Indian Intelligence

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Since 26/11, we have seen lot of development on the security front. Creation of NSG hubs, increased spending on internal security, maritime security etc.
    But what's been missing is the stress on improving intelligence agencies and how they function. We have continuously have had I tel failures over the years. Kargil being a big one that comes immediately in the mind. 26/11 also was an intelligence failure.

    What ails the Indian intelligence? Why have they failed us so many times? Why was there not a major rejig in the intel network? They have nothing to worry on the issue of funds either.
  3. Terminator

    Terminator Regular Member

    May 20, 2009
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    1) Our intelligence is full of agents of other agencies
    2) Our babus wouldnt allow them to work freely as they are afraid whether their details in swiss banks,vodkas parties ,hawala money to political parties etc would be revealed if intelligence are left are left to work properly
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    They are not in scope of babus. Their is no accountability not at least to the babus.
  5. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

    Feb 17, 2009
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    our intel agencies are working and they are overlapping each other in that area. even the techinical info collection, except RAW is not up to the mark.

    their was proposal for new agency for electronic intel collection agency based on US model, dont know what has happen to it.
  6. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

    Apr 20, 2009
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  7. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    I remember reading an article, throwing light at this question.
    Talks about IB.

    • Lack of trained manpower at the operative level;
    • Inadequacy of modern training to combat acts of terrorism and insurgency;
    • Lack of electronic and technical intelligence equipments for combating the vast and expanding fields of information and communication technology;

    • Near inability to generate Human Assets in target areas where the indigenous and foreign jihadists establish nests, modules, cells and chains of secondary support system. The IB has not yet opted for certain 'unorthodox' tradecraft that can enable it to penetrate the target areas. It relies more on limited electronic and technical intelligence to cover trans-border movements, induction of arms, explosives and trained jihadists from Pakistan and Bangladesh;

    • The IB has very little support from sister agencies like the R&AW about location, preparation and planning of the jihadist tanzeems in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries-the UK, USA, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal and certain European destinations.

    • Support system from other friendly countries are not threat and issue specific. India can urge the friendly nations to reorient their tools to cover the jihadist thrust in the subcontinent, as it has emerged as the neuronal epicentre of East-Far East-West journey of jihadist impulses.

    • The information and operations sharing mechanism between the Centre and the states is in rudimentary stage. It should be augmented under the auspices of the National Security Council. The Electronic, Technical and Image Intelligence data collation and monitoring system at the central and state levels require integration under the auspices of the NSC. The same facility should be able to integrate with the existing agencies that are engaged in handling suspected line, air and electronic cipher traffic and the www menace.

    • The Intelligence Bureau require immediate geographic, operational and resources expansion. The Union government, as indicated by the prime minister, should pay immediate attention to these burning needs. This exercise should be completed within next five years after speedy determination of National Intelligence Estimate (revised periodically). Otherwise, the IB will continue to lag behind the cancer of jihadist thrust. The authorities should not forget that besides carrying out serial bombings the jihadists under the protective umbrella of the ISI, Bangladesh's DGFI and the Al Qaeda [ Images ] Inc are capable of importing and indigenously manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction. The CIA does not rule out the possibility of Al Qaeda Inc developing crude and dirty nuclear bombs.

    • People have the right to know the threat quantum they face from inimical forces and should also be assured that the government, besides scanning the sensex graph and the GNP/GDP arithmetic is duty bound to protect lives and properties of the citizen. People are threatened by a new kind of war, which is known to the people of the Northeast, Punjab [ Images ] and Kashmir. But for the heartland and peninsular India, it is a new experience. They have to live with it and compel their politicians to look beyond the ballot boxes and 'secular fences.' The state and central governments must prove that they are capable of governing. They should be able to protect or prepare to perish.

    • The Intelligence Bureau is not equipped to monitor the web sites of the Islamist jihadist groups. They do not have superfast computers, nationwide networking and surveillance capability on the servers of the ISP providers. Only prolonged studies and research can decipher the coding pattern and transmission trademark of each terror group. These require regular logging and liasing with western agencies who have made forward strides, especially after the 9/11 Al Qaeda attack. Other nodal points in the government should embark upon the task of monitoring the virtual www world and share their inputs online with the central and state intelligence agencies.

    • The IB is also required to develop a focussed, dedicated and self-contained research and operations group to work at ground and desk levels to assess, anticipate, follow and pre-empt conspiracies and execution plans of the ISI, DGFI, Islamist tanzeems across the subcontinent.
    • The IB should be empowered to act and neutralise such enemies of the country, wherever possible, in concerted operations with the State agencies. The question of empowering the IB with limited 'retaliatory forward operations' capability should be seriously examined with a view to paying back the responsible tanzeems in their own coin.
  8. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    I don't know about the extent of co-operation between IB and Mossad, but if there exists common interests, we have a lot to learn from one of the smallest yet most efficient intelligence organizations of the world.
  9. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Apr 5, 2009
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    The problem is that of co-ordination and passing of information between IB and RAW. This is not happening as one would like to happen between them for proper use of actionable intelligence. Mumbai attacks has laid bare open the ineptness that is creeping in the intelligence agencies. We couldn't do anything despite having the intelligence on the attacks.
  10. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2009
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    13° 4'60.00"N 80°16'60.00"E
    RAW Major operations

    ELINT operations in Himalayas:[24] After China tested its first nuclear weapons on October 16, 1964, at Lop Nur, Xinjiang, India and the USA shared a common fear about the nuclear capabilities of China.[25] Owing to the extreme remoteness of Chinese testing grounds and strict secrecy surrounding the Chinese nuclear programme, it was almost impossible to carry out any HUMINT operation. So, the CIA in the late 1960s decided to launch an ELINT operation along with R&AW and ARC to track China's nuclear tests and monitor its missile launches. The operation, in the garb of a mountaineering expedition to Nanda Devi involved celebrated Indian climber M S Kohli who along with operatives of Special Frontier Force and the CIA - most notably Jim Rhyne, a veteran STOL pilot - was to place a permanent ELINT device, a transceiver powered by a plutonium battery, that could detect and report data on future nuclear tests carried out by China[26]. The monitoring device was near successfully implanted on Nanda Devi, when an avalanche forced a hasty withdrawal[27]. Later, a subsequent mountain operation to retrieve or replant the device was aborted when it was found that the device was lost. Recent reports indicate that radiation traces from this device have been discovered in sediment below the mountain[28]. However, the actual data is not conclusive.

