Directorate General of Forces Intelligence
|Formed||1977 (Official Formation) by Major general Shaheed Ziaur Rahman|
|Jurisdiction||President of Bangladesh|
|Headquarters||Dhaka Cantonment, Bangladesh|
|Motto||Watch and Listen for the nation, To protect national security|
|Directorate General of Forces Intelligence|
|Director General : Mohammed Akbar Hossain|
|Department : Intelligence|
|Established : 1977|
The Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (more commonly known as DGFI) is the military intelligence service of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, which supplies the Bangladeshi Government with both national and foreign intelligence. DGFI is Operationally responsible for providing national security and intelligence informations to Bangladesh Government and Armed Forces. Although DGFI was formed as a Military Intelligence, over time It has established itself as the principal and Intelligence unit in Bangladesh alongside National Security Intelligence (NSI).
The DGFI's primary role is to collect, collate, evaluate and disseminate all services strategical and topographical intelligence about Law and Order situation,armed forces and to ensure counter intelligence and security measures for Bangladesh Government and Bangladesh Armed Forces .
Although all defense information are kept classified by the Agency and Armed Forces, There are reports that DGFI had the largest budget in Bangladeshi intelligence community. The DGFI has been involved in most paramilitary operations as well as Counter-terrorism and Cyberwarfare.
DGFI is regarded as one of the most dreaded intelligence agency in the world due to its aggressive techniques. The Agency has received sheer criticism from Human Rights Watch for its brutal interrogation techniques, Targeted killing, Assassinations and its involvement with various militant outfits.
- 1 History
- 2 Purpose
- 3 Notable Directors
- 4 Organizational Structure
- 5 Counter-terrorism Unit
- 6 Training
- 7 Functions
- 8 Operations
- 9 Controversies
- 10 References
After independence in 1971, National Security Intelligence (NSI) was created as the sole Intelligence agency in Bangladesh. However, external threat from foreign military led to the creation of Directorate of Forces Intelligence (DFI) in 1972. The role of DFI was only limited to sharing intelligence with the Armed Forces. Under Major General Ziaur Rahman's presidency, on 24 August 1976 DFI was improved and rechristened as Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), which led to a massive modification in the organizational structure of the agency, and the agency was transformed from Defensive to an Offensive Intelligence Unit. In 1978, DGFI headquarters was relocated to Dhaka Cantonment from Bailey Road. According to analysts, the structure of DGFI is a close resemblance of Inter-Services Intelligence. Captain K.M Aminul Islam was appointed as the first Director General of DGFI. Since then, DGFI serves as the principal Intelligence Unit of Bangladesh Armed Forces. In 1994, DGFI's organizational structure was reformed, and since then DGFI has transformed into the primary Intelligence Agency in Bangladesh, alongside National Security Intelligence. The recruitment of DGFI is undertaken by the Armed Forces and the Director General is appointed the President with recommendation from the Chief of Army Staff. The DGFI was structured to be manned by officers from the three main military services, to specialize in the collection, analysis and assessment of Military intelligence. Over the years, DGFI's role have transformed to both military and non-military intelligence gathering as the agency is active in more than 40 countries worldwide.
DGFI Headquarters was permanently relocated inside a 14th Storied Tower near Rajanigantha Area inside Dhaka Cantonment in 2006. Current DGFI Director, Major General Mohammad Akbar Hossain is the 24th Director General of the Agency, since he took over his assignment on 10 March 2013 succeeding Major General Sheikh Mamun Khaled .
To collect, collate, evaluate and disseminate all services strategical and topographical intelligence about Law and Order situation,armed forces and to ensure counterintelligence and security measures for Bangladesh Government and Bangladesh Armed Forces .
According to its fiscal 2014 budget, the DGFI's top priorities are:
- Counter terrorism
- Counterintelligence, with India, and Myanmar described as priority targets.
- Apprise Bangladeshi Government with important overseas events.
- Apprise Bangladeshi Government about any activities that threatens National security.
- Cyber Intelligence
- Military intelligence: Provide Bangladesh Army with foreign intelligence and other nations' Armed forces.
