Situation is unexpected. We are now facing the ugliest acts of the human cretaures. But we must have an idea of what really going on around the world in general.
The modern English term "terrorism" dates back to 1795 when it was used to describe the actions of the Jacobin Club
in their rule of post-Revolutionary France, the so-called "Reign of Terror
Since its independence in 1947, India has been facing the problem of insurgency and terrorism in different parts of the country. For the purpose of this column, insurgency has been taken to mean an armed violent movement, directed mainly against security forces and other government targets, to seek territorial control; terrorism has been taken to mean an armed violent movement directed against government as well as non-government targets, involving pre-meditated attacks with arms, ammunition and explosives against civilians, and resorting to intimidation tactics such as hostage-taking and hijacking, but not seeking territorial control.
India has faced exclusively terrorist movements in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, bordering Pakistan, and part insurgent-part terrorist movements in the northeast, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh; in Bihar, bordering Nepal; and in certain interior states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa that do not have international borders.
India has also faced terrorism of an ephemeral nature, which sprang suddenly due religious anger against either the government or the majority Hindu community or both and petered out subsequently. Examples of this would be the simultaneous explosions in Mumbai on March 12, 1993, which killed about 250 civilians, and the simultaneous explosions in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, in February 1998. Tamil Nadu has also faced the fallout of terrorism promoted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka in the form of attacks by LTTE elements on its political rivals living in the state and in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991.
India had also faced, for some years, Hindu sectarian terrorism in the form of the Anand Marg, which, in its motivation and irrationality, resembled to some extent the Aum Shinrikiyo of Japan. The Marg, with its emphasis on meditation, special religious and spiritual practices and use of violence against its detractors, had as many followers in foreign countries as it had in India. Its over-ground activities have petered out since 1995, but it is believed to retain many of its covert cells in different countries. However, they have not indulged in acts of violence recently.
The causes for the various insurgent/terrorist movements include:
Political causes: This is seen essentially in Assam and Tripura. The political factors that led to insurgency-cum-terrorism included the failure of the government to control large-scale illegal immigration of Muslims from Bangladesh, to fulfil the demand of economic benefits for the sons and daughters of the soil, etc.
Economic causes: Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar are prime examples. The economic factors include the absence of land reforms, rural unemployment, exploitation of landless labourers by land owners, etc. These economic grievances and perceptions of gross social injustice have given rise to ideological terrorist groups such as the various Marxist/Maoist groups operating under different names.
Ethnic causes: Mainly seen in Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur due to feelings of ethnic separateness.
Religious causes: Punjab before 1995 and in J&K since 1989.
In Punjab, some Sikh elements belonging to different organisations took to terrorism to demand the creation of an independent state called Khalistan for the Sikhs. In J&K, Muslims belonging to different organisations took to terrorism for conflicting objectives. Some, such as the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front, want independence for the state, including all the territory presently part of India, Pakistan and China. Others, such as the Hizbul Mujahideen, want India's J&K state to be merged with Pakistan. While those who want independence project their struggle as a separatist one, those wanting a merger with Pakistan project it as a religious struggle.
There have also been sporadic acts of religious terrorism in other parts of India. These are either due to feelings of anger amongst sections of the Muslim youth over the government's perceived failure to safeguard their lives and interests or due to Pakistan's attempts to cause religious polarisation.
The maximum number of terrorist incidents and deaths of innocent civilians have occurred due to religious terrorism. While the intensity of the violence caused by terrorism of a non-religious nature can be rated as low or medium, that of religious terrorism has been high or very high. It has involved the indiscriminate use of sophisticated Improvised Explosive Devices, suicide bombers, the killing of civilians belonging to the majority community with hand-held weapons and resorting to methods such as hijacking, hostage-taking, blowing up of aircraft through IEDs, etc.
Certain distinctions between the modus operandi and concepts/beliefs of religious and non-religious terrorist groups need to be underlined, namely:
Non-religious terrorist groups in India do not believe in suicide terrorism, but the LTTE does. Of the religious terrorist groups, the Sikhs did not believe in suicide terrorism. The indigenous terrorist groups in J&K do not believe in suicide terrorism either; it is a unique characteristic of Pakistan's pan-Islamic jihadi groups operating in J&K and other parts of India. They too did not believe in suicide terrorism before 1998; in fact, there was no suicide terrorism in J&K before 1999. They started resorting to it only after they joined Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front in 1998. Since then, there have been 46 incidents of suicide terrorism, of which 44 were carried out by bin Laden's Pakistani supporters belonging to these organisations.
