Nexus between terrorists, official establishments getting stronger: Menon

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New Delhi, July 20 (ANI): National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon today cautioned against increasing nexus between terrorist groups and official establishments and intelligence agencies.

Inaugurating the ORF-Heritage Dialogue on "Countering Terrorism in South Asia: Perspectives from US and India" here today, Menon said that unfortunately there seems to be no possibility of this nexus being broken in the near future.

Menon said the interrogation of the Bombay attack accused David Headley in the US recently have confirmed many things about terrorists operation that India already knew. He said it made it clear the reality of links of terrorists with official establishment and the intelligence agencies.

"It is that nexus that makes it much harder phenomenon for us to deal with. These links or nexus, from what we see unfortunately suggest that, will not be broken soon. If anything, it is getting stronger," Menon warned, describing South Asia as epicenter of global terrorism.

Menon said, today it is less possible to be optimistic about the success of counter terrorism strategies in South Asia - in Pakistan or Afghanistan - not because we can't understand the problem or strategies are intrinsically flawed.

"I think we know what needs to be done and who is responsible for terrorism. We have much clearer picture today of the infrastructure of the terrorism, of the eco system that supports terrorism, not confined to South Asia but affects the entire world," he said.

Menon said the possibility of nuclear weapons reaching the hands of terrorists is a very important issue which the ORF-Heritage Dialogue is going to take up later, but pointed out that two aspects are better off today than last year.

Both India and US have learnt lessons and both the countries are trying to put together institutions, polities and practices which would help us to deal with this, he noted.

Having already set up the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and a multi agency centre to collect and disseminate information and the National Intelligence Grid, the Government is now in the process of setting up National Counter Terrorism Centre, Menon said.

M. Rasgotra, President of the ORF Centre for International Relations, in his opening remarks, said though we all know the source of terrorism, the US has shut its eyes to this kind of proxy war of which both India and the US are the victims.

Dr. Kim Holmes, Vice President for Foreign and Defence Policy Studies of the Heritage Foundation, said Lashkar-e-Toiba is not only a threat in south Asia but in the entire world with ability to attack the US. He suggested that if necessary, options like sticking to Afghanistan should be considered to deal with terrorism. (ANI)

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