View: Why intelligence and counter-terror agencies need to be on high alert - Hindustan Times
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View: Why intelligence and counter-terror agencies need to be on high alert

Nov 01, 2023 12:17 PM IST

Afghanistan is back in ferment. Horrible images of 7/10 attacks and collateral casualties of Israeli retaliation could trigger terror attack anywhere in world.

If western media is to be believed, then the humongous intelligence failure that led to 7/10 barbaric terrorist attacks lies squarely on Israeli agencies as CIA apparently had outsourced monitoring and visibility on Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and West Bank to them post 9/11.

People gather and light candles to show solidarity with Israel and remember the victims following an attack by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, at Dizengoff square in Tel Aviv, Israel.(Reuters)
People gather and light candles to show solidarity with Israel and remember the victims following an attack by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, at Dizengoff square in Tel Aviv, Israel.(Reuters)

In September 2001, the American intelligence was caught by surprise as the World Trade Center attacks were conceived, planned and executed by Al Qaida, which shares hardcore Salafi ideology with Hamas, from Afghanistan. There was, however, actionable US intelligence available to Indian intelligence in the run-up to 26/11 attacks by another Salafi group, Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Toiba, but the Indian security response was pathetic to say the least.

What was more damning was that neither did the then UPA government retaliate against Pakistan despite evidence of involvement of its deep state in the Mumbai attack nor did it hold Indian intelligence, maritime and law enforcement agencies accountable for the bloody blunder.

If that was not all, Indian Prime Minister was dialoguing with Pakistan Prime Minister eight months after the Mumbai massacre at Sharm El-Sheikh resort in Egypt and assuring Islamabad that Indian agencies were not behind the ferment in Balochistan. But that is a separate story.

Today when the American focus is on Israeli retaliation against Hamas terrorist group in Gaza and on the never ending Russia-Ukraine war, a crucible called Afghanistan is yet again in darkness but in clear ferment as Pakistan has decided to deport one million Pashtun refugees back to their homeland across the Durand Line.

While Pakistan will never be able to achieve its ostensible objective, Rawalpindi GHQ wants to use the repatriation to pressure ruling Taliban on accepting Durand Line as the land border and separately leverage it against Pashtun dominated Tehreek-e-Taliban, Pakistan (TTP) terrorist group for internal security purposes.

The deportation of Pashtun refugees from Pakistan will definitely create a new equation in Afghanistan as not all refugees are supporters of occupiers of Kabul. Simply put, temperature is yet again rising in Afghanistan which could again surprise the west.

With Islamist rulers of Turkey, Iran, Qatar and Syria making strident statements against Israel to pacify their radicalized populations by portraying retaliation against Hamas in Gaza as a war against Islam and not against a brutal uber- terrorist group, the entire Middle-East is in ferment with visible violent manifestations in Europe and beyond.

ALSO READ: Will the Israel-Hamas conflict result in a prolonged war?

While militarily the situation will worsen if Iran backed Hezbollah opens the northern front with Israel and forces Tehran to join the war, the 7/10 attacks have definitely given a new lease of life to religious terrorism, which will be not confined to the Middle-East but all over the globe. Images of Hamas medieval atrocities on October 7 and of collateral casualties in Gaza on social media are enough to trigger lone wolf attacks by anyone, anywhere and anytime in the world.

It is perhaps for this very reason that intelligence agencies all over the world, and India in particular, should be only on high alert with protests and demonstrations against and in favour of Israel handled firmly or best nipped in the bud.

The October 29 Kalamassery blast accused Dominic Martin, the Kerala man who works as foreman in Dubai, has shown that anyone can make a bomb and remotely trigger it to kill innocents over religion. Given the boiling state of religious radicalization, terror can strike anywhere in the world unless the moderates stand up to extremists within.

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