Non-religious terrorist groups in India have not resorted to hijacking and blowing up of aircraft. Of the religious terrorists, the Sikh groups were responsible for five hijackings, the indigenous JKLF for one and the Pakistani jihadi group, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (which is a member of the IIF), for one. The Babbar Khalsa, a Sikh terrorist group, blew up Air India's Kanishka aircraft off the Irish coast on June 23, 1985, killing nearly 200 passengers and made an unsuccessful attempt the same day to blow up another Air India plane at Tokyo. The IED there exploded prematurely on the ground. The Kashmiri and the Pakistani jihadi groups have not tried to blow up any passenger plane while on flight. However, the JKLF had blown up an Indian Airlines aircraft, which it had hijacked to Lahore in 1971, after asking the passengers and crew to disembark.
All terrorist groups -- religious as well as non-religious -- have resorted to kidnapping hostages for ransom and for achieving other demands. The non-religious terrorist groups have targeted only Indians, whereas the religious terrorist groups target Indians as well as foreigners. The Khalistan Commando Force, a Sikh terrorist group, kidnapped a Romanian diplomat in New Delhi in 1991. The JKLF kidnapped some Israeli tourists in J&K in 1992. HUM, under the name Al Faran, kidnapped five Western tourists in 1995 and is believed to have killed four of them. An American managed to escape. Sheikh Omar, presently on trial for the kidnap and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi in January last year, had earlier kidnapped some Western tourists near Delhi. They were subsequently freed by the police.
Non-religious terrorist groups in India have not carried out any act of terrorism outside Indian territory. Of the religious terrorist groups, a Sikh organisation blew up an Air India plane off the Irish coast and unsuccessfully tried to blow up another plane at Tokyo the same day, plotted to kill then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to the US in June 1985 (the plot was foiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation), attacked the Indian ambassador in Bucharest, Romania, in October 1991, and carried out a number of attacks on pro-government members of the Sikh diaspora abroad. The JKLF kidnapped and killed an Indian diplomat in Birmingham, England, in 1984. In the 1970s, the Anand Marg had indulged in acts of terrorism in foreign countries.
None of the non-religious terrorist groups advocate the acquisition and use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Of the religious groups, the Sikh and the indigenous Kashmiri terrorist groups did/do not advocate the acquisition and use of WMD. However, the Pakistani pan-Islamic groups, which are members of the IIF and which operate in J&K, support bin Laden's advocacy of the right and religious obligation of Muslims to acquire and use WMD to protect their religion, if necessary.
The Sikh terrorist groups did not cite their holy book as justification for their acts of terrorism, but the indigenous Kashmiri groups as well as the Pakistani jihadi groups operating in India cite the holy Koran as justification for their jihad against the government of India and the Hindus.
The Sikh and the indigenous Kashmiri groups projected/project their objective as confined to their respective state, but the Pakistani pan-Islamic terrorist groups project their aim as extending to the whole of South Asia -- namely the ‘liberation' of Muslims in India and the ultimate formation of an Islamic Caliphate consisting of the ‘Muslim homelands' of India and Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The Sikh terrorist groups demanded an independent nation on the ground that Sikhs constituted a separate community and could not progress as fast as they wanted to in a Hindu-dominated country. They did not deride Hinduism and other non-Sikh religions. Nor did they call for the eradication of Hindu influences from their religion. The indigenous Kashmiri organisations, too, follow a similar policy. But the Pakistani pan-Islamic jihadi organisations ridicule and condemn Hinduism and other religions and call for the eradication of what they describe as the corrupting influence of Hinduism on Islam as practised in South Asia.
The Sikh and indigenous Kashmiri terrorist organisations believed/believe in Western-style parliamentary democracy. The Pakistani jihadi organisations project Western-style parliamentary democracy as anti-Islam since it believes sovereignty vests in people and not in God.
