New Delhi, June 22: The ISI which has been notorious for several nefarious activities carried on Indian soil has now offered Rs 10 lakhs to steal laptops of army personnel, as per the investigation conducted by the National Investigating Agency. After the honey traps laid by the ISI to get information from low ranking officials of the army has been by and large controlled, the new modus operandi is now to steal laptops belonging to army officers.
After a failed attempt to target South India through the Colombo module of the ISI, the agency is looking to re-launch operations and this time instead of terrorist strikes, it proposes to gather as much information as possible from the Indian army.
Intelligence Bureau officials who have been picking up alerts and the investigation being conducted by the NIA into the South Indian terror modules would indicate that the ISI is on an information gathering spree at the moment. One person who goes by the name Balu has been asked to pick people within the establishment and steal laptops and other important documents.
Earlier this job had been handed over to Sakir Hussain, a Sri Lankan national who had come to Chennai and was scouting for targets to carry out strikes. However Hussain who was arrested was unable to complete this job for the ISI. Although his handler Amir Zubair Siddiqui, the consular officer in the Pakistan consulate at Colombo was whisked away to Pakistan overnight, the ISI wants to have this job done.
The ISI as per its plans is looking to lure in youth by handing out large sums of cash. Investigations have revealed that honey traps are failing these days due to extreme checks. The new plan is to steal data and hand it over to the ISI agents.
What does ISI do with the data?
South India is by and large peaceful where terror activities are concerned. However the ISI has been planning a series of operations through which it wants to set up dedicated routes to smuggle arms, drugs and counterfeit currency. In such an event, the data available from army officials will help them plan their operations better.
With the naxal movement raising its ugly head once again in South India, the demand for arms and ammunition has increased. There have been instances where the Chinese smugglers have routed arms into Kerala through the various ports that connect Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. The Koddikarai fishing port continues to be the most notorious of them all till date.
In the event of the demand for supply of arms and ammunition shooting up, the ISI is trying to device newer strategies and for this they require advance information on force deployment. Earlier through honey traps they picked up basic information but that was not good enough. Now they propose to pull out as much information possible by stealing large amounts of data from army officers.
The Indian army officials however say that this is easier said than done. There is high security and such incidents will not occur. However officers have been advised from taking their official laptops home as this could compromise security.
There are stringent rules in place to ensure that there is no data theft. India has been caught in some embarrassing situations in the past when Chinese smugglers managed to hack important data. The honey traps which was doing of the ISI's Faridkot module was also embarrassing and there are instructions right from the top to step up security to prevent such instances from occurring.