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Showing posts from November 30, 2008


The shocking barbarism we saw unfold in Mumbai has stirred free India's soul like little else before. We have, as a nation, since those nearly 60 torturous hours from November 26, been expressing the desire to change things. Change them so never again can a handful of insane killers bring this mighty country to its knees. Not often does a yen for change grip an entire nation. We would be monumentally stupid to let this opportunity pass. Shocked by the bloodletting in Mumbai, people are willing to make changes at a personal and individual level. In this age of all-consuming selfishness, it is indeed a rare occasion. We could turn this into a historic moment. But the question is – how? I know that millions of ordinary Indians like me are looking for direction. We would like someone to lead the way, tell us how we can contribute to the creation of a safer tomorrow. We assume that others know better, that someone out there will put things right. But this inhibition, this hesitancy co

Top 5 Intelligence Analysis Methods: What Makes A Good Method? (List, Part 2)

Wheaton Kristen Source: SourcesAndMethods Part 1 -- Introduction There are a number of good analytic methods available. If you are ever at a loss for a method (or just want to see a really good taxonomy of methods) check out the Principles of Forecasting site . Specifically, look at the methodology tree and the selection tree (You can see a screen shot below but you really owe it to yourself to look at the interactive site or, at least, download the PDF ). While I strongly support the International Institute of Forecasters and all of their good work, I have rarely had the kind of data in the real-world intelligence problems on which I have worked that would allow me to be comfortable using many of the methods that they have listed. I'll be honest; these guys have spent a lifetime thinking about forecasting and deriving a taxonomy of methods so I am probably the one who is wrong but the methods I find most useful -- over and over again -- are simply not on their list.


By B.Raman Ever since the Pakistan-supported insurgency started in Jammu and Kashmir ( J&K) in 1989, Pakistan had been alleging that Israeli counter-terrorism experts had been assisting the Indian security forces in their counter-terrorism operations in J&K. They were also alleging that the Israelis periodically visiting Srinagar were counter-terrorism experts under the guise of tourists. 2.In the last week of June,1991, a group of 40 Israeli tourists had gone to Srinagar. Many of them had just then completed their compulsory military service and had come to India on vacation before resuming their normal vocation. Seven of them were staying in a house boat in the Dal Lake with a Dutch woman. 3.On June 28,1991, some terrorists, believed to be members of the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), attacked the house boat. They locked up the owner of the boat and a servant. The eight tourists were moved to small boats and then taken to a house in Srinagar town. 4.Th

"The Present Monetary System Is The Disease"

December 4, 2008 (LPAC), the new Internet portal of the Russian economics radio station Business FM, today published an interview with U.S. economist Lyndon LaRouche, under the headline "The Present Monetary System Is the Disease." Correspondent Natalya Bokareva, to whose written questions LaRouche replied on Nov. 27, introduced the interview: "The only way to save the world economy is to return to Bretton Woods. The cosmetic changes, proposed by the G-8 and the G-20, will not save the world. The American economist Lyndon LaRouche presents this viewpoint in an interview with" Illustrated by a photo of LaRouche addressing an audience in Washington on Nov. 18, the publication goes on to provide partially correct biographical information on LaRouche, including that he was author of the Strategic Defense Initiative, and that he was jailed, but was released ahead of time after advocacy on his behalf by numerous influentials. The introduction als

Top 5 Intelligence Analysis Methods

Source : SourcesAndMethods Kristan J. Wheaton (Note: I was recently asked to name and describe my top 5 intelligence analysis methods. As I began to think about it, what seemed like a fairly straightforward question morphed into what I could only think of a series of blog posts. So, here they are...) Considerable emphasis has been put on improving the methods of intelligence analysis over the last six years. The 9/11 Report alluded to the need for it, the WMD Commission addressed it more directly and the DNI recently highlighted the continued requirement for advanced analytic techniques in its Vision: 2015 document .Still, the intuitive method (also known as "read a bunch of stuff, think about it for a bit and then write something") remains the most popular method for producing intelligence analysis despite this method's well known tendency to permit a wide range of cognitive and systemic biases to corrupt the analytic product (see Heuer and Tetlock for excellent o