Religious as well as non-religious terrorist groups have external links with like-minded terrorist groups in other countries. Examples: The link between the Marxist groups of India with Maoist groups of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; the link between the indigenous Kashmiri organisations with the religious, fundamentalist and jihadi organisations of Pakistan; the link between organisations such as the Students Islamic Movement of India with jihadi elements in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia; and the link between the Pakistani pan-Islamic jihadi organisations operating in India with bin Laden's Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The role of the diaspora
Religious as well as non-religious terrorist groups draw moral support and material sustenance from the overseas diaspora. The Khalistan movement was initially born in the overseas Sikh community in the UK and Canada and spread from there to Punjab in India. The indigenous Kashmiri organisations get material assistance from the large number of migrants from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, called the Mirpuris, who have settled in Western countries. The Marxist groups get support from the Marxist elements in the overseas Indian community.
The following are the main sources of funding for terrorist and insurgent groups:
Clandestine contributions from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.
Contributions from religious, fundamentalist and pan-Islamic jihadi organisations in Pakistan.
Contributions from ostensibly charitable organisations in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Contributions from trans-national criminal groups, such as the mafia group led by Dawood Ibrahim who operates from Karachi, Pakistan.
Extortions and ransom payments for releasing hostages.
Collections -- voluntary or forced -- from the people living in the area where they operate.
The funds are normally transmitted either through couriers or through the informal hawala channel. Rarely are funds transmitted through formal banking channels.
Religious terrorist organisations have their main external sanctuaries in Pakistan and Bangladesh, while non-religious terrorist organisations look to Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. Some northeast non-religious terrorist groups also operate from Bangladesh, while certain religious groups get sanctuary in Nepal.
Since 1956, Pakistan has been using its sponsorship of and support to different terrorist groups operating in India as a strategic weapon to keep India preoccupied with internal security problems. Before the formation of Bangladesh in 1971, the then East Pakistan was the main sanctuary for non-religious terrorist groups operating in India. Since 1971, the present Pakistan, called West Pakistan before 1971, has been the main sanctuary for all Sikh and Muslim terrorist groups.
Pakistan has given sanctuary to 20 principal leaders of Sikh and Muslim terrorist groups, including hijackers of Indian aircraft and trans-national criminal groups colluding with terrorists. Despite strong evidence of their presence in Pakistani territory and active operation from there, its government has denied their presence and refused to act against them. It has also ignored Interpol's notices for apprehending them and handing them over to India.
For some years after 1971, the Bangladesh authorities acted vigorously against Indian groups operating from their territory. This has gradually diluted due to the collusion of the pro-Pakistan elements in Bangladesh's military-intelligence establishment with Pakistan's military-intelligence establishment, the collusion of Bangladesh's religious fundamentalist parties with their counterparts in Pakistan and the unwillingness or inability of successive governments in Dhaka to act against these elements.
In Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar, there is no collusion of the governments with the Indian terrorist groups operating from their territory. Their authorities have been trying to be help India as much as they can. However, their weak control over the territory from which the terrorists operate and their intelligence and security establishment does not allow for effective action against the terrorists.
Pakistan has been the main source of arms, ammunition and training for religious terrorist groups which operated in the Punjab in the past and for those which are operating presently in J&K and other parts of India. The training is given by the ISI, either directly or through religious fundamentalist and pan-Islamic jihadi organisations, in various makeshift camps located in PoK, the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan) and the North-West Frontier Province.
Before September 11, 2001, the ISI had located the training camps of the Pakistani jihadi organisations, which are members of the IIF, in Afghan territory, but have since shifted them to PoK and the Northern Areas. Five Pakistani jihadi organisations are members of bin Laden's IIF -- HUM, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The first four operate in India. LEJ, which is an anti-Shia organisation, operates only in Pakistan.
Under US pressure, President Musharraf has banned the activities of LET, JEM and LEJ in Sindh, Punjab, the NWFP and Balochistan, but not in PoK, the Northern Areas and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas. The activities of HUM and HUJI, which are closest to Pakistan's military-intelligence establishment, have not been banned anywhere.
