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TRANSITION OF TERRORISM IN INDIA
Terrorism in India is undergoing an acute transition, both in the operational and ideological aspects. Terrorism in India has been acquiring a new degree of lethality characterized by meticulous planning intelligence collection sophisticated training and exploiting local population for creating support networks. Most importantly, it is expanding beyond the ‘cycle of anonymous’ remotely detonated blasts towards exploiting sea and air channels (latest source inputs are indicative of these developments) and fiyadeen attacks (suicide assaults by well armed and trained terror cells), a trend that was till now not witnessed in India outside of Kashmir.
In this, the forces of polity, social dynamics, and international support networks continue to play a major role. The transition process, however, has been increasingly driven by the adoption of modern technology, better communication and information networks, and the unique phenomena of the globalization of terror. As a result, the terrorists in India are improving their technological sophistication in many areas of operational planning, communications, targeting, and propaganda.
The motives of the terrorists now incorporate hurting the business sentiments and the international image of India rather than terror attacks as symbolic acts of Islamic Jihad. The objective is increasingly to cause pan-India terror, one impact of which is to damage the confidence in India’s image of a stable emerging economy and business environment.
The ‘new breed’ of terrorism in India is confident, bold in actions and increasingly sophisticated. The bellwether currents that define the new breed of terrorism are:
(a)Enhanced Operational Capabilities and Support Networks: For the first time ever the (Islamic) terrorism has a pan-India network of operatives and logistics support. This has radically evolved over the past 18-24 months and enabled the successful execution of large scale attacks in multiple cities. This is further indicative of the fact that there are several front line terror operations supported by an under-king network of communication infrastructure, and coven support machinery all functioning like a single well-coordinated entity. Before the ‘defining’ the year 2008 terror attacks mostly included only sporadic blasts in the target cities.
The frequency of major terror attacks was also comparatively moderate – four terror attacks in 2007, three in 2006, and one attack in 2005. But 2008 was different -there were at least 12 highly synchronised mass terror attacks since the beginning of the year. The size and scale of organizational resources needed to carry out terror attacks that happened in Indian cities between May and November 2008 indicate the requirement for at least 80 to 120 terrorist operatives, not including sleeper cells and those involved in logistic support. This is a very large number.
(b) Homegrown Terror: The ideological underpinning of the movement is undergoing a change. as reflected by the operatives increasingly becoming indigenous and having a local urban face. Increasingly, indigenous organizations such as SIMI have been created on the lines of the Deobandi ideology of extreme fundamentalism. Moreover, the Muslim diaspora of Indian origin has been largely influenced by the Gujarat riots and has increased the funding for extremist activities.
Another domino effect is the surfacing of Indian-origin tech-savvy terrorists working in prominent IT companies (indicative of the diluting definition of Infiltrators.). A case in point is the arrest of Yala Kammakutty, a graduate of the Regional Engineering College. Calicut, and a former employee of Tata Infotech and GE. The vast illegal immigrant population of Bangladeshis (spread all across India) has emerged as a readily available target group for creating logistical support networks for terror organisations.
In fact, the Islamic militant organisations, to avoid unnecessary suspicion and glitches. prefer Muslim youths from all Indian states, except those from Jammu and Kashmir. For similar reasons, the Bangladeshi emigrants are used only for support and logistics. There is this uncomfortable development that international jihad is finding its place in the weak pockets of India’s huge minority Muslim community that leaves an ambiguous evidence chain.
(c) Trans-border Linkages: One of the key definers of the present trend in terrorism is the re-routing of terror activities to Bangladesh, shifting the focus from Pakistan. The 3001 Indian Parliament attack orchestrated certain events which forced the terror groups to rethink about changing their base of operations. There is increasing evidence of how Bangladeshi immigrants are. willingly or becoming the means of providing logistical support to the terror outfits across India. Notably, Hui, also operates from Bangladesh and its involvement in providing logistical support to the master terror groups (from Pakistan) has been brought into light in the recent attacks.
