Terrorism in India is undergoing an acute transition, both in the operational and the 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 sources inputs are indicative of these developments) and flyadeen 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, communication, 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 averment.
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 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 is several front line terror operations supported by an underlying network of communication infrastructure, and covert support machinery all functioning like a single well-coordinated entity.
Before the defining year 2008 terror attack mostly included only sporadic blasts in the target cities.
The frequency of major terror attacks was also comparatively moderate –four terror attacks in 2007, there in 2006, and one attack in 2005. But 2008 was different there were at least 12 highly synchronized 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 India 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. In creakingly, indigenous organizations such as SIMI have been created on the lines of the Deobandi ideology of extreme fundamentalism. Moreover, the Muslim disport 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). S case in point is the arrest of yahya kammakutty a graduate of the regional engineering college, Calicut, and a former employee of Tata InfoTech and GE. The emerged as a readily available target group for creating logistical support networks for terror organizations.
In fact the Islamic militant organizations, 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 logistic. 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 and 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 2001 Indian parliament attack orchestrated certain events which forced the terror groups to rethink about changing their base of operation.
There is an increasing evidence of how Bangladesh immigrants are willingly or unwillingly, becoming the means of providing logistical support to the terror outfits across India. Notably, Fuji also operates from Bangladesh it is involvement of providing logistical support to the master terror group (from Pakistan) has been brought into light in the recent attacks.
(d) Use of newer forms of explosives:
Shifting away from the foreign-origin RDX to typical home brew of explosives comprising mix of ammonium nitrate, potassium chlorate and sulphuric acid. Further indicates the terrorists’ enhanced operational capabilities.
(e) Excessive nature of attacks:
Indian is ranked second, right second, right behind Iraq in the number of terrorist activities (exclusive Jammu and Kashmir) despite the fact that we are not a country in conflict. The dozen 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, Britons and Americans who were staying in Tony city hostels were singled out and hews were also targeted at Nariman point. All the terror targets have been cities with economic or social importance that places India in a favorable sport on the global map –Jajpur (the tourist capital of India), Bangalore (India’s silicon valley), Ahmadabad (the third fastest growing India 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 realized that large-scale attacks in critical business hubs of India helps them realise their objectives much faster than sustaining 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 a attack, we are likely to see more fidayeen attack on high profile targets.
For years various measures has been put forward in response to terrorism. Some are of opinion of legal punishia, some suggested that intelligence should be modernized and more co-operations are needed among them to avoid any terrorist activity.
Some security analyst blame 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, climbing 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 argument revolves around the need to solve the so called “root cause” of terrorism. PM emphasized. “Do not be provoked by rumors. Do not let anyone divided us. Our strength lies in our unity.”
UN is concerned with international terrorism. It has defined 103 types of act which come under ambit of terrorism. Further, UN has suggested 5D to tackle the problem – to disvade people from resorting to terrorism by proper education, by proper briefing to deny them resources financially, technology protection, moral support, to deter the state who are encouraging terrorism must be deter by other state, to develop capacity to prevent occurrence, defend HR’s.
Response to terrorism sought 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 terror”.
Above all, civil society is a victim of terrorism. But no where any measures regarding civil society is being put forward. There is 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 depth of society and vanishes. It is problem of world society.
Role of civil society is equally important as far as national policy. There is a tendency is a tendency in society to look to state for al 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 law. Civil society has to play a role of vigilance.
Terrorism as a world phenomenon emerged in late 20th century and is going to be a major problem in the 21st century. The fact that young people in different parts of world who are assets of their county are ready to die for a cause; however illegitimate it may be shows 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.