Vijay Alagar

Principal Engineer / Director, Trustus Engineering Solutions

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Need of National Counter-terror Research Center in India

Terrorism is not new, and even though it has been used since the beginning of recorded history it can be relatively hard to define. Terrorism is a criminal act that has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter.

India is stuck with terror attacks of frightening frequency and ferocity. It has even become more evident in 26/11 attacks. Today we face the same problem that the US faced prior to 9/11: turf wars among intelligence agencies and lack of cooperation. Inadequacies in our intelligence agencies have remained unidentified and unaddressed. Every successful terrorist strikes speaks of an intelligence failure. There is a lack of co-ordination not only among the agencies at the centre, but also between the central agencies and those of the state police.

How to improve the quantity and quality of the intelligence flow? How to ensure better co-ordination at the centre and with the states? What further measures are needed? These issues have to be urgently addressed by a dedicated counter-terror agency.

Successful investigation and prosecution deter future terrorist strikes. Poor investigation and prosecution encourage terrorism. Unfortunately, India is not aware of it and has a poor record in prosecutions. Setting up a NCRC (National Counterterrorism Research Centre) will help to track, resist and fight against terrorism.

As an independent organization, the ultimate aim of NCRC is to understand the capabilities & intentions of terrorist organizations, intelligence gathering, surveillance and protection.

  • Jul 9 2011: See this site from a blogger with similar perspective: http://cjnewsind.blogspot.com/2011/02/national-counter-terrorism-centre-nctc.html
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    Jul 8 2011: It is all a choice — fear or love.

    Never name your enemy directly or it will find weapons to use against you.

    As Lao Tzu said:
    "When all the world recognizes beauty to be beautiful there is already ugliness. When all the world recognizes good to be good there is already evil."
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    Jul 8 2011: Its not about killing the People's privacy, but its all about defending general public from the terrorists (the evils). Any individual with Asian features infiltrating India can walk the streets of the nation virtually indistinguishable from its citizens and defy easy identification, as the nation does not have any system of identity cards. As a consequence, a potential terrorist who sneaks in from abroad can melt into the Indian milieu, plan, network, stockpile weapons and explosives and wreak havoc after spending considerable time on target reconnaissance, conducting dry runs, etc. Therefore, within a definite timeframe, we should be able to give all Indians some form of ID cards like smart cards linked to a national database. Though it would be a daunting task, there is no escape from it.
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      Jul 9 2011: I know there's no escape because it's happening and there's no reset button to society. In a minuscule scale I do what you do professionally. Identify and mitigate risks.

      But just as we're driving a car with brakes problem down hill, it's far more important to concentrate on slowing down the car then steering it to avoid collision. Because the later which is an urgent thing to do when you have something right in front of you, will not stop the car. The former will.

      Of course when all signs point to a potential attack or intelligence shows a clear and present danger counter measure and mitigation must be done, but when it comes to planning, I would bet on creating a fair policy, transparent gov, foster discussions and communications, starting life improving projects more instead of investing on control.

      I'm not saying the initiative is not important but I just truly believe hence I think it is imperative that you understand -it is NOT the solution to terrorism.
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    Jul 8 2011: Spreading good... and fighting bad... are two VERY different things.
    One is not better than the other, both are important.
    One treat the cause, the other solve the result.
    Control is illusion,
    Security is a myth.

    That said, if we do it your way, only way to be sure is to have eyes and ears and memories on everything.
    So first thing to do, get the gov approval to kill the people's right of privacy.
    Sounds familiar ?
    I heard it's a PATRIOTic thing to do.
    *bitter smile*