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Master database for real time terror info by end of March

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New Delhi, Jan 30: The Centre would roll out a master data base by the end of March, which will provide real-time information to fight terror.

The National Intelligence Grid will have data that would include credit card, debit cards, tax, immigration, passport details among others.

Master database for real time terror info by end of March

During a high level meeting of the Home Ministry held recently, the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) was discussed and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that he would want this up and running soon.

Following a presentation by officials from NATGRID it was decided that it would be functional by the end of this year. One of the primary reasons for having NATGRID is to ensure a centralised command for intelligence.

The Intelligence agencies gets thousands of intercepts every day, but the question is whether all of it is actionable or not. There is also the other issue of dealing with cock and bull intelligence, which is deliberately put out by terror groups to confuse the agencies.

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The key to good intelligence is to piece together all the information and then ascertain beyond doubt whether it is actionable or not. Six days before the Pulwama attack, there was intelligence provided which suggested that there would be an IED attack and all areas need to be sensitised. However the intelligence was not considered to be operational in nature. The Intelligence Bureau argues that it is extremely difficult to get pin-pointed intelligence. At least 8 out of 10 intercepts, leads, information that are provided are done with an intention of misguiding the agencies. There have been times when we have chased a lead for months and then hit a dead end.

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    Piecing together the intelligence and coordinating with various agencies especially when the input is very general in nature is the need of the hour. Only 1 out of every 100 intelligence inputs are specific in nature, while the rest are general.

    Looking at the manner in which terror groups continue to strike with precision, the need of the hour would be to completely migrate to NATGRID or National Intelligence Grid. The primary job of NATGRID is to connect the inputs and data base of the core security agencies and piece it together and ascertain whether it is actionable in nature or not.

    The agencies have been arguing for long that India does have a competent policing wing, but they have been handicapped for want of data. Further coordination and ego issues have cropped up in the past as a result of which intelligence has failed.

    Security experts point out that with NATGRID, a data base is built and it would not remain the property of one state alone, but would be national property.

    Under this set up, police officials would have to feed information about each person to this data base. This would include credit card details, residential proof, immigration details and all other transactions regarding a person.

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    An official in the IB says that the police will have a big role to play to ensure that this data is in place. The police not only have to feed in the first bit of the data, but there is a need to keep updating the data.

    NATGRID would also help the police and the Intelligence Bureau keep a tab on persons with suspicious backgrounds. The police would have access to all his data and any movement by this person would also be tracked with the help of this data base.

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