    Creation of Bangladesh:[29][30] In the early 1970s the army of Pakistan prosecuted a bloody military crackdown in response to the Bangladesh independence movement.[31][32] Nearly 10 million refugees fled to India. The R&AW's Bangladesh operation began in early 1970 by sowing discord among the disgruntled population of Bangladesh (then called East Pakistan), suffering repression by the Pakistani political establishment. This led to the creation of the Mukti Bahini. R&AW emerged as a formidable intelligence agency after this success. The Bangladesh Liberation War is considered to be one of the greatest successes of R&AW till date.

    Mujibur Rahman's Assassination: R&AW operatives claim that they had advance information about Mujib-ur-Rahman's assassination but Sheikh Mujib tragically ignored[2] R&AW's inputs. He was killed along with 40 members of his family. R&AW thus failed to prevent the assassination which led to the loss of a charismatic leader who had a soft corner for India after all they had done for his countries' independence. However, R&AW has successfully thwarted plans of assassinating Sheikh Hasina Wazed, daughter of Mujibur Rahman, by Islamist extremists and the ISI[33].

    Operation Smiling Buddha: Operation Smiling Buddha was the name given to India's nuclear programme. The task to keep it under tight wraps for security was given to R&AW.[34] This was the first time that R&AW was involved in a project inside India. On 18 May 1974, India detonated a 15-kiloton plutonium device at Pokhran and became a member of the nuclear club.

    Amalgamation of Sikkim: Bordered by Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim was ruled by a Maharaja. The Indian Government had recognized the title of Chogyal (Dharma Raja) for the Maharaja of Sikkim. In 1972, R&AW was authorized to install a pro-Indian democratic government there. In less than three years, Sikkim became the 22nd State of the Indian Union, on April 26, 1975.

    Kahuta's Blueprint:[35][36] Kahuta is the site of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan's main nuclear weapons laboratory as well as an emerging center for long-range missile development. The primary Pakistani fissile-material production facility is located at Kahuta, employing gas centrifuge enrichment technology to produce Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). R&AW agents knew of Kahuta Research Laboratories from at least early 1978[37], when the then Indian Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, stopped R&AW's operations on Pakistan's covert nuclear weapons program. In an indiscreet moment in a telephone conversation one day, Morarji Desai informed the then Pakistan President, Zia-ul-Haq, that India was aware of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. According to later reports, acting on this "tip-off", Pakistani Intelligence eliminated R&AW's sources on Kahuta, leaving India in the dark about Pakistan's nuclear weapons program from then on. [38].

    Special Operations: In the mid 1980's, R&AW set up two covert groups, Counterintelligence Team-X(CIT-X) and Counterintelligence Team-J(CIT-J), the first directed at Pakistan[39] and the second at Khalistani groups. Rabinder Singh, the R&AW double agent who defected to the United States in 2004, helped run CIT-J in its early years. Both these covert groups used the services of cross-border traffickers to ferry weapons and funds across the border, much as their ISI counterparts were doing. According to former R&AW official and noted security analyst B. Raman, the Indian counter-campaign yielded results. "The role of our cover action capability in putting an end to the ISI's interference in Punjab", he wrote in 2002, "by making such interference prohibitively costly is little known and understood." These covert operations were discontinued during the tenure of IK Gujral never restarted.[40]

    Kanishka Bombing case:[41][42][43] On 23 June 1985 Air India's Flight 182 was blown up near Ireland and 329 innocent lives were lost. On the same day, another explosion took place at Tokyo's Narita airport's transit baggage building where baggage was being transferred from Cathay Pacific Flight No CP 003 to Air India Flight 301 which was scheduled for Bangkok. Both aircraft were loaded with explosives from Canadian airports. Flight 301 got saved because of a delay in its departure. This was considered as a major set back to R&AW for failing to gather enough intelligence about the Khalistani terrorists[44].[45]

    Operation Cactus:[46] In November 1988, the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), composed of about 200 Tamil secessionist rebels, invaded Maldives. At the request of the president of Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the Indian Armed Forces, with assistance from R&AW, launched a military campaign to throw the mercenaries out of Maldives. On the night of November 3, 1988, the Indian Air Force airlifted the 6th parachute battalion of the Parachute Regiment from Agra and flew them over 2,000 km to Maldives. The Indian paratroopers landed at Hulule and restored the Government rule at Malé within hours. The operation, labelled Operation Cactus, also involved the Indian Navy. Swift operation by the military and precise intelligence by R&AW quelled the insurgency.

    Sri Lanka:[47][48]. R&AW started training the LTTE to keep a check on Sri Lanka, which had helped Pakistan in the Indo-Pak War by allowing Pakistani ships to refuel at Sri Lankan ports. However, the LTTE created a lot of problems and complications and the then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi was forced to send the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in 1987 to restore normalcy in the region. The disastrous mission of the IPKF was blamed by many on the lack of coordination between the IPKF and R&AW. Its most disastrous manifestation was the Heliborne assault on LTTE HQ in the Jaffna University campus in the opening stages of Operation Pawan. The site was chosen without any consultation with the R&AW. The dropping paratroopers became easy targets for the LTTE. A number of soldiers were killed. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi is also blamed as a fallout of the failed R&AW operation in Sri Lanka.[49].

