The National Counter Terrorism Centre Criminology Essay

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The nature of terrorism today is shifting from traditional international terrorism of the late 20th century into a new form of transnational non-state warfare. An arc of extremism now extends across the Middle East and touches countries far outside that region including India. This is a completely unconventional type of war. Several attacks in India, 9/11 in the US, 7/7 in the UK, 11/3 in Madrid, the countless terrorist attacks in countries as disparate as Indonesia or Algeria, what is now happening in Afghanistan and in Indonesia, the continuing conflict in Lebanon and Palestine, these are all symptoms of this disease [1] . Therefore we must fight terrorism wherever it exists, because terrorism anywhere threatens democracy everywhere [2] .

2. The case of India presents an entirely different scenario. It is placed in a dangerous and risky environ. It is vulnerable to surprise terror attacks from sea, land and even air. It has to be always alert to ensure security of its border in west, north and east. It could have been an easy victim of surprise air attacks. There have been serious border conflicts with neighbours during the past few decades [3] . India's location in a disturbed and unstable neighbourhood, which is rocked by tremors emanating from a variety of hostile organisations, internal as well as external, is also affecting its security. The main threat is from the jihadi fundamentalists sponsored by the covert warfare branches of the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), like the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) and its Indian offshoot, the Indian Mujahedeen. Other extremist groups like Naxalites and tribal guerrillas also contribute to the quantum of overall threat [4] . Beside these, India is also affected by armed movements which resort to terrorism pertains to certain ethnic, tribal and nationality entities seeking a free state for their home lands. The northeast of India is full to the brim of such groups [5] . Thus one finds India as the most targeted victim of multiple terrorism. Perhaps, no other country finds itself in a manner unenviable environ as India is placed [6] .

3. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is the designated nodal agency in India for counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence, but the terrorist invasion of Mumbai on 26/11 graphically highlighted many serious deficiencies in Indian intelligence and security systems. It re-emphasised, once again, the need for refurbishment of the national counterterrorism effort. The proposal for creation of such an agency at the national level to collate, analyse, integrate inputs from all intelligence sources at Central as well as state levels and plan coordinated counter-terrorist and counter-espionage operations had been amongst the important recommendations of the Kargil Study Group set up in 2001 to analyse the conflict and draw lessons from it [7] .

4. The initial steps to improve coordination to counter terrorism was the establishment of a Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), which subsequently required to be upgraded to National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) but its logical extension into an integrated NCTC has not been formalised to date. The MAC was created out of existing resources without any additional accretions and is not fully effective because of shortages of resources and personnel. Part of the reason for these deficiencies and delays in implementation are internecine turf battles between various government bureaucracies competing for control of the proposed centre [8] .

5. National Counter Terrorism Centre of India is an ambitious project that aims at fighting the growing menace of terrorism in India [9] . The NCTC proposed as a model for India is based on the American system, which Mr Chidambaram the then Home Minister had the opportunity to examine during his four-day visit to the US in September 2009. Much of the organisational and legislative infrastructure required to establish NCTC already exists in India within the MAC, which can be expanded and redesigned as required [10] . The agency was proposed to be operational from 01 Mar 2012 but the idea has run into rough weather due to difference of views of non-congress ruled states on the proposed powers of NCTC. Similarly internecine departmental rivalry amongst intelligence services regarding the sharing of information is a ground-level obstruction in India but if NCTC is to succeed what really requires to be firmly overcome is the prevalent mindset of reluctance towards constructive mutual cooperation [11] .


Statement of the Problem

6. To study and analyse the Indian concept of NCTC, issues affecting its execution and to suggest measures for its implementation.


7. The NCTC would effectively strengthen national response to address terrorism.

Justification of the study

8. National Counter Terrorism Centre of India is an ambitious project that aims at fighting the growing menace of terrorism in India. However, from the very beginning it is in doldrums. Fears of it becoming an all powerful and centralised point for terrorism related issues have never allowed it to take a start. Besides, there are many "practical difficulties" that may prevent the actual implementation of the much needed NCTC [12] . India has plethora of intelligence and security agencies that include Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Aviation Research Centre (ARC), Intelligence Bureau (IB), National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), etc. These agencies presently are operating in a decentralised manner under different Department/Ministries and there is no centralised authority or ministry to coordinate or collaborate amongst them [13] . All these factors directs to question, should we not resolve the issues of isolation and work towards building national capacity in addressing terrorism?

