Counter-Terrorism: India Raises Its Shields

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January 2, 2015: India recently tested its improved counter-terrorism measures implemented after the November 2008 Islamic terrorist attack in Mumbai. The test consisted of deploying 450 special police to monitor 70 areas along the coast near Mumbai where the mock terrorists might land. In 24 hours the terrorists made thirty attempts to sneak into Mumbai and plant dummy explosives. In 27 percent of these attempts the mock terrorists succeeded. On the bright side any real terrorists planning to hit Mumbai again have to realize that, while they could do it, the risk of getting caught was higher than in 2008. But for Indians it made it clear that the country was still vulnerable.

Indians are trying to improve their counter-terrorism capabilities to levels found in the West. One reason for that is the growing use of amateur terrorists. The steady decline of al Qaeda in the last decade has led to a lot of amateur terrorists getting caught and sent to prison, which is one way to discourage this type of terrorism. This is particularly the case in the West, where Islamic terrorists and their fans are frequently found frankly discussing this situation online. The consensus among the al Qaeda fans is that the chance of active Islamic terrorists getting caught are very high in the West, especially in North America or Europe. U.S. police are sometimes accused of entrapment for finding and then leading on amateur Islamic terrorists (who usually end up going to prison for life). But the online chatter makes it clear that this approach has a tremendous deterrent effect. The few terrorist attack plans that make any progress have been those carried out by more intelligent and resourceful amateur terrorists who know to stay off line and very carefully collect materials for their bombs. Others have simply obtained firearms (like Nidal Hassan, the U.S. army officer who shot up a clinic on an army base in 2009) and shot as many people as they could. Fortunately, most dedicated Islamic terrorists are not very well educated or intelligent.

Al Qaeda has always had the most success recruiting the hapless, talentless or just deranged. So for all the chatter and Islamic terrorist material available on the Internet very few capable new recruits heed the al Qaeda call for local and individual action. India is already developing more informants inside their Moslem community and training police on how to better exploit tips about aspiring amateur terrorists.

 

 


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