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How the PM wants terror to be tackled

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 18, 2006 23:30 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday suggested a pro-active approach to tackle terrorism.

"Terrorism is the biggest security threat that our country faces today. Combating this threat presents unique and unprecedented challenges. The tactics adopted by terrorists in planning, sponsoring and executing their attacks, often with the assistance of state sponsors, require constant study and analysis," Dr Singh said while addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone for the new Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters in New Delhi.

Open societies more vulnerable to terrorism: PM

"The convergence of terror dealers and conventional criminals presents obvious and acute dangers for our country," Dr Singh said, adding that in such an eventuality, counter-terrorism culture and organisation have to shift from reactive to a proactive mode.

The prime minister said, "We need to develop a nationally-driven, fully integrated, intelligence and investigative programme to tackle terrorism. This should involve institutional mechanisms for improved information-sharing between various central agencies, state government and international counter-terrorism partners."

Think global to tackle terror: PM

"We should enhance our capability to be pro-active by generating and analysing intelligence, and by creating an environment that is inhospitable for terrorists. We must deny terrorists and their supporters the capacity to plan, organise and carry out logistical, operational and support activities," Dr Singh added.

Pointing out that terrorism should be the focus of law enforcement agencies in the coming years, he said, "This requires developing training programmes and proficiency standards that enhance investigative capability of counter-terrorism personnel.

"The law enforcement machinery of the country, particularly the CBI, must pursue investigations into terrorism and intelligence operations through well-trained investigators, using the best available tools, including state-of-the-art forensics," Dr Singh said.

The prime minister said the CBI might consider the feasibility of developing a centralised database of terrorists, insurgents and organised criminal syndicates and share it with the state police forces.

"Given its unique status amongst the law enforcement agencies of the country, the CBI should seize the initiative to emerge as a truly world-class, multidisciplinary investigative agency," Dr Singh said while suggesting creation of an apex agency to serve as a national focal point for crime and forensic information.

He said the CBI also needed to modernise its procedures, techniques and technologies to address the challenge of white collar and economic crimes. "The agency should also strive to expand its intelligence base to identify methodologies to tackle money laundering by individuals, enterprises and institutions and create barriers to the entry of tainted money into our financial system," he said.

"You should use your expertise, criminal investigative resources and strong relationships with regulatory agencies to handle these crimes in order to maintain public confidence in the country's financial institutions and markets," the prime minister added.

Dr Singh said new technologies and globalisation posed new challenges for crime detection and prevention. "While these new technologies to enhance your capability to deal with crime, they also offer terrorists, drug traffickers, crime syndicates easier and cheaper access to perpetuate their crimes.

"Technological advances also provide criminals with the potential to stay ahead of law enforcement counter-measures," the prime minister said, adding, "Our country's vulnerability to cyber crime is escalating as our economy and critical infrastructure become increasingly reliant on interdependent computer networks and the Internet."

He said the ever-changing techniques used by terrorists, criminals and other anti-national elements require CBI and other law enforcement investigators and professionals to possess highly specialised technological and computer-based skills. The CBI could take a lead in establishing and implementing new technical capabilities, databases, protocols, policies, procedures, standards and guidelines and also support law enforcement operations of other agencies in the country by way of enhancement of their scientific and forensic response capabilities.

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