Isha khan’s Weblog

ICDDR,B’s Military Connection with Israel
January 28, 2009, 10:19 pm
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ICDDR,B’s Military Connection with Israel

By Rafiq Ahmed

On 27 December 2008, Israel launched a barbaric attack with highly sophisticated weapons, largely supplied by USA, on the civilian population of Gaza under the pretext of fighting Hamas, an organization democratically elected to the parliament by the majority of the Palestinian people. In densely populated Gaza, an all out war against Hamas is, in reality, an attack on the civilian population.

The 22-day long Israeli aggression on Gaza has resulted in the deaths of more than 1300 civilians, over a third of them being children and women. More than 5000 people have been injured, half of them being women and children. Thousands and thousands of homes and residential complexes have been demolished. In brief, Gaza is in ruins, its rebuilding cost exceeding over 2 billion US dollars.

Many actions of the Israeli army such as the indiscriminate use of the US manufactured white phosphorus on unarmed civilian population resulting in very severe and deep burn injuries, bombing of UN schools sheltering civilian population, deliberately shelling unarmed civilians after huddling them into houses, attacking UN premises to destroy food and related items for civilian use and bombing of hospitals appear to have constituted war crimes. Several organizations including the UN organization UNRWA and Amnesty International have called for independent international investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes. A coalition of 350 European and Arab civil society organizations has filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court against war crimes committed by the Israeli army.

ICDDR,B’s military connection with Israel

The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) is the continuation of PAK-SEATO Cholera Research Laboratory, set up by the US government in 1960 to meet the health care needs for the US soldiers in Vietnam. It received a charter from the Government of Bangladesh in 1978 to work on diarrhoeal diseases affecting the poor people. The charter did not allow the Centre to work for military purposes. However, ICDDR,B, using the name of the poor diarrhoea suffering people of Bangladesh, collects millions and millions of dollars from several countries and organizations. The Israel Defence Force is the fourth strongest military establishment in the world and is the strongest in the Middle East. This mighty defence establishment of Israel has an extensive global network that supports its killing machine targeted towards the Palestinians and the Arabs. The Government of Bangladesh does not recognize the Zionist state of Israel.

The Swedish liaison

Collaborative activities among a group of scientists employed by the Government of Sweden, a vaccine company from Sweden (SBL-Vaccin AB), members of the Israel Defence Force and a number of the scientists from ICDDR,B have been going on for several years with a view to develop a vaccine against diarrhoea, caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), which Israel requires for its soldiers. This is documented in publications in scientific journals published from USA and UK (Infection and Immunity, USA, volume 68; pages 4492-97, year 2000; Vaccine, UK, volume 18, pages 2704-2712, year 2000). Dr. Ann-Mari Svennerholm, a female scientist from Sweden’s state-run Gothenburg University, had been working for several years with the Israel Defence Force.

The Swedish scientists Dr. Ann-Mari Svennerholm, her husband Dr. Jan Holmgren and a number of their subordinate colleagues from the University of Gothenburg have been working at ICDDR,B since 1979. Their principal contact persons during all these years at ICDDR,B had been Dr. David Sack (an American associated with the Centre since 1977 and worked as its director during 1999-2007) and Dr. Firdausi Qadri, a Bangladeshi female scientist holding a very senior position.

Dr. Ann-Mari Svennerholm was not just acting as an advisor to the Israel Defence Force. As a matter of fact, the Israel Defence Force was testing the same ETEC vaccine, which Dr. Ann-Mari Svennerholm and her ICDDR,B colleagues have been developing. The Israeli army had carried out two trials of the vaccine (ETEC/rCTB supplied by SBL-Vaccin AB) between May 22 and July 10, 1995, and between April 1 and June 18, 1997. Dr. Ann-Mari Svennerholm and her principal Bangladeshi co-worker Dr. Firdausi Qadri have also used the same lot of the ETEC vaccine (E-003, SBL-Vaccin AB) on the Bangladeshis as documented in the journal Vaccine (volume 18, pages 2704-2712, June 2000). These activities unequivocally establish the close scientific collaboration that prevails between ICDDR,B and Israel via Sweden.

The Swedish scientists Drs. Holmgren and Svennerholm are deeply associated with SBL-Vaccin AB, its current owner being Crucell N.V. of the Netherlands. SBL-Vaccin AB has also been collaborating with the Israeli army. In the share holder’s meeting on 14 April 2000, SBL-Vaccin AB’s President Mr. S. Andreasson disclosed that the company had been trying the ETEC-vaccine on a large number of Israeli soldiers (The Internet Press Release: page 7; April 14, 2000).

Tip of the iceberg

 What has been described here is probably a tiny tip of a huge iceberg as these are public documents available in the scientific literature. How much covert activities these Swedish scientists (led by Drs. Svennerholm and Holmgren ) and their ICDDR,B associates (led by Drs. Sack and Qadri) had been carrying out inside Bangladesh on behalf of the Israel Defence Force is any body’s guess.

