Vol. 5 Num 437 Thu. August 18, 2005  
Front Page

Agencies admit their failure

Intelligence and law enforcing agencies at a meeting with the state minister for home conceded their virtual failure to prevent the orchestrated countrywide bomb blasts yesterday, saying the incidents demonstrated the capability of the terror group.

They told the state minister that the incidents showed the group can even go for grenade attacks across the country, if they want. "It shows that we have no intelligence. We have failed," admitted one official who attended the meeting.

Officials of these agencies did not name whom they suspect for the attacks but they appeared to make an oblique reference to the Awami League. They did not discuss evidences blaming the blasts on Jama'atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB), he told The Daily Star.

State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar asked the agencies to launch countrywide raids to nab the terrorists. He asked them not to raid madrasas and mosques unless there are specific information.

Many officials of the law enforcing agencies said a 'certain quarter' seeking political benefit from chaos and anarchy organised the bomb attacks. The recent London attacks might have inspired the quarter, they thought.

In line with the ruling BNP's political stance every time an explosion takes place in the country, the officials said this quarter wants to destroy Bangladesh's image abroad.

They said the country has 33 small Islamic political parties which do not recognise each other. These parties do not have countrywide network. The 'certain quarter' wants to create a rift in the BNP-Jamaat alliance and that is why the name of JMB has been used, they added.

Babar told the meeting that such attacks affect not only the BNP but all political parties. All parties, even those who will come to power in future, are harmed, he said.

Earlier in the day, the state minister told the press that the agencies had information about terror attacks on August 14, 15 and 16. He however changed his contention later.

Explaining this terror alert, a security official told The Daily Star, "We were told that there might be attacks on Awami League rallies and meetings. This was not a specific warning, but we stepped up security across the country on August 14, 15 and 16.


Asked whether yesterdy's meeting discussed that the AL was planning to attack its own rallies and kill its own activists to embarrass the government on these three days, the official said, "This was not discussed and Awami League was not named."