Directorate General of Forces Intelligence

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Directorate General of Forces Intelligence
Directorate General of Forces Intelligence Logo.png
Seal of the Forces Intelligence
Agency overview
Formed 1972 (reformed in 1977)
Jurisdiction President of Bangladesh
Headquarters DGFI Headquarters, Dhaka Cantonment, Bangladesh
Motto Watch and Listen for the nation, To protect national security
Employees 12,000 (Estimated)[1]
Annual budget Classified
Agency executive
Child agency
Major departments:
  • Directorate of Naval Intelligence
  • Directorate of Air Intelligence
  • Directorate of Military Intelligence
  • Directorate of Counterintelligence
Notable Directors:
  • Major General Sheikh Mamun Khaled
  • Major General ATM Amin
  • Major General Mohabbat Jan Chowdhury
  • Major General Golam Mohammad
  • Major General Sadiq Hasan Rumi

The Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (Bengali: ডিরেক্টরেট জেনারেল অফ ফোর্সেস ইন্টেলিজেন্স, abbreviated DGFI Bengali: ডিজিএফআই), is the foreign military intelligence section of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.[2] DGFI is operationally responsible for providing national security and intelligence information to the Bangladesh government and armed forces. Although DGFI was formed as a military intelligence unit, over time it has established itself as the principal intelligence unit in Bangladesh alongside the National Security Intelligence (NSI). [3] The DGFI's primary role is to collect, collate and evaluate strategic and topographic intelligence relating to foreign matters for the Bangladesh government and armed forces.[4]

Although all defence information is kept classified by the agency and armed forces, there are reports that the DGFI had the largest budget in the Bangladeshi intelligence community. The DGFI has been involved in most paramilitary operations as well as counter-terrorism and cyberwarfare.[5]

DGFI is regarded as one of the most dreaded intelligence agencies in the world due to its aggressive techniques.[6] The agency has received criticism from Human Rights Watch for its brutal interrogation techniques, targeted killings, Assassinations and involvement with various militant outfits.[7][7][8][9]

DGFI is headquartered in Dhaka Cantonment, and former commandant of Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) Major General Md Saiful Abedin, is the current director general of the agency.[10]

History

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 the Directorate of Forces Intelligence (DFI) in 1972 under ministry of defense. DGFI headquarters began functioning only in Dhaka from a small one storey building in Bailey Road, Dhaka The small role of DFI was only limited to sharing intelligence with the Armed Forces. Group Captain K.M Aminul Islam, coursemate of then air chief A. K. Khandkar was appointed as the first Director of DFi.[11] The nascent DFI with no budgetary authority achieved very little until 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 upgraded and transformed from a Defensive to an Offensive Intelligence Unit. In 1976, DGFI headquarters were relocated to Dhaka Cantonment from Bailey Road, Dhaka with a strong Counter intelligence division. According to analysts, the structure of DGFI closely resembles that of Inter-Services Intelligence. In 1978 the Defense Attaché assignment was inducted. 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 staff is undertaken by the Armed Forces and the Director General is appointed by the Prime Minister with recommendations from the Chief of Armed Forces. The DGFI was structured to be manned by officers from the three main military services, to specialise in the collection, analysis and assessment of Military intelligence. Over the years, DGFI's role has transformed to both military and non-military intelligence gathering and the agency is active in more than 45 countries worldwide.

in 2006, DGFI Headquarters was permanently relocated to a 14-story tower near the Rajanigantha Area inside the Dhaka Cantonment. Current DGFI Director, Major General Mohammad Saiful Abedin is the 25th Director General of the Agency, taking over his assignment on 17 February, 2017 succeeding Major General Mohammad Akbar Hossain.[11]

Purpose

To collect, collate, evaluate and disseminate all services strategical and topographical intelligence about Law and Order situations and the Armed Forces. 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 on other nations' Armed forces.
  • Joint Intelligence: Works with Special 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.
Major General Ziaur Rahman was the founder of DGFI. He served as the Chief of Army Staff and President of Bangladesh

Notable directors

  • First Director. DFI. Group Captain Aminul Islam, (1972 - 1975)

Organizational structure

The agency consists of a director and seven deputy directors. DGFI operates under seven directorates making up the primary structure of the organisation. 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' navy and maritime intelligence.
  • Military Intelligence: The intelligence arm of the 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, analysing, and distributing aerial intelligence.
  • Directorate of Joint Intelligence: Responsible for collection of Political Intelligence.

Counter-terrorism Unit

Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Bureau (CTIB), is an elite counter terrorism intelligence unit of DGFI.[13] The Bureau was established in 2006 from the counterterrorism wing of DGFI which was established in 2002.[14] The bureau was established along with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and the counter terrorism cell of National Security Intelligence (NSI). CTIB is responsible for collecting and analysing intelligence on internal threats and counterattack.The unit is directed by Brigadier General S M Matiur Rahman. CTIB agents are recruited from the Armed Forces and are responsible for gathering intelligence and executing special operations.

Functions

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 ISI, India's RAW and CIA.[15][16][17]

Military Experts have termed the subcontinent is a beehive of intelligence and counterintelligence activity and spy craft and labelled DGFI, ISI, CIA, FSB, R&AW, MSS, Mossad, and MI6 as the big players in Asian intelligence scenario.

Controversies

Blocking advertising on Prothom Alo and the Daily Star

In 2015, Bangladeshi Intelligence Agency DGFI was accused of blocking major companies from advertising in two major newspapers in Bangladesh; the daily Prothom Alo and the 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 newspapers. However, other large corporations refused to comment on the issue. "We were informed by our clients that due to unavoidable circumstances, we should stop all advertisements in Prothom Alo and the Daily Star," Alam said. "We initially continued to advertise in the magazine supplements, but that was also stopped."[18]


See also

References

  1. ^ Ignoring Execution and Tortures. Human Rights Watch. 2009. ISBN 9781564324832. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) – Overview". 
  3. ^ "ULFA, Bangladesh's DGFI join hands to wreak havoc". News18.com. Cable News Network, LP LLLP. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "PM wants DGFI ready". bdnews24. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ministry wants printers under DGFI watch". New Age. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Torture in Bangladesh". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Bangladesh: Stop Denying Killings and Torture". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Torture of Tasneem Khalil: How the Bangladesh Military Abuses Its Power". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Ignoring Executions and Torture: Impunity for Bangladesh's Security Forces". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Changes in top army positions | The Daily Star". 17 February 2017. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "History". Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI). Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Maj Gen Sheikh Mamun new DGFI chief". The Daily Star. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  13. ^ "ICAB gets new secretary". The Daily Star. 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  14. ^ "Intelligence reform in Bangladesh". The Daily Star. 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  15. ^ Fisher, David. "New Zealand link to hardline forces". nzherald.co.nz. NZME. Publishing Limited. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  16. ^ Talukder, Kamal Hossain. "Bangladesh intelligence team to go India". bdnews24.com. bdnews24.com. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  17. ^ BSS. "PM for strong coordination among Asia-Pac intelligence agencies". dhakatribune.com. Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Bergman, David. "Bangladeshi spies accused of blocking media adverts". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 

Further reading

  • Amin tried to blackmail Hasina
  • Bangladesh Country Study Guide: Vol I
  • Ignoring Executions and Torture: Impunity for Bangladesh's Security Forces
  • Pakistan Intelligence, Security Activities and Operations Handbook
  • India's Fragile Borderlands: The Dynamics of Terrorism in North East India
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