Israeli military agent in Mirpur

Incidentally, Dr. Ann-Mari Svennerholm, the agent of the Israel Defence Force working at ICDDR,B, is also frequently seen in Mirpur of Dhaka where she carries out her “scientific tests” on the poor slum dwellers. This has been described in Sweden’s leading daily ‘Dagens Nyheter’ (5 May 2005) where she claimed Bangladesh to be her “second home”. One wonders whether this Israeli military agent has managed to procure Bangladeshi citizenship considering the fact that the Government of Bangladesh does not recognize the state of Israel and Bangladeshis are prohibited to travel to Israel.

Israeli army hands in the massacre of Bangladeshis

 The people of Bangladesh are one of the staunchest supporters of the peoples of Palestine and the Arab world opposed to Israeli expansionism. Many Bangladeshis have sacrificed their lives alongside the Palestinians in their just struggle against Israel. In September 1982, many Bangladeshis were victims of the massacre performed under the supervision of the Israeli army in the Lebanese camps of Sabra and Shatila. It is ironical that the Swedish governmental scientists collaborating with the Israeli army should be sheltered at ICDDR,B operating on the soil of Bangladesh.

 ICDDR,B’s numerous secret activities with the foreign military

 Apart from collaborating with Israel, ICDDR,B has a long history of colluding secretly with foreign military. ICDDR,B’s scientists developed AQUISTM, a performance enhancing drink for use by the US soldiers in Iraq (The New Age, Dhaka, 8 August 2006). Its scientists led by Dr. Firdausi Qadri have used Bangladeshis as experimental guinea pigs to test a cholera vaccine entitled Peru-15 developed by scientists of the U.S. army to provide better health care to the U.S. army personnel (Journal of Infectious Diseaes 192, 573-9, 2005). As reported recently in an American journal (Infection and Immunity 76, 4145-51, 2008), Dr. Firdausi Qadri collected stool samples containing cholera bacteria from Bangladeshi cholera patients and supplied them directly to a “biodefense” laboratory in the US where scientists under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Calderwood are analyzing these freshly collected stool specimens with the possibility of developing germ warfare agents. Cholera suffering poor stool providers of Bangladesh are kept completely in the dark about the secret agenda of Dr. Qadri and her American colleagues.

Earlier in 1985, ICDDR,B tested a highly controversial and expensive oral cholera vaccine of short term protective efficacy on 90, 000 poor women and children of rural Bangladesh using them as guinea pigs. Later, the vaccine was sold at a high price by SBL-Vaccin AB of Sweden to the US army engaged in war against Iraq in 1991 (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 371B, 1633-1640, 1995). In the 1980’s, ICDDR,B, in association with a leading western expert on biological weapons, had carried out collaborative cholera research with the minority white apartheid regime of South Africa grossly violating the foreign policy of the Government of Bangladesh (Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 21, 884-890, 1985).

National security of Bangladesh in an age of germ warfare:

We are living at a time with constant threats of biological warfare. Various pathogenic micro-organisms including cholera bacteria can be used as a tool in biological warfare. This is a serious matter for the people of Bangladesh when foreign military scientists are carrying out research with pathogenic micro-organisms at ICDDR,B. Israeli scientists had been working to develop an “ethnically targeted” biological weapon that would kill or harm the Arabs but not the Jews (The Jerusalem Post, 29 October, 1998; The Sunday Times, London, 15 November 1998).

These two Swedish scientists (Drs. Jan Holmgren and Ann-Mari Svennerholm), not trained in medical genetics, were also carrying out “genetic research” on Bangladeshi body specimens under the guise of cholera vaccine research (American journal of Epidemiology, 121, 791-796, 1985). Because of ICDDR,B’s long-term collaboration with the Swedish scientists (Drs. Jan Holmgren and Ann-Mari Svennerholm) linked to Israel, it is possible that highly pathogenic micro-organisms collected from Bangladesh have ended up in Israel via Sweden.

 It is possible that an external power might develop ethnic weapons against the Bangladeshis as foreign military scientists do possess genetic materials of the Bangladeshis. How much control do Bangladeshi authorities have over the activities and intentions of the expatriate scientists working with highly pathogenic micro-organisms at ICDDR,B? One wonders!

Rafiq Ahmed E Mail :

Posted by Isha Khan


1 Comment so far
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Dear Mr. Isha Khan:

Thank you for making available an excellent piece of work by Rafiq Ahmed on the covert activities of the Israeli military agents operating inside Bangladesh with scientists from Sweden acting as the liaison. It is a well written credible piece of work where facts are supported by appropriate references to scientific journals. This work leaves no doubt about the connection between ICDDR,B in Bangladesh and the Israel Defence Force. Bangladesh does not recognize the state of Israel. But what are the authorities doing?

It was interesting to learn from the report about the activities of a senior ICDDR,B Bangladeshi female scientist collaborating with the Israeli military agent. She has eked out a good life at ICDDR,B by becoming a stool supplier to an American bio-defense laboratory, possibly working to develop potential germ warfare agents. Easy life indeed for the lady who is well paid (in dollar equivalent international salary) for the job!

I feel pity for the poor cholera patients of Bangladesh. They may be poor, but their stool samples are very valuable to some bio-defense American experts working under cover of medical research!

Comment by Herman Smith

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