New Delhi: Terming the two recent blasts in Mumbai and Delhi as a "blot" on government's record, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said many homegrown modules are active across the country and several of them have acquired the capacity to make bombs.
    
"There are Indian modules too. They seem to have the capacity to attract radicalised youth to their fold... Many of these modules have acquired the capacity to make bombs," Chidambaram said addressing country's top police brass here.
    
The Home Minister said some of these modules are loosely knit under an organisation called Indian Mujahideen (IM) and many old cadres of the banned Students Islamic Movement of
India (SIMI) have transformed themselves into IM cadres.
    
"There are other Indian modules that espouse the cause of right-wing religious fundamentalism or separatism," he said

while inaugurating the three-day annual conference of DGPs and IGPs organised by Intelligence Bureau.
    
While referring to the July 13 Mumbai and September 7 Delhi blasts, Chidambaram said "two terrorist attacks in the space of two months are indeed blots on our record".
    
"Naturally, the central government and the security forces have been severely criticised. While we accept the responsibility for the incidents and the legitimate criticism, it is our duty to set out the context in which such terrorist attacks take place," he said.
    
The Home Minister said no country in the world, including the United States, appears to be entirely immune to the threat of terror. The worst-affected were Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said.
    
Pak, Afghanistan epicentre of terror

"The epicentre of terror is Afghanistan-Pakistan (region). Four out of five major terrorist groups are based in Pakistan and three of them – LeT, JeM and HM– continue to target India," Chidambaram said.

The Home Minister said while many steps had been taken post 2008 Mumbai terror attack, many more were still needed to be taken.
    
"Have we done enough to build capacity since the Mumbai terror attacks? The answer is yes and no...yet, we have not done enough," Chidambaram said, adding there were still over 5,00,000 vacancies in state police forces besides many states were yet to enact the new police Act.
    
Questions over Intel Agencies

He said questions have been raised about the capacity, competence and commitment of the security forces and especially of the intelligence community.
    
"Doubts have been expressed about the investigations that are underway and especially of cases that remain ‘unsolved’. There is concern about the long time taken for completion of
trials and conviction of the accused. Comparisons have been made between India and other countries, particularly the United States," he said.
    
Chidambaram said leaders of police forces– and especially the intelligence community– need to communicate more openly and more often to the people.
    
"I think it is necessary to tell the people what the police force in each state has been able to achieve in terms of capacity building, recruitment, procurement, training, induction of technology, intelligence gathering, solving cases and in maintenance of law and order.”
    
"At the same time, the police forces must also convey that years of neglect have left security forces under-prepared to confront the multi-dimensional challenges that are before
the country," Chidambaram said.

The Home Minsiter said the challenge of terrorism was a "formidable challenge" and required a comprehensive strategy of counter-terrorism.
    
"We do not have just one pre-eminent threat; we have several. We must build the capacity to deal with these multiple threats. Capacity building is work in progress. It requires time, money, human resources, technology and harnessing the capacity of every agency and organisation in the country," Chidambaram said.
    
"There is no let up in attempts to infiltrate from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, there are attempts to infiltrate terrorists via Nepal and Bangladesh
into India as well as find a safe transit route from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu.”
He asked the Intelligence Bureau and the intelligence wings of State police forces to continue to do their silent and solid work.
    
"Because they are silent and largely invisible, little appreciation will come their way. Given the size of our population and the territory, the size of our intelligence agencies is modest," the Home Minister said.
    
He said sleuths were engaged in intelligence gathering not only in respect of terrorists but also about infiltrators, insurgents, Left Wing Extremists and peddlers of fake Indian currency.
    
Noting that intelligence agencies have achieved significant successes in the battle against terrorism, he said since 26/11, security forces and intelligence agencies have neutralised 51 terror modules.
    
"To illustrate, Abdul Latif and Riyaz who were planning to attack ONGC installations were arrested in Mumbai in March, 2010. Zia ul Haque was arrested in Hyderabad in May, 2010 and a major terrorist action against a multinational company was disrupted. A 10-member SIMI module was busted in Madhya Pradesh in June, 2011 and their plan to assassinate three Judges was foiled," he said.

Setting NCTC my unfinished agenda: PC

Terming as ‘unfinished agenda’ his plan of setting up a National Counter Terrorism Centre, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday hoped that he will be able to secure an early government nod for it.

Speaking to the country's top police brass at a function here, Chidambaram said, "The most important unfinished agenda is the National Counter Terrorism Centre. It was an idea that I had unveiled in my Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture delivered in December, 2009."

The Home Minister said the underlying premise is that there is a subtle difference between anti-terrorism and counter terrorism and quoted from the National Strategy for Counter Terrorism published by the US Government to disrupt, dismantle and eventually defeat the terrorist groups.

The Home Minister said while the country did not have an organisation devoting its whole time and energy to that task but was hopeful of securing "a Government decision on setting up the NCTC.

"Once there is a decision, I am confident that the core team of NCTC can be installed within 60 days and the full structure can be put together within 12-18 months," he said.

He said other programmes for augmenting intelligence gathering mechanism including Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).

"From time to time there have been slippages but we have taken corrective steps and I am hopeful that the nationwide network will be in place by March, 2013," he said.

He said the other ambitious project was NATGRID which got the Government approval on June 6, 2011 and "I believe that it is proceeding according to schedule and the phases that have been approved will be completed in 18 months.


(JPN/Agencies)