RAW botches up, shares false terror input.

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by ejazr, May 11, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    RAW left with egg on its face as terror plot unravels

    The Hindu : News / National : RAW left with egg on its face as terror plot unravels

    Men intelligence service said were terrorists who infiltrated India turn out to be Lahore businessmen

    The Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence service, is facing allegations of incompetence after three Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who, it claimed, were about to conduct a suicide-squad operation in western India turned out to be living at their homes in Lahore — and to be businessmen, not terrorists.

    The Mumbai police issued warnings earlier this week after receiving information on what they said was an imminent plot to target two of India's largest oil refineries: Reliance Industries' plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat and Mittal Energy's unit at Bhatinda, Punjab.

    Five Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives, the police alleged in briefings for the media on Wednesday, had infiltrated India to execute the operation.

    Though periodic warnings have been issued on the threats to the plant — the last by the Intelligence Bureau in May — this warning was unusually specific, and accompanied by photographs of the Lashkar team.

    Late on Wednesday evening though, a Pakistani television show host revealed that the men were living in Lahore: two running shops at the Hafeez shopping complex in Lahore's Gulberg district, and the third a guard employed on the premises.

    The revelations led shopkeepers in Lahore to stage demonstrations in support of the two men, while the Jamaat-ud-Dawa said this showed that India falsified information on Pakistani involvement in terrorist strikes, including 26/11. Both men also moved the Lahore High Court on Thursday, seeking protection against any possible action by India, and have told The Hindu that they intended to petition the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to be formally exonerated.

    No official explanation has been offered by New Delhi for the apparent debacle. A fresh alert was issued in Pune after local intelligence officials warned that the suicide squad could strike the city. The RAW officer with supervisory responsibility for issuing the alerts did not respond to a query from The Hindu.

    Elusive answers

    The testimony from the two men who spoke to The Hindu from Lahore threw up as many questions as it answered. Late on Wednesday, shopkeeper Mahtab Butt said he had on a whim used Google to search for the word ‘India.' The search led him to an India Today group site. There, he discovered a photo of himself, fellow storeowner Atif Butt and night guard Muhammad Babar, illustrating a story on the alleged Mumbai terror plot.

    Mr. Butt said he immediately called Pakistani television show host Mubashir Lucman — a controversial figure known for his dogged support of the religious right — with the news.

    Three separate Google searches conducted by The Hindu did not lead to results with India Today on the first page, raising questions about this account —though, in all fairness, results using the site often vary by region.

    Later that evening though, both Mr. Butt and Mr. Atif Butt provided The Hindu with a quite different version of events. The two men said they had learned of the report from a common friend, whom they identified as Khubaab.

    Neither man could explain where the photographs of them — clearly personal in nature, rather than the kinds typically used in passport or driving-licence applications — were taken. Nor did they have any explanation for what led them, or their friend, to search for information on India late in the evening.

    Duped by ISI?

    Highly placed intelligence sources in New Delhi said the photographs had been obtained from an individual they described as a “trans-border source — a euphemism for smugglers who often conduct espionage in return for some degree of impunity from law-enforcement agencies.

    The sources noted that the first photographs of the suspects had been released on the Internet at 8.21 p.m., while Mr. Lucman revealed their true identities less than an hour later — fuelling suspicion that the photographs might have been planted by Pakistan's own intelligence services to discredit the RAW.

    The New Delhi-based intelligence officials said the affair pointed to underlying problems in India's post-26/11 intelligence reforms — key among them, pressure to circulate information before it could be thoroughly corroborated. The intelligence was passed on to the Mumbai police through the Intelligence Bureau-run Multi-Agency Centre — the core of the proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre — but its credibility does not appear to have been questioned by other agencies.

    The intelligence debacle, the RAW's worst fiasco in years, is the latest in a series of embarrassing intelligence failures, among them the listing of individuals held in Indian prisons in a government dossier on the alleged fugitives in Pakistan.

    Though there was no corroboration of the threat from other agencies or communications intelligence, the Mumbai Police decided to make the information public. “The consensus,” an officer present at the meetings told The Hindu, “was that it was best to get the information we had out there, in the hope of at least embarrassing the ISI into calling off the operation. No one wanted to be accused of withholding information, in case something happened.”

