Wednesday, April 21, 2010



( Observations made by me while addressing a National Seminar on "Fight Against Terrorism" organised by the Mumbai Police at Mumbai on April 21,2010. The keynote address on the state of terrorism was delivered by Shri M.K. Narayanan, Governor of West Bengal. Other speakers were Dr.Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Dr.Raghunath Mashelkar, former Director-General,, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and Shri G.Parthasarathy, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan )

Two expressions often used by counter-terrorism analysts since the attempt to blow up the New York World Trade Centre in February,1993, are "acts of mass casualty terrorism" and "acts of catastrophic terrorism". These expressions have been defined by different experts in different manner. One of the definitions is based on the number of casualties inflicted by the terrorists. Under this definition, an act of catastrophic terrorism involves fatalities of more than 1000 and an act of mass casualty terrorism involves fatalities of more than 100. 9/11 in the US Homeland was an act of catastrophic terrorism. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai in March,1993, July,2006 and November,2008, were acts of mass casualty terrorism.

2. While other cities in the world have also suffered acts of high casualty terrorism, Mumbai and Beirut have been targeted repeatedly by terrorists. The acts of terrorism in Bali, Madrid and London did not involve orchestration by a foreign State. The acts of mass casualty terrorism in Mumbai involved orchestration by the State of Pakistan.

3. In his inaugural address, Shri D.Sivanandhan, Commissioner of Police, had analysed comprehensively the reasons for the repeated attacks in Mumbai. There is one reason not mentioned by him, which needs to be underlined---- namely the advantage of anonymity offered to a terrorist by a huge city like Mumbai. Anonymity tends to protect the terrorists from detection by the police.

4. What the Mumbai Police is confronted with is not just terrorism , but terrorism sponsored repeatedly against the residents of Mumbai by the State of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies. One should, therefore, talk of the "fight against State-sponsored Terrorism" and not just "Fight against Terrorism". If there was no orchestration by the State of Pakistan, the Mumbai Police would have been able to deal with the threat effectively. They have been facing difficulty because of the foreign sponsorship of terrorism.

5. Thus, counter-terrorism in Mumbai has two aspects--- action against terrorism and the terrorist organisations, which is the responsibility of the Mumbai Police and the Government of Maharashtra, and action against Pakistan, which is repeatedly sponsoring the terrorism. This is the responsibility of the Government of India. Unless the Government of India acts effectively against Pakistan for sponsoring acts of mass casualty terrorism against the residents of Mumbai, it will be unfair to blame the Mumbai Police and the Government of Maharashtra alone for not dealing with terrorism effectively.

6. If there is another act of mass casualty terrorism, there is a strong possibility that it will again be in Mumbai. The Mumbai Police should prepare themselves to face it. They have already taken various measures for revamping the counter-terrorism machinery in Mumbai. Strengthening the machinery alone is not adequate. It is equally important to strengthen the co-operation between the police and the community. The Security and Intelligence Committee of the British House of Commons, which went into deficiencies which led to the successful terrorist strikes in London in July,2005, pointed out that no counter-terrorism machinery however competent and no counter-terrorism doctrine however well thought-out, can deal effectively with terrorism unless there is effective police-community co-operation in counter-terrorism.

7. That the role of the community is important has to be realised by the police as well as the community and the two should work in tandem. After the London blasts, many new ideas have been introduced by the London Police for improving police-community co-operation against terrorism. I would like to underline in particular the appointment of counter-terrorism coordinators in important police stations to interact continuously with the public and the private business sector and the initiative taken by the business sector for sharing the additional expenses incurred by the police for promoting police-public co-operation against terrorism. Some of these ideas should be studied by the urban police in India and those considered worthy of emulation should be adapted to our needs.

8. The series of National Seminars on the "Fight Against Terrorism" being organised by the Mumbai Police in different parts of the city is a welcome and important exercise for promoting police-community co-operation against terrorism. This co-operation should be on a day-to-day basis instead of only at times of seminars like this. How to make police-community cooperation part of the counter-terrorism doctrine? That is an important question which should be addressed jointly by the leaders of the police and the community and an appropriate mechanism found. The Mumbai Police should move in this direction and give a lead to the other urban police of India.

9. In counter-terrorism, the quality of the leadership exercised by the political class is as important as the quality of the leadership exercised by the police, the intelligence set-up and other security agencies. While addressing a seminar in New Delhi in 2001, Shri Narayanan pointed out that while the Punjab Police, the intelligence set-up and other security agencies played an excellent role in bringing Khalistani terrorism under control, they might not have succeeded the way they did but for the equally commendable political leadership and co-operation in dealing with the menace. In dealing with Khalistani terrorism, the political and the professional classes were on the same page. Had this not been so, we might not have succeeded the way we did. In dealing with the state-sponsored jihadi terrorism too, we must try to ensure that the political and professional classes act in tandem and that the required political leadership is forthcoming. Without high-quality political leadership, the police alone, however brilliant and however well-endowed, cannot succeed.