    Operation Chanakya:[50] This was the R&AW operation in the disputed Kashmir region to infiltrate various ISI-backed Kashmiri separatist groups and restore peace in the Kashmir valley. R&AW operatives infiltrated the area, collected military intelligence, and provided evidence about ISI's involvement in training and funding Kashmiri separatist groups[51][52]. R&AW was successful not only in unearthing the links between the ISI and the separatist groups, but also in infiltrating and neutralizing the militancy in the Kashmir valley.[53][54][55] R&AW is also credited for creating a split in the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen[56]. Operation Chanakya also marked the creation of pro-Indian groups in Kashmir like the Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen, Muslim Mujahideen etc. These counter-insurgencies consist of ex-militants and relatives of those slain in the conflict. Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen leader Kokka Parrey was himself assassinated by separatists.

    Help to the Northern Alliance: After the rise of Pakistan and American backed Taliban in Afghanistan, India decided to side with the Northern Alliance and the Soviet Union [57] By 1996, R&AW had built a 25 bed military hospital[58] at the Farkhor Air Base[59]. This airport was used by the Aviation Research Centre, the reconnaissance arm of R&AW, to repair and operate the Northern Alliance's aerial support. This relationship was further cemented in the 2001 Afgan war. India supplied the Northern Alliance high altitude warfare equipment worth around $8–10 million[60][61]. R&AW was the first intelligence agency to determine the extent of the Kunduz airlift.[62]
    Kargil War: R&AW was heavily criticized in 1999, following the Pakistani incursions at Kargil. Critics accused R&AW of failing to provide intelligence that could have prevented the ensuing ten-week conflict that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a full-scale war. While the Army has been critical of the information they received,[63] R&AW has pointed the finger at the politicians, claiming they had provided all the necessary information. However, R&AW was successful in intercepting a telephonic conversation between Pervez Musharraf, the then Pakistan Army Chief who was in Beijing and his chief of staff Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz in Islamabad[64]. This tape was later published by India to prove Pakistani involvement in the Kargil incursion.[64][65]

    Operation Leech: Surrounded by Arakans and dense forest, Myanmar had always been a worrisome point for Indian intelligence. As the major player in the area, India has sought to promote democracy and install friendly governments in the region. To these ends, R&AW cultivated Burmese rebel groups and pro-democracy coalitions, especially the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). India allowed the KIA to carry a limited trade in jade and precious stones using Indian territory and even supplied them weapons. It is further alleged that KIA chief Maran Brang Seng met the R&AW chief in Delhi twice. However, when the KIA became the main source of training and weapons for all northeastern rebel groups, R&AW initiated an operation, code named Operation Leech, to assassinate the leaders of the Burmese rebels as an example to other groups. Six top rebel leaders, including military wing chief of National Unity Party of Arakans (NUPA), Khaing Raza, were shot dead and 34 Arakanese guerrillas were arrested and charged with gunrunning.[66]

    War on Terror: Although R&AW's contribution to the War on Terror is highly classified, the organization gained some attention in the Western media after claims that it was assisting the United States by providing intelligence on Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban's whereabouts. Maps and photographs of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan along with other evidence implicating Osama bin Laden in terrorist attacks were given to US intelligence officials. R&AW's role in the War on Terror may increase as US intelligence has indicated that it sees R&AW as a more reliable ally than Pakistani intelligence. It has further come to light that a timely tip-off by R&AW helped foil a third assassination plot against Pakistan's former President, General Pervez Musharraf.[67]

    Source:- Wiki
  11. Gladiator

    Gladiator Regular Member

    Jul 22, 2009
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    Gp Capt SM HALI, columnist for Pakistan's Defence Journal, examines the historical capacity of Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) of India to conduct clandestine operations. Good read!

    Espionage, euphemistically called the second oldest profession of the world finds a mention in the Indian Vedas, one of the most - if not the most - ancient of the human texts. References to espionage are also discernible in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Greece and China. The Chinese sage Sun Tzu is considered by European scholars to be the first to study and analyse the whole question of espionage on scientific lines, and to set it down in a text book Ping Fa, The Art of War. This view is, however, not substantiated by cogent facts since there is ample proof of the greater antiquity and soundness of the system of Secret Services enunciated by the early Indians.

    Varuna, one of the chief gods of the Vedic pantheon is considered to be a forerunner of Secret Services. Magha, one of the most erudite and lucid poets and pragmatic thinkers, unequivocally asserted that statecraft cannot exist without the assistance of espionage. He writes:-

    'The statecraft in which even a single step is not taken in contravention of the science of dandaniti {(i.e. the law of danda (the rod)} which provides decent living (to the officers) and in which liberal grants are given in recognition of services rendered, does not shine to advantage without (the employment of ) spies, just as the science of grammar does not shine without Papasa Bhasya (the introductory portion of Patanjali's Mahabhasya), though it is provided with Nyasa (a commentary of that name) which strictly follows the words of the Sutras (of Panini), a good vrtti (explanatory work) and an excellent Bhasya (advance work of explanation, discussion and criticism)'.

    - (Sisupala - vadha, 2.112)​

    Secret Agencies in ancient India were not conceived of as an instrument of oppression but as a tool of governance. Secret agents were considered as 'eyes of the king'.

    Indian history illustrates that ancient Indians had gained great expertise in this secret art. The techniques and operational methods adopted by them were highly advanced, and can be usefully emulated today. From the spasas of Varuna, the fore-runners of the modern globe-trotting spies (the etymological affinity of the two terms is noticeable) to Chanakya's final manifestation of this art in the Arthasastra which is in fact a systematic codification of a wide variety of scattered information copiously found in the Epics, - the Mahabharata and the Ramayana - the Puranas and literary works of Bhasa, Kalidasa, Magha and Bana; and the Tamil Sangam literature, transcends unprecedented heights in this discipline.

    The vision of the Arthashastra, is truly breath taking, its practical utility timeless and the clarity of its exposition unique. The techniques of manipulating public opinion and creating disinformation, propounded by Chanakya anticipated modern intelligence systems by several centuries. No wonder then that the nearly 2500 years old lessons in deceit, guile, hypocrisy, machination, and gore taught by that Master strategist, Chanakya alias Kautilya (literally meaning 'crooked') was adopted in toto by India and its chief intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

    While laying the foundation stone of RAW, India's late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi approvingly quoted Louis F Hallis, when she said that its objectives should be the 'Ability to get what one wants by whatever means: eloquence, reasoned arguments, bluff, tirade, threat or coercion, as well as, by arousing pity, annoying others, or making them uneasy'.