    “I guess it was a bad call,” he said.
     
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  3. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

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    RAW botches up, shares false terror input.
    Published: Friday, May 11, 2012, 9:30 IST
    By Saikat Datta & Manan Kumar | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

    A terror input by India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) about an impending attack by terrorists on Mumbai and parts of Gujarat turned out to be false, causing major embarrassment to New Delhi. By Thursday afternoon, media reports from Pakistan showed that two of the five suspected terrorists were shopkeepers selling cellphones while another was a security guard at the Hafeez Centre in Lahore.

    Embarrassed RAW officials tried to salvage the situation, but the damage had been done. Islamabad started a whisper campaign by stating that Delhi had a habit of issuing “fake intelligence alerts to embarrass” Pakistan.
    Prior to this goof-up, RAW had also messed up with the inputs on the 26/11 terror strike. Instead of sending the inputs from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to the Pakistan-analysis desk, it sent it directly to the Multi Agency Centre (MAC). Without a detailed analysis, most security officials failed to connect the dots and detect the impending attack.

    The build-up to the latest blunder began last week, nearly 48 hours before home minister P Chidambaram was making a pitch for a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to the chief ministers of various states. Senior officials from RAW along with their counterparts in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and the military intelligence walked into the meeting and said a “top source” had alerted them about a fresh Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) plot to attack “sensitive installations” in Mumbai and somewhere in
    Gujarat.

    According to them, the “top source” also supplied them with pictures of the five LeT men who had entered Mumbai from the sea and planned to go to various parts of the state to attack installations such as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

    At first, senior officials from MAC, a body created to collate and coordinate all intelligence inputs, were sceptical. When RAW officials shared the antecedents of their “top source,” MAC officers checked their database and found that the same source had given a false input earlier. The officials asked for more details about the suspected terrorists.

    However, since RAW officials were unable to get technical intercepts or other information, they sought a meeting with IB director Nehchal Sandhu. He too was sceptical about the input and asked RAW officials to review it. But they insisted that the input was correct and pressed him to share it with the states immediately. They also raised the spectre of 26/11, when technical intercepts from CIA had been passed on by RAW to the IB about the impending attack in Mumbai.


    The IB decided not to take a chance as the chief ministers were in Delhi for the NCTC meet and shared the input to their offices in Mumbai and Gandhinagar. By Saturday morning, IB officers in the state were briefing senior police officials about the input.
    On Thursday, three men from Lahore - Atif Butt, Mehtab Butt and Baber Shabbir - went to the local police station after seeing their pictures online. Their photos were leaked to the media by state police officials. IB officials had raised suspicion about the intelligence unit after looking at their photos. But their doubts were brushed aside by RAW officials. Pakistani media reports said Atif and Mehtab ran adjacent mobile phone shops at Hafeez Centre, a shopping mall in Lahore, while Baber was a security guard there.
    The false terror alert shocked the internal security division in the ministry of home affairs which is responsible for sending the advisory after analysing it with MAC. The blunder was even more embarrassing because Chidambaram referred to it in his speech while addressing the chief ministers. “Two days ago, central agencies received specific inputs about an imminent terrorist attack. Several states were notified and specific targets were identified,” he said in an effort to build his case for the NCTC.

    Now that the input has proved false, Chidambaram is very upset. “He plans to take up the issue with RAW chief SK Tripathi at his morning briefing on Friday,” sources said. Union home secretary RK Singh, however, said the input was credible and they stand by it.

    RAW botches up, shares false terror input - India - DNA
    :frusty:
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  4. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    irrelevant
    I'll repeat what I said.

    Better to atleast raise false alarms than not raising anything at all.

    And why place the blame on RAW...they identified the photos based on n number of factors and it could have been a case of identity theft.

    Intelligence agencies dont get it right all the time.
     
    sayareakd, Nagraj, parijataka and 6 others like this.
  5. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

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    I agree.Atleast it was a good check on Police readiness.

    Now these men may not have infiltrated into India but they may have been LeT sympathizers.
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I completely second that. Golden words.
     
