India on high alert for sea borne terror strike: How terror groups built maritime capabilities
New Delhi, Oct 12: In a span of three months, the Intelligence Bureau has sounded another alert in which it is stated that Lashkar-e-Tayiba is training its terrorists to launch sea borne attacks in India.
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 in India, the IB further reported.
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.
The input which has been considered as an actionable one has prompted the Indian Navy to be on high alert. In addition to this the IB has also warned that a group of terrorists are waiting near the Leepa Valley, Dudhnihal and Kel to infiltrate into India.
Attack from the seas:
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.
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.
This apart, the terrorists also take part in classes on elementary flying. As part of the training programme, the first class is held in Thakot and then at Murdike. The training programme comes to a close at Karachi and each of these sessions is conducted by officers of the Musa company.
How Lashkar-e-Tayiba built its maritime capabilities:
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. 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.