(d) Use of Newer Forms of Explosives: Shilling away from the foreign-origin RDX to typical homebrew of explosives comprising a mix of ammonium nitrate, potassium chlorate and sulphtiricacid, further indicates the terrorists enhanced operational capabilities.
(e) Excessive Nature of Attacks: India is ranked second, right behind Iraq in the number of terrorist activities (excluding Jammu and Kashmir) despite the fact that we are not a country in conflict, the dozens of bombs exploding in the same target city in a span of a few hours spells out a deadly scale of planning, capabilities, operational confidence and sinister motives. The high degree of planning and existence of large all-India terror network is exuded by the very fact that the terror outfits did not feel the need to even give a day’s break between the large scale serial blasts in two Indian cities (Bangalore and Ahmadabad).
(f) Destruction of India’s Global Image: For the first time as seen in the November Mumbai attacks, 13 ritons and Americans who were staying in the tony city hotels were singled out and Jews were also targeted at Nariman point. All the terror targets have been cities with economic or social importance that places India in a favourable spot on the global map – Jaipur (the tourist capital of India). Bangalore (India’s Silicon Valley), Ahmadabad (the third fastest growing Indian city), Surat (attempted extensive serial blasts in the diamond hub of India), Mumbai (the financial and the international face of India).
The terror groups have realised that large-scale attacks in critical business hubs of India help them realise their objectives much faster than sustaining an insurgency in the border states of the country.
(g) Copy Cat Attacks: The changed pattern of attacks indicate that, like elsewhere, western interests are now a high-visibility terror target in India too, and that terrorists have successfully employed new tactics such as hostage-taking and random shootings at high profile places (the Mumbai attacks).
This can further trigger a wave of copycat terror incidents with a change in the tactics and targets of while suicide bombings and vehicle-borne explosive attacks are as yet not a mode of attack; we are likely to see more fidayeen attacks on high profile targets.
For years various measures have been put forward in response to terrorism. Some are of the opinion of legal punished, some suggested that intelligence should he modernized and more co-operation is needed among them to avoid any terrorist activity. Some security analyst blames the Government of India for engaging in a peace process with Pakistan whose military regimes has clearly not lived up to its promises of preventing terrorist organizations from operating from its territory. These critics also find fault with the repeal of POTA, claiming the police has been demoralized. Some also sought to communalize the debate by linking the “soft on Terror” charge to “vote bank politics” some equally problematic, the argument revolves around the need to solve the so-called “root cause” of terrorism. PM emphasized. “Do not be provoked by rumours. Do not let anyone divide us. Our strength lies in our unity.”
UN is concerned with international terrorism. It has defined 103 types of the act which come under the ambit of terrorism. Further. UN has suggested 5D to tackle the problem- to dissuade people from resorting to terrorism by proper education, by the proper briefing, to deny them resources financially, technology, protection, moral support. to deter the state who are encouraging terrorism must be deterred by other I state . to develop the capacity to prevent the occurrence, defend HRs.
Response to terrorism ought to be based on a holistic and inter-related understanding of human security, nights and developments. The domestic and international legal framework being put in place as a response to terrorism is describable use of force should not be the sole response as is believed in the “War on I error”
Above all, civil society is a victim of terrorism. But nowhere any measures regarding civil society are being put forward. There are inequalities frustration unemployment in India civil society. Youth has no direction in their life. Youth is raw, material for recruitment, Today, Terrorism is a giant fish which comes from the depth of society and vanishes. It is a problem of world society. Role of civil society is equally important as far as national policy. There is a tendency in society to look to the state for all problems. But it should be remembered that whatever role civil society can play to avoid any such type of activity, couldn’t be done by any enforcement of the law. Civil society has to play the role of vigilance.
Terrorism as a world phenomenon emerged in the late 20th century and is going to be a major problem in the 21st century. The fact that young people in different parts of the world who are assets of their county are ready to die for a cause; however illegitimate it may show there is something fundamentally wrong.
Under these circumstances, there is a more urgent need for the international community to help in building civil societies based on principles of democracy, good governance, human rights, and development so that they could not serve as recruiting grounds for Terrorist.