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Insight Indian Intelligence Agency on the Cheap Hampers War on Militants

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Insight: Indian intelligence agency on the cheap hampers war on militants Police escort Yasin Bhatkal (head covered), the key operative of the Indian Mujahideen militant group, outside a court in New Delhi August 30, 2013. BY ANDREW MACASKILL AND SANJEEV MIGLANINEW DELHI Fri Nov 7, 2014 (Reuters) - When a bomb went off last month in West Bengal, police at India's leading counterterrorism organisation had to hail taxis to get to the scene because they did not have enough cars. The admission by t
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  Insight: Indian intelligence agency on the cheap hampers war on militants Police escort Yasin Bhatkal (head covered), the key operative of the Indian Muahideen militant group, outside a court in !ew elhi  #ugust $%, &%'$   BY ANDREW MACASKILL AND SANJEEV MIGLANI- NEW DELHI   Fri Nov 7, 2014 (euters) * +hen a om went off last month in +est Bengal, police at India-s leading counterterrorism organisation had to hail ta.is to get to the scene ecause they did not have enough cars/he admission y two officers from the !ational Investigation #gency underlines how poorly e0uipped it is to fulfil its role of investigating the most serious terrorism cases, cutting off funding to militants and putting suspects on trial/he !I#-s woes are symptomatic of an overstretched intelligence network at a time  when Prime Minister !arendra Modi must counter the growing threat of Islamist  militants from al 1aeda, and possily also Islamic 2tate, gaining a foothold in the  world-s largest democracy/he !I# has no officers specialising in cyer surveillance, e.plosives or tracing chemicals and has een forced to ask companies to decrypt computers recovered at crime scenes, officers said3/he government has its udget constraints4 we have done 0uite well in cracking cases  with the resources at our disposal,3 !I# head 2harad 5umar told euters in an interview +hen !I# officers eventually arrived at the scene of the last in +est Bengal,  ordering Bangladesh to India-s east, what they discovered was important/wo memers of a anned Bangladeshi militant group had lown themselves up  uilding oms, and the !I# elieves they were part of a series of plots to destailise Bangladesh/he !I#, which had only opened its +est Bengal ranch five days earlier, was caught  y surprise y the last, as were other Indian intelligence agenciesIt is now investigating the case and says it is struggling to find a do6en senior militant leaders  who it said had fled the area after the e.plosion27892/I! B; 9//he !I# was created in response to the siege of Mumai, India-s financial capital,  when Pakistani gunmen killed '<< people in a commando*style assault on two lu.ury hotels, a train station and a =ewish centre in &%%>/he agency is seen as India-s answer to the ?ederal Bureau of Investigation-s counterterrorism wing, although, despite a population four times that of the ;nited 2tates, it has aout %@ percent of the funding of its #merican counterpartBefore the Mumai attack, India-s security agencies were so riven y conflict and miscommunication that they failed to process warnings aout the threat of a sea*orneassault, the government said later, vowing to revamp the state machinery2i. years later and Modi has yet to lay out plans to overhaul the structure of the security services or improve the information flow etween agencies, according to police and intelligence officers  2ince winning power in May, his domestic security focus has een to oost surveillanceof suspects in the Muslim community following the rise of Islamic 2tate and to improve intelligence ties with the ;2 and Israel, government officials said2o far his government has not responded to the !I#-s re0uest made months ago to doule the staff, recruit more specialists and create a national centre of e.cellence to train officers # home ministry spokesman declined to comment on those re0uests, part of a  lueprint to overhaul the !I# #ai 2ahni, e.ecutive director of the Institute for Aonflict Management in !ew elhi, said there had een 3aggression from the new government in its statements and its posturing on terrorism3/here is no sign of a dramatic transformation in its approach, and until we get that, then the est you can hope for is for the same people to do a little etter3I!?I7/I! #M8! I!/9I9!A9 8;P2ike many countries, India has several intelligence and investigation agencies/he Intelligence Bureau is the domestic unit and the esearch and #nalysis +ing is an e.ternal spy agency /he military runs its own intelligence wing and so do paramilitary organisations like the Border 2ecurity ?orceInfighting continues to hinder India-s aility to prevent attacks and agencies are often reluctant to share information, according to intelligence officials at these organisationsas well as e.perts3/he Indian intelligence services have long een plagued y stove piping and failure to share information,3 said Bruce iedel, a former senior AI# e.pert on 2outh #sia who has advised President Barack 8ama on policy in the region3Modi-s new national security adviser, #it oval, a long*time intelligence professional, will have the o of making the services perform at a higher level3/he !I# was supposed to e complemented y a !ational Aounter /errorism Aentre that would sit aove other agencies and sift through what they provided, as well as a national intelligence dataase accessile y other agencies  But the plan has een stalled y opposition from the states concerned aout giving up powers to central governmentIndia-s constitution makes law and order primarily a state issue, and !I# officers say part of the prolem is that they need help in intelligence gathering from local police,  who are typically poorly trained and ill*e0uipped #t present, when the police arrest suspects there is no way to check if they are wanted, a prolem that has led to emarrassing lundersPolice arrested Yasin Bhatkal, accused of orchestrating a series of deadly om lasts, as one of the co*founders of the militant Indian Muahideen groupBhatkal spent months in a +est Bengal ail for handling forged currency efore he was released four years ago ecause police were unaware he was on the !I#-s most wanted list7e was finally re*captured in a hideout on India-s order with !epal last year/he government is working to uild a national computer dataase linking the country-s'C,%%% police stations /his will allow officers for the first time to check a suspect-s  ackground ased on fingerprints or iris scans +#!I! 2I!28ne maor concern is that Islamic 2tate and a new ranch of al 1aeda in the Indian sucontinent may start to recruit from the world-s third*iggest Muslim population,  which has largely stayed away from gloal ihad +hen the !I#-s director was asked aout local media reports that suggested up to '@% Indians had oined Islamic 2tate fighters in Ira0 and 2yria, he shrugged his shoulders3+e don-t know, it could e more, it could e less,3 5umar said 3+e really don-t know3 #larmed y intelligence reports warning of an imminent attack in 5olkata, India-s navy  withdrew two warships on /uesday # suicide om attack at the weekend near the India*Pakistan order, which killed at least @D people, was designed to stir tension etween the rival countries, intelligence
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