Navy chief warns about terror threat from sea

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. PTI file photo

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Tuesday once again warned about a possibility of a terror attack from the sea, similar to what happened in 26/11.

“We have reports of terrorists being trained to carry out attacks with varying modus operandi including through the medium of the sea,” Admiral Lanba said at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue that began here with participants from 13 countries.

The Navy chief is the second high-ranking official to warn about the threat of sea-borne terrorism in the recent past.

In January, Hansraj Ahir, the minister of state in the ministry of home affairs, alerted about a similar threat.

“Available inputs indicate that the Pakistan-based terrorist groups continue to train their cadres for underwater strike capabilities in a bid to infiltrate them into India by sea/water ways. As per available inputs, the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation had exhorted its cadres for Samundari Jihad against India,” Ahir told the Rajya Sabha on January 2.

More than 10 years ago, India experienced one of its deadliest terror attacks in Mumbai in which 10 Pakistan-trained Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists reached the Maximum City by a fishing boat and wrecked havoc by killing nearly 200 people and destroying the iconic Taj hotel.

Admiral Lanba said that India experienced a far more serious version of terrorism than the ones faced by other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

“You have all witnessed the horrific scale of the extremist attack in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir just 3 weeks ago. This violence was perpetrated by extremists aided and abetted by a state which seeks to destabilise India,” said India's senior most military officer referring to the Pulwama attack. 

Representatives of India's Quad partners Australia, the USA and Japan are among the 13 countries attending the Dialogue. Others on the table are Bangladesh, Canada, China, Indonesia, Israel, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.

“The Indo-Pacific Region has witnessed multiple forms of terrorism in recent years, and few countries in this part of the world have been spared by this scourge. The global nature which terrorism has acquired in recent times has further enhanced the scope of this threat,” said Admiral Lanba, who chairs the Chief of Staff Committee.

“We have seen how quickly terrorist groups evolve across the globe and this particular ‘brand’ of terror may well become a global problem in the near future. The Indian security establishment is continuously working to address this menace. It is imperative that the global community acts in concert to contain and eliminate terrorism, in all its forms,” he observed while seeking the international community's support to end the scourge.

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Navy chief warns about terror threat from sea

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