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As Lashkar looks to cause trouble on land, why India should look for JeM on the seas

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New Delhi, Sep 14: The Indian Navy is perfectly capable of thwarting an attack by terrorist group from the seas, said Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh. He made this statement last week while citing an intelligence report that warned of a seaborne attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Various groups from Pakistan such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad have been enhancing their seaborne capabilities over the years. The maritime wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba has reported enhanced activity in the past couple of months, the IB reported. There is ample information and leads to suggest that a large number of its terrorists are being trained in deep-sea diving in a bid to launch a massive attack on India, the IB further reported.

As Lashkar looks to cause trouble on land, why India should look for JeM on the seas

The IB report had stated that The report suggests that the Jaish-e-Mohammad too is working alongside the Lashkar to execute attacks in India. The two groups work in tandem in the Kashmir Valley.

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The attack from the seas was witnessed during the 26/11 attack. This time around the alert suggests that the terrorists of both the groups are training hard in a bid to launch an attack on the Indian Navy. The threat looms large in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, an IB officer told OneIndia.

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    Several intelligence reports available with OneIndia state that the naval wing of these groups is handled by the Musa Company, which is the special services group of the Pakistan Army. The naval wing of these terrorist groups is not often used by terror groups. It is part of the surprise element, the reports state. Since 2004, it had become mandatory for every Lashkar-e-Tayiba recruit to undergo a certain amount of maritime training.

    In the days to come the sea route would be the most preferred for terrorists. It is impossible to man the entire sea and hence in this regard, intelligence and coordination become the key. In addition to this, there is also a dire need to introduce hi-tech technology to aid the Intelligence Bureau.

    The reason why Intelligence, technology and coordination becomes crucial is because 90 per cent of the world trade is sea-based and it is impossible to man each and every vessel on the sea. The smaller ones, in particular, pose the maximum danger.

    In a bid to boost up the maritime capabilities, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the al-Shahbab came together in 2011. The coming together of these two outfits was specifically to spruce up their maritime capabilities.

    Investigations conducted have revealed that the pirates from Somalia who are dominant on Indian waters were sponsored by the al-Shahbab group which is linked to the al-Qaeda.

    It was the ISI that had suggested that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the al-Shahbab come together and carry out strikes. The idea was to send out the terrorists along with some of the pirates in a bid to carry out strikes.

    A truck with AK-47s enroute to Valley: How a fidayeen strike by the JeM was averted

    Since manning all vessels is an impossible task for India alone, it became necessary to seek the cooperation of other nations such as Africa. The Lashkar-e-Tayiba, on the other hand, entered into several alliances in a bid to spruce up its maritime capabilities. An operative by the name Abu Yakub was tasked with coordinating with the al-Shahbab.

    A plan hatched back in 2011 indicated that these groups would send out several pirates into the sea in a bid to keep the Indian Navy busy. On the other hand, they would take advantage of the situation and then get their terrorists to launch an attack on the Navy.

    Post the 26/11 attack, maritime security had been increased. There are over 400 warships which are on guard. In addition to this several more coastal police stations were set up and the fishermen were roped in to provide human intelligence.

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