In a recent judgement against some Pakistani doctors accused of providing sanctuaries and medical assistance to Al Qaeda members, the Pakistani supreme court pointed out that the Pakistan government has not, till now, declared Al Qaeda a terrorist organisation and banned its activities in Pakistan as required under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The role of Pakistani mercenaries
Between 1989 and 1993, terrorism in J&K was mainly due to the activities of indigenous Kashmiri organisations. When they were unable to succeed, the ISI started infiltrating trained jihadi cadres of the Pakistani pan-Islamic organisations, who had fought against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, into J&K for beefing up indigenous organisations. Since 1999, the Pakistani jihadi organisations have taken over the leadership of the anti-government of India movement and have been operating in Indian territory under the guise of Kashmiris.
As already mentioned above, out of the 46 suicide terrorist attacks reported since 1999, 44 have been by Pakistanis belonging to these jihadi organisations. The principal leaders of these organisations are Pakistani Punjabis and the majority of their cadres are Pakistani nationals.
These Pakistani jihadi organisations project J&K as the gateway to India and say that, after 'liberating' J&K from the control of the Hindus, they will 'liberate' the Muslims in other parts of India and set up two more independent 'homelands' for Muslims -- one in north India and the other in south India. As part of this long-term aim, they have been setting up clandestine cells in other parts of India and have launched some major operations such as the attack inside the Red Fort in New Delhi in January 2001, the attack on the Indian Parliament in December, 2001, and the attack on Hindu worshippers in a temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, in September 2002.
There have also been a number of terrorist incidents in other parts of India such as the attack on the security guards outside the US consulate in Kolkata in January 2002, the four explosions in Mumbai in 2002-03 -- the latest on March 13, 2003, killed 12 innocent train passengers -- and the explosion in a Hindu religious place in Hyderabad last year.
The role of Al Qaeda in India
Till now, Al Qaeda's Arab members have not operated in Indian territory. Some Arabs were arrested in J&K during counter-terrorism operations, but they were members of Pakistani pan-Islamic jihadi organisations and not of Al Qaeda as such. However, HUM, HUJI, LET and JEM, the Pakistani jihadi organisations which are members of bin Laden's IIF along with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, have been responsible for most of the religious terrorist incidents in J&K and other places in India.
The impact of Bin Laden & Al Qaeda on the Indian Muslim community
India has a little over 140 million Muslims -- the second largest Muslim community in the world after Indonesia. Only a very small section of the community has taken to terrorism due to various grievances and instigation by the ISI and Pakistan's religious, fundamentalist and jihadi organisations.
The overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims are loyal, law-abiding citizens. They have not allowed their anger against the Indian government or the Hindus for any reason to drive them into the arms of terrorist organisations. India has the most modern, peaceful and forward-looking Muslim community in the world.
If one keeps J&K aside, the following factors are significant:
During the 1980s, over 6,000 Muslims from different parts of the world went to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Mujahideen groups in their fight against the Soviet troops. Not a single Indian Muslim joined them.
There are hundreds of Muslims from various parts of the world undergoing jihad training in Pakistan's various madrasas. But there are no reports of any Indian Muslims studying there.
bin Laden's IIF has 13 member-organisations from different parts of the world -- five of them are from Pakistan. Not a single Indian Muslim organisation -- not even from J&K -- has joined the IIF.
When the US started its air strikes on Al Qaeda and the Taliban training camps in Afghan territory on October 7, 2001, there were demonstrations by Muslims in many parts of the world. There was hardly any demonstration in India.
After the US-led coalition started its war on terrorism in Afghanistan, hundreds of Muslims from many countries went to Pakistan and Afghanistan to join the Taliban and Al Qaeda in their fight against the coalition troops. There were no Indian Muslims among them.
At its detention centres at Gauntanamo Bay in Cuba, Diego Garcia and Bagran in Afghanistan, the US has been interrogating hundreds of Muslims from different countries caught helping Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. There is not a single Indian Muslim amongst them.
As many foreign Muslims, if not more, come to India for higher education as they go to Pakistan. Those studying in Pakistan go back to their countries as terrorists, narcotics smugglers or other law-breakers. There was only one instance of a Palestinian, who studied in India, taking to terrorism after he returned to his country in 1992. Foreign Muslim students studying in India go back to their countries as constructive citizens --bureaucrats, academics, IT experts, etc. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who is the toast of the world today for his courage, vision and modern outlook, is a product of the Indian education system.
