THE TERRORIST – Weaponary

31 12 2008

Source: India today

AK-47 and variants

The terrorist operation in Mumbai was a confluence of time-tested tactics, ruthless ingenuity and accessories

The terrorist operation in Mumbai was a confluence of time-tested tactics, ruthless ingenuity and accessories

The weapon,patented by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the year of India’s independence is available for as little as Rs 5,000, or the cost of a midlevel mobile phone, in Peshawar.

The AK-47 and its variants—the largest produced weapon in history—are the weapons of choice for terrorists.

It is rugged, compact and effective and boasts of a very high rate of fire. Can fire after being dragged through mud or soaked in water. The Chinese clone, the Type-56 which in an Indianism is called the AK-56, varies only slightly from the Russian original.

This is one of the most proliferated weapons. It takes months of training and thousand of rounds of practice to be able to wield this weapon with ease. A seasoned terrorist, for a speedy reload, always tapes a spare magazine to his AK-47.

Rucksack

From the four fidayeen who attacked Parliament to Kasab and his group, the ubiquitous haversack—stuffed with arms, ammunition and yes, dry fruits—has been the carrier of choice.

COMMUNICATION

Rapid advances in technology have given terrorists secure communication.

Satellite Phone
For close to a decade the satellite phone has been di rigueur for terrorists operating in India. It is similar to a cellular telephone, except that it bounces its signal off orbiting satellites and offers users hassle-free communication across the globe. After Indian intelligence agencies started monitoring satphones—remember General Musharraf’s self-congratulatory conversation with his deputy—terrorists kept scaling the technology ladder. First, the senior brass, now the lower ranks too, of the Lashkare-Toiba (LeT) use Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) phones—the equivalent of 3G mobile phones which India cannot intercept. BGAN service provider Inmarsat’s gateway is located in the UK which again makes it difficult to access intercepts.

Blackberry
Terrorists at the Taj kept in touch with their Karachi handlers through Blackberries just because it uses 256-bit encryption technology, which is difficult to crack. Even its Canadabased makers claim they cannot decode mails sent using their technology.

Grameen phone
Bangladesh’s Grameen phone made technology accessible to the common man. Based on a non-standard GSM technology which cannot be monitored, the poor man’s phone is in use by the ULFA and NSCN, becoming a major headache for Indian agencies.

Internet telephony
The voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phone which too cannot be monitored uses technology like Skype and allows internet telephony.

EXPLOSIVES

ARGES 84 grenades
During the 1979-88 Afghan war, the CIA and ISI concealed the origin of weaponry used against the Soviets by hand-filing ordnance factory stamps off millions of cartridges. But terrorists who operate in India blithely carry ARGES 84 grenades bearing the stamp of Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Wah. Can be thrown up to 50 m and has a kill radius of 5 m.

Improvised Explosive Devices
The Devil’s Seed is slang for landmines but could be used for the IEDs used in blasts recently in India as well. The IEDs used by the Indian Mujahideen resemble Claymore mines used by the military. Packed with RDX, ammonium nitrate and steel ball bearings, these can cause mayhem in marketplaces and commuter transport. Can be fitted into cars or pipes and triggered using phones.

NAVIGATION

Global Positioning System
Through a network of 32 satellites, a user can tell his exact location on the surface of the earth. Invaluable for the terrorist who wants to navigate undetected over the sea using ‘way points’—a series of fixed coordinates—or by land across the Line of Control.Amobilephone sized GPS receiver costs only around Rs 10,000.

Google Earth
Most places on earth,especially cities are rendered in fine detail by commercial satellite imagery that makes up the Google Earth library.Used routinely by terrorists, including the Mumbai killers, to study the ‘lay of the land’, recce targets and study approaches to them.

Steganographs
Messages hidden in pictures which can be deciphered only by a person who has the key. India does not have the capability to decipher these.Just two weeks before 26/11, intelligence agencies had come across a picture of Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of Pakistan, with a hidden message. Till date, they have not been able to decipher it.

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Day after blast, Bengal DGP admits to security lapse

5 11 2008

Source: Indian Express
Salboni, November 03
The West Bengal government has admitted to a lapse in security of the chief minister which suspected Maoists used to target his convoy in Salboni on Sunday. And the man to admit this was none other than West Bengal Director General of Police AB Vohra.

Six policemen were injured in the blast that ripped through a police jeep minutes after the convoy carrying Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan passed the spot.

Police said six persons had been arrested. Three policemen — an inspector and two constables — who were responsible for manning the blast spot have been suspended for dereliction of duty.

Vohra, who rushed to the blast site on Monday morning, also talked to the district administration and pointed out the lapses in CM’s security.

Later talking to reporters, he said: “The police failed to apprehend the attack.”

After receiving a primary report from the DGP, Home Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarti described Sunday’s incident as “a serous lapse in security”.

“No one responsible for the incident will be spared, no matter how big an officer one is,” Chakrabarti said.

The CPM state secretary, Biman Bose, made it amply clear that the police and intelligence failure was the reason for Sunday’s incident.

“The administration should have had information that such a thing was about to happen. The Maoists had over a half-kilometer-long wire attached to the bomb. It ran through open fields and along a canal bank. It is very difficult to accept that no one saw them,” said Bose. Sources in the Chief Minister’s secretariat said even Bhattacharjee himself was unhappy about the role of the district police. He has pointed out the lack of intelligence inputs.

Apart from the inquiry initiated by the DGP, Bhattacharjee has directed his Chief Security Officer, AK Maliwal, to file a separate report on the incident. “The superintendent of police of West Midnapore cannot deny his responsibility,” said a senior official of the CM’s secretariat.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home minister Shivraj Patil, meanwhile, had a telephonic conversation with the Bhattacharjee on Monday. “Both asked about my well being and wanted to know the details of Sunday’s incident,” the chief minister told reporters.

Earlier in the day, both Vohra and Maliwal made a on the spot inquiry of Sunday’s blast. The officers traversed through the paddy fields adjacent to the blast spot and went to the point from where the Maoists reportedly triggered the blast.

They tried to comprehend how the high tension wire, overhead the blast site, snapped with the blast. The police are also trying to trace the escape routes that the Maoists could have used.

Both the officers were present for more than two hours on the spot and later Vohra held a series of meetings with the district police officers.


Lapses on part of West Bengal police for naxal attack on VIPs

New Delhi (PTI): Basic security drill was not ensured by West Bengal police ahead of the visit of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to Maoist-infested Midnapore district on Sunday when the Left-wing extremists triggered a landmine explosion.

Sources in Union Home Ministry said the police had not carried the basic road opening exercise, a mandatory security drill, ahead of the VIP arrival to or departure from a foundation-laying ceremony of a steel project in West Midnapore district.

The remote-controlled mine was exploded by the Maoists at Salboni shortly after Bhattacharjee had passed through that area and Paswan was approaching the point in Jhargram district, adjacent to naxal-infested Midnapore district.

While state Home Secretary A M Chakraborty said it was not a timer but a remote controlled device used to trigger the blast, Union Home Ministry officials were surprised that the West Bengal Police had not sent a Road opening Party (RoP) ahead of the VIP visit.

The pilot car of Paswan was caught in the mine explosion which was followed by the fall of a high-voltage electricity wire that led to injuries to six policemen.

State Police Chief A B Vohra himself is conducting an inquiry and fix responsibilities in case of lapses.