American Intelligence Takes Some Hints from Shell

Source: The National Intelligence Council called on a wide network of futurologists to draft its latest forecasts. Among them were a good number of former strategy and planning aides from the RoyalDutch/Shell oil company. The central forecasting unit of the American intelligence community, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) has just published Global Trends 2025 - A Transformed World, a report that seeks to identify the main economic, technological, demographic and diplomatic trends that will shape the world in the 15 years to come. Numerous private consultants and experts were roped in to prepare the report (see graph below). Among them were many who had worked for forecasting units of RoyalDutch/Shell . To be sure, the National Intelligence Council selected the model used by the oil company, the “Intuitive Logics School” which draws on the conclusions of a group of experts rather than employing software that explores various contingencies. Shell used t

Dawood and Black Globalization “What’s the point of asking Islamabad to hand over Dawood when we’re not doing anything to destroy his empire in Mumbai and other places in India?” a senior official asked . While the Naxal insurgency co-opts the most participants in the Indian black economy, Dawood Ibrahim is in himself succinctly described as the number one participant. A scion of the smuggling era, (occurred during India’s buildup to opening up its economy) he now operates with impunity out of Pakistan, parties with Bollywood stars, and is the goto guy for anyone seeking to attack targets in urban India. Unfortunately, the Pakistani state can’t take him out without incurring the wrath of Dawood’s network, which is extensively linked to every major terror outfit in the region and has played a prominant role in major attacks. In short, Dawood is to black globalization what AQ Khan was to nuclear proliferation (also a Pakistani resident). This is the same challenge Pakistan faces ac

Accountability Of Intelligence Agencies

By B. Raman The Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) have mounted a damage-control exercise by sharing with senior journalists details of technical intelligence (TECHINT) collected by them, which clearly indicated that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Pakistani terrorist organisation, which is a member of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF) For Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People, was planning to carry out sea-borne terrorist strikes against hotels on Mumbai's coast, one of the hotels being the Taj Mahal hotel, which was actually attacked and occupied by some terrorists on the night of November 26, 2008. This intelligence was disseminated by them to those responsible for physical security. It seems to be the contention of the IB and the R&AW that what happened in Mumbai was a serious instance of physical security failure and failure to act on available intelligence and not an instance of intelligence failure

Mumbai Horror – I - Abject Failure Of The Political Community

Mumbai Horror – I - Abject Failure Of The Political Community By Bhaskar Roy There have been a lot of writing in the print media and sound bytes in the electronic media about intelligence failure in tackling terrorism. Of course, it is true to a large extent. The Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) and other such organizations as specific institutions take the rap. They should. Seven medium to large scale terrorist attacks in the course of a year is not acceptable. The Mumbai terror carnage started on the night of November 26 and went on for 60 hours before it could be brought to a close. The Mumbai police, the army and navy commandos and especially the NSG “Black Cats” did a highly commendable job. But around 200 innocent people lost their lives, the terrorists got huge publicity which will further encourage them and their mentors. There is no certainty that such attacks will not take place somewhere else in the country. Leaders refuse to answer

Mumbai Horror – II - Foreign Interlocutions

By Bhaskar Roy The Mumbai terrorist carnage of November 26 which lasted 60 hours or more may not be totally over yet as a challenge to a much bigger dimension of vulnerability to such attacks. The international community is truly alarmed as the implications are very wide in terms of regional stability in more ways than one. The Mumbai attack was a well planned international targeting. A very specific evidence of this was the attack on the Nariman House. Very few Mumbaikars were even aware that the Nariman House had changed its name and was Chabad House for Jews. One reason could be that very few Jews are left in Mumbai and the rest of India, though they are a respected community. This was a prime target of the terrorists and the inmates, all Jews, were not only killed but tortured before they were killed. The other evidence was the terrorists were specifically looking for American and British citizens, the two countries mainly engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan anti-terror war.


