With NATGRID round the corner, days of non-actionable Intelligence set to end
New Delhi, Sep 13: In the wake of the evolving situation following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, India's Intelligence agencies have sounded a series of alerts about the possible threat to the security situation in the country.
Alerts have been issued regarding the possibility of the Islamic State Khorasan Province upping activities in India. There have also been alerts about the Taliban allowing the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba to use Afghanistan as a launch pad to carry out attacks in India.
Following the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, there were serious concerns raised around the deficiencies in the intelligence system. India did not have a mechanism to get information on a real time basis.
With these developments in the background, the much needed National Intelligence Grid is all set to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The NATGRID would provide the security agencies cutting edge technology, which in turn would enhance India's counter terrorism capabilities.
The NATGRID has been in the works for sometime now. Union Home Minister, Amit Shah during the 51st Foundation Day event of the Bureau of Police Research and Development held on September 4 said that NATGRID would have been dedicated to the country. However the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the same, he also said. He further added that the NATGRID would be a seamless and secure database for information on terrorists and economic crimes and this would see the light of the day very soon.
In the first phase, 10 agencies and 21 service providers will be connected to NATGRID. In the later phases at least 1,000 organisations will be added. The agencies that would be added in the first phase would be the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (for the Income Tax Department), the Cabinet Secretariat, the Intelligence Bureau, the Directorate General of GST Intelligence, the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the National Investigation Agency.
Experts who OneIndia spoke with say that one of the key aspects of NATGRID would be that it would wipe out cock and bull 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.
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.
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.