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Indian Internal Security - 4
Congress goons at work?

<b>Post-poll, Tripura militants torture tribals</b>

Agartala: At least 67 tribal families have been driven out of their homes, their menfolk beaten up, women stripped and belongings looted by insurgents of the National Liberation Front of Tripura in a remote part of Dhalai district, the police said.

The militants had raided Karnamuni and Tetia several times since March 13 because the villagers did not vote for the NLFT-backed Opposition candidate in the February 7 Krishnapur Assembly election, the police said, quoting a delayed report.

The CPI (M) won the seat. The men were hit with rifle butts and caned. Women were beaten up and their cattle, poultry and grain looted. The families have now taken shelter beside a highway near camps of the paramilitary Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and the CRPF.

Special TSR contingents have launched a search in the area to track down the insurgents.

<b>Now Economic terrorism from Bangladesh. Trying to ruin indian economy by printing & circulating fake Indian currency. Bangladeshi women who have been prevented from getting an education in their country due to islamic values now turning to prostitution to earn quick money.</b>

<b>16 illegal Bangladeshi migrants held in Bangalore</b>
Mar 23, 2008

<b>Bangalore: Around 16 illegal Bangladeshi immigrants including four women, have been arrested on various charges by CCB sleuths on Saturday.

According to Gopal B Hosur, Joint Commi-ssioner (Crime), it was still too early to say whether the arrested Bangladeshis have any terror links but they had sneaked into the country through Mumbai six months’ back before landing in the City.

The prime accused, Sabu Shek alias Moham-med Unishek (18), was picked up from Belattur bus stand, Hoskote Road while he was trying to push counterfeit currency notes of Rs 1,000 denom-inations.

During interrogation, he confessed to have carried around 50 such notes and put into circulation 38 of them.

Based on Shek’s disclosures, others who were residing at Kadugodi, Belandur, Hoskote, Koth-anur and surrounding areas were arrested.

Some of them had taken up small-time jobs, while the women were into prostitution to make ends meet.

A few months back, Mumbai and Surat police had arrested several Bangladeshi nationals. One of them, Irfan, had revealed that hundreds of his compatriots had managed to gain entry into India through various means.

The Maharashtra police had alerted the City police about the possible stay of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Bangalore.

Saturday’s catch was the result of the strict vigil maintained by the City police, Hosur said, adding that without public cooperation it would be difficult to identify illegal immigrants.

Landlords should be on the guard while renting out their premises. Likewise, citizens need to be careful while entrusting odd jobs to strangers as well, he added.</b>

The arrested are Mohammed Nassir (32), Mustaruban Begum (30), Mohammed Nassir alias Bakker Talukdar (30), Noor Mohammed Fakir (40), Babu Shek (18), Rizaul Shek (33), Ramzar Shek (22), Arshad Shek (27), Fatima Kom (19), Himarul Shek (27), Salma (26), Mohammed Piplu (25), Fatima Katum (18), Sujan (28) and Bukar Fagi (28).
<!--QuoteBegin-Harshvardan+Mar 23 2008, 01:48 PM-->QUOTE(Harshvardan @ Mar 23 2008, 01:48 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Congress goons at work?

<b>Post-poll, Tripura militants torture tribals</b>

Agartala: At least 67 tribal families have been driven out of their homes, their menfolk beaten up, women stripped and belongings looted by insurgents of the National Liberation Front of Tripura in a remote part of Dhalai district, the police said.[right][snapback]79928[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->NLFT is thoroughly christian. (They also happen to get funded by foreign Baptists, especially the faithfuls from the US.)
Christianism - the religion of love and peace - in action.
See http://www.christianaggression.org/features_nlft.php "NLFT, the christian al-qaeda"

Submitting to the IF admin that missionaries thead deserves to be moved into Strategic Security of India (and thread renamed to christianism or christian terrorism or something), rather than it remaining in Indian Politics. Christianism is as big a threat as islam is, and has also used the same tactics, so I don't see that it deserves any special treatment.
<b>Bhutan's new govt will not hesitate to act against NE rebels</b>

Thimphu, Mar 26 (PTI) Bhutan's new government will not hesitate to carry out a 2003-like operation against Indian insurgents if they sneak into its territory, the Bhutanese party which swept to power in the country's first general election said today.

