A Day of Infamy
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Mumbai 26/11 saw a mix of commando-style attacks typical of the special forces of an army and indiscriminate killing of civilians typical of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), the Pakistani jihadi organization. The meticulous planning, the thorough training of the 10 LeT terrorists, who carried it out, and the close co-ordination of the attacks from the command and control of the LeT had the stamp of Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, both of which the LeT has a close relationship with.
The LeT terrorists attacked a mix of targets—innocent Indian civilians in public places, Jewish people in a religious-cum-cultural centre and members of the Indian and foreign social and business elite in two five-star hotels. The attacks on the Jewish centre and the hotels lasted over 60 hours and were continuously telecast live by the TV channels.
The success of the terrorist attacks, mounted from the sea, highlighted once again the serious deficiencies in India’s national security apparatus and the role of Pakistan in the spread of terrorism across the world. Have we drawn the right lessons in respect of both? Can the Indian people now expect at least a more robust counter-terrorism policy to prevent another 26/11?
B Raman joined the Indian Police Service in 1961. Served in Madhya Pradesh as a police officer from November, 1962 to July, 1967. Joined the External Intelligence Division of the Intelligence Bureau of the Govt of India in July, 1967. Moved over to the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) of the Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, when it was created in September, 1968, by bifurcating the Intelligence Bureau. The R&AW is the external intelligence agency of the Government of India. Served as the head of the Counter-Terrorism Division of the R&AW from 1988 to 1994. Retired as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, on August 31, 1994.
Was a member of the Special Task Force appointed by the Government of India in 2000 for Revamping the Intelligence Apparatus. Was a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) of the Government of India from July, 2000 to December, 2002.
Was a member of the Working Group on Terrorism of the Council on Security Co-operation Asia Pacific (CSCAP) in 2002 and 2005. Testified on Terrorism before the US House Armed Services Committee in June, 2002, and a sub-committee of the House International Relations Committee in October, 2003.
Honorary member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Indian Defence Review, a quarterly published from New Delhi. Author of four books—Intelligence: Past, Present & Future, A Terrorist State As A Frontline Ally, the Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane and Terrorism: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow—all published by Lancer Publishers of New Delhi. Kaoboys of R&AW was the most reviewed book of 2007. Writes regularly. On the guest lecturer faculty of many training institutions of the police and the army. Presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. Also associated with the South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG) of New Delhi (www.southasiaanalysis.org) and the Chennai Centre For China Studies (www.c3sindia.org).