Many people in Bangladesh would not have heard the name of Israeli secret service Mossad. Founded on December 13, 1949 immediately after the State of Israel was carved out of Palestine, Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel and one of the main institutions in the Israeli intelligence community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security).It is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations and counterterrorism, as well as bringing Jews to Israel from countries where they are not welcome. It reports directly to the Israeli Prime Minister. It shot into fame in 1960 when it abducted from Argentina the Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann, one of the henchmen of Adolph Hitler. Eichmann was accused of ordering the killing of 6 million Jews in Europe during the Second World War. After the war, like many others of his kind, Eichmann fled Germany and went into hiding in Argentina. Eichmann was tried in a summary military court in Tel Aviv, found guilty as charged and hanged. Mossad is one of the most dangerous intelligence agencies in the world, sometimes known to be more efficient than the CIA or KGB. According to newspaper reports published in some leading dailies of Bangladesh, Mossad would very much like to enter Bangladesh with the help of Bangladesh’s leading political party BNP and to this end a number of meetings were held between one of the Joint Secretaries of BNP, Aslam Chowdhury in Calcutta, Delhi and London and a covert operative of Mossad Mendi N Safadi, a senior member of Israel’s Likud Party who overtly holds the post of the CEO of International Diplomacy and Public Relations in Israel with strong ties with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Likud is the current ruling party of Israel and believes in ultra rightist political philosophy and thinks there is no room for Arabs in the land of Israel. Currently they are busy in indiscriminate killing of the Arabs in the occupied land of Gaza. Mossad’s two Bangladeshi agents Shipan Kumar Basu and journalist Sanjib Chowdhury who formerly worked with BNP mouthpiece the daily ‘Amar Desh’ and a private TV channel owned by a senior BNP leader were also present in these meetings. Basu is alleged to be a fulltime operative of Mossad in Bangladesh. In the meetings it was agreed that Mossad would help overthrow the present government of Sk. Hasina and once their government of choice is installed Bangladesh will open its doors for Israel and Mossad. Currently Israel has diplomatic relationship with only one Muslim majority country – Egypt. Immediately after the liberation of Bangladesh Israel expressed its desire to recognise Bangladesh and establish diplomatic relationship with the new born country. Bangabandhu declined to accept the offer. In the late 90s a certain self-proclaimed advocate of Israel and Zionism, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury appeared in Dhaka and declared in an interview given to Larry Luxner of the Times of Israel on June 13, 2012 that he is Zionist and a friend of Israel. Earlier he worked for the Bangla daily Inquilab and attempted to launch Inquilab TV but was denied permission. In 2003 he began publishing a weekly tabloid called the Blitz. In November 2003 Choudhury was arrested at Dhaka airport as he tried to go to a conference in Tel Aviv to present paper on the emergence of Islamic militancy in Bangladesh, to be later released on bail and subsequently to be sentenced to seven years of imprisonment on January 8, 2014.
Bangladesh has had a menace of the infamous Pakistani military intelligence agency ISI in its politics since its independence and if now Mossad gets an easy entry into Bangladesh the politics of Bangladesh can turn into a dangerous game putting the life of many senior political leaders, especially of the ruling party into peril. Mossad has a very strong relationship with ISI and Saudi intelligence agency Ri’asat Al-Istikhbarat Al-‘Aman. Though Israel does not have any formal diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia, it has a very strong relationship with the Saudi Royal family. According to the recently leaked Panama Documents the current Saudi King Salman funded an amount of US$80 million in the Israeli election of 2010 to get Benjamin Netanyahu elected. Saudi Arabia has strong economic and military ties with Israel.