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), which will form the first elected government in Bhutan, said there won't be much changes to the erstwhile kingdom's foreign policy with its two giant neighbours India and China with whom it had "excellent" relations.

"Both India and China are important neighbours and we will continue to maintain excellent relations with them," party spokesman Palden Tshering said.

"Our foreign policy is very clear. Our relations with India for decades have been of bonhomie and there won't be any change in that approach," former foreign secretary Ugyen Tshering said.

Ugyen denied reports of presence of camps of northeast rebels in southern Bhutan. "These are not true and even if militants try to sneak into our country, we will not hesitate to do what we did in 2003," he said.

Bhutan had evicted ULFA, NDFB and KLO militants through a military operation in 2003 and destroyed nearly 15 of their camps during the "Operation All Clear".

Among the prized catch were senior ULFA adviser Bhimkanta Buragohain and publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary.

Former prime minister Yeshey Zimba, who won from the South Thimphu constituency, said Bhutan will never allow Indian insurgents on its soil. PTI
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Terror funding under scanner</b>
Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi
Govt scrutinising 600 suspicious transactions
The Centre is tracking the records of more than 600 financial transactions that it suspects could be linked to terror funding and other clandestine activities in the country and the region.   

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in the Union Finance Ministry has forwarded hundreds of cases of suspected money-laundering and terror-financing to the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Stock Exchange Board of India and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

According to FIU inputs, African diamond trade is ringing the cash registers of Al Qaeda; poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is feeding the Taliban; money generated from a shipping network run by the sympathisers of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is sustaining its guerrilla adventure in Sri Lanka and the real estate boom in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad is helping the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) with funds for carrying out subversive activities in India.

Intelligence inputs say that a lot of money is coming into the country from the Gulf region and it is difficult to say which is good or bad money. However, the Government is keeping a close watch on all investments coming into the country, particularly from that region.

The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which had been predominantly sourced from the United States, has declined over the years and investments from countries like Mauritius has increased manifold. Instances have been recorded by the IB wherein foreign banks having links with Al Qaeda had sought registration with the SEBI as foreign institutional investors.

Organised crime networks like the D-Company of Dawood Ibrahim have made inroads into the economic framework of the country by entering into diverse activities such as infotainment sector, sand-mining in coastal areas, Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) distribution chain, extortion racket, smuggling of narcotics and gambling in sports apart from real estate business. This extensive and well-structured network, using proxies, had made monitoring and detection extremely difficult.

In a frank admission, Finance Minister P Chidambaram recently told Parliament that there were indications of money generated from the economy being used for terror funding.

600 number just tells whole story, this is just a big blonney from UPA government.
it is not 596 or 603.
Looks like Singapore is becoming a watering hole for all kinds of characters from NEw Delhi.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Baru to quit as PM adviser

New Delhi, March 31: <b>Mr Sanjaya Baru, media adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, will be resigning from his post to take up an academic assignment in Singapore. Mr Baru will leave in August for a two-year stint at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at Singapore’s National University. His daughter has also enrolled at a college of arts in Singapore.</b> Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said Mr Baru would continue to remain in his current post till July and that no move had been initiated yet for his replacement. Mr Baru is the only other officer in the PMO of the rank of secretary. 