    RAW is basically a Secret Service established to perform clandestine operations based on the Chanakyan principles of deceit and guile. It has successfully destabilised neighbouring countries, disintegrated independent states and backed the most notorious guerrilla organizations to achieve its ends. If it is compared to other intelligence agencies of the region, it emerges as an aggressive, cold-blooded and ruthless institution, engaged in the most macabre deeds.

    The organization and structure of RAW will be discussed in the second part of this paper. But to appreciate its working we must, first examine the origin and organization of India's ancient secret agencies.

    Origin and Organization of Secret Agencies in Ancient India

    The origin and development of Secret Agencies in ancient India is linked to the geopolitical conditions of the times when India was dotted with small states attempting to grab each other's territory and wealth. The art of espionage was thoroughly mastered, and almost all ancient Indian literary sources exhaustively dealt with this system. Spying came to be regarded as an indispensable feature and integral part of an efficient administration and of a sound foreign policy. It kept the rulers posted with the activities, afflictions, and operations of political adversaries: their disloyal and disgruntled elements, fifth columnists and foreign agents in their midst, also the strength and intentions of all foreign power. Espionage was considered to be as important an institution as diplomacy, and was sought to be governed by certain definite rules and usages. In Chanakya, the secret service department became a permanent feature of the state and was organised in the most 'uninhibited manner'.

    While Chanakya presents a highly developed and complicated system of governance including an all-pervasive espionage system, references to it are found in pre-Mauryan literature, too. The Mahabharata refers to a mythological tradition on the origin of the dandaniti and the art of espionage, which was handed down from the past. It expounds 'Brahma, the creator, himself composed a work comprising 1,00,000 chapters relating to dharma (religion), artha (economy), kama (sexual desire) and moksa (spiritual salvation) - the four aspects of life.' Brahma's compilation, according to the Great Epic, included subjects of behaviour towards counsellors, of spies, the indication of princes, of secret agents possessed of diverse means, of envoys, and agents of other kinds, conciliation, fomenting discord, gifts and chastisement; deliberations including counsels for producing disunion; the three kinds of victory, first, that which served righteously, secondly, which was won by wealth, and, thirdly, the one obtained by deceitful ways; chastisement of two kinds, namely, open and secret; the disorder created in the hostile troops; inspiring the enemy with fear; the means of winning over persons residing in the enemy territory; and finally, the chastisement and destruction of those that are strong.'

    No other civilization can claim such an antiquity for the techniques of war, diplomacy, intrigue and espionage and on such compulsive terms.

    In short, Varuna and other deities of the Vedic pantheon heavily depended on their secret agents. Manu, Kamandaka, Yajnavalkya and Chanakya, besides the later digest writers, deliberated on the art of espionage, while Chanakya perfected the art and recommended the organisation of secret agencies in the most unabashed manner. Professor Ghoshal suggests that the Mauryas followed the Arthasastra tradition in four respects, i.e. precautions in recruiting spies, countrywide espionage, safeguards against false reports by secret agents and enlistment of the services of loose women.


    The modest origin of secret agents in the form of Varuna's spasas brought about the imperative need for effective and vigorous espionage in an institutionalized form. The blue-print on espionage prepared by Chanakya has remained a model for successive generations. Various aspects of the organization of a secret agency as discussed in complete detail in the Arthasastra are briefly touched upon here.

    * Category of Agents. The Arthasastra mentions two wings of 'secret service', viz. 'samstha' and 'sancara'. The agents belonging to 'samstha' were stationed in the Establishment financed by the State, whereas the 'sancaras' moved from place to place depending on professional requirements. The spymasters of the two wings headed their respective cadre of agents, and controlled their operations. The members of one group were not aware of the existence of the other. This classification of Chanakya has been followed in India throughout the successive centuries.

    * Recruitment of Secret Agents. A study of Arthasastra, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Manusmriti, Kamandaka and Sukra reveals that there was no fixed source of recruitment of secret agents. Modern intelligence services generally resort to three main sources of recruitment, the academic world, the armed services and the under-world. This was also the pattern followed in ancient India.

    * Training. After recruitment, the secret agents were put through a rigorous training in the techniques of adopting disguises, changing appearances, science of signalling, secret writing, detection and identification of criminals, manipulating public opinion and creating dissensions in the enemy ranks.

    * Control and Supervision. The complicated, comprehensive, all-pervasive and ubiquitous institution of spies in ancient India necessitated very close and personal supervision of the ruler or his most reliable officers. It must have been difficult for the king to personally handle the comprehensive and complicated department of intelligence. According to the Arthasastra, the department of external affairs, which was covering military intelligence was managed by the king with the help of his foreign minister and the Commander-in-Chief. The agents detailed to cover the senior officers of the central government certainly reported to the king directly. In the far-flung areas of extensive kingdoms and in view of poor means of communication, the action specially in times of war had to be taken by men on the spot and not by the king who may be at a place far distant from the field of action. In foreign countries the spies were kept under the control and supervision of ambassadors who scrutinised their reports and directed intelligence operations. According to Chanakya, the institution of spies as an organization did not function under a unified command. The spies and secret agents worked under their respective heads of department, and also directly under the king.

    Techniques of Espionage

    Before discussing the working of RAW, it would be worthwhile to briefly examine some of the techniques of espionage employed by the ancient secret agencies of India.

    * Motivation and Recruitment of Sources. Motivation of persons to cater intelligence is directly proportionate to their weakness for sex and money, besides the burning desire of revenge or insatiable hunger for power. The Spymasters of ancient India exploited these weaknesses to their fullest advantage, and even the modern intelligence agencies heavily depend on these considerations. Chanakya advocated that the weak should be subjugated by means of conciliation and gifts, the strong by means of dissension and force.

