New terror groups more networked, advance: M K Narayanan

New terror groups more networked, advance: M K Narayanan

Touting the decline in terror incidents, during the past two years, as evidence that terrorism has been effectively checked will be a "grievous error", former National Security Adviser M K Narayanan said here today.

The West Bengal Governor said that perhaps for the first time in the history of terrorism worldwide, terrorist networks are currently "seeking to hold territory rather than merely attacking high profile and soft targets".

He also said that several new terror outfits are experimenting with "hitherto unknown methods and techniques" and some of those which have emerged, "rival" the al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba in their "capacity to unleash violence".

Narayanan said most important among a dozen or more LeT controlled networks across India is the Indian Mujahideen and it consists mainly of disaffected Muslim youth, induced to come to Karachi and then sent for training to the Pak-Afghan border or Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

"The Karachi Project, as this is known, has spawned quite a few modules dotted across different parts of the country's landscape, which have carried out a string of successful terrorist attacks," he said addressing the first Radha Vinod Raju memorial lecture organised on the occasion of National Investigation Agency day here.

Referring to the Mumbai terror attack, he said the 26/11 attack was entirely an LeT operation, backed by the Inter Service Intelligence of Pakistan. Actual monitoring and control was done by senior functionaries of the LeT, including Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, Abu Hamza, Yusuf alias Muzammil, working under instructions from LeT operative Sajid Mir.

Mir is an acolyte of the LeT chief: Hafiz Saeed, who is himself a fervent believer in the doctrines and ideology of the Palestinian Islamist, Abdulla Azam.

"It would be a grievous error if a decline in the number of terrorist incidents across India in the past two years, is touted as evidence of terrorism being effectively checked," he said.

A similar decline in certain theatres of persistent violence, such as Jammu and Kashmir and the North East, but there is a significant difference between the two situations.He said several new terror outfits are experimenting with new methods and techniques.

"The Indian Mujahideen mentored by the LeT is just one step behind these groups," he said.

Narayanan said what was common among the groups is their reliance on advanced technology, which has made a critical difference to their "lethal and destructive capabilities"

Each of the organisations place a premium on technology acquisition, and seeks ways and means to fabricate more sophisticated triggering devices and extend at which explosives could be detonated.

The Governor said some among them are also engaged in a search for acquiring a nuclear device. There are quite a few instances in India itself of terror outfits like the Indian Mujahideen benefiting from the 'revolutionary philanthropy' of the larger terrorist organisations - who provide them with arms, material and logistics to carrying out attacks.

Narayanan said counter terrorism experts point out that terrorist outfits today are experimenting with 'micro-terrorism' -- which involves low cost operations such as bombs placed in vehicles and planes -- and 'syndicated terrorism' where disparate terrorist outfits share resources, information, and logistics to carry out coordinated attacks.

He said perhaps for the first time in the history of terrorism worldwide, terrorist networks are currently "seeking to hold territory".

It is estimated that terrorist networks worldwide today hold more territory than at any time in recent history. Also, the flood of new recruits to terrorist networks worldwide is perhaps the highest ever, he said. 

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