Doubts have been voiced on the usefulness of Home Minister L K Advani’s visit to
to study their security systems.
has much to learn from Mossad on terrorism, counter insurgency and crimes against the state or for that matter, other intelligence agencies; including the Goujjia Anquan Bu of
and ISI of Pakistan. If revelations of an Israeli intelligence agent are accepted, Mossad, at one stage, was training Indians, Sri Lankans and the LTTE and that too simultaneously in adjacent rooms. If the Sri Lankans are to be believed, LTTE cadres were trained during the pre-IPKF days by our very own R&AW (Rohan Gunavartana, Indian Intervention in Sri Lanka) and if LTTE is to be believed, R&AW trained the Tri-Star Group, TULF, EPRLF and ENDLF to counter this very Frankenstein (Depinder Singh, IPKF in Sri Lanka).
Governments and political groups play shady games in the intelligence and security arenas. The nexus between the CIA and ISI is no secret. Believe it or not, the NSA in the
had collaborated with the Chinese to spy on US allies in the Asia Pacific, not excluding
. The European Union has publicly denounced spying by Project Echelon. The European Parliament’s report on Echelon is quite revealing. It describes Echelon as “a powerful electronic net that snags from the millions of phone, fax, and modem signals traversing the globe at any moment select communications of interest to a five-nation intelligence alliance. Once intercepted, based on the use of key words in exchanges, those communiquÃƒÂ©s are sent in real time to a central computer system run by the NSA.” It accuses Echelon of commercial spying and alleges that even political advocacy groups like Amnesty International and Greenpeace were amongst Echelon's targets. It is hoped that Advani studies the working of the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), part of Echelon, and also gets information on the Echelon spy station at Menwith Hill in
from the French, who have been its targets along with
Let us not forget that
leads the rest of the world in security products, imagery, cryptology, cyber security, RPVs and a host of other technologies that we have neglected in the past. Besides shopping, we need frontier technologies too, and these are difficult to acquire in this age of sanctions.
The assertion that terrorism cannot be overcome by force too does not wash. There is a vital difference between terrorism and insurgency born out of a cause, right or wrong. Terrorism thrives on fear and is encouraged by pacifist and indifferent responses by the state. The key to winning the battle against terrorism lies in assured protection of the citizen. Weak hearts and confused minds do not “win hearts and minds of the people,” an oft-repeated, yet flawed, clichÃƒÂ©. It demands use of force, measured and legitimate no doubt. The proof is right here in
. The credit for peace in
goes to a policeman, KPS Gill, who revitalized the hitherto demoralized Punjab Police and made it stand up to naked terror. His methods were not all always legal, yet people understood his compulsions and forgave him for occasional excesses.
is ruthless in dealing with terrorists. Even for cyber crimes, exemplary punishments are awarded. A case in point is that of the Hao brothers in east
. They transmitted 260,000 yuan ($31,200) to their own account from a local bank via a computer network. The two were sentenced to capital punishment in December 1998. This may not be worthy of emulation, but that is what deterrence is all about, legal or nuclear.
A terrorist only understands force. He is no freedom fighter, howsoever pretentious he may be. Besides, terrorism has to be fought collectively, alongside the civilized of the world. There is, therefore, much to exchange with Interpol. The visit of L K Advani and the high-powered team is timely, if not long over due.