- Joint Intelligence: Works with Detective Branch of Bangladesh Police and Rapid Action Battalion to gather detective and criminal intelligence.
- Air Intelligence: Gather aerial intelligence.
- Naval Intelligence: Gather intelligence on the advancements in other nations' navies and maritime intelligence.
- Captain K M Aminul Islam, (1977 - 1978) : First Director General of the agency, appointed by Major General Shaheed Ziaur Rahman. Aminul Islam was dismissed from the post later during the year due to Intelligence failure.
- Chowdhury Fazlul Bari
- Mohabbat Jan Chowdhury
- Sadiq Hasan
- ATM Amin
- M.A Halim (2001-2003)
- Rezzakul Haider, (2003-2005)
- Sadiq Hasan Rumi, (2005-2007)
- Golam Mohammed, (2007-2009)
- Molla Fazle Akbar, (2009 - 2011)
- Sheikh Mamun Khaled, (2011-2013)
- Mohammed Akbar Hossain, (2013–Present); 24th and the current Director of DGFI
The Agency consists A Director and Seven Deputy Directors. DGFI operates under seven directorates makes up the primary structure of the organization. The seven directorates are:
- Directorate of Air Intelligence: The primary intelligence arm of the Bangladesh Air Force, responsible for the formulation of aerial intelligence.
- Directorate of Naval Intelligence: The intelligence arm of the Bangladesh Navy, established to report on the advancements in other nations' navies and maritime intelligence.
- Military Intelligence: The intelligence arm of Bangladesh Army, established to provide operational, tactical and strategic intelligence to the Armed Forces.
- Directorate of Operations: Responsible for paramilitary and covert operations as well as special activities.
- Directorate of Counterintelligence: Responsible for collection, analysis and assessment of foreign intelligence.
- Signal Intelligence Bureau: Responsible for collecting, analyzing, and distributing aerial intelligence.
- Directorate of Joint Intelligence: Responsible for collection of Political Intelligence.
Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Bureau (CTIB) , is an elite counter terrorism intelligence unit of DGFI. The Bureau's establishment date is classified, however first made official in 2006. The bureau was established along with Rapid Action Battalion (NSI), and the counter terrorism cell of National Security Agency (NSI). CTIB is responsible with collecting and analyzing intelligence on internal threats and counterattack. The role of CTIB is somewhat a resemblance of Cuerpo de Fuerzas Especiales of Mexican Army. The unit is directed by Brigadier General S M Matiur Rahman. CTIB agents are recruited from the Armed Forces and is responsible for Gathering intelligence and executing special operations.
The DGFI recruits selective personnel from Bangladesh Armed Forces which includes Army, Air Force and Navy. The personnel undergo extensive intelligence training within country and abroad. DGFI holds a very close relation with CIA, MI6, New Zealand's GCSB and ISI and frequently holds joint exercises and operations. DGFI also has training camps in various cities across Bangladesh including Comilla, Cox's Bazar and Sylhet.
Only members of the Armed Forces are eligible to join the DGFI. The committee recruits the most efficient officers from the three branches of the Armed Forces. Apart from that, there are unofficial reports claiming DGFI employing more than 100,000 civilians as mole around the country.
The DGFI and its activities are highly classified and confidential to both Mass media and civilians. The functions and priorities of DGFI have changed throughout years based on country's political situations and foreign affairs. The primary function of DGFI is the collection of foreign military intelligence, however during recent times, the agency have extended its role economic, political and foreign intelligence. DGFI maintains active collaborations with few other secret services in various countries. Its close relation with, and shares intelligence with New Zealand's GCSB,Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI), India's RAW and CIA.
Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) has been involved in many operations in Bangladesh and other countries. Many news outlet alleged the agency of being involved in many turning points in Bangladesh's History such as military coups, and diplomatic missions. The agency has also been active on Indian and Burmese Soil.