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Nagraj likes this.
  8. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    The Hindu Newspaper should have shame before penning such headings on Indian intelligence agencies. What wrong RAW has done ? They leaked an information on a false alarm planted by JuD goons ? Such false tip offs are common games played by terrorist organizations, same same false tip off were planted by the same organization in question before Mumbai attacks. If the news could have been legit then it was a good decision to disseminate such news in public so that masses can be alerted in time.

    Those who make decision on such issues literally walk on tight rope expecting media and civilians will support their decision making which at the end of the day is released for broader benefit of the society.

    Also the testimony of those Pakistanis (members of JuD) pretending innocent to The Hindu are flimsy and conflicting.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
    KS likes this.
  9. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    BTW RAW is a ghost/shadow agency with no footprints, how The Hindu clowns are able to pinpoint the so called goof up at them ?
     
  10. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    I support this view. True espionage is a world of shadows where false alarms are extremely common. Someone working for the terrorists might change their plans at the very last minute. The so called "false alarm" could actually avert an impending disaster by exposing their plans. So I would regard this manufactured contempt with a large dose of salt.
     
  11. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Moronic Journalism. Why should you spread a bad word about our own intelligence agency in public ?? This reminds me the leakage of letter of Army Chief to PMO.
Indian media is immature.They don't understand the responsibility of being a free speech body.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    RAW ‘set up’ by Pakistan intel agency


    India's premier external intelligence agency, RAW, has made a mistake. Now, it is revealed that it had been 'set up' by Pakistan's intelligence agency, ISI, to tarnish the former's credibility.

    A high level internal probe by the Indian government into a recent intelligence alert has revealed that RAW had been 'deliberately set up and wrong information was planted on it by a high value source'.

    The recent incident had caused considerable embarrassment to New Delhi’s security and intelligence establishment.

    A few days ago, the Intelligence Bureau had issued an alert, on basis of inputs given by RAW, that five terrorist had sneaked into India to target vital installations in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab. The intelligence agency had also released photographs of the suspects as well.

    But subsequently it was learnt that three out of these five suspects — Atif Bhatt, Mehtab Bhatt and Baber Shabbir — are actually present in Lahore where two were working as businessmen and the third as a security guard.

    According to highly placed sources involved in probing this intelligence goof-up the tip-off was based on 'human intelligence' that came from Pakistan itself. But apparently 'RAW’s source was relatively new and his credibility had not been tested in the past,’’ the probe reveals.

    Though the source was fairly important but it is now learnt that his credibility had not been tested in the past. From all possible accounts the source planted wrong information on RAW which is turning out to be an embarrassment now,’’ a top intelligence official said.

    Sources in RAW, however, continue to maintain that the information was 'highly credible' and though the three suspects may be in Lahore their terror links cannot be doubted.

    Even while various agencies were analysing the RAW input on this specific terror alert, the Multi Agency Centre of IB had red flagged the information.

    But it seems the external intelligence agency was very sure about its tip-off and asked the IB to go ahead with sensitising the concerned states over the terror alert. A blame game has already started among various agencies over the goof-up as it is likely to come up during the India-Pakistan home secretary


    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  13. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    One thing is sure. all pakis watch Indian channels like oxygen. and how scared are they by Indian allegation, look at their faces


    :taunt::taunt::taunt:

     
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  14. lemontree

    lemontree Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    These things happen in the intelligence world.
     
  15. prakashbioc

    prakashbioc Regular Member

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    The human intel used by RAW maybe a double agent to ISI or a sympathizer of LeT. Maybe this is an attempt to discredit RAW.

    Unlike SIGINT, HUMINT fails in many instances. especially, in foreign soil like Pakistan.
     
  16. SLASH

    SLASH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Remember the list that we had sent to pakistan...

    These goof-ups are embarrassing. But i hope RAW is not deterred by the bad media portrayal. They need to continue doing what they are doing.
     
  17. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    It will happen, with lots of false alarms, but even if one is real terror threat, then we cannot afford to over look it, better have false alarms then felt sorry if this thing actually happen, please understand this is spy vs spy game, we won some we loose some, but we have to stay vigilant all the time.
     

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