R&AW trained ‘Crusader 100’ in Bangladesh
( April 23, 2012, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian)
by Jessica Fox
Strictly scrutinized 100 armed cadres of the ruling Awami League in Bangladesh, who received 6-month long extensive commando training at Dehradun in India under the direct supervision of Indian espionage agency the Research and Analysis Wing are continuing various types of activities, including secret killing, abduction etcetera since June of 2010 with the mission of “clearing” a large number of politicians, media personnel and members of the civil society in Bangladesh. The team codenamed “Crusader-100” went to India during end September 2009 and stayed there till mid June 2010, where brilliant commando trainers of Indian Army gave extensive training to these people under the disguise of “training few young commandos of Bangladesh Army”. The entire project of “Crusader-100” was originally conceived by Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the project was coordinated directly by the Bangladeshi Prime Minister and her defense advisor Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui.
The advisor maintains special connection with Indian RAW and British MI6 for decades, since he was in army service. Such relations of RAW and MI6 with him was because of his family relations with Sheikh Hasina. When Bangladesh Awami League formed government in January 2009, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui became extremely important in the government due to his official position as the defense advisor to the Bangladeshi Prime Minister as well as his personal identity of being the brother-in-law of Prime Minister’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana. The selection of the entire batch of ruling party cadres, who were sent to India for commando training were directly done by Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui and a few of his loyal colleagues and retired army officers, while on return of the members of the “Crusader-100” team from India, they were provided a hit list comprising names of opposition politicians, members of Bangladeshi media and some members of the civil society. According to information, the list contains names of more than 83 people, who are planned to be “cleared” by the members of the “Crusader-100” gang. The members of these specially trained hitters are housed inside several buildings at Dhaka’s Gulshan and Baridhara areas. The Baridhara “bases” of the hitters is maintained directly by Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui and each of such places are equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipments as well as entry of civilians are restricted within these premises. Leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, M Ilias Ali, who became victim of enforced disappearance recently, was also named in the list of Crusader-100 force. My New Delhi contacts disclosed few of the names of the hit list, which include, political leaders Amanullah Aman, Mirza Abbas, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, M Ilias Ali, Habibun Nabi Sohel, Abdullah Al Noman, Barrister Abdur Razzaque, Shafiul Alam Pradhan, ASM Abdur Rob, Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini and Moulana Fazlul Karim. Awami League and RAW have decided “clearing” the listed names latest by December 2013, which they consider to be “vital” for the ruling party in Bangladesh in returning into power.
The gang of Crusader-100 is equipped with sophisticated small and medium range weapons, mostly with silencers as well as bullet-proof jackets, gas bombs and vehicles for their operations. Some of the members of this gang use satellite phones to skip interception of any of the Bangladeshi intelligence agencies. Each of the members of this gang received healthy financial package alongside various types of extra benefits, including apartments in Dhaka city for the members of their families and small businesses. They are not allowed to show faces during the day-time and mostly required to stay inside their bases in Dhaka city. In case of emergency, when the members of the team are required to go on street during the day time, they are compulsorily required to wear black-tinted helmets, to hide their faces from the public. By rotation, members of the team are secretly taken to India for a break of 7-10 days for “amusement” purposes. In such cases, they are allowed to cross Bangladesh-India borders without any travel documents.