Friday, April 03, 2009

“Another Major Attack in India Inevitable”

Date Submitted: Thu Apr 02, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - India faces the threat of another major terror attack after the audacious 26/11 Mumbai strikes with the “jihadist insurgency” intensifying along the western border and Pakistan seemingly losing control of its militant proxies, a leading US think tank has warned.

India already has “an array of militant threats” to deal with, ranging from Naxalites to northeastern insurgents to Kashmiri militants, Stratfor said in its latest analysis.

“Given the jihadist insurgency also intensifying along India’s western frontier and Pakistan seemingly losing control of its militant proxies, another major Islamist attack in India is inevitable,” it said.

“Regardless of whether the upcoming elections go off without a hitch, this is a reality Indian policymakers and security agencies will face for the foreseeable future,” the think tank said.

The Mumbai attacks last year, it said, had “exposed Indian security forces’ lack of preparedness and coordination.”

“The government responded to the (26/11) attack by announcing a slew of security reforms and by coordinating more closely with intelligence liaisons in London and Washington to improve Indian security practices and enhance intelligence sharing across state and national lines,” Stratfor said.

However, many of the “same critical flaws” in the security apparatus, including lack of money, manpower and management skills, remain, it said.

“The nature of India’s glacial-paced bureaucracy will greatly hinder New Delhi’s ability to overhaul the country’s internal security network effectively,” Stratfor said.
The Indian security apparatus, it said, “is already bracing itself for another major attack.”

Shifting the IPL tournament to South Africa gives the Indians more forces to secure the country for the national elections, “but this does not necessarily mean that the threat level during this time period has subsided,” it warned.

“The elections still provide Pakistani-based and indigenous Indian militants a good occasion to target politicians, government buildings, and voting booths — to say nothing of the usual soft targets like crowded marketplaces, movie theaters, hotels or religious sites,” the think tank said. (PTI)

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