These factors show bin Laden and his Al Qaeda have had little impact on the Muslim community in India. The Indian Muslims, including the aggrieved sections of the Kashmiris, have kept away from them. The attempts of the Pakistani pan-Islamic jihadi organisations to rally the support of the Indian Muslims in the name of bin Laden have, thus far, been unsuccessful.
India's domestic counter-terrorism policies
India's counter-terrorism policies are based on the following principles:
A genuine and well-functioning democracy, good governance, responsiveness to public grievances, effective policing and economic development are the best antidotes to terrorism.
India has not allowed the intimidatory violence of terrorism to come in the way of the electoral process. In the 1990s, elections were held in Punjab at the height of terrorist violence. Elections were held in J&K in September last year despite instructions from the ISI to the Pakistani jihadis to disrupt the process. Foreign diplomatic missions in New Delhi were encouraged to send their observers to the state to satisfy themselves that the elections were free and fair. All of them have certified this. Elections to the Nagaland assembly were held last month.
The government has not allowed terrorists to disrupt the economic development of the affected areas. Even at the height of terrorism, Punjab continued to be the granary of India, producing a record wheat crop year after year. In J&K, the fall in revenue due to a decline in foreign tourists arrival is being sought to be remedied by encouraging greater domestic tourism.
In the 1990s, when terrorists prevented the holding of examinations in Srinagar, the government flew the students to Jammu at its cost to take the examination.
When they prevented businessmen from the rest of India from going to the valley to purchase their requirements of handicrafts and dry fruits, the government flew the vendors to New Delhi to enable them to dispose of their stocks.
The government has announced many packages for the economic development of the affected areas and has been trying to implement them despite the terrorist violence.
The government has refused any kind of concessions to terrorists resorting to intimidation tactics such as hijacking, hostage-taking, etc.
The government has refused to hold talks with terrorists until they give up violence, but began to search for a political solution through talks once the terrorists give up violence.
In the 1970s, a large section of the Naga hostiles and the Mizo National Front gave up violence and entered into talks with the government, which led to a political solution. But the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, led by Isaac Swu and T Muivah, has been holding on without reaching an agreement. It has, however, been observing a cease-fire for the last two years and holding talks with the government.
The government is maintaining an open mind to suggestions coming from all sections of J&K for improving the political and administrative set-up. It has recently appointed former home secretary N N Vohra to enter into a dialogue with all the elected representatives of the state on their demand for greater autonomy.
India's external counter-terrorism policies
India has been the victim of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism since the 1950s. In those years, Pakistan's ISI had supported the insurgent/terrorist groups in India's northeast region and provided them sanctuaries, training, arms and ammunition in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of the then East Pakistan. India's anxiety to stop this played an important role in its assistance to the people of East Pakistan to liberate themselves.
Since 1980, the ISI has been providing sanctuaries, training, arms and ammunition in Pakistan to religious terrorist groups operating in Punjab, J&K and other parts of India. It is also infiltrating the mercenaries of the Pakistani pan-Islamic jihadi organisations into India to promote cross-border terrorism.
India has taken up this issue with the US since 1992 and wants Pakistan declared a State sponsor of international terrorism under US laws and have punitive action taken against it. In 1993, the Clinton administration placed Pakistan on a watch list of suspected State sponsors of international terrorism for six months and forced Nawaz Sharif, who was then in power, to sack Lieutenant General Javed Nasir, then ISI's director-general, and other senior officers. This did not have any effect on the use of terrorism by the ISI.
Since 9/11, Pakistan's military-intelligence establishment has been collaborating with the US in taking action against Al Qaeda elements posing a threat to US nationals and interests. But it has not taken any action against cross-border terrorism directed against India and to destroy terrorist infrastructure in PoK and the Northern Areas.
After the attack by terrorists belonging to LET and JEM on the Indian Parliament in December 2001, India mobilised and deployed its Army on the border in response to public pressure for action against the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory. In response to appeals from the US, UK and other friendly governments, India refrained from action against Pakistan. Under US pressure, Pakistan banned LET and JEM, but not HUJI and HUM, and arrested some of their leaders and cadres. They have since been released.