    * Selection and Infiltration of Targets. Chanakya, in a very subtle manner and with an intimate knowledge of human psychology, selected his targets in foreign lands depending on their weaknesses and motivation. He advised secret agents to concentrate on targets:-

    * Among those who are dissatisfied with the rulers or had been humiliated or exiled;

    * Who have not been compensated for their expenditure;

    * Those who have been deprived of their rightful inheritance to office;

    * Whose women have been molested by force;

    * Who were wrongly imprisoned;

    * Whose property had been confiscated;

    * Who are prone to blackmail due to some weakness.

    Double-Agent Operation. A 'Double-Agent' is a spy who works for the opposition while pretending loyalty to those who employ him. this technique is an indispensable facet of agent-running and was extensively practised in ancient India. Chanakya suggested that secret agents should not refuse pay from the targets for working with them as their employees. This was to allay the misgivings on the part of the targets. 'Double-Agents' were used for creating dissensions and confusion among the confederates of the enemy. They floated false documents, got them seized from the possession of the enemy's army chiefs, and thus weakened the enemy. 'Double-Agents' were used to winning over the confidence of their adopted masters by sacrificing a few exposed, treacherous, disaffected or inefficient spies.

    * Payment of Sources Encouragement of secret agents with money and honour was considered an imperative necessity. The sources were paid both in cash and kind, besides receiving extraordinary courtesies and favours. It was also recommended that secret agents not only be rewarded for the job done by them but, also, in the event of repeated mistakes, silent punishment-death-be awarded to them.

    * Communication of Intelligence Intelligence not properly and promptly conveyed and which cannot be acted upon loses its value and validity. Besides this, the Arthasastra, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Kamandaka and Kathasaritasagara all recommend the use of coded language and signals.

    * Interception of Mail Interception of messages, signals and letters by postal censorship; monitoring and tapping telephones; and breaking codes is the standard practice of modern intelligence agencies. In the ancient period, since intelligence was communicated through pre-determined signals and with the assistance of pigeons, secret agents must have made elaborate arrangements to intercept these messages.

    * Assessment of Information. The Arthasastra cautions against the placing of reliance on agents without proper corroboration. It is repeatedly emphasised that all aspects of a report must be gone through, including the source of information, the mode of its collection and the past performance of a source before it is accepted. Briefing and debriefing of secret agents was an elaborate exercise, and they were trained to be precise, accurate and truthful in reporting.

    * Working Under 'Cover'. The institution of espionage in ancient India, like modern times, required secret agents to work under some kind of 'cover' to preserve secrecy. Chanakya institutionalized the art of working under the most ingenious 'covers'. The most common disguises recommended by him were those of ascetic, mendicant, merchant, artisan, wandering minstrel, artiste, cook, barber and shampooer, bath and toilet attendant, deaf, dumb, eunuch and prostitute. Chanakya recommends the use of women as effective tools of espionage particularly those who were engaged in harlotry.

    * Counter-Intelligence. A counter-intelligence operation is directed at discovering the identities and methods of foreign spies and intelligence officers working for the opposition. One of the most important duties of the Secret Service in ancient India was to counteract the activities of such agents operating within the country. Chanakya recommends that secret agents should discover foreign spies by operating at the places of entertainment, conclaves of people, among beggars, in gardens and public places, and the houses of prominent citizens.

    Disinformation and Dissension. Manipulation of public opinion is as important an object of the State today as it was in ancient India. It is used to create disharmony and distrust among the enemy's friends, ill-will among his allies, loss of confidence in their leadership and disruption by psychological means his capacity and will to fight. Chanakya had perfected the technique of disinformation and highly eulogised the use of dissension in enemy's ranks for winning a battle without any military action. His winning an extensive empire for his student Chandragupta Maurya without fighting any mentionable battle is aweÑ, and one may be excused to add: admirationÑ, inspiring feat, unparalleled in history. The Sanskrit Classical drama Mudrakshasa has tried to depict it dramatically but, at best, has only partially succeeded.

    * Sabotage. The technique of sabotage, which the political strategists consider as the penultimate means to vanquish an adversary, had been greatly perfected in ancient India. Secret practices for sabotage were advocated by Chanakya to ensure victory. As a preface to sabotage, he suggests the creation of an atmosphere congenial to arousing terror, fear, demoralization, disappointment and loss of confidence among the enemy ranks. Prior to launching a full-scale assault on the enemy fort, Chanakya suggests implementation of secret measures to weaken its defences not only physically but in all respects. These include prevention of sowing the fields, destruction of the standing crops and cutting of the enemy's supply lines.

    He also advises free and uninhibited use of poison in the articles used by the enemy. His detailed and scientifically valid knowledge of the subject has earned for him a place in Arabic medical literature, that knows him as Ibn Shanaq (son of Chanak). Some of the secret stratagems advocated by Chanakya include the use of smoke with properties seriously affecting the vision, and, arson or setting fires within the enemy fort.

    * The employment of Visakanyas (Poison-damsels). Secret Agencies in ancient India had perfected very ingenious techniques to subserve the interests of their monarchs. Besides using the nascent technological advancement available to them, they exploited human weakness for sex to achieve royal objectives. Visakanya is a unique feature of the Indian genius to poison the monarch. These venomous beauties can be classified, as follows:-

    * A damsel whose body is saturated with gradual doses of poison, and who is likely to transmit poison from her body to another person coming in contact with her;

    * A woman who treacherously captivates the heart of a person, and then mixes poison in his food or drink;

    * A girl who is, one way or the other, so much poisoned or infected with disease that she is likely to convey her poison or disease to the person coming in contact with her. A woman suffering from Venereal disease or, in the latest situation one suffering from Aids is a Visakanya of this kind.