The turd Rajamohna is also at same place.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Looming food crisis </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
UPA's wrong priorities to blame
<b>That India may be heading for a food shortage signifies a sizeable failure of policy that has grave implications for food security</b>. It was but in the recent past that the country was on a collective high, with mounting food stocks lending credence to the belief that India has permanently solved this problem. In 2002, foodgrain stocks available with the Food Corporation of India were at an all time high of 62 million tonnes against the annual requirement of about 20 million tonnes. Yet, these surpluses have proved illusory and concealed the harsh reality that the situation with food production is perilous. Available Government figures for food production alarmingly reveal that there has been not just stagnation in the per capita foodgrain production, which is down to the level it was in the 1970s, but a decline. If in 1979, at the height of the Green Revolution, per capita availability of pulses and cereals had gone up to 476.5 grams per day, the corresponding figure in 2006 was 444.5 grams per day. The case with pulses is worse, with the per capita net availability today almost half of what it was in 1951. These statistics reveal that the Government's interventions in agriculture have been a failure for they have done nothing to foster growth and productivity. As a result, farm output has registered zero growth, even though overall agriculture has grown - though at lowly rates of about two per cent. This means that there is a steadily growing gap between supply and demand, which is likely to turn critical if corrective steps are not taken. <b>It must never be forgotten that even in the best days of large food-stocks, mass hunger had never been eroded, with perhaps 200 million people severely underfed and a quarter of them on the verge of starvation. </b>

<b>The emerging statistical picture shows how a crisis may be approaching, with factors beyond control, such as the unpredictable international market.</b> In recent years, India has been forced to import wheat, though there has not been enough available in the world market to satisfy demand. It will be unacceptable if in the future the country is again reduced to accepting foreign handouts as it was during the PL-480 days. It is sad that the UPA Government has allowed this situation to fester despite being in the saddle these last four years. It cannot be that the situation was hidden from it, especially considering that an 'able economist' heads the Government. While a second Green Revolution has been so obviously a necessity, the Government has taken no meaningful steps to encourage it. <b>It has frivolously wasted its energies in still-born projects such the nuclear deal but has ignored fundamental aspects of the economy without which national security and national pride are meaningless. </b>
<b>The masala to flush out terrorists in J&K</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
To be one up on militants during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces are all set to get new anti-thermal smoke grenades filled with high concentration of red chilly and pepper.

The 81-mm calibre grenades, which have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, have completed field trials and contain red phosphorus and chilly and pepper, defence sources said.

"The field trials have been completed with success in several areas and along the Line of Control. The grenades would be successful in forcing out militants from their hideouts," they said.

The grenades have concentrated extract of a naturally-occurring red chilly and pepper, besides phosphorus and explosive material, they said.

As the grenades burst, the extract and explosive material get dispersed in the atmosphere giving acute irritation to the throat and skin. The grenade material also chokes the respiratory tract causing difficulty in breathing.

It will also be possible to create a smoke screen with the grenade burst, the sources said.

The smoke screen is capable of neutralising thermal imagers and night vision devices and laser range finder.

The hand grenade can be effectively used by both the police and armed forces, the sources said.

The 81-mm calibre grenade can also be mounted on the turret of tank and fired by a grenade launcher, they said.

The grenade forms a smoke screen within four to 5.4 seconds at about 90 metres distance on bursting above the ground, they added.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Major arms cache busted in UP</b>
Thu, Apr 3 04:46 PM

Nearly 800 detonators were found in the jungles of Motipur in the district by Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel.

On a tip off that explosives hidden in the jungles, SSB pesonnel carried out a search operation in the area and recovered 794 detonators and 21 feet-long saftety fuse, DIG-SSB, Anil Agarwal said on Thursday.

According to sources in the force, the detonators were to be used for creating trouble during elections in neighbouring Nepal.

Agarwal said extensive combing of jungles was on and SSB was on high alert in view of the elections in Nepal from April 10.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>'India faces security threat from neighbours'</b>
April 6, 2008

Bangalore : Lt Gen (retired) Venkatesh Madhav Patil on Saturday warned about national security threats from our neighbours - Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China - besides internal security threats.

Delivering the keynote address during inauguration of Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) Karnataka chapter, Patil said that with Prachandas and Maoists calling shots in Nepal, no one is sure of its effects on nine States of India, which are part of `red corridor’, where Naxals were gaining upper hand.