US officials themselves admit Pakistan has not implemented its assurances to the US that it would put a stop to cross-border terrorism in J&K. Despite this, the US is reluctant to act against Pakistan because of its cooperation in assisting the US in neutralising Al Qaeda elements who have taken shelter in Pakistan.
India has made it clear that there will be no question of any talks with Pakistan on the normalisation of bilateral relations till it stops cross-border terrorism, winds up the terrorist infrastructure in its territory and gives up the use of terrorism as a weapon against India.
India has also been greatly concerned over the use of Bangladesh territory by religious and non-religious terrorists operating against India. The non-religious terrorist groups continue to enjoy sanctuaries in the CHT. Of the religious terrorist organisations, HUJI has an active branch in Bangladesh. Some Al Qaeda elements, who escaped into Pakistan from Afghanistan, have found their way into Bangladesh, where they have been given shelter by HUJI.
There is active complicity between the ISI and its counterpart in Dhaka in this matter. The Bangladesh authorities have not been co-operating with India in taking effective action against the large-scale illegal immigration into India. However, keeping in view the otherwise good relations with Bangladesh, India has been trying to have these problems sorted out bilaterally at the political and diplomatic levels. But the progress so far has been disappointing.
The state police and its intelligence set-up: Under India's federal Constitution, the responsibility for policing and maintenance of law and order is that of the individual states. The central government in New Delhi can only give them advice, financial help, training and other assistance to strengthen their professional capabilities and share with them the intelligence collected by it. The responsibility for follow-up action lies with the state police.
The national intelligence community: This consists of the internal intelligence agency (the ministry of home affairs' Intelligence Bureau), the external intelligence agency (the Cabinet secretariat's Research and Analysis Wing), the Defence Intelligence Agency that was set up a year ago, and the intelligence directorates general of the armed forces.
The IB collects terrorism-related intelligence inside the country and RAW does it outside. The DIA and the intelligence directorates general of the armed forces essentially collect tactical intelligence during their counter-terrorism operations in areas such as Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, etc, where they are deployed.
Physical security agencies: These include the Central Industrial Security Force, responsible for physical security at airports and sensitive establishments; the National Security Guards, a specially trained intervention force to terminate terrorist situations such as hijacking, hostage-taking, etc; and the Special Protection Group, responsible for the security of the prime minister and former prime ministers.
Paramilitary forces: These include the Central Reserve Police Force and the Border Security Force, which assist the police in counter-terrorism operations when called upon to do so.
The Army: Their assistance is sought as a last resort when the police and paramilitary forces are not able to cope with a terrorist situation. But in view of Pakistan's large-scale infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir and the presence and activities of a large number of Pakistani mercenaries, many of them ex-servicemen, the army has a more active, permanent and leadership role in counter-terrorism operations here. What India is facing in J&K is not just terrorism, but a proxy war being waged by the Pakistani Army through its jihadi surrogates.
In recent months, there have been two additions to the counter-terrorism set-up:
A multi-disciplinary centre on counter-terrorism, headed by a senior IB officer, within the IB, expected to be patterned on the CIA's counter-terrorism centre. Officers of various agencies responsible for intelligence collection and counter-terrorism operations will work under a common umbrella and be responsible for joint analysis of the intelligence flowing in from different agencies and co-ordinated follow-up action.
A counter-terrorism division in the ministry of external affairs, expected to be patterned after the counter-terrorism division of the US state department. It will be responsible for co-ordinating the diplomatic aspects of counter-terrorism, such as briefing other countries on Pakistan's sponsorship of terrorism against India, processing requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance, servicing the work of various joint working groups on counter-terrorism which India has set up with a number of countries, etc.
Counter-terrorism techniques followed by India
The techniques followed by India stress the following:
The importance of a good grievances detection, monitoring and redressal machinery so that the build-up of grievances in any community is detected in time and the political leadership alerted and advised to take prompt action to redress them. The intelligence agencies have an important role to play as the eyes and ears of the government in different communities to detect feelings of anger and alienation which need immediate attention.
The importance of good, preventive human intelligence. This is easier said than done because of the difficulties in penetrating terrorist organisations, particularly of the religious kind.
The importance of timely technical intelligence, which is generally more precise than human intelligence.
