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'Hyderabad has been on our radar screen for over two years now'

September 10, 2007

Has there been an intelligence failure in the Hyderabad blasts? Did...

(Interrupts) What do people mean by intelligence failure? Intelligence is not God in the sense that you can anticipate everything. Intelligence has been able to prevent a vast majority of cases (of terrorism). If you are saying that intelligence can prevent every single incident of terrorism I don't think there is any country now or in the past or in the future where you will be able to get that.

Every time an incident takes place you can call it an intelligence failure. If intelligence was 100% (accurate), then you don't need the army, the paramilitary and most of the police force. We can dismantle the entire structure.

I think anybody who understands intelligence will recognise that intelligence protects you from the vast number of incidents. Intelligence can reduce the number of occasions when either a terrorist or an agency is able to succeed in their attempt to disrupt life. We do not publicise the vast majority of incidents we prevent one, because it will be seen as propaganda and two, because people will panic.

What we are able to do sometimes is to get specific information before an incident takes place. Sometimes this happens only after the incident.

Hyderabad has been on our radar screen for over two years now. We know the groups that are operating.

Are countries inimical to India responsible for terrorism?

We live in the most dangerous neighbourhood in the world. The Pakistan-Afghanistan border is now universally recognized as the epicentre of terrorism. We are literally a missile throw away from that. The overwhelming majority of our problems emanate from there. I am not saying that the government of Pakistan or the government of a particular country is necessarily involved.

Quite clearly, the Lashkar (-e-Tayiba), the Jaish-e-Mohammad have official patronage. The Lashkar is mentored by the ISI. Take the HUJI of Bangladesh. It has a strong ISI connection. It has a LeT link. It is part of the wider IIF. There is what I call an aristocracy of terrorism which has official or a great deal of patronage in countries like Pakistan. We hope they will recognise this now that terrorism is becoming a major issue in Pakistan itself.

There is no way you can feed a viper and not be bitten by it.

Photograph: The site of the blast at the Lumbini Park, Hyderabad, August 25, 2007. Photograph: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: 'Mumbai police don't have any credible evidence'

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