June 25, 2006Foreign AffairsSecurity

Dawood’s guns for Bangladeshi jihadis

India failed to prevent the transaction and to interdict the shipment.

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

The Times of India reports on a disturbing new development — Pakistani and Bangladeshi intelligence have arranged, through Dawood Ibrahim, massive shipments of small arms for Bangladeshi jihadi groups.

Reports of a recent secret meeting between absconding underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and two high-profile Bangladeshis — one, an extremely powerful young politician belonging to the ruling alliance and the other, a top national security intelligence officer — in Dubai have sent both Indian and Western intelligence agencies into a tizzy.

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.

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.[TOI]According to this report more such shipments are on the cards. If true, these reports indicate a major lapse on the part of India’s intelligence agencies. They failed to both preventing the transaction and interdict the shipments before they reached the recipients. This was not, however, simply a deal between two underground organisations. A C-130 could not have landed in Bangladesh without the involvement of Bangladeshi authorities. But the interdiction of arms at Chittagong in 2004 and increasing evidence of involvement of Bangladeshi nationals in terrorist attacks in India rightly calls for greater vigilance, and for pre-emption.

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