9. In the past, the success of joint effort brought fruitful result in curbing or nailing the terror operatives. However the success of Delhi police on 29 Feb 2012 is a glaring example of effective coordination among security agencies, when Delhi police arrested in a joint-operation with central intelligence agencies and police forces of Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, two suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives who were allegedly planning to carry out a major terror strike at a crowded market in the National Capital. Home Minister while complementing security agencies expressed his concern on the need for a NCTC for coordination. India has burst some 59 small and big terror modules during the past three years. Not only this MAC (proposed to work under NCTC) has provided real-time inputs during the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Timely flow of accurate information to the concerned states/agencies and thereafter coordinating the efforts amongst them is the need of the hour as terrorist attacks against India are on increase and we need a "specialised institution" like NCTC to provide and analyse valuable intelligence inputs and leads.


10. This study concentrates on the geneses, function and power of NCTC and issues effecting its implementation. The study limits itself to the following:-

(a) The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967.

(e) The recommendations of Kargil Review Committee and Second Administrative Reforms-Eighth report on Counter Terrorism 2008.

(c) The relevant provisions of Unites States NCTC and not with other nations Counter Terrorism Centres (CTC).

(d) Centre and states issues which emerged during the time of study.

(e) The open source of information's.


11. The special terms used in the dissertation are defines as below:-

(a) The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. An Act to provide for the more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations and for matters connected therewith [14] .

(b) Terrorism. The UN's academic consensus definition given by Alex P Schmid, "terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperilled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)),turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought" [15] .

(c) Terrorist Act. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which was amended in 2004, defines a 'terrorist act' thus -"whosoever, with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country, does any act by using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or inflammable substances or firearms or other lethal weapons or poisons or noxious gases or other chemicals or by any other substances, (whether biological or otherwise) of a hazardous nature, in such a manner as to cause, or likely to cause, death of, or injuries to any person or persons or loss of, or damage to, or destruction of, property or disruption of any supplies or services essential to the life of the community in India or in any foreign country or causes damage or destruction of any property or equipment used or intended to be used for the defence of India or in connection with any other purposes of the Government of India, any State Government or any of their agencies, or detains any person and threatens to kill or injure such person in order to compel the Government in India or the Government of a foreign country or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act, commits a terrorist act" [16] .

(d) Counter Terrorism. The most common definition of counterterrorism (also spelled counter-terrorism) on the Internet is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed [17] .

(e) Counter Terrorist Centre. An agency that helps the Director of Central Intelligence coordinate counterterrorist efforts in order to pre-empt and disrupt and defeat terrorist activities at the earliest possible stage. [18] 

(f) Multi Agency Centre (MAC). An agency which acts as the nodal authority on all counter-terror functions of collating, analysing and disseminating terror inputs in the country since the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. [19] 

(g) National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID). An agency established to provide the essential database to intelligence and investigation agencies for counter terrorism efforts [20] . NATGRID would facilitate quick access to information on an individual, like details of banking, insurance, immigration, income tax, telephone and Internet usage [21] .

(h) Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS). It is a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt of India. CCTNS aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing through adopting of principle of e-Governance and creation of a nationwide networking infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled-state-of-the-art tracking system around 'Investigation of crime and detection of criminals [22] .

Method of Data Collection

12. Data used for this dissertation will be collected from a large number of books, periodicals, magazines, journals, newspaper, GOI reports and NCTC US reports available in the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) Library and on internet. NCTC debates and interview of imminent personalities/Chief Ministers on TV and questionnaire were also used for data collection. The bibliography of sources will be appended at the end of study.

Method of Data Analysis

13. Quantitative analysis of the data would be carried out to further the study and to make recommendations.

Organisation of the Dissertation

14. It is proposed to study the subject in the following chapters:

Chapter- I: Introduction & Methodology. This chapter introduces the subject 'National Counter Terrorism Centre.' It also lays down the 'Statement of Problem' providing a justification for the study and defines the scope of the dissertation.

Chapter-II: Genesis of NCTC. This chapter brings out the genesis of NCTC.

(c) Chapter- III: Organisation, Functions and Power of NCTC. This chapter highlights the organisational structure, functions and powers of proposed NCTC.

(d) Chapter- IV: Issues concerning NCTC. This chapter studies various issues raised by state Chief Ministers, Director Generals of Police, administrative and legal concerns. It also highlights various measures initiated by central govt to resolve state concerns.

(e) Chapter -V: Analysis of data. In this chapter data would be analysised and the US model of NCTC would be studied to highlights the advantages of NCTC concept.

(f) Chapter- VI: Recommendations. This chapter recommends options for India to offset various issues to implement NCTC.

(g) Chapter- VII: Conclusion. This chapter summarises the dissertation.