Every government has chosen to ignore infusion of 20 million Bangladeshis into India, which can potentially be a future `balkanisation’ of India. ``No political party is ready to address the problem and the Parliament is not ready to discuss the issue,’’ he pointed out.

Stating that India was in `Catch-22’ situation in Sri Lanka problem Patil said that if LTTE succeeded in Sri Lanka and manage to get a separate country for themselves, they will have influence on political situation of Southern states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. If they lose, then it will have adverse impact on the three southern states. ``India should play a role, where both the parties will have a win-win situation’’, he added.

Term politics
China would be a potential threat both in terms of political and economic power. The greatest strength of China is that it can wait for centuries to resolve an issue. However, democratic India is not so fortunate, as every government want to get name by resolving an issue in five years term, he added.

Patil lamented that formation of linguistic States itself was narrow and divisive politics by Indian politicians. ``While internal security is deteriorating month by month, the political parties continue to play divisive politics. While nine States reel under Naxal menace, the State government choose to play it down and handle it through police as mere law and order problem,’’ he said.

Patil said that though the police catch the criminals within hours after subversive incidents like Mumbai blast, but it takes decades to decide the cases. The trial ends in acquittal demoralising the police forces, he added.
Inaugurating the Karnataka chapter, Karnataka Home Secretary Vatsala Vatsa said that there was need for a multi-faced approach to tackle internal security problems like naxal activities.

``While police force should be well trained to handle naxals, the government should address the problems of the poor, who take into naxal activities,’’ she added.

Former Punjab Director General of Police P C Dogra made a presentation on `Internal Security Challenges and Responses’. Former Karnataka Additional Chief Secretary Mr Vijay Gore, who is President of FINS Karnataka chapter said that timely redressal of grievances of poor people by government will leave no scope for the local to lend support to the militant ideologies.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Police constable shot dead at Varanasi</b>

Varanasi, March 28: A police constable was shot dead while on duty at Saket Nagar under Lanka police station area here this evening.

Rajeev Malhotra, SP city, told reporters that <b>Arun Mishra, a police constable posted near Sankat Mochan temple was shot dead by some unknown assailants at Saket nagar in the vicinity of the temple at around 2030 hours.</b>

Police cordoned off the area and were searching for the assailants.

The body of the policeman has been sent for autopsy and the matter was being investigated.

The SP said the cause of the murder could not be ascertained immediately.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Laser light on terror war</b>

Lucknow, April 6: A laser technique that can be used to map terrain with high accuracy, penetrating even dense foliage, could help India boost its war on terror and guerrilla groups hiding in forests, experts and former defence officers have said.

Aerial surveillance based on the light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology may help security agencies track down terror cells in deep forests more easily than conventional aerial photography, experts attending a LIDAR training programme at IIT Kanpur said.

“This is a technology to create very accurate 3D maps of terrain very fast,” said Bharat Lohani, associate professor of civil engineering at IIT Kanpur, who had organised the five-day training programme.

The technology will be a “boon to anti-insurgency operations” in the forests of the Northeast, Bastar, Andhra Pradesh and in the mountainous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir, said R.C. Padha, a former defence officer who participated in the training.

LIDAR technology can be used to pinpoint militant activities in deep forests which are often favoured hideouts of terror and guerrilla groups, including Naxalites, an expert at the programme said.

The LIDAR system placed on an aircraft sends laser pulses to the ground 400 times a second. These strike the surface and bounce back to the source, allowing operators to create a detailed 3D image of the terrain.

The laser pulses can yield detailed information about terrain altitudes, measuring even the height of grass in an area. Scientists say this capacity of the LIDAR may be used to identify forest pathways that have been eroded by human footfalls.

Security experts point out that Naxalites in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have managed to resist police and security forces by staying put in the thick jungles. Heavy foliage has been a major bottleneck in the police attempt to bust Naxalite cells.

“Conventional aerial surveillance cannot achieve this,” said an expert. “But a LIDAR can go through foliage and help create maps of areas with dense vegetation.”