Military Experts have termed the subcontinent is a beehive of intelligence and counterintelligence activity and spy craft and labeled DGFI, ISI, CIA,FSB, R&AW, MSS, Mossad, and MI6 as the big players in Asian Intelligence Scenario.
According to numerous media outlets, DGFI and ISI collaborated with Jiahdi Tanzeem in spearheading jihadist terrorist actions in India. Although the reports remain controversial as there were no supporting evidence to prove such allegation.
17 December 1995 in which unauthorized arms were dropped from an Antonov An-26 aircraft in Purulia district in the state of West Bengal in India. A Latvian aircraft dropped a large consignment of arms including several hundred AK-47 rifles and more than a million rounds of ammunition over a large area in Jhalda, Ghatanga, Belamu, Maramu villages of Purulia district. Several days later, when the plane re-entered Indian airspace. The Bangladeshi MP and retired Major-General Mohammed Shubid Ali Bhuiyan had been accused of involvement in the case. The CBI had submitted to the Calcutta High Court two end-user certificates, required for international arms deals, allegedly signed by Bhuiyan in his capacity as the PSO of the Armed Forces Division of the office of the then prime minister of Bangladesh, Begum Khaleda Zia. The certificates had been recovered by the British police, who assisted the CBI in the probe, in raids on Bleach's estate. One of the certificates – issued on November 25, 1995 – authorized Bleach’s front company, Border Technology and Innovations Ltd, to conclude the contract with the Bulgarian suppliers stating that the arms will be used by the Bangladesh Army and will not be exported to any other country. The boxes containing the weapons, found in Purulia, had been marked for Rajendrapur Cantonment in Bangladesh. However, the Government of Bangladesh as well as Bhuiyan has denied such allegations and maintain that the certificates were forged by Bleach's contacts in Bangladesh. Several Intelligence Agencies linked DGFI's involvement in Purulia arms drop case. The event, regarded as one of the largest security breaches in India, questioned DGFI's influence over India.
According to an Indian Military Intelligence source, the Bangladesh spy agency DGFI (Directorate General of Forces Intelligence) helped in Pakistani infiltration through the eastern borderthe terror module that coordinated the 1999 Kandahar hijack was from Bangladesh.
- 10-Truck Arms and Ammunition Haul took place in Chittagong, Bangladesh, on the night of 1 April 2004, when police and Coast Guard interrupted the loading of 10 trucks and seized extensive illegal arms and ammunition at a jetty of Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Limited (CUFL) on the Karnaphuli River.The police and Coast Guard interrupted the loading of materials in the smuggling incident. They seized 10 truckloads of material: a total of 4,930 different types of sophisticated firearms; 27,020 grenades; 840 rocket launchers, 300 rockets, 2,000 grenade launching tubes; 6,392 magazines; and 11,40,520 bullets, which were being loaded on 10 trucks from two-engine boats at the jetty of CUFL at Chittagong harbor. The illegal arms were believed to be intended for ULFA. In 2011, Bangladesh Government found DGFI and NSI involvement, with Two NSI and a DGFI Director were charged.
- According to Indian Intelligence analysis, Operation Pin Code was officially launched by DGFI in 2004. The operation was intended to give DGFI a control over West Bengal and Assam State Government. Some sources claims that by 2008, DGFI had already got 70% control over West Bengal assembly. The agency was also blamed for rising terrorist threat in India, however, no trace of DGFI involvement was found.
Indian government alleged DGFI and ISI of Varanasi bomb blasts of March 7, 2006. Police and intelligence officials have leaked details of the blasts, speculation about involvement of Lashkar-e-Qahar, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jais-e-Mohammad and HuJI of Bangladesh.
- Indian intelligence agency RAW released a report blaming DGFI behind Assam Blast and sheltering ULFA leaders in DGFI safe house.
- The biggest spy scandal in history of R&AW. A Bangladeshi DGFI agent concealed his nationality before joining R&AW, and was known by the name of Diwan Chand Mallik in the agency. He was known to have some important intel which was damaging for the national security. He joined the agency in 1999 and used to live in East Delhi. A case of cheating and forgery was filed against him at the Lodhi Colony police station on the basis of a complaint by a senior R&AW official. No trace of him was found till date.
