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Terror outfits have media managers to keep tab

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | March 19, 2009 15:10 IST

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The latest warning from the Intelligence Bureau states that election campaigns could be targeted by terror groups. This means that terror groups are keeping a constant tab on the politicians on India and watching every move.

While terror groups have their cronies to gather information, there is also another key post in major terror groups which is known as a media manager.

Take the case of Irfan, the main media manager for the Lashkar. His job is to read every possible newspaper, watch all television news shows and make notes and later report them.

Intelligence Bureau sources say that this post existed always in terror groups, but it was taken more seriously prior to the Mumbai [Images] attack.

Irfan, who hails from Qasoor in Pakistan, was handed over the responsibility of this job and he along with two or three others keep tab on the news.

Irfan initially handled the new recruits into the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images]. His main job was to arrange for travel documents for Lashakar operatives. His dedication and skill impressed Yusuf Muzzamil, one of the accused in the Mumbai attacks. Over a period of time Irfan became a trusted worker and he was handed over charge of managing media reports for the LeT.

The IB says that the media managers are supposed to keep a tab on every even ranging from politics, crime, business, entertainment and sports. They create a data of all the major events and then plan on whether they could make it out to be a target.

Though media managers keep a tab on events from across the globe, it is the Indian news channels which are given most importance. The political developments in India are given preference over the rest of the news and the media manager is supposed to report the news verbatim to his superiors.

Sabahuddin, the CRPF attacker and accused in the 26/11 case, talked about Irfan during his interrogation.

He said during his meeting with Irfan, he was told how they kept tab on news channels. Saba would record all the news bulletins through out the day and later play it for his superiors.

Security agencies say that the role of the media manager gains importance once again in the wake of the Indian elections. Every move made by every politician will be tracked by the media managers and also the operatives in India and the Lashkar bosses will receive minute to minute updates about the Indian election campaign.

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