    Raw at War-Genesis of Secret Agencies in Ancient India
  12. IBM

    IBM Regular Member

    Jul 21, 2009
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    I have heard in news that Mumbai govt still has not ordered latest weapons for its police force which includes night vision gogles ,bulletproof jackets, automatic guns.... i think they r wainting to welcome another kasab
  13. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

    Mar 7, 2009
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    Orders have been placed... equipment yet to be delivered... will be coming in within the next couple of months...
  14. Gladiator

    Gladiator Regular Member

    Jul 22, 2009
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    What is not possible by deployment of force is possible by the use of stratagem.The black cobra was defeated by the stratagem of the crow and the golden chain.

    -- Chanakya​


    The first part of this article briefly traced out the history of secret services in ancient India. Its chief progenitor was Chanakya, whose classic, the Arthasastra, not only provides a fairly graphic account of the activities of spies in the Mauryan and post-Mauryan polity but lays the foundation for the 'statecraft', guile and unscrupulous practices advocated by this master strategist.

    He goes on to recommend, 'In the work of espionage, all methods are admissible Ñ snooping, lying, bribing, poisoning, using women's wiles and the assassin's knife. To a weak king menaced by strong neighbours, Chanakya's advice was to rely chiefly on spies and wage what he described as a 'battle of intrigues' (mantra yuddha) and 'secret wars' (kuta yuddha). The spies, in order to achieve their objective, were to practice all kinds of fraud, artifice incendiarism and robbery. Their objective was to demoralize the enemy's troops by circulating false news, and seduce the allegiance of his minister and commanders. The underlying idea seems to have been to keep the strong neighbour preoccupied with domestic troubles thus making it impossible for him to launch a foreign expedition. From the days of Chanakya, the rules of business of espionage have not changed, at least the basic principles remain as before. The development of science and technology has only given fresh impetus and tools to the art of spying.

    Evolution of RAW

    Origins in the Directorate of Intelligence Bureau, created by the Raj in November 1920 Ñ during the Khilafat and Swaraj movements Ñ out of the old Criminal Intelligence Department (CID). In 1933, sensing the political turmoil in the world which eventually led to the Second World War, the bureau's responsibilities were increased to include the collection of intelligence along India's borders. In 1947, after Independence, Sanjeevi Pillai took over as the first Indian Director. Having been depleted of trained manpower by the exit of the British and Muslims, Pillai tried to run the bureau along MI 5 lines. Although in 1949, Pillai organized a small foreign intelligence set-up, the inefficacy of it was proved by the Indian debacle in the Indo-China War of 1962, and the cry of 'not enough intelligence available', was taken up by the Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Chaudhry, after the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

    It was towards the end of 1966 and the beginning of 1967 that the concept of a separate foreign intelligence agency began to take concrete shape. In 1968, after Indira Gandhi had taken over, it was decided that a full-fledged second security service was needed. R. N. Kao, then a deputy director of IB, submitted a blueprint for the new agency. Kao was appointed as the chief of India's first foreign intelligence agency named as 'the Research and Analysis Wing' or RAW.

    RAW takes shape

    Having started humbly as a Wing of the main Intelligence Bureau with 250 personnel and an annual budget of Rs 2 crore (by a rough estimate), in the early seventies, its annual budget had risen to Rs 30 crores while its personnel numbered several thousand. In 1971, Kao had persuaded the government to set up the Aviation Research Centre (ARC). The ARC's job was aerial reconnaissance. It replaced the Indian Air Force's old reconnaissance aircraft and by the mid-70s, RAW, through the ARC, had high quality aerial pictures of the installations along the Chinese and Pakistani borders. By 1976, Kao had been promoted to the rank of a fullfledged Secretary responsible for Security and reporting directly to the Prime Minister. His rise had raised RAW to become India's premier intelligence agency. RAW agents operated in virtually every major embassy and high commission.

    RAW's objectives

    The objectives of RAW according to Asoka Raina's famous book Inside RAW (Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1981) have been:-

    * To monitor the political and military developments in all the adjoining countries, which have, direct bearing on India's national security and in the formulation of its foreign policy.

    * Secondly, RAW watched the development of international communism and the schism between the two communist giants, the Soviet Union and The Republic of China. For as in other countries both the powers had direct access to the Communist Parties in India.

    * Thirdly, the supply of military hardware to Pakistan mostly from European countries, the USA and China, was of high priority.

    * And last but not the least, the presence of a large ethnic Indian population in foreign countries, provided a powerful lobby. These countries could back a favourable policy in international councils, motivated by the ethnic Indian group.

    The Organization

    RAW has been organized on the lines of the CIA. The following chart (source: Inside RAW by Asoka Raina) signifies the organization of RAW and is self-explanatory.

    Training of RAW Agents

    Recruitment: Initially, induction in RAW relied primarily on trained intelligence officers who were recruited directly. These belonged to the external wing of IB. However, quite a few were taken from police and other services to fill the cadres of RAW owing to its sudden expansion. Later RAW began recruiting promising fresh graduates from the Universities directly. The criteria for selection are fairly stringent.

    Basic Training: Basic training commences with 'pep talks' to boost the morale of the new recruit. This is a ten days' phase in which the fresh inductee is familiarized with the world of intelligence and espionage and alienated from the spies of fiction. Common usages, technical jargon and classification of information are taught. Case studies of other agencies like CIA, KGB, Chinese Secret Agency and ISI are presented for study. He is also taught that an intelligence organisation does not basically identify a friend from a foe, it is the country's foreign policy that do.

    Phase - II: The fresh recruit's training continues and he is now posted in some remote outpost, attached to a Field Intelligence Bureau (FIB). His training here lasts for a period of six months to a year. He is given a first hand feeling of what it was to be out in the cold, in the danger area conducting clandestine operation. During night exercises, under conditions of absolute realism, he is taught infiltration and exfiltration. He is instructed to avoid capture and if caught, how to face intensive interrogation; the art of reconnoiter, making contacts, and, the numerous skills of operating an intelligence mission. At the end of the field training, the new recruit is brought back to the School for final polishing. Before his deployment in the field, he is given exhaustive training in the art of self-defence, an introduction to martial arts and the use of technical espionage devices. He is also drilled in various administrative disciplines so that he could take his place in the foreign missions without arousing suspicion. He is now ready to operate under the cover of an Embassy to gather information, set up his own network of informers, moles or operatives as the task may require.