10. In India, we tend to be defeatist. We keep criticising ourselves and our police all the time. We are given to chest-beating about our so-called failures. We tend to forget that our track record against terrorism and insurgencies is not bad at all. We have had success stories in Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. We are not doing too badly in Jammu & Kashmir and in the fight against jihadi terrorism in other parts of India. Our record against the Maoist insurgency has been above average in Andhra Pradesh and poor in other States affected by it. The terrorists and insurgents have had some spectacular tactical successes to their credit--- the explosion on board the Kanishka aircraft of Air India in June 1985, the three acts of mass casualty terrorism in Mumbai and the Dantewada massacre of 76 policemen by the Maoists etc. But since India became independent in 1947, the terrorists and insurgents have not scored any notable strategic success. Strategically, the Indian State and its security set-up have ultimately prevailed despite the tactical set-backs. They never allowed fatigue to set in. Fatigue ultimately set in the ranks of the terrorists and insurgents and not in the ranks of the State. We have never conceded the illegitimate strategic demands of the terrorists and insurgents even though we might have conceded their tactical demands on occasions as happened at Kandahar in December, 1999. This is a unique record of which we ought to be proud of.

11. Let us by all means criticise our police, our intelligence agencies, other security agencies and the political class. They have much to answer for. But let us take care not to allow over-criticism to create defeatism. That is what Pakistan and its terrorist organisations want. We should not play into their hands. An ideal State would not allow the phenomenon of terrorism or insurgency to appear in its midst. But once it appears it takes a long time for the police and other security agencies to deal with it. A study of terrorism and insurgencies around the world would indicate that it takes around 15 to 20 years to deal with the menace. In India too, we have taken the same time. Once through our sins of commission and omission, we are faced with terrorism or insurgency, we need a lot of patience to deal with the menace. Impatience will prove counter-productive. It could make the police and other security forces over-react, thereby aggravating the problem.

12. There are copybook methods of dealing with acts of terrorism such as hijacking, blowing up aircraft, use of improvised explosive devices in public places etc, but there is no copybook method of dealing with terrorism and insurgencies. Our counter-terrorism techniques have to be nuanced and adapted individually to dealing with different kinds of terrorism and insurgencies. The techniques that we use against the jihadis we cannot use against the Maoists. The ruthlessness that we show towards Pakistanis we cannot show towards our own people. While dealing with our own people who have taken to terrorism and insurgencies, the rhetoric has to be non-provocative and non-escalatory and action has to be firm, but balanced.

13. International or global or trans-national terrorism of the jihadi variety cannot be countered effectively without international co-operation. There has been an improvement in international co-operation since 9/11, but this co-operation is still hampered by subjective and strategic factors. India has been a victim of this half-hearted co-operation. There is greater readiness on the part of the US and other countries of the West to co-operate with India against terrorism, but ifs and buts come in when it is a question of cooperation against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. This half-hearted co-operation will continue and we must learn to live with it. Ultimately, our strategic success against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism will depend on our own capacity, our own determination and our own will to act. No international co-operation can be a substitute for the national will and determination to act.

14. Victim activism is weak in India. We saw in the US after 9/11 and we have seen among the Jewish people for years, the results which victim activism can achieve. If only we had victim activism in India similar to what one sees in the US and Israel, the relatives of the victims of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai would have rallied in protest against the plea bargain entered into by the FBI with David Coleman Headley of the Chicago cell of the Lashkar-e-Toiba who was an important co-conspirator in the 26/11 terrorist strikes. The total lack of protest from the relatives of those killed speaks poorly of the dormant state of victim activism in India.

15. Shri P.Chidambaram, the Home Minister, has to be commended for his determined efforts to revamp the counter-terrorism machinery after taking over as the Home Minister, but one is disturbed by what appears to be his uncritical admiration of American ideas, American systemic innovations and American-style rhetoric. By all means let us learn from the good practices of countries such as the US and Israel. But let us not blindly ape them. Our country is different. Our people are different. Our sensitivities are different. Uncritical admiration for American systems and approaches to counter-terrorism can prove counter-productive. ( 21-4-2010)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Monday, April 19, 2010



There are threats to the current and forthcoming international sports events in India from the following:
• Indigenous terrorists acting on their own.
• Indigenous terrorists acting at the instance of Pakistan.
• Pakistani terrorists.