DGFI Loner Operations are important for India’s long-term internal and external security considerations. These operations are conducted in collaboration with National Security Intelligence, MI, BDR and RAB field intelligence units.
- Internal intelligence agencies of India reported DGFI's strong foothold in India's Seven Sister States. Indian media also reported on DGFI's plan to establish Greater Bangladesh. A report was also published about DGFI's strong influence in West Bengal assembly.
- Indian Army Lieutenant Colonel Sanjay Shandilya and few other top level Indian Army officials were honeytrapped by suspected DGFI agent known as Zeba. Sources said Sheeba was under R&AW surveillance, including in the virtual world. When the agency received information about her liaison with the officer and subsequent meeting at Delhi, it was officially communicated to the army. Mole Sheeba is believed to be a member of Fauzia Hassan spy gang. Fauzia was caught in Meerut a few years back by Military Intelligence on charges of espionage.
Myanmar Military and Intelligence accused DGFI of trying to isolate Arakan State from the mainland. Their intelligence agencies also accused CIA of assisting DGFI to succeed in their plan. Their allegation, However, remains controversial as it was Myanmar Government behind the mass genocide against Muslims in the country.
R&AW claimed to have found the trace of DGFI involvement in 2008 Assam bombings. According to Intel, It was planned at a three-day conclave held at Dhulikhel, 30 km north of Kathmandu, between October 15 and October 17. The sources said Colonel Ahmed Sufi of DGFI (Directorate General of Forces' Intelligence, Bangladesh) made a detailed presentation for targeting the north-east. The ISI was represented at the meet by a lieutenant general-level official responsible for overseeing affairs in South Asia. The ISI official took a circuitous route from Pakistan to Dubai to Dhaka before reaching Kathmandu via Biman Bangladesh airlines in order to avoid any suspicion by Indian security agencies, the sources revealed.
DGFI tracked down Indian Mujahideen's (IM) top commanders, Zia Ur Rehman alias Waqas and Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu in Nepal. The operation was executed after request from R&AW and Nepal Law Enforcement Agencies.
The DGFI started sending its officers to the ISI training Centre in Islamabad.
Twenty army officers assigned to the DGFI were deputed to the Camp Peary, “The Farm” training centre of the CIA in Virginia. Later in the same year another group was deputed to the Hartford training facility of the CIA in North Carolina.
Blocking Advertises on Prothom Alo & The Daily Star
Bangladeshi Intelligence Agency DGFI was accused of blocking major companies from advertising in two major newspapers in Bangladessh; The Daily Prothom Alo and Daily Star, causing a loss of $2 million during first month. Telenor, which owns 55% stake at Grameenphone admitted that top level officers from DGFI forced them to stop advertising in these two newspaper, However, other large corporations refused to comment on the issue. The demand for foreign-owned corporations to stop advertising in the Prothom Alo and Daily Star newspapers was allegedly given by officers from the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), following the August 16 publication of a story on the army's killing of five men in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Later that day, army officials contacted both papers and criticized them for describing the dead men as "indigenous" people instead of "terrorists", sources said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
However, one senior manager at Grameenphone told Al Jazeera on the condition he would not be identified: "The DGFI officer said that we could no longer advertise in either the Prothom Alo or the Daily Star, and that steps would be taken against us if we defied the order." The warning was verbal and not put in writing, he said.
Grameenphone was not told the reason for this. "We were only told that the order 'comes from the top'," the manager said. The company had planned on launching a new campaign the following day, and so it immediately pulled the planned advertisement in Prothom Alo, he said.
Morshed Alam, executive director of media buyer Mindshare, confirmed on the evening of August 16 that Robi Axiata, Airtel, and Unilever asked his company not to buy any further advertisements in the two newspapers.
"We were informed by our clients that due to unavoidable circumstances, we should stop all advertisements in Prothom Alo and Daily Star," Alam said. "We initially continued to advertise in the magazine supplements, but that was also stopped." 
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