Detailed 3D maps of specific locations could also help security agencies prepare in advance for attacks against terror groups, the expert said. “Security personnel could be far better trained when they go in.”

But IIT Kanpur’s Lohani said the focus of the workshop was civilian applications. “Any long-term urban planning would require detailed topographic images, but there aren’t enough of such maps being generated in India,” he said.

LIDAR facilitates extremely fast map generation, Lohani said. For example, he pointed out, the entire city of Kanpur could be covered by an aircraft flying over the city for just two days, and all terrain data could be processed for storage within four weeks.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Uttar Pradesh police seize large quantity of explosives</b>
Apr 7 2008

Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh Police have seized a large quantity of explosives, including detonators, safety fuse and gelatin sticks, from Bahraich and Mahoba districts last night.

According to official sources, the security forces have recovered explosives from Rupaidaha Railway station of Bahraich District on Indo-Nepal border.

Shasastra Seema Bal (SSB) recovered twenty detonators, eight gelatin sticks and safety fuse from there and detained one person, who was allegedly carrying the explosives.

In Mahoba District, the cops have recovered more than 25 kg of explosives and three persons have been arrested in this connection.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>3 militants killed in Nagaland factional fight</b>

Apr 23, 2008

Kohima: Three Naga underground activists were killed in an exchange of fire between rivals NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (Unification) at 7th mile area in the outskirts of Dimapur on Tuesday.

The police said one cadre each of the NSCN (I-M) and the NSCN (U) were dead while the identity of another cadre was unknown.

The clash continued intermittently for over three hours, according to the police.

However, the rival groups dispersed with the arrival of senior police officials, CRPF personnel and village elders.
<b>Why the hell are these foreigners allowed to collect intelligence in Indian states?</b>

<b>Scandinavian diplomats on recce in North-East</b>
Guwahati, April 23

Ambassadors of three Scandinavian countries are on a visit to Northeastern states of India taking stock of the social, political and economic situation in the region besides gathering information about potential sectors for investment in the region.

<b>Ambassadors of Denmark, Sweden and Finland, Ole Lonsmann Poulsen, Carl-G Svensson and Asko Numminen, respectively, along with their spouses are on a tour to Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur meeting people from different sections of society.

They are apparently here to take stock of the internal security scenario in view of the prevailing insurgency in the region, to have first hand information about incidence of HIV and AIDS cases in the region, especially in Manipur.</b>

They are also in the job of identifying untapped sectors that hold key to rapid economic growth of the backward Northeastern states. The foreign diplomats have visited locations Arunachal Pradesh, including picturesque and snow capped Tawang located near the border with China. They also paid visit to enchanting Kaziranga National Park, the abode of one-horned rhinoceros in Assam.

During an interaction with a small group of mediapersons here, the diplomats tried to gather information about the conflict situation in the region and the cooperation, if any, extended by neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar to Indian authorities in rooting bases of insurgents from Northeast in those countries.

The ambassadors on visit are trying to figure out the key areas that could trigger rapid economic growth in the backward N-E region and the impact of Chinese made consumer goods, which have flooded the markets in hill areas of the Northeast through illegal trade channels, on the local economy of the region.

The ambassadors have evinced interests in assessing the HIV and AIDS scenario in the region and are visiting the worse-affected state of Manipur. They met the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) officials here today.
<b>Security scenario grim, admits Govt</b>

NEW DELHI: When India's intelligence czar himself sounds the alarm, it is time to get worried. Lack of coordination between the Centre and states, poor unactionable intelligence, fuzzy and imprecise inputs, dearth of a dedicated pool of officers and patchy information on foreign sources of terror is crippling India's war on terror.

Briefing the Cabinet on Friday on the terror strikes on Jaipur, national security adviser M K Narayanan painted a grim, if accurate, scenario. There was no clear indication that a terror strike on the pink city was imminent. On the investigations, the NSA said the cycles used to plant bombs and a video clip released by email by an entity called Indian Mujahideen had provided leads that were being followed.