By Bhaskar Roy The well read Pakistani daily The News (Nov.28) made a pithy observation in the following words when commenting on Pak based terrorism and the Mumbai terror attack – ”The question is what we, as a nation, can do to alter this situation and save ourselves. Too much time has already been lost. The costs – to reputation, to investment, to the welfare of the country have been immense. Pakistanis struggle to obain visas; colleges overseas hesitate to admit students for fear that they are terrorists. People who are innocent suffer”. The article goes on to warn if Pakistan does not handle the Mumbai issue with commitment and purpose the anger generated in the aftermath will “assume the form of a ferocious storm that we may not be able to withstand”. Before going further certain issues need to be clarified. Neither the Indian government nor the people of India have charged the current elected government of Pakistan of being complicit in this devastating and cold blooded atta

Ageing police force ails Punjab security

3 Dec 2008, 0402 hrs IST, Ramaninder K Bhatia, TNN CHANDIGARH: Punjab is not a stranger to deadly terror strikes. In fact, it has one of the bloodiest histories of violence. But what if it were made a target once again, as intelligence reports keep pointing out, especially keeping in mind the sheer volume of explosives including deadly consignments of RDX arms and ammunitions being constantly confiscated from its porous international borders? Only God could save it as its police force battling lack of preparedness, old age and devoid of infrastructure, would be woefully wanting on all fronts. To start with, the state does not have a single Quick Reaction Team (QRT). Worse, most of the commandoes in the state's 5 commando battalions are well past the age of 35 as the last major recruitment was carried out way back in 1992. The state has only one young commando unit which is the force's major strike arm, for which recruitment was done in early 2000. And this for a state


Intelligence operatives to population ratio in India is less than 5 per lakh in India compared to above 40 in many countries - this, despite India being beset with multiple types of terror - Islamic, Kashmiri, Hindu, Sikh, north-east and Naxals - much more than only Islamic terror threat for the west, Russia, China etc.

The Ideologies of South Asian Jihadi Groups (Laskar-e-Taiba)

Hudson Institute ^ | 5/19/2005 | Hussain Haqqani Posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 1:38:57 AM by mojito The most significant jihadi group of Wahhabi persuasion is Lashkar-e-Taiba (The Army of the Pure) founded in 1989 by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. Backed by Saudi money and protected by Pakistani intelligence services, Lashkar-e-Taiba became the military wing of Markaz al-Dawa wal-Irshad (Center for the Call to Righteousness). Saeed created a large campus and training facility at Muridke, outside the Pakistani metropolis of Lahore. After the U.S. froze Lashkar-e-Taiba’s assets and called for it to be banned, Saeed changed his organization’s name in Pakistan to Jamaat-ul-Dawa (the Society for Preaching). Pakistani authorities have been reluctant to move against either Lashkar, which continues to operate in Kashmir, or Jamaat-ul-Dawa, which operates freely in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ul-Dawa scaled down their military operations against India to help Pakistan honor its commitm

Mumbai 26/11: Media Misadventurisms

By Swati Parashar The media tirade continues while politicians engage in mud-slinging. They (politicians) pull out ‘conscience’ to justify resignations, like rabbit out of the hat (R R Patil who earlier refused to resign, suddenly found his ‘conscience’ today!). They show utter contempt for us, common people, supposedly in ‘powder and lipstick’ and in ‘ties and suits’, who dare to question them (Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi thinks those protesting against politicians are anti-nationals!). And some others write blogs about their bravery (Milind Deora is probably miffed that his and his party men’s bravery in saving people near Nariman House was not recognised!). These politicians have competition from our media which has become the judge, jury and executioner especially after the Mumbai terror tragedy. It is important to illustrate the media misadventures. They are all speaking ‘for’ us, ‘with’ us and ‘of’ us while we remain speechless. They are supposedly giving us a ‘voice’, rather giving t