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BNP-Jamaat men under radar of US intelligence

Bangladesh, Capitol Police, Awami League, Congress, US intelligence, Department of Homeland Security

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BNP-Jamaat men under radar of US intelligence

Following publication of series of investigative reports in this newspaper, US intelligence agencies as well as Capitol Police’s intelligence unit have quietly started scrutinizing backgrounds of several individuals who are meeting lawmakers with the purpose of feeding them concocted information about Bangladesh, the ruling Awami League and country’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Social media feeds of these individuals are also being checked by the agencies concerned.

The Capitol Police, in a statement, defended the practice of searching for public information about people meeting with lawmakers and said the department coordinates the work with members’ offices.

“The more public information we have, the better we can understand what kind and how much security is necessary,” the statement said.

Major changes in the Capitol Police intelligence unit started in fall of 2020, when the department brought on former Department of Homeland Security official Julie Farnam to help run its intelligence unit, which is housed in its Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division. In the weeks before the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Farnam made a host of changes to internal intelligence protocols that “caused internal confusion” and “scrambled the priorities” of the unit’s analysts, according to CNN.

In another document reviewed by this newspaper, one Capitol Police official noted that Farnam directed analysts to run “background checks” on people whom lawmakers planned to meet, including donors and associates. When staff were listed as attending these meetings, Capitol Police intelligence analysts also got asked to check the social media accounts of the staffers.

Analysts were also directed to probe the ownership of buildings where members of Congress held their meetings.

The Capitol Police, in a statement, described the practice of seeking public information about people meeting with lawmakers as part of the department’s mission.

“It is our duty to protect Members of Congress wherever they are,” the statement said. “Just like journalists, we do research with public information.”

Meanwhile, several lawmakers have reportedly instructed their staffers to avoid communications with at least four lobbyist firms, which are working for Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami.

For the last couple of years, this newspaper has been exposing notorious background of pro-Caliphate Bangladesh Nationalist Party, a party which has attempted of transforming a democratic Bangladesh into a Caliphate by extending support to Hefazat-e-Islam. Back in 2013, top-ranking leaders of BNP, including Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman were providing fund and logistics to Hefazat-e-Islami with the plot of staging Iran-type “Islamic revolution” and transform Bangladesh into a Caliphate. It is also learnt from credible sources that, Mahmudur Rahman, a controversial BNP leader with Jamaat-e-Islami connection was playing key role in maintaining liaison between BNP and Hefazat.

In 2021, Hefazat-e-Islami went into mayhem in Bangladesh following visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hefazat made notorious bids of playing “anti-India”, “anti-Modi” and “anti-Hindu card and tried to stop Narendra Modi from attending the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh.

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Contents published under this byline are those created by the news team of WeeklyBlitz

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