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Intelligence agencies fell for terrorists' deception: CG

The blame game among security and intelligence agencies over "actionable inputs" on the Mumbai terror strike continued with the Coast Guard (CG.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2008 15:51 IST

The blame game among security and intelligence agencies over "actionable inputs" on the Mumbai terror strike continued with the Coast Guard (CG) on Thursday saying the "spies" had fallen for deliberately leaked "false inputs" by terrorists to hoodwink them.

Countering spying agencies' leaks of prior inputs about Mumbai terror attacks, CG sources told PTI that the Pakistani terrorists deliberately leaked "false inputs" about the time and place of arrival to divert the intelligence agencies' attention.

"This led the intelligence agencies to provide wrong inputs to the Navy and CG. The intelligence agencies had failed miserably and now they are trying to deflect criticism by blaming the armed forces for the Mumbai attacks," they charged.

Consequently, CG sources said, their warships that were carrying out a war game off the Gujarat coast had to be diverted for surveillance and patrol at the wrong location in the Sir Creek area, whereas the terrorists entered Indian waters off south Gujarat.

"The terrorists leaked false information about their time and place of arrival to the intelligence agencies to divert Coast Guard and Naval ships in wrong direction and entered through the high seas in to Indian territory. They did the same in 1993 blasts also," sources said.

Talking about the intelligence inputs received by the sea guarding agencies, sources said, "when we received inputs from the agencies, they indicated that the terrorists' ship was moving in through the Sir Creek area and we had heightened our vigil there," sources said.

At the time of receiving the input, the Coast Guard, the Navy and the IAF were carrying out war games codenamed 'Exercise Defence' off Gujarat coast, officials said.

"We were carrying out exercises with six ships each from the Navy and the Coast Guard, and over 20 aircraft from all the three services," they said.

After receiving the input, the assets of all the three forces were diverted towards Sir Creek area and there they apprehended a "few" Pakistani infiltrators.

"On November 19, during our search operations in the Sir Creek area, we apprehended a few infiltrators. But the terrorists took the south Gujarat route from the high seas to reach the Mumbai coast and carried out attacks," sources claimed.

During the 1993 Mumbai blasts too, the terrorists had leaked information to Customs officials that a huge consignment of Silver was being smuggled into a south Goa port from Pakistan, they added.

"The security agencies were busy in south Goa and meanwhile the terrorists unloaded RDX at a port in Raigarh district in Maharashtra," the sources said.

After the recent Mumbai terror strikes, the Coast Guard and the Navy have come under sharp criticism for allegedly ignoring intelligence inputs about terrorists taking the sea route to carry out their plans inside the Indian territory.

However, the armed forces have maintained that the inputs from the intelligence community was not "specific" or "actionable," but routine warnings given at regular intervals.