    Functions of RAW

    The functions of RAW vary according to the target. Some functions for obtaining strategic intelligence are outlined below:-

    Collection of Information: Emphasis is laid on obtaining information essential to Indian interests. Both overt and covert means are adopted.

    Collection of Information : The vast myriad of data is sifted through, classified and filed. The modern computer network in the 13-storey bombproof building situated at Lodhi Road, New Delhi, is a great help.

    Aggressive Intelligence: The primary mission of RAW includes aggressive intelligence which comprise espionage, psychological warfare, subversion, sabotage, terrorism and creating dissension, insurgency and, ultimately, insurrection to destabilize the target country.

    Modus Operandi

    Foreign Missions: Foreign Missions provide an ideal cover and RAW centres in a target country are generally located inside the Embassy premises.

    Multinationals: RAW operatives find good covers in Multinational organizations. NGOs and Cultural programmes are also popular screens to shield RAW activities.

    Media: International media centres can easily absorb RAW operatives and provide freedom of movement.

    Collaboration with other agencies: RAW maintains active collaboration with other secret services to meet its ends in a particular target country. Its contacts with KGB of the former Soviet Union, KHAD, the erstwhile Afghan agency, Mossad, CIA and MI6 have been well-known. A common interest being Pakistan's Nuclear Programme.

    Third Country Technique: RAW has been very active in obtaining information and operating through third countries like the Middle East, Afghanistan, UK, Hong Kong, Mayanmar and Singapore.

    Spotting and Recruitment: RAW operatives are on the lookout for local recruits to serve their ends. Acting on the Chanakyan principles, they tend to exploit human weaknesses for wine, women and wealth, and, at times resort to blackmail. Separatist tendencies and ethnic or sectarian sensitivities are also well-known grounds for manipulation. Armed Forces personnel remain a primary target. Those journalists, intellectuals and politicians harbouring and preaching goodwill and better Indo-Pak relations also make suitable targets for inadvertent and unconscious recruitment by RAW agents.
  15. Gladiator

    Gladiator Regular Member

    Jul 22, 2009
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    Major successes of RAW

    Creation of Bangladesh: The Bangladesh operation, beginning with sowing seeds of dissension, leading to the Agartala Conspiracy, creation of Mukti Bahini and under its cover sneaking into East Pakistan for guerrilla operations to blow up bridges and other installations damaged the morale of Pakistani troops and India won the war even before the battle began, thanks to RAW as its agents had infiltrated every nook and corner of erstwhile East Pakistan. The paragraph entitled: 'RAW takes shape', in the initial part of this article, amply demonstrates the causal chain of events.

    Plan to assassinate General Zia-ur-Rahman: According to the September 18-24, 1988 issue of the weekly Magazine Sunday (Calcutta), RAW was on the verge of assassinating Bangladesh's President General Zia-ur-Rahman (with Mrs Gandhi's approval) when the Congress government fell. RAW briefed the new Prime Minister Morarji Desai about it who was appalled at the idea and stopped the murder. General Zia continued to rule Bangladesh for many more years. He was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power but RAW pleads innocence.

    Poornima: Project Poornima was the name given India's Nuclear Programme. The task to keep it 'under tight wraps of security' was given to RAW. This was the first time that RAW was involved in a project inside India. The rest is history as India managed to surprise the world on 18 May, 1974 by detonating a 15-Kiloton plutonium device at Pokharan.

    Kahuta's Blueprint: According to the September 18-24, 1988 issue of the weekly Indian Magazine Sunday, RAW agents claim that in early 1978, they were on the verge of obtaining the plans and blueprint for Kahuta nuclear plant that was built to counter the Pokharan atomic blast, but the then Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai not only refused to sanction the $ 10,000 demanded by the RAW agent, but informed Pakistan of the offer. According to the report, Pakistanis caught and eliminated the RAW mole.

    It must be noted that the author of 'Ham Jang Nahin Hone Denge' held the external affairs portfolio at that time.

    Sikkim: Encircled by Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim presented a lucrative target to the Indians. It was ruled by a Maharaja. The Indian Government had recognized the title of Chogyal (Dharma Raja) for the Mahraja of Sikkim. After their kill in East Pakistan, in 1972, RAW was given the green signal to go ahead with the operation of installing a pro-Indian democratic government there. In less than three years, with the manipulation of RAW, Sikkim became the 22nd State of the Indian Union on April 26, 1975.

    Maldives: To bring the smaller Independent States/countries in the Indian sphere of influence with the use of RAW, the case of Maldives makes an important example. In November 1988, the Eilam Peoples' Liberation Front comprising about 200 Tamil secessionists on the pay roll of RAW were tasked to stage the drama of an uprising on that peaceful island. At the request of the President of Maldives, Mr Mamoon Abdul Qayyum, Indian Armed Forces 'quelled' the insurgency engineered by themselves and thus tried to sneak into the administrative mechanism of that peace-loving country.

    Operation Chanakya: This was the codename given to the RAW operation in Occupied Kashmir to create rifts among the various Kashmiri Mujahideen groups, suppress the uprising and bring the Kashmiris under total Indian subjugation. According to Tariq Ismail Sagar's book RAW, (Milli Book Depot, Lahore, 1997) in 1991, RAW operatives entered the Srinagar Valley in the guise of freedom fighters. They resorted to loot, rape and arson of Kashmiri Pundit families to give the popular non-communal uprising a bad name. Operation Chanakya gained momentum when Mossad provided its experienced Katsas to train RAW operatives. They did gain initial successes but when later actions of Operations Chanakya failed, RAW commenced an intensive propaganda to blame ISI.

