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Team of top scientists predict more Lashkar-e-Taiba attacks

delhi Updated: Jun 01, 2013 09:08 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah
Sanjib Kr Baruah
Hindustan Times
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There seems to be a scientific pattern in terror attacks too, if a team of top-notch computer scientists from the University of Maryland is to be believed.

The team has predicted that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) will attack on either professional security forces and/or public, symbolic, transport and tourist targets, in the next four months.

The predictions are based on a set of models devised by a team led by Prof VS Subrahmanian which are constructed on the basis of data of the terror group that were collected for 25 years, from 1985 to 2010.

"The data is recorded on a monthly basis and includes the values of approximately 770 variables for each month," Prof Subrahmanian told HT.

The models describe conditions under which LeT took various actions with the conditions acting as predictors of when they will take similar actions in the future.

The attack predictions made in May 2012 at a Washington DC conference, were claimed to be largely correct.

With counter terrorism as the goal, the scientists have attempted to forecast what LeT will resort to under a set of given 'environmental' and 'action' variables.

While 'environmental' variables relate to social, cultural, economic, military aspects in which LeT is operating, including state responses to terror, 'action' variables relate to actions that LeT took.

While maintaining that there is no policy that will mitigate all of LeT's deadly attacks, Subrahmanian insists that strategies that foster dissent within the organisation show greater effectiveness in reducing such attacks, besides taking recourse to cyber-operations as a means of spreading such information which is most likely to lead to increased paranoia among the top LeT leadership and the mid-level echelons.

"Among such strategies, exposing unfavourable information about LeT leaders, particularly financial corruption, is the most effective one," Subrahmanian said.

"Historically, when terrorist groups are under pressure, splinter groups like the Indian Mujaheedin carry out some of the deadliest attacks," he said.

"Evidence from the testimony of David Coleman Headley indicate that tension within LeT over its acceptance to the Pakistani government's alliance with the US, laid the seeds for the Mumbai Assault," the scientist added.