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War on Terrorism: India Quiet! Why?


Delhi High Court Blast which has claimed 12 lives and severely injured over 55 people. HuJI has claimed responsibility and issued a threat warning of more to come if Afzal Guru’s sentence is not repealed. This is not this first time a terrorist organization has threatened the Indian government or its people. Is it the lack of intelligence reports on such attacks or is it that Centre is cautiously approaching the issue of terrorism. GoaChronicle.com brings you an insight…

Nothing best describes the plight, shock and horror of the people of this country than this description in a national newspaper, “Blood splattered on the street, tatters of what were till a few minutes ago litigants’ papers, heart-wrenching wails, disfigured men raising hysterical screams — what was a busy weekday morning turned into a nightmare when a bomb went off outside Gate No.5 of the Delhi High Court. Horror-struck lawyers, journalists, litigants and locals ran in all directions, stumbling into victims, bags and what looked like their remains, lying on the road. It was only after the heavy smoke triggered by the “terrible explosion” withered away did they come to terms with the monstrosity of the act.”

Harkatul E Jehad Al Islami (HuJI) have claimed responsibility for the attack on Delhi High Court and also warned the Indian government that Afzal Guru’s death sentence should be repealed or else many more attacks will take place at different High Courts across the country and the Supreme Court as well.

National Intelligence Agency (NIA) will be taking over the investigations from Delhi Police, speaking to media NIA chief, S C Sinha has confirmed that terror attack has been perpetrated by the HuJI and investigations are on-going. The email received by the media houses are currently being scrutinized for the source of its origin.

HuJI Threat – A Pattern from the Past

Thirteen persons were killed in seven well-synchronized explosions near court premises in three cities of Uttar Pradesh-Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad-on the afternoon of November 23, 2007. The explosions came in the wake of the judgments delivered in respect of the Mumbai serial blasts of March 1993 and the Coimbatore serial blasts of February, 1998. In both the cases, a number of Jihadi terrorists had been found guilty and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.

The explosions also came after the arrest of three suspected members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) in UP, who were alleged to have planned to kidnap a dignitary in order to secure the release of Afzal Guru, who has been sentenced to death for his role in the attack on the Indian Parliament in December, 2001. The arrested JEM terrorists were alleged to have been beaten up by some lawyers when they were brought to court. The local lawyers had also reportedly refused to defend terrorists in future. 

An E-mail message purported to be from “Indian Mujahideen” received by some TV channels before the explosions indicated that these explosions were about to take place. The message referred to the severe penalties awarded to the accused in the Mumbai blasts of March, 1993, and the lack of action against Hindu police officers, who committed atrocities on Muslims. It also referred to the Gujarat riots of 2002 and the assault on arrested JEM suspects by some lawyers. The message which the sender sought to convey was that the Indian criminal justice system treated the Muslims severely, but was lenient to the Hindus.

Last year, there were two messages purported to have been issued by the Indian Mujahideen (IM) warning of its plans to carry out terrorist strikes.

The first message was disseminated by E-mail on September 19, 2010. It was shown as having been signed by one Al Arbi the same day. It referred to certain anti-Muslim incidents which allegedly took place in Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh on the day of Eid (September 11). It also referred to the day (September 17) when the total number of people allegedly killed by the security forces in Jammu & Kashmir crossed 100. The statement did not directly claim responsibility on behalf of the IM for the attack in Delhi on September 19 in which two Taiwanese tourists were injured. While over 75 per cent of the statement was about alleged atrocities against Muslims in Jammu & Kashmir, there were also condemnatory references to the death of two IM suspects during a raid by the Delhi police on September 19, 2008, to the arrests of some alleged members of the IM by the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra Police in connection with the Pune Bakery blast of February 13 last and some alleged anti-Muslim incidents in Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh on Eid day.

A message dated December 6, 2010, purporting to be from the IM indirectly claiming responsibility for the explosion in Varanasi on December 7, 2010, was received by some media outlets to which it was addressed after the explosion had taken place. It projected the IM as a purely indigenous movement, but needing the support of the Islamic world. It warned the Hindus of continued attacks on Hindu holy places till all Masjids (mosques) belonging to the Muslims were restored to them. It was critical of the Indian criminal justice system, which was projected as anti-Muslim. 

No Headway on Terror Cases

In spite of massive investments in investigation and counter-terrorism intelligence capabilities since 26/11, police forces across the country have made little progress in identifying the perpetrators of the five major urban attacks which have taken place since then.

Till today the cases have not yet been solved;

 

  • The Pune German Bakery blast of February 2010 in which 17 people were killed. The police are still clueless.
  • The Jama Masjid attack in Delhi of September 2010. There has not been any specific lead on this one as well.
  • The Varanasi blast of December 2010. The leads went to the Indian Mujahadien (IM), but there is not a single concrete breakthrough to date.
  • The blast outside the Delhi high court on May 25 2010. Once again the police are in the dark.
  • The blast outside the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on April 2010. The police have made one Salman alias Chotu as the suspect. But in reality there is no proper evidence to link him or the IM to that case.
  • The Mumbai blasts of 13/7. Various theories, but in reality the police still continue to grope in the dark.

Investigators believe all the five attacks are linked to members of the Indian Mujahedeen — the Lashkar-e-Toiba linked terrorist group responsible for a string of attacks in several Indian cities between 2006 and 2008. Little hard evidence, however, has emerged to support the claims, though police say the available intelligence suggests that the organization has been attempting to regroup. And now HuJI also an outfit of the LeT claiming responsibility for the Delhi High Court terror attack indicates that besides regrouping, terror outfits are also growing and spreading to different parts of the country.

In the run up to the hijacking of the Indian Airlines Flight 814 by Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, the ISI had made Nepal a hub of anti-India terror activities from where it pushed huge quantities of RDX into the country, US cables released by WikiLeaks mentioned. In these cable, US officials have conceded that it is the ISI which created various terrorist fronts to carry out terrorist activities in India, including the bomb blasts in the busy areas of Connaught Place, Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi and several cities across the country.

More Money spent on setting up Intelligence Units

In 2010-2011, the latest annual report of the Union Home Ministry records, large investments was made in “new measures to meet the grave challenges posed by global terrorism.” The report says the MHA’s major achievements include the establishment of new rapid-response hubs for the National Security Guard Special Forces, and the establishment of an online National Intelligence Grid.

The National Investigation Agency, set up with fanfare in 2009 to assuage public anger over a similar series of failures leading up to 26/11, has been assigned three of these cases — but it is yet to register success.

However, there appears to be a serious lack of any hard core on the ground intelligence gathering mechanism with either NIA or IB, even though technology might be on par with other countries. Terror cells forming across the country merge into communities making it difficult to track or keep a check on.

In the Delhi High Court Bomb blast attack, no prior intelligence of the same was known, even though on May 25 there was a low-intensity attack at the same place.

More so while there is no denial of ISI hand in some terror attacks, the Centre time and again has taken a very soft approach with Pakistan. And many feel that it is this stance of India that is encouraging the terrorists to continue to strike again and again. Thereby endangering the people of this country.

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