<b>The NSA's briefing to the Cabinet will cause some concern to the political leadership as it indicates a dulling of security reflexes due to bureaucratic lethargy and absence of both a culture of accountability and security consciousness.</b> These concerns were highlighted in a front-page series by TOI in August-September last year in the wake of the attack on Hyderabad.

<b>IB sleuths surprised by NSA remarks</b>

There is also a sense of surprise amongst security and intelligence professionals over Narayanan’s "confession" as the NSA — as the intelligence czar — has pretty much had the run of way in top appointments in Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau. He also straddles the National Security Council.

His position in PMO and the equity he enjoys with 10, Janpath should give him the powers to set the house in order. Certainly, to tide over the problem of lack of coordination. <b>But if India’s top spook can’t fix things, it speaks of the enormity of the challenge as well as the the continued corrosion of the security apparatus.</b> The NSA went with the current RAW secretary Ashok Chaturvedi’s appointment despite serious misgivings. His predecessor, P K Hormis Tharakan, was hand-picked by the NSA. IB, of course, has been home ground for the ex-IB chief.

On a wider canvas, the issues raised by a possibly distraught NSA are not terribly new. TOI had looked at all aspects of terrorism. "India loses more lives to terror than any other country in the world except Iraq" (August 27, 2007) looked at the toll of terror. "It’s terror, no use denying it" (August 28, 2007) examined the cost of denial. In "Political meddling trips up terror probes" (September 3, 2007), TOI argued that agencies were made to bow to political masters and "What other nations are doing to curb terror: Lessons for us" (August 31, 2007), looked at how mature democracies reacted to 9/11.

The essential issue relates to the options the government is prepared to consider. Having taken the political position that it is against special laws like POTA — having rolled it back with much fanfare — the Manmohan Singh government has come under sustained pressure with 10 major blasts in three years. <b>Even after the Jaipur blasts, the PM reiterated the argument that POTA had not prevented the attacks on Akshardham temple and Parliament. But the argument seems to grow weaker with each successive terrorist strike. To counter the "weak-on-terrorism" charge, agencies need to be given enough room while ensuing an end to the turf battles they frequently have. </b>

Special laws have been enacted by countries like US to ensure coordination between banks and financial institutions to choke off terror funding, increase in border security and investigators, easier sharing of data banks, video surveillance, centres for tracking foreign terrorists and above all, fast trials and tough sentences.

<b>Security agencies as well as ordinary police forces tend to follow political signals closely. So stop-start policies with regard to naxals and ULFA, failure of the joint mechanism on terrorism with Pakistan have only added to the problem of corruption and political inteference which have slowed down police. Despite bearing the brunt of terrorism, India’s security apparatus neither has the wherewithal nor has been been given the clear mandate that it requires to take on the forces of global terror. </b>
Should we give Murkha Ratna to Moron Singh?
<b>Shivraj Patil must step down or be fired</b>
In Agra, (may some other place also) one day before Holi, someone will paste list containg title of residence of that area on electicity or telephone pole. Titles were based on how they resident are percieved by others.

How about India-Forum start title for our esteemed ministers/leaders during month of <i>pitr sharad</i>.
Looks like B Raman saab is cracking down on his own. And we missed his first article. And its an ouch coming from him who defended the agencies stoutly in front of the KRC.

