselves alien to existing socio-political setup that serves only to the rich. So youths from the poor communities easily respond to the call of jihad for a theocratic state. Besides, the obscurantist madrassah education that the rulers have carefully crafted and nurtured for years for the poor, regularly provides the young mullahs with inadequate knowledge to replace a modern state with a theocratic one, which, they believe, will not only solve their material problems in the present world, but also promises a rosy future in the life after death.

And all of this power-cut afternoon where whispers and Cell texts of whether or not the Army would be called in – will there be a coup ? Really why wouldn’t anybody be wondering LOUD if you have to read reports like this about the Army, about Bangladesh’s National Defense – first THING IN THE MORNING?

A parliamentary body has termed the rise of militancy a threat to the state security and suggested launching a united move for the sake of national existence. The parliamentary standing committee on the defence ministry yesterday also disclosed confusion among top officials of the ministry about their responsibilities. It said there are anomalies in allocation of businesses between the Armed Forces Division (AFD) and the ministry

"We'll invite the intelligence agencies in charge of national security affairs to discuss the issue with us," Committee Chairman Mahbubur Rahman told reporters after the meeting

"The AFD is not fit to function properly under the present parliamentary system of the governance," the committee chairman told reporters

Defence Secretary Mejbah Uddin Ahmed and other top officials of the ministry also expressed their confusion when the committee asked them to explain the term "defence of Bangladesh" mentioned as the first task of the ministry. "The defence secretary could not explain the term. He is not clear about his responsibilities due to the anomalies," Mahbubur said. The defence secretary told the meeting he had asked his predecessor and a former cabinet secretary to explain the term. "But no-one of them could explain it; rather the cabinet secretary told me to carry out the work as it was," he said.

By late evening things have subsided for everyday to kinda breathe easy.

NO the Army would not intervene in a situation so trifle and without much substance,

NO the Bangladesh Army wont stake its reputation being the foremost of ‘first class soldiers’ in the UN Peacekeeping operations.

Surely if our boys can fight them out in the deepest of Congo down to Haiti and onto historical Senegal where Bengali is a national language thanks to our exploits; a couple home made bombs going off in our backyard and an ‘Army Intervention’ – Man those are thoughts which (very due respects) died with my Dad’s and Uncles generation. Think of it – we have been Army free since 1990 and what better way than to explain all that to you folks than this great book review – a MUST READ for the US State department guys monitoring this Blog:

Book Review by Alex Alexiev: Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military.

Perhaps the most significant reverberations of the suicide bombings in London this past July were felt in far-off Islamabad. After it became known that three of the perpetrators were originally from Pakistan, and that two of them had recently spent time “studying” in Islamist institutions there, Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, publicly admitted that he had not done much, if anything, to live up to his solemn commitment after 9/11 to curtail his country’s extensive networks of hate-preaching madrassas and jihadist organizations. The lapse, Musharraf now explained, was the result of a lack of power; nevertheless, this time he promised to get the job done

Haqqani begins his narrative by clearing up a major misconception. Most American observers of Pakistan seem to believe that the country, if hardly democratic, was largely secular and pro-Western until 1977, when the military dictator Muhammed Zia ul-Haq came to power and began to Islamicize it. More than a few American commentators also subscribe to the “blowback” theory, according to which Pakistan’s Islamic tilt is an unintended consequence of U.S. support for the mujaheddin we enlisted to fight against the USSR following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. But in the first three chapters of this book, which traverse Pakistani history in the decades preceding Zia’s rule, Haqqani provides considerable evidence that this is a deeply mistaken view.

Meanwhile India seems to be ONE UP on this Bangla Bhai dude and I am not sure if this is ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’:

Roy ruled out the possibility of Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh leader "Banglabhai" having already taken shelter in West Bengal. "We have got definite clues that Banglabhai is still In Bangladesh," (hello!) the home secretary said. Special Branch (SB), the political intelligence wing of the Kolkata Police, has also been alerted about the possible sneaking in of the Bangladesh blast suspects. SB sources told DNA that plainclothes department officials are keeping a close watch on those hotels, guesthouses and lodges, which are frequented by Bangladeshis.

"We have also cautioned the owners of these hotels and asked them to immediately contact us if they come across any suspicious person in their hotels," an SB official said.

Good old Sudder Street, Kolkata --man do I miss the Pam Crain and Luis Banks in the Blue Fox and my friends Anthony and the Executives in the Grand and the gorgeous crooner Jennifer who went on to marry Tony– mid eighties – I surely will have a place if I am thrown out of Sudder Street!!

Meanwhile

Myanmar troops have launched attacks on ethnic rebel villages near the Thai-Myanmar border, setting fire to homes and forcing 1,000 civilians to flee, a rebel leader said on Wednesday. Government forces raided six villages in Karen and Kaya states over the weekend, burning 100 homes and rice barns, Mhan Shar La Pan, secretary-general of the Karen National Union, told Reuters by telephone from his base in Myanmar. "They have arrested some villagers and fired artillery at civilians who had fled," he said, adding that he had no reports of casualties. The raids began a week before the junta's constitution-drafting National Convention was set to resume on Dec. 5 in the capital Yangon. Ethnic rebel groups, many of whom are boycotting the convention, had expected a government offensive at the end of the rainy season in late November.

The United Nations human rights chief Louise Arbour warned on Thursday that

Nepal faced the threat of a full-scale armed conflict, and called on authorities to join a ceasefire with Maoist rebels and allow free assembly. "A mutual ceasefire between the Communist Party of Nepal [Maoist] and the government of King Gyanendra, and steps towards lasting peace, are crucial to bring to an end a period of grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by both the Maoists and the state", Arbour said in a statement. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights joined calls for Maoist rebels to extend a unilateral ceasefire which is due to end this week and urged the Nepalese government to join it.


1 Comments:

Blogger Rezwan said...

Hi Mac Bhai,

Just wanted to share a conspiracy theory floating around:

The latest is: that BNP is behind this whole ploy- from Abu Hena's statement to these killings. The fact is that BNP is loosing its support and ground because of Jamaat's rise. Jamaat have a strong base & network which will be able to gain many more seats in the coming election. So now BNP is trying to create a massive outrage against Jamaat, also keeping their qualition intact in the meantime. So these bombing is in control of certain playmaker within BNP (some say Howa Bhaban). Their bid is to decrease Jamaat's support and force them not to rise as a power in the next election. The logics behind this are:
- All the kingpins of JMB (from Bangla Bhai to Mufti Hannan) were supported by BNP lawmakers right from the start
- The intelligence could never catch them as the insider information always warn them
- BNP sectrtary gen AM Bhuiyan tells within 2 months these will be controlled. How does he know the period for sure?
- The Intelligence knew about the suicide bombers but they did not do anything (like Army operation) to prevent them
- The latest Mahtab Khamaru incident- RAB had to release him on a BNP minister's request. Mind you he is a BNP minister, not Jamaat.
- How can a outfit like JMB can be this much brave challenging a sovereign government? Their must be some internal backing and BNP is the majority in qualition. Some BNP lawmakers revealed that there are supporters of these terrorists inside BNP.

So it all proves that this theory can be true (however I doubt whether we can get any proof of that). It makes the equation complicated isn't it?

December 02, 2005  

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