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Avoiding Counter Terrorism Complacency
|by Col. Rahul K. Bhonsle|
... Post Bhatkal and Other Arrests
India’s Home Minister Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde flagged the key achievement of apprehension of three leaders directly and indirectly involved in militancy and terrorism in the country during his monthly conference on 07 September. Top cache amongst these was Yasin Bhatkal. Shinde outlined the operation thus,
Yasin, brother of Riyaz Bhatkal who is reportedly lodged in Pakistan is involved in a number of terrorist incidents in the country and was actively plotting attacks in the near future. His arrest is seen as success of a trans-border intelligence operation with assistance of agencies in Nepal.
Tunda in his seventies may provide background information as his involvement in current activities has been limited but may have extensive inputs on the LeTs’ terror network spread across the region.
The third catch was of Willy, the ill-famed Thai gun runner who has been supplying arms to militant groups in the North East. Shinde said, “Willy Naruenartwanicha, popularly known as Willy, was arrested by Thailand Police on the extradition request sent by Government of India on 30th August 2013 in Bangkok. He was involved in a Criminal Conspiracy for procuring Arms and Ammunition in huge quantity from a foreign country to wage war against India. Earlier in the same case, one accused, named as Anthony Shimray was arrested in India by NIA and the trial of the case is going on before NIA Special Court, New Delhi. This is a significant breakthrough as far as investigation of terror crime is concerned, as for the first time extradition request sent to Thailand against a Thai National was executed by the Thai Government. NIA officers/ officials had visited Thailand and pursued the extradition request in Bangkok”.
Inability of the Pakistani state to control him despite a $ 10 million reward by the United States and an Indian charge sheet for involvement in Mumbai 26/11 would imply that there may not be much relief on cross border support of terrorists in the near future despite the so called policy of regional security and rapprochement by Prime Minister Sharif.
Moreover revelations by Indian Mujahideen’s leader Yasin Bhatkal that one of the terrorists who had also been apprehended along with him, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi was being trained to carry out suicide attacks in India by the Pakistani agency ISI should be alarming. This would mark up the level of terrorism in the country which at present in the hinterland is restricted to serial bomb incidents which do not cause as much harm as a suicide bombing would. In many instances the serial bombs had been of low intensity as in Bodh Gaya or in some cases they failed due to faulty construction as in Pune in February. A suicide bomb on the other hand will be targeted in a public place causing large number of casualties and would require extensive measures for avoidance including hardening of facilities.
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