The importance of objective and balanced analysis to avoid over-assessing the strength and capabilities of the terrorists, which could lead to over-reaction by counter-terrorism agencies, thereby aggravating the feeling of alienation within the affected community, driving more people into the arms of terrorists. Such analysis is particularly difficult in the case of human intelligence. For every genuine source who gives correct intelligence, there are often two or three spurious sources who, out of greed to make more money or at the instance of the terrorists themselves, give false information. This tends to make security forces over-react or take wrong action.
The importance of reverse analysis so that one is trained to analyse possible scenarios not only as a good intelligence analyst, but also as an irrational terrorist.
The importance of prompt and co-ordinated follow-up action on well-assessed intelligence from all agencies, without allowing inter-agency jealousies and rivalries to come in the way.
The importance of effective physical security measures so that even if intelligence fails, security agencies are able to prevent acts of terrorism.
The importance of an effective crisis management apparatus so that if both intelligence and physical security measures fail, one is able to deal effectively with the resulting crisis or disaster.
The importance of good investigative machinery, specially trained to investigate terrorism-related cases.
The importance of not over-projecting the personality and capabilities of terrorist leaders, so that they do not become objects of idolisation in their community.
The importance of constantly underlining to the public that just because some people of a particular community or religion have taken to terrorism, the entire community or religion should not be looked upon with suspicion.
The importance of highlighting the positive aspects of the affected community or religion to prevent the build-up of a negative image of the community or religion in the eyes of the public.
The importance of active interaction with the media to ensure that they do not make terrorist leaders appear like heros or prejudice the minds of the public about the affected community or religion or create problems for effective counter-terrorism operations.
The importance of well-designed psychological war operations to project the terrorists for what they are -- irrational killers.
The importance of observing human rights during counter-terrorism operations.
The importance of periodic refresher training of all those involved in counter-terrorism operations through special classes, seminars, opportunities for interaction with those who have distinguished themselves in counter-terrorism operations, etc.
Even before 9/11, arrangements for intelligence-sharing on terrorism amongst the agencies of different countries existed. 9/11 brought the realisation that terrorism is an absolute evil whatever be the cause and that unless the intelligence agencies of the world network themselves as effectively as the terrorist organisations, they might not be able to eradicate this menace. This has improved intelligence-sharing.
India's success in bringing Sikh terrorism in Punjab under control before 9/11 might not have been possible but for the valuable intelligence inputs received from agencies of many countries. Some of the significant successes in different countries against Al Qaeda were apparently possible due to increased intelligence-sharing without reservations.
While this is welcome, one has to remember that political considerations peculiar to each country influence their perceptions of terrorism and this is bound to have an effect on intelligence-sharing. Hence, while continuing to benefit from increased intelligence-sharing, the important task of strengthening one's national intelligence collection capability should not be neglected.
Regional cooperation in the battle against terrorism has not been as successful in south Asia as it has been in the southeast Asian region. This is largely because of Pakistan's policy of using terrorism as a weapon to keep the Indian security forces bleeding and pre-occupied with internal security duties and Bangladesh's tolerance of the activities of terrorists from its territory. Unless these two countries realise the folly of their policies and actions, which have made their own territories playgrounds for terrorist groups of different hues and irrationalities, there is very little scope for any meaningful co-operation.
India has been facing the problem of Pakistani state-sponsored terrorism for over 40 years and nearly 40,000 civilians and 3,500 members of the various security forces have been killed. This has not prevented India from becoming self-sufficient in agriculture, emerging as a major manufacturing country, developing educational, particularly technological, institutions of excellence the like of which no other Asian country can boast of, becoming the leading information technology software power of the region, and building up a foreign exchange reserve of US $72 billion, which, at this rate, should cross the US $100 billion mark in a couple of years.
India can continue to fight Pakistan-sponsored terrorism for another 40 years and yet move forward on its path of development as a major power in the region. Pakistan, on the other hand, has not had the required funds for educational and social development and for the economic advancement of its people because of its obsessive urge to keep India bleeding through terrorism. In its attempt to lift a big boulder and throw it at India, it is dropping it on its own feet.
What are the results already achieved by India through its counter-terrorism policies and techniques?
There is peace in Nagaland with a duly elected government promoting the economic development of the state. Only a small group of Nagas from the bordering areas of Manipur has not yet given up arms, but it is observing a ceasefire and negotiating with the government.
