Sunday, November 9, 2008
Is the Dirty Bomb meant for USA / UK / INDIA & ISRAEL being made in BANGLADESH?
A couple of years back I was in Bangladesh on a business visit when the BNP government was in power. This party (BNP) is known for its anti-India and pro-Pakistan views and is very close to Jamaat and other religious bodies. Behind these are ex-Generals of Bangladesh Army that fought alongside Pakistan in the war of 1971. Tthey are extremely close to ISI and some of their MPs are known sympathizers.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Awami League party, which is essentially formed of ex-Mukti Bahini guirella soldiers who fought for the liberation of Bangladesh against Pakistan and earned their independence in 1971. India helped this group gain independence from Pakistan, hence supporters of Awami League are pro-India. (Bangladesh was part of Pakistan from 1947 to 1971 and was referred to as East Pakistan).
I had gone to a cocktail party arranged by one of my clients and in that party, a gentleman working in a very senior position in a private company in Dhaka came up and chatted with me. ( I DO NOT RECALL THE NAME OF THE GENTLEMAN OR THE COMPANY HE WORKED FOR - SO THOSE OF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE THIS STORY - FINE). After initial introductions when we were suitably alone, he had something very interesting to state and it went like this:
“I am a supporter of Awami League and I do not want Bangladesh get into the Islamic morass. There is something very fishy going on and I thought of telling you this. My company’s work is near some remote granite mines and these are being excavated by the North Koreans. And I hear that some other “nationalities” to India's west are there too. No one can go near the sites and something very wrong is going on there. The North Koreans are in the mines deep down doing something weird and not mining granite – which is just a front. I cannot do a thing about it, probably you should let your government know.”
I thought that this gentleman is perhaps testing me and thinks that I am an Indian agent and wanted to feed me “disinformation”. I did nothing with this information. I did have a bad experience with Indian embassy when I was in New York city as a student – that is for later in this blog. But I wanted to get this off my chest, however improbable this may sound.
But there are interesting things to tie the story down.
1. Right next to Bangladesh border, in North East India – there are uranium deposits. And there are enough and more stories that locals ferry this “yellow cake” illegally in local buses in jute bags and sell it to “dealers”. Where this ultimately goes, is anybody’s guess. My bet is that this is simply sent over the borders into Bangladesh. The border is open and porous in North East.
2. There are granite mines in Bangladesh and some in very remote places. And indeed there are North Korean companies working there.
3. The Chittagong port is a den of criminal activity and anything goes and lands there. “Smugglers were unloading the largest ever arms cache on the Karnaphuli coast in Chittagong on Friday with 'help from local police', a witness told journalists in a major twist to the seizure top intelligence officials credited to tip-off from their foreign counterparts.”
4. 2 (Two) Pakistani nuclear scientists close to Al Qaeda were sent to Burma (next to Bangladesh and shares open borders). In December 2001, the New York Times reported that while US authorities were investigating Mahmood and Majid, they found some links between al-Qaeda and two other Pakistani nuclear scientists, Suleiman Asad and Muhammed Ali Mukhtar. Both Asad and Mukhtar had long experience at two of Pakistan's most secret nuclear-weapons-related installations. However, before US investigators could reach them, Pakistan sent the two scientists to Myanmar on an unspecified "research project".
The New York Times also quoted Pakistani officials as saying that President General Pervez Musharraf personally telephoned one of Myanmar's military rulers to ask him to provide temporary asylum for the two nuclear specialists. In January 2002, the Wall Street Journal reported that Asad and Mukhtar were possibly aiding Myanmar's efforts to build a 10-megawatt nuclear "research reactor". Asad and Mukhtar are still in Myanmar, well away from US reach. Read about their Taliban and Al_Qaeda links in this article: Pakistan's forgotten al-Qaeda nuclear link.
Even though a blog is not a credible source, this is indeed interesting read.
If one were to piece together the points 1 though 4 above and add “North Koreans along with undesirable West Asian foreigners” doing "weird things in the pit of mines" - we need to be worried. Not to forget, ISI has home base advantage in Bangladesh.
My guess is : This is the perfect place for manufacturing a Dirty Bomb. Whoever will think of Bangladesh? And stolen uranium, pliant port and "North Koreans" and "West Asians". A heady cocktail indeed !
BANGLADESH & DIRTY BOMB: A TRYST IN 2003. While writing this blog, I came upon the article written by Indian supercop KPS GILL - which is linked above "they are close to ISI" which states: "There were grave concerns about the possibility of Islamist extremists in the country acquiring radioactive materials and the technical know-how to build a ‘dirty bomb’, when on May 30, 2003, Bangladeshi police arrested four suspected members of a Islamist group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, at a house in the northern village of Puiya. Officers also seized a football-size package with markings indicating it contained a crude form of uranium manufactured in Kazakhstan. Subsequent tests at the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission in Dhaka confirmed that the 225-gram ball was uranium oxide—enough to make a weapon capable of dispersing radiation across a wide area if strapped to conventional explosives."
About my bad experience with Indian embassy as a student and why I kept quiet. I was in New York city on a full Presidential scholarship during graduate studies. One of my friends from India who was not on full scholarship, was working part time, illegally in a lawyer's office downtown Manhattan. That lawyer specialized in getting green cards done for illegals - by cooking up stories on farming etc. But alarming thing was there were blank Indian passports in that office which came from "Sikhs" in Canada and USA. One senior Indian diplomat came to our University to talk about India and after his power point and Q&A, I took him aside and showed him the blank Indian passport. He did not bat an eyelid and told me to report this to FBI as this was outside his jurisdiction. I thought - excuse me - don't you want to know where this is coming from, don't you want to alert RAW. But he just walked away, not bothering to even ask my name. I was actually stunned at the callousness. I kept quiet for a couple of weeks and after my friend left the job at lawyers' office, I rang up the FBI from a payphone and gave details. They raided the place in a matter of days and closed shop and arrested the errant "lawyer". FBI did its job but my country did not.