2.International sports events make attractive soft targets because of the large crowds, the participation of famous foreign sports personalities and foreign media coverage of the events. In the calculation of the terrorists, a successful attack at an international sports event will not only bring large publicity to their cause, but would also damage the credibility of the Indian Government and its security agencies.

3.The undetected planting of explosive devices outside the Bangalore cricket stadium before an India Premier League cricket match on April 17,2010, shows continuing deficiencies in our intelligence and physical security set-up despite the revamping of our counter-terrorism machinery post/26/11. Even if there has been an improvement in the counter-terrorism machinery of the Government of India, a similar improvement has not been there at the State level. In the US, the Department of Homeland Security has the total responsibility for security against terrorists anywhere in US territory. In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India has to share the responsibility with the States.This often weakens security particularly if different parties are in power in New Delhi and the States.

4.More than the IPL tournament,which ends on April 25, the Commonwealth Games due later this year should be a matter of great concern. Next to the Beijing Olympics of August 2008, it is going to involve the largest gathering of sportsmen and other sports personalities in Asia. If the terrorists want to attack it, they would have started their preparations by now by setting up sleeper cells and by finding out ways of infiltrating the stadia and games villages.

5.Pakistan and the Pakistani terrorist organisations would have a strong motive for attempting to disrupt the Commonwealth Games in order to create a poor image of the Indian organising capability as compared to the manner in which Beijing successfully handled the security of the Olympics. A full-fledged security set-up dedicated to the security of the Games should have been in position by now. One does not get the impression that this is so.

6.The decision to change the venue of the semi-finals of the IPL from Bangalore to Mumbai was inevitable, but was it done by the IPL managing committee after consulting the authorities of the Governments of India and Maharashtra? Do they have the required manpower and technical resources to handle two semi-finals and one final? The security drill should not be left purely in the hands of the State. The Government of India should play the leadership role in coordination and follow-up action.

7.The Govt. of India has been playing the leadership role in respect of the security arrangements for the Commonwealth Games, but one has the impression that this is not so in respect of the IPL matches. The security consultants to the IPL and the State Police seem to be handling the security with the role of the Govt. of India reduced to the minimum necessary. The Government of India should play a more active role after what happened at Bangalore.

8.In a statement made in the Lok Sabha after 26/11, Shri P.Chidambaram, the Home Minister of the Government of India, said that one of the reasons for the terrorists' success in Mumbai was because the responsibility for follow-up action was diffused. From what happened at Bangalore, one gets the impression that it continues to be diffused. We have not learnt the lessons of 26/11. ( 21-4-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Sunday, April 18, 2010


* The Wall Street Journal

* APRIL 19, 2010 ( )

The Terrorists in India's Midst

Saturday's Bangalore bombing underscores the need to address homegrown Muslim terrorism.


India's counterterrorism teams had another rude surprise Saturday when two explosions outside a cricket stadium in Bangalore injured 17 people—nine of them policemen. The explosions raise serious questions about the Congress Party's progress in anticipating and preventing domestic terrorist attacks.

The government had been warned of Saturday's strike, which occurred before the start of an Indian Premier League cricket match. In February, Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani terrorist with ties to al Qaeda, warned of new terrorist strikes in India directed against the IPL and the Commonwealth Games due later this year. Security for the IPL tournament was tightened up and the Indian government assured nervous Commonwealth officials that the terrorists would not be allowed to succeed.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the violence, but the way the bombing was carried out suggests a local signature. The most likely suspect is the Indian Mujahideen, which organized a series of explosions in 2007 and 2008 in cities, including Bangalore and the tourist mecca of Jaipur. The group is also suspected of carrying out the Pune blast in February, which killed 17 people. No arrests have yet been made in that investigation.

Saturday's attack, combined with the as yet unresolved Pune bombing, has called into question the effectiveness of the measures taken by Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram to revamp the antiterror investigation machinery. Since taking office after the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, Mr. Chidambaram has set up a National Investigation Agency to improve the investigation of terrorist attacks and the prosecution of terrorists.

The government contends it has prevented a large number of other terrorist attacks of which the public has no knowledge, and that authorities are now in a better position to prevent a repeat of the Mumbai massacre. Police successfully defused a bomb in Bangalore Saturday, and three more unexploded devices Sunday. But their failure to detect the two bombs planted Saturday by the terrorists near the stadium's entrance gates is likely to increase public skepticism of the government's efforts.

To be fair, Mr. Chidambaram is trying to strengthen India's counterterrorism machinery after a long period of neglect under his predecessor, Shivraj Patil. It will take time for the results to be seen.