There has been peace in Mizoram for nearly 20 years now.
There has been peace in Punjab since 1995. However, Pakistan has not yet given up its efforts to re-kindle terrorism in Punjab through some terrorist leaders and hijackers given sanctuary in its territory.
The Ananda Marg has been dormant since 1995.
As the economic and social development of the states affected by Maoist terrorism moves forward, these groups are bound to wither away.
In J&K, the opposition has come to power after last September's election and is trying to reduce the alienation of the people and deal effectively with the Pakistani jihadis.
The Indian Muslim community, despite feeling hurt because of the large-scale anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat last year, has remained fiercely loyal, law-abiding and forward-looking. It has kept its distance from Al Qaeda and the IIF and repulsed the approaches of Pakistani jihadi organisations aligned with Al Qaeda.
Southeast Asian countries have been increasingly affected by pan-Islamic jihadi terrorism spawned in madrasas and training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Cadres of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Abu Sayaaf of the southern Philippines had fought along with Pakistani jihadi and Afghan mujahideen groups against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The links built then have been sustained.
Pakistan's HuM, which is a member of Osama bin Laden's IIF, has been training the Abu Sayaaf group and providing it with arms and ammunition. HuM leaders claim that many of its cadres fought against Filipino security forces along with Abu Sayaaf, achieved 'martyrdom' and are buried there. In 1998, Abu Sayaaf became a member of bin Laden's IIF.
The Jemmah Islamiyah, which has been co-ordinating pan-Islamic jihadi activities in southeast Asia, is sought to be patterned after the IIF. It is believed to have many cadres of Afghan jihad vintage in its ranks and leadership.
Last year, the total number of students from southeast Asia studying in Pakistan's pan-Islamic madrasas was estimated at 400. Some of them had gone to Afghanistan and fought against American troops in order to get jihadi experience.
The Pakistan branch of the Tablighi Jamaat is very active in southeast Asia. It ostensibly teaches the Muslims of the region to be better Muslims, but actually acts as the front organisation for IIF jihadi members for recruiting local volunteers for training and funnelling financial and other assistance.
India has a good database on these organisations and their activities and valuable experience in dealing with them. Close interaction between the counter-terrorism agencies of India and countries of the southeast Asian region would, therefore, be of mutual benefit.
Terrorist attacks are often targeted to maximize fear and publicity. They usually use explosives
, but there is also concern about terrorist attacks using weapons of mass destruction
. Terrorist organizations usually methodically plan attacks in advance, and may train participants, plant "undercover" agents, and raise money from supporters or through organized crime
. Communication may occur through modern telecommunications
, or through old-fashioned methods such as couriers
Media exposure may be a primary goal of those carrying out terrorism, to expose issues that would otherwise be ignored by the media. Some consider this to be manipulation and exploitation of the media. Others consider terrorism itself to be a symptom of a highly controlled mass media, which does not otherwise give voice to alternative viewpoints. Controlled media is responsible for terrorism, because one cannot get information across any other way. The mass media will often censor organizations involved in terrorism (through self-restraint or regulation) to discourage further terrorism. However, this may encourage organizations to perform more extreme acts of terrorism to be shown in the mass media.
Media is expected to say the truth but not the opinions to panic the people. They must say the good and not the ugly. They are not for investigation but to collect the truth. Truth is greater than fiction. But fiction is the order of the day; the media not matured enough displaying the immature correspondents to deal with sensitive issues of India.
Media has to cooperate with the Indian situation.
Responses to terrorism are broad in scope. They can include re-alignments of the political spectrum
and reassessments of fundamental values
. The term counter-terrorism has a narrower connotation, implying that it is directed at terrorist actors.
Specific types of responses include:
- Targeted laws, criminal procedures, deportations, and enhanced police powers
- Target hardening, such as locking doors or adding traffic barriers
- Pre-emptive or reactive military action
- Increased intelligence and surveillance activities
- Pre-emptive humanitarian activities
- More permissive interrogation and detention policies
- Official acceptance of torture as a valid tool
- Identity of the residents in all locality
- With out ID cards no rental, no hotel, no residence even no water
- NGO’s to be organized the comb the area for unidentified persons.
- Careful about the society movements