Directorate General of Forces Intelligence
প্রতিরক্ষা গোয়েন্দা মহাপরিদপ্তর
Insignia of the DGFI
Flag of DGFI
Agency overview
Formed1977; 47 years ago (1977)[1]
Preceding agency
    • Directorate
    • of
    • Forces
    • Intelligence
    • (1972–1977)
JurisdictionPrime Minister of Bangladesh
HeadquartersDhaka Cantonment, Dhaka, Bangladesh
MottoWatch and Listen for the nation, to protect national security.
Annual budgetClassified
Agency executive
Parent agencyBangladesh Armed Forces
Child agency

The Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (Bengali: প্রতিরক্ষা গোয়েন্দা মহাপরিদপ্তর), commonly known by its acronym DGFI, is the defense intelligence agency of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, tasked with collection, collation and evaluation of strategic and topographic information, primarily through human intelligence (HUMINT).[3] As one of the principal members of the Bangladesh intelligence community, the DGFI reports to the Director-General under the executive authority of the head of government, the Prime Minister, and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the Prime Minister, the Cabinet of Bangladesh, and the Armed Forces of Bangladesh.[4]

Formed in 1972 as Directorate of Forces Intelligence under the command and jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense, The DFI was organised as the principal intelligence arm of the nascent defense ministry of Bangladesh, limited to gathering critical information pertaining to the Armed Forces. The agency experienced dramatic reorganization and growth after the 1977 unrest and attempted coup, resulting from the hijacking of JAL Flt. 472 from Bombay, India to Dhaka International Airport, Tejgaon. In 1977, during reorganization the DFI was transferred temporarily from the Minister of Defense to the Director of Martial Law Control Communication and Control Center under the ZMLA, Dhaka, and officiated under the control of the Chief Executive, the President. The directorate was elevated to Directorate General with major increase in budget and logistics, with its headquarters relocated to Dhaka Cantonment. The agency transformed into the principal intelligence arm of the defense forces specializing in gathering of foreign military intelligence.[5] The agency officially adopted its current name in the same year. The DGFI officially consists primarily of military officers from the three service branches of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, while with an evolving role in the country's intelligence community, DGFI is also reported to have classified civilian employees. The stated priority mission of the DGFI is to provide timely, and accurate intelligence, and tactical support to Bangladesh Armed Forces commands. While the budget of DGFI is classified, it is reported to have the largest budget of the intelligence agencies.[6]

The DGFI has increasingly expanded its role throughout the years, including foreign intelligence gathering, counter-intelligence, covert operations, counter-proliferation, signals intelligence, cyber intelligence, and anti-terrorism.[7][8] The agency's elite counter-terrorism unit formed in 2006, CTIB, is responsible for gathering intelligence, infiltrating and neutralizing terrorist organizations that may pose a threat to national security.[9]


The DGFI was originally formed as Directorate of Forces Intelligence (DFI) in 1972. A major impetus for the creation of the agency was to monitor unforeseen threats from neighboring and foreign armed forces, especially India and Pakistan. DFI was headquartered in Segunbagicha, Bailey Road, Dhaka. Upon its creation, the role of DFI was strictly limited to sharing intelligence it gathered with the armed forces. The nascent DFI achieved very little and was overshadowed by National Security Intelligence (NSI), Bangladesh's principal intelligence agency.[10]

In May 2014, a New Monogram of the DGFI was unveiled at its Headquarter. The Lily placed on the center of the monogram, The National Flower Lily expressing the ethnicity of independent sovereign Bangladesh. The eight light emission around the lotus expressing Patriotism, Loyalty, Discipline, Concentration, Alertness, Prudence, and Efficiency of the activities of the agency. At the bottom "Bangladesh" there are two stars at each side and a total of four stars representing the four fundamental principles of the constitution of Bangladesh, Nationalism, Secularism, Socialism and Democracy.[citation needed]


The DGFI is headed by a Director-General, who is traditionally a serving Major-General (Two-star general) in the Bangladesh Army. One Deputy Director General and Nine Directors report directly to the Director-General with each deputy heading their assigned wings respectively:

Provide Bangladesh Armed Forces with foreign intelligence on other nations' armed forces.
Works with National Security Intelligence (NSI), Special Branch, Detective Branch and Rapid Action Battalion to gather detective and anti-state intelligence.
Information classified.
Elite covert intelligence unit of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, tasked with combating terrorism, gathering intelligence on internal or external threat to Bangladesh and counter-attack.
Classified. Reported to be foreign intelligence and espionage unit consisting of highly-specialized spies.[11]
Monitors national political and strategic affairs.
Monitors international political and strategic affairs.
Research and Development Bureau (RDB)
Conducting research activities in relevant fields and advice it to the Director General.
Provide national cyber security and monitor online platforms.
Monitors national telecommunication.
Monitors press/publications and media. Also acts as liaison to public.
Public Relations Monitoring Cell (PRMC)
Monitoring the public news papers, electronic media and social media activities
Administrative Bureau

Ensuring the Logistics and administrative activities as well as human resources management within DGFI.

Forces Foreign Liaison Bureau (FFLB)

Conducting liaison with foreign dignitaries, diplomats and Defence Attaché’s.