The meetings between BNP’s Joint Secretary Aslam Chowdhury and Mendi N Safadi allegedly took place in last March in Delhi and in the same meeting was present Swapan Kumar Basu. Aslam Chowdhury is in ship breaking business who hails from Sitakunda of Chittagong. He is known as a big loan defaulter, ran the parliamentary election of 2008 from his home constituency and lost to Abul Kashem Master of Awami League. He was a close aide of BNP’s now executed leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury. Before starting his own business he worked for a steel mill in Chittagong. Earlier another meeting was held in Kolkata on March 6, 2016 where a senior BNP leader (presumably Aslam Chowdhury), a leader of Khelafat Andolon, and Swapan Kumar Basu were present. The next meeting was held from March 10 to 14 in Delhi where Mendi N Safadi was also present. According to the published reports, the third meeting was held on March 18 in London’s Park Hotel’s Room No 1145 (situated on West Minister Bridge Road). In that meeting a very important leader of BNP and another from Jamaat were also present. From that meeting a video conferencing was held with another important BNP leader in Bangladesh. Also present in the London meeting was India’s Hiudutava RSS leader Joytinder Kumar. In the meetings of Kolkata and Delhi Sanjib Chowdhury showed some documentaries claiming that these were made to show to the world how the minority community is being persecuted during the present Awami League government’s rule. Actually these were footages of documentaries made after the election of 2001 when a reign of terror was let loose by the thugs of BNP and Jamaat following the election on the minority community. It was agreed that all efforts will be made to topple the present government in Bangladesh by next December to be replaced by an ultra right wing government which will work closely with Israel. The news of all these meetings have already been published in the Bangla Daily Ittefaq in few instalments along with a group photo taken in Delhi where Aslam Chowdhury and Swapan Kumar Basu is seen standing along with Mendi N Safadi. Basu hails from Khulna and along with Sanjeeb Chowdhury makes frequent trips to India. Now, the December dateline seems to have been stalled following the widespread media reports.
It is not the first time that whenever Awami League is in power certain quarters hurriedly puts together plans to unseat the government and if necessary with the assassination with its party Chief and senior leaders. This has been the phenomenon since independence. Bangabandhu was warned about the possible danger that looms over his head by the Soviet and Indian intelligence. He never took it seriously and the nation had to pay a price. After the return of the present Prime Minister and daughter of Bangabandhu Sk. Hasina, from exile in 1981, at least nineteen attempts were made to kill her, the most barbaric one being the grenade attack in a rally held in front of the party office on August 21, 2004 though she was not in power at that time. When Sk. Hasina formed government in 1996 the conspirators got into action, this time to be led by the killers of Bangabandhu. One of the killers Lt. Col (Retd) Abdur Rashid took charge and made contact with Pakistan’s ISI through one Monoj Srivastav, a person of Nepali origin with strong links with ISI. It was decided that the conspirators would use the Sri Lanka’s secessionist group Tamil Tigers to execute the plan. A meeting was held on June 6, 1996 in London’s Earl Court Hotel. A deal was made to assassinate Sk. Hasina and for this the Tamil Tigers would receive US$10 million. The conspiracy was aborted as the intelligence agencies of both Bangladesh and India busted the conspirators’ plan. The detailed reports of all these plans were then published in the Newspaper Today, published from Sri Lanka. The current BNP-Aslam Chowdhury connection along with photographs of him and Mendi N Safadi was published in Safadi’s Face Book and Jerusalemonline.com.
From the available information and the prevailing conditions in the country, especially hacking to death of innocent people at regular intervals by religious bigots, attack on the temples and properties of the minority community in different parts of the country are some signs of attempts to destabilise the current political stability in the country. ISI has also been in this country but with the execution of Jamaat’s killing squad Al-Badar Chief Matiur Nizami Rahman Nizami and the uncalled for reaction shown by the Pakistan government can only make the situation more vulnerable. Added to it the entry of Mossad in Bangladesh politics can only make things worse. How much the government has taken these developments seriously is not known but the seriousness of things must be acknowledged. Conspirators both in Bangladesh and outside are working overtime. For the government there is no room for complacency.
The writer is an analyst and researcher.