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The Rediff Special/ Vicky Nanjappa

How Lashkar's terrorists are tech savvy

December 18, 2008

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A lot has been reported about how the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks were tech savvy, and the ease with which they used technology. While outfits like the Indian Mujahideen [Images] ensure that tech savvy individuals are recruited, investigations have revealed how captured terrorists like Ajmal Kasab [Images] and Fahim Ansari, who did not have any formal training in technology, used sophisticated gadgets with ease.

Sabahuddin, who was arrested in connection with the attacks on the Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh [Images], and the Indian Institute of Science in Bengalaru, and is now in the Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad's custody, revealed how Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency foments terror in India.

In his confession, Sabahuddin says the Lashkar-e-Tayiba runs a dedicated technology laboratory in Muzzafarabad, Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The lab has been operational for the past six years. It has a dedicated team, which imparts training to men chosen for terrorist operations.

The equipment stored at the lab includes laptops, computers, Global Positioning System devices, satellite phones, communication devices and electronic devices.

Sabahuddin revealed that this part of the training is tough for many terror recruits who are not tech savvy.

Worryingly, he disclosed that several Indian youth are involved in training these terrorists.

The terrorists are also taught how to assemble bombs.

Sabahuddin revealed that a lot of emphasis is given to making bombs on the fly. As it is dangerous to carry an assembled bomb when the terrorists set out on their diabolic missions, they are taught how to assemble bombs in quick time.

Apart from carrying guns and ammunition, the terrorists are required to carry RDX or other explosives, triggering mechanisms and additional equipment to assemble the bombs. The terrorist's brief is to explode the bomb towards the end of an operation, hence, the bombs are assembled on the spot on most occasions, Sabahuddin revealed.

Intelligence Bureau agents told rediff.com there is a lot of focus on technological training at terror camps. The use of sophisticated technology makes it harder for Indian investigators to track down terror networks.

In the Mumbai attacks case, the terrorists extensively used Global Positioning System technology since they traveled to the city via the sea.

An official, trained in detecting cybercrimes, says the use of satellite phones makes it difficult to track calls due to the lack of suitable technology available with Indian investigating agencies. Apart from framing tougher laws, large funding is required to upgrade the equipment available with Indian intelligence and law enforcement agencies.


The Rediff Specials


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