Main article: Director General of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence

# Rank Name Start of term End of term
Director - Directorate of Forces Intelligence
1 Brigadier Abdur Rauf 1972 1975
2 Brigadier Jamil Uddin Ahmad 1975 1975
3 Air Vice Marshal Aminul Islam Khan 1975 1977
Director - Martial Law Communication and Control Center, ZMLA, DHAKA
4 Wing Commander Muhammad Hamidullah Khan 1977 1978
Director General
5 Major General Mohabbat Jan Chowdhury 1979 1981
6 Mohammad Abdul Latif 1987 1990
17 Mohammad Abdul Halim 2001 2005
18 Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury 2005 2006
19 Sadik Hasan Rumi 2006 2007
20 ASM Nazrul Islam 2007 2007
21 ATM Amin 2007 2008
22 Brigadier General Chowdhury Fazlul Bari 2008 2008
23 Major General Golam Mohammad 2008 2009
24 Molla Fazle Akbar 2009 2011
25 Sheikh Mamun Khaled 2011 2013
26 Mohammad Akbar Hossain 2013 2017
27 Mohammad Saiful Abedin 2017 2020
28 Mohammad Saiful Alam 2020 2021
29 Ahmed Tabrez Shams Chowdhury 2021 2022
30 Hamidul Haque 2022 Present

Organizational structure

Twelve bureaus and nineteen detachments make up the primary structure of the organisation. The total manpower for DGFI is estimated to be around 12,000. The commanding post for DGFI is the DG followed by the DDG, director, senior additional director, additional director, deputy director and assistant director. Officers from armed forces posted here on deputation. Some civilian officer also works for DGFI recruited by Chief Administrative Officer, Ministry of Defence, Bangladesh.[citation needed]

Counter-terrorism Unit

Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Bureau (CTIB), is an elite counter terrorism intelligence unit of DGFI.[12] The Bureau was established in 2006 from the counterterrorism wing of DGFI which was established in 2002.[13] The bureau was established along with the 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 counterattacks. CTIB agents are recruited from the Armed Forces and are responsible for gathering intelligence and executing special operations.

Functions and activities

The DGFI and its activities are highly classified and confidential to both the mass media and civilians. The functions and priorities of DGFI have changed throughout the years and vary with the country's political situations and foreign affairs. The primary function of the DGFI is the collection of foreign military intelligence, however during recent times, the agency has extended its role to economic, political and foreign intelligence. DGFI maintains active collaborations with very few other secret services around the world.

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

Notable foreign operations

DGFI, like any other intelligence agency, collects information through human espionage. They have conducted numerous operations over the course of decades.



United Kingdom


See also


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  2. ^ "Bangladesh Army gets Saiful Alam as quartermaster general; Tabrej Shams is new chief of DGFI". Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Bangladesh intelligence team to go India". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  4. ^ "- History". 14 July 2015. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Intelligence reform in Bangladesh". The Daily Star. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Changes in top army positions". The Daily Star. 17 February 2017. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Bangladeshi worked for R&AW for 6 years". Hindustan Times. 3 January 2008. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Assam: The Bangla hand". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  9. ^ "PM wants DGFI ready". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  10. ^ "History". Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI). Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  11. ^ Chaudhuri, Sumanta Ray (10 July 2008). "Bangla intelligence making rapid inroads into Bengal". DNA. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  12. ^ "ICAB gets new secretary". The Daily Star. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Intelligence reform in Bangladesh". The Daily Star. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Bangladeshi worked for RAW for 6 years". Hindustan Times. 12 June 2007. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008.
  15. ^ Chaudhuri, Sumanta Ray (10 July 2008). "Bangla intelligence making rapid inroads into Bengal". DNA. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  16. ^ "India Accuses Pakistan, Bangladesh of Launching 'Operation Pin Code'". Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  17. ^ "ULFA, Bangladesh's DGFI join hands to wreak havoc". News18. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Motivations and Methods of India's United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)". Jamestown. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Bangladesh, Nepal helped India nab IM top guns". Hindustan Times. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  20. ^ Cobain, Ian; Karim, Fariha (17 January 2011). "UK linked to notorious Bangladesh torture centre". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  21. ^ "The Torture of Tasneem Khalil: How the Bangladesh Military Abuses Its Power under the State of Emergency: IV. A Midnight Arrest, 22 Hours of Torture". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Pulitzer for lies and faux pas for Khalil-Bergman duo". bdnews24.
  23. ^ "Khalil's admission blows the lid off Netra News funding". bdnews24.
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  28. ^ "Ulfa leadership working closely with ISI, DGFI". The Economic Times. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  29. ^ "'ULFA has links with ISI, B'desh spy agency'". Hindustan Times. 6 February 2009.
  30. ^ "Assam: The Bangla hand". Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Paresh Barua was 'in DGFI safehouse'". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  32. ^ "Stop mass trial of BDR mutiny". The Daily Star. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  33. ^ "The Fear Never Leaves Me". Human Rights Watch. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  34. ^ "Ignoring Executions and Torture". Human Rights Watch. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  35. ^ Khalil, Tasneem (2 March 2008). "Surviving torture in Bangladesh". The New York Times (Opinion). Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  36. ^ Cobain, Ian; Karim, Fariha (17 January 2011). "Bangladesh interrogation centre where Britons were taken to be tortured". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  37. ^ Bergman, David. "Bangladeshi spies accused of blocking media adverts". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  38. ^ "Bangladesh: Ex-chief justice alleges he was 'forced' to resign'". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  39. ^ "Bangladesh bought spyware from Israeli surveillance company". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  40. ^ "Bangladesh Army denies procuring Mobile Interceptor Device from Israel". Dhaka Tribune. 2 February 2021. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  41. ^ "Secret prisoners of Dhaka". Netra News — নেত্র নিউজ. 14 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  42. ^ "Former detainee talks about Bangladesh's secret prisons". Former detainee talks about Bangladesh's secret prisons. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  43. ^ ডিজিএফআই-এর আয়নাঘর, retrieved 22 August 2022
  44. ^ GDC (22 August 2022). "Bangladesh DGFI Operates Uyghur-style Secret Detention And Solitary Confinement Facilities In Dhaka". Global Defense Corp. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
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  46. ^ "Bangladesh interrogation centre where Britons were taken to be tortured". the Guardian. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
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Further reading