In reply to a request from the "India Today", the weekly published from New Delhi, for five points on action to be taken to improve our counter-terrorism performance, I have sent the following comments. B.Raman
Point 1: Revise the charters of the IB and the R&AW and upgrade the priority for the collection of terrorism-related intelligence. Tell the R&AW that it should collect only intelligence about terrorism, Pakistan, China and the neighbouring countries and that the intelligence budget allotted to it should be spent only for this purpose. Make a review of all posts and stations of the R&AW and retain only those posts and stations, which cater to these four subjects. Close all other stations and use the money thus saved for counter-terrorism.
Point No.2: Set up a common data base on terrorism-related intelligence to be co-ordinated and supervised by the IB. All intelligence agencies should directly feed into this data-base all intelligence on terrorism received by them. This data-base should be directly accessible to all officers dealing with terrorism with appropriate safeguards relating to password etc. The Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the National Security Adviser should also have access to this database. Take the help of private IT experts for setting up this database.
Point No.3: Set up a similar common database relating to action taken by all agencies on all intelligence relating to terrorism received by them. If no action is taken by any counter-terrorism agency for any reason the reasons for not doing so should be entered in this data base. The Home Minister should have a Special Assistant on counter-teerorism whose job it should be to review daily the two databases on intelligence received and action taken and draw the attention of the HM and PM to important developments.
Point No.4: Integrate all technical facilities available with the intelligence agencies for the collection of technical intelligence on terrorism. All agencies should have knowledge of the technical facilities available with different agencies and should be able to use them with ease.
Point No.5: Set up a common pool of terrorism experts available in different agencies. The services of these experts should be available on call to any counter-terrorism agency at short notice without having to undergo a long procedure. Set up a separate Joint Intelligence Committee on Terrorism to work directly under the Home Minister to analyse and assess all intelligence on terrorism and initiate follow-up action. Make it clear to all intelligence officers that their contribution to counter-terrorism will be an important yard-stick for deciding on their promotion.