From Deccan Chronicle, 30 May 2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Crack down on inept intelligence
By B. Raman
<b>This is the second article of a series</b>

Preventive intelligence, preventive physical security and thorough investigation and successful prosecution are the main pillars of effective counter-terrorism.  Intelligence agencies all over the world complain that for every successful terrorist strike, there were at least two or more which were thwarted due to timely intelligence collected by them. They also complain that while they are blamed for their failures, no public credit is given to them for their successes because the details of their successes are not announced to the public for reasons of operational secrecy. This is true. <b>At the same time, intelligence officers should understand that the public would judge them by their known failures, not by their unknown successes. Known failures are a bit too many in India.</b>

<b>Complaints made </b>against the Central intelligence agencies by police officers responsible for prevention <b>are, one, they give general intelligence and not specific.</b> If they are able to get specific intelligence, terrorist strikes can be easily prevented. <b>And two, </b>intelligence agencies try to protect themselves in advance from any criticism by flooding the police with a large number of low-grade reports. <b>They focus on quantity, and not quality.</b>

After having served as the head of the counter-terrorism division of the Research & Analysis Wing for six years, <b>I have to admit the validity of such complaints</b>. It is not as if the intelligence agencies do not give specific intelligence. They do often. A good example, which is now publicly known, is the intelligence gathered by R&AW about the plans of the Khalistani terrorists to kill Rajiv Gandhi when he went to Rajghat in October 1987. R&AW was able to get complete details of this plot, including when, where and how the Khalistanis would try to kill Rajiv Gandhi. <b>The report was totally correct, but R&AW’s credibility with the Delhi police was so low that they did not act on this report thinking that it must be one of those “gups”.</b> Rajiv Gandhi was saved because of the incompetence of the man deputed by the Khalistanis to kill him.

<b>If R&AW’s credibility with the police officers in different states is low, that of the Intelligence Bureau is even lower. </b>The only way of improving the credibility of the organisations in the eyes of the state police is by improving the quality of reporting instead of focusing on quantity. <b>All Prime Ministers — barring Indira Gandhi — tended to defend the intelligence agencies from charges of failure of intelligence.</b>

<b>Indira Gandhi was the only Prime Minister who did not have this conditioned reflex of going to the defence of the intelligence agencies even if they did not deserve it.</b> She did not hesitate to hold them accountable if they failed to perform. <b>Under her, heads used to roll from time to time in the intelligence agencies because of poor performance, but this does not happen under other Prime Ministers.</b>

A Prime Minister should give the intelligence agencies all the backing they need in the form of personnel, equipment, funds and enhanced powers, but if, in spite of this, they fail to perform he should not hesitate to act against them in public to make it clear to senior intelligence officers that poor performance and incompetence would not be tolerated. <b>I cannot think of any instance in recent years when a senior intelligence officer had to pay a price for demonstrated or perceived incompetence. Once officers reach the top positions, they manage to continue till their superannuation irrespective of whether they improve the performance of their agencies or not.</b>

One will notice that in the Western intelligence agencies, officers rise to be the chief at a comparatively young age. Mr Robert Gates, the present US defence secretary, was a career officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. He rose to be the director of the CIA when he was still in his 40s. This was because of the constant weeding out of incompetent officers at different levels. <b>In India, R.N. Kao became the first head of R&AW at the age of 50 and N.F. Suntook, the third chief of the organisation, at the age of 52.

All others became chiefs after they had crossed the age of 55 and were approaching superannuation.</b> Unless there is constant weeding out of incompetent officers at different levels, efficiency and competence will not improve and there will be no incentive for good performance. Such weeding takes place in our armed forces, but not in our intelligence agencies.

<b>Even though we have been facing the problem of religious, ethnic and ideological terrorism for decades, collection of intelligence relating to terrorism and insurgency has not been given the high priority it deserves</b>. In India, one tends to emulate Israel for the wrong reasons. One must emulate it for the right reasons. One of these right reasons is that the performance of intelligence agencies and their officers in Israel are assessed purely on the basis of the preventive intelligence relating to terrorism collected by them. An officer may get brilliant reports on military or political intelligence, but none of these will help him in his career if he fails to get good preventive intelligence reports on terrorism.

<b>The time has come for a detailed look into the charters and priorities of our intelligence agencies in order to ensure that collection of terrorism-related intelligence is given a high priority, if not the highest priority. It must be made clear to the agencies and their officers that their performance will be judged with the yardstick of counter-terrorism.</b>

<b>To be continued</b>

B. Raman is a former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat


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