    Monitoring Pakistani Telecommunication: Raw operatives boast that at one time its monitoring complex had managed to break through Pakistani Telecommunications and were listening in to all telephonic conversations held by important Pakistani leaders.

    RAW's Failures

    Although RAW has had many successes, it has also committed a number of blunders. Some of these are discussed below:

    Promulgation of Emergency: Whereas the IB Director, A. Jayaram had advised Mrs Indira Gandhi against promulgating the Emergency, Kao, Mrs Gandhi's handpicked man and RAW's head, supported it. This proved to be a fatal mistake. He continued to feed the PM reports of its popularity and that no excesses were committed. How disastrous it proved for Kao's benefactor is a matter of history.

    Operation Blue Star: This was the codename given to the storming of the holiest Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple of Amritsar in 1984. Although it was a domestic matter and IB's concern, yet RAW was pulled in under the pretext of a foreign element's (allegedly Pakistani) involvement. RAW failed miserably as it could not assess the strength of Bhindranwale's forces. What was to be a 5 hours' operation stretched to 5 days and tanks had to be brought in and Indian Army suffered heavy casualties. Ultimately Indira Gandhi had to pay with her own life as she was gunned down by her Sikh bodyguard in retaliation to Operation Blue Star. Kao, the Prime Minister's Security Adviser resigned within 24 hours of her assassination.

    Kee us ne mere qatl ke ba'd Jafaa se tauba,
    Haae! Us zood pashemaan kaa pashemaan honaa.
    Ah! The remorse of the one
    Who after finishing me,
    Took the vow never to be cruel again.
    So soon did he repent!

    --- Ghalib

    Mujib-ur-Rahman's Assassination: RAW operatives claim that they had advance information about Shaikh Mujib-ur-Rahman's assassination but they failed to prevent it. It is interesting to note that despite its role in the creation of Bangladesh, RAW failed to annex it.

    It was a classic case of the cropping up of a double dilemma: Yak na shud do shud.

    Mauritius: Mrs Gandhi was so keen to see Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam continue as the Prime Minister of Mauritius that RAW was tasked to oversee his reelection campaign. Despite heavy investments, RAW failed by a wide margin.

    Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka had been marked for special attention after it had permitted Pakistani aircraft to land for refuelling there after India had stopped the over flight rights of Pakistani flights to and back from East Pakistan. Sri Lankan President Junius Jaywardhene's aim of turning his country into an Asian Tiger did not suit India at all. Stung by its failures in the Indian Punjab, RAW attempted to make up in Sri Lanka. RAW started training militants to destabilize the Pearl Island but in the bargain, such a monster was unleashed that even the landing of Indian troops as a peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka failed badly. Eventually, Rajiv Gandhi became a victim of the muddling in Sri Lanka.

    RAW seems to be a congenital enemy of the Gandhi family.

    Soft Target: Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian Mac Andrew's well-known book Soft Target (James Lorimer and Comp., Publishers, Toronto, 1994) provides details of RAW's botched operations in Canada to malign the Sikhs there for their role in the Khalsa movement and make them suspect in the eyes of the Canadian authorities. On 23 June, 1985 Air India's Flight 182 was blown up near Ireland and 329 innocent lives were lost. On the same day another explosion took place at Tokyo's Narita airport's transit baggage building where baggage was being transferred from Cathay Pacific Flight No CP 003 to Air India's Flight 301 which was scheduled for Bangkok. Both aircraft were loaded with explosives from Canadian airports. Flight 301 got saved because of a delay in its departure. Initially RAW was successful in pointing the finger at Canadian Sikhs but the Canadian authorities soon concluded that it was a RAW ploy.

    RAW's Primary Target: Pakistan

    Pakistan remains RAW's primary concern. It runs thousands of agents and spends millions of rupees in its operations against Pakistan. It has made a three-pronged attack against Pakistan in an attempt to destabilise it:-

    * Propaganda

    * Espionage, and

    * Subversion

    RAW is totally committed on all these three fronts and is engaged in launching covert operations in consonance with India's hostile foreign policy. The Jain Commission Report, released by India in 1997, acknowledges that RAW did sponsor the terrorist activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eilam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka and violent intervention in Bangladesh. All aspects of Pakistani activities, economic, military, industrial and cultural receive a close scrutiny of RAW. It considers Sindh as the soft under-belly of Pakistan and has therefore made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. Ashok A Biswas, a Delhi-based research scholar, in his recently compiled study RAW - An Unobstructive Instrument of India's Foreign Policy, (as quoted by Pakistan Observer in 'A RAW deal for South Asia, 03 May, 1998) states that 'the aim of RAW is to keep internal disturbances flaring up and the ISI preoccupied so that Pakistan can lend no worthwhile resistance to Indian designs in the region.' He concludes, 'RAW over the years has admirably fulfilled its task of destabilizing target states through unbridled export for terrorism. The 'Indian Doctrine' spelt out a difficult and onerous role of RAW. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives. The Indian government spelling out the task for RAW in this regard has stated, 'Pakistan should be so destabilized internally that it could not support the 'Kashmir cause even morally, diplomatically or politically'. Keeping the size of Pakistan in view, the task seems a difficult one for RAW. But it appears, RAW has taken it as a challenge and is working assiduously and speedily to accomplish this task'.

    No wonder, with the wily Chanakya as its mentor and the machinations preached in his Arthasastra as their bible, RAW is well equipped to continue waging its war of propaganda, sabotage and subversion. It is for its prime target 'Pakistan' to be wary of its macabre game plan of continuing war by 'other means' and continue exposing RAW's heinous designs against us, which are a blatant, utter and naked violation of all human values. And not the least the people and the leadership of India; for as the great poet Ghalib said:

    Hue tum dost jiske,
    Us ka dushman asman kiyun ho

    With a friend like you,
    Who needs a foe!
  16. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    You sound like you actually expected them you buy those items.
  17. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

    Mar 30, 2009
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    Especially since we all know that ISI exists only to create Guiness Book World Records for planting trees.

    Seriously, even if RAW was half as good as they claim...

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