Pushed into action over intelligence sharing and co-ordination errors that emerged post Mumbai terror strike, the government on Wednesday told the multi-agency centre — established under the Intelligence Bureau in 2001 — that it would have to share information with all other intelligence agencies.
Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters on Wednesday that the MAC — it is the nodal centre for all intelligence on terror — “has not been able to fully achieve its objectives.” All other intelligence agencies will also share information with the MAC, he said, adding “As of today, the MAC is operational 24x7”.
Soon after the November 26 terror strike, information had emerged which in retrospect added up to a clear picture of the attack. The information, however, had bounced back and forth between different security agencies and had not been followed up adequately.
Meanwhile, the President’s assent has been secured for two Bills passed by Parliament in the just-concluded session — the NIA Bill and the amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Chidambaram said the government would be issuing a notification constituting the NIA on Thursday and its director general would also be appointed “in a few days”.
Asked how soon the NIA would be operational, he said, “As soon as we have a case fit for the NIA to take up.”
Chidambaram said he would personally chair a meeting of the MAC on Thursday. “With the order spelling out the functions, powers and the duties of the MAC, I expect that there will be a distinct improvement in the gathering and sharing of intelligence relating to terrorism, terrorist threats, and terrorist offences.”
The minister pointed out that he had already appointed a career intelligence officer as his internal security adviser and had established a new and mutually beneficial arrangement under which all intelligence agencies share intelligence on a real time basis and are able to make a joint preliminary assessment of the intelligence.