But Mr. Chidambaram must do more than just strengthen the government's antiterror machinery. This is only one aspect of the problem. He must also act aggressively to counter the radicalization of Indian Muslims. While the intelligence and security agencies enjoy a free hand in dealing with foreign terrorists on Indian soil, they often find their hands tied when faced with Indian terrorists, such as the Indian Mujahideen. These homegrown terrorists often have local grievances, or were turned at the instigation of Pakistani intelligence agencies and terrorist organizations.

This is a tough task. India has the second largest Muslim community in the world after Indonesia and the Indian Muslims constitute an important voter base. In many northern states, where the Congress Party dominates, the Muslim vote is crucial for victory.

While Indian Muslims support the actions of the intelligence and security agencies against Pakistani terrorists, they often protest when the government takes action against their own community, making it hard for authorities' to conduct thorough investigations. That is why the success rate in the investigation and prosecution of Pakistani terrorists is high, but low in the case of Indian Muslims involved in terrorism.

It is important for Mr. Chidambaram and the rest of the Congress Party-led government to address Muslims' legitimate grievances. But it is equally important to give security agencies a free hand in dealing with Indian Muslims who take to terrorism, by giving the authorities the additional legal powers they need for successful investigation and prosecution. If this isn't done, Saturday's bombing won't be the last.

Mr. Raman served in India's external intelligence agency from 1968 to 1994 and on the government of India's National Security Advisory Board from 2000 to 2002. He is currently director of the Institute for Topical Studies in Chennai.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010




Unidentified elements had planted three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) of low sophistication outside a stadium in Bangalore where an IPL cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers, Bangalore, was played on the afternoon of April 17,2010 All the three IEDs would appear to have been planted in the open space outside the stadium after the anti-explosive sanitisation of the inside of the stadium as well as outside had been done thrice by the police.

2. Two of the IEDs exploded before the match was to start. According to some reports, they had been timed to explode after the start of the match, but both exploded prematurely. These reports do not carry adequate conviction because when an IED is planted outside a stadium it is timed to explode as the people are entering the stadium before the start of the match in order to cause casualties and panic. The fact that all the IEDs were planted outside the stadium would indicate that the perpetrators had timed them to explode as the spectators were entering the stadium and not after they had entered. While two of the IEDs exploded near two of the entrances, the the third failed to explode and was detected and defused.

3. It is likely that the IEDs were planted after the third anti-exoposive sanitisation of the day had been completed. This would indicate the possibility that the perpetrators had mingled with the spectators gathering outside before entering the stadium and evaded being noticed by the police as they planted the IEDs. The police would appear to have been confident of the effectiveness of the sanitisation inside the stadium. Moreover, all the spectators and others entering the stadium had to pass through IED detectors at the gates in order to prevent IEDs being smuggled in. The police were so confident that nobody would be able to smuggle in an IED inside the sanitised stadium that they allowed the match to go ahead as scheduled after a delay of one hour during which they did another sanitisation.

4. Sanitisation inside an enclosed space like a hall or a room or even a stadium can be effective, but there are problems in maintaining the effective state of sanitisation in an open space outside a hall or a room or a stadium. The terrorists had taken advantage of this to plant the IEDs unnoticed after the third sanitisation had been completed. The need for a tighter watch on people gathering outside the stadium after the final sanitisation has been done has to be kept in view during the remaining IPL matches. This would require much larger manpower. The Government should make this available to the police.

5. The two explosions injured 17 persons--- nine of them policemen. It would be unwise to presume that the perpetrators did not want to cause fatalities and that they wanted to cause only nervousness and panic among the foreign players and officials participating in the IPL tournament. The low casualties could be attributed to the lack of powerful explosive material with the terrorists and their inadequate expertise in assembling the devices.

6. Local Muslims belonging to the Indian Mujahideen ought to be the primary suspects. The IM had carried out serial explosions in Uttar Pradesh, Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi in 2007-08 and tried unsuccessfully to carry out explosions in Surat. While the explosions were quite lethal in UP, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi, they were not that lethal in Bangalore and Surat due to the inadequate assembling expertise of the perpetrators at these two places. This would indicate that the IM has well-trained experts in IEDs as well as untrained or inadequately trained perpetrators. Like the Bangalore blasts of July,2008, those of April 17,2010, would appear to have been carried out by inadequately trained perpetrators----most probably locals. ( 18-4-2010)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Monday, April 5, 2010




The available details regarding the fedayeen (suicidal)-cum- suicide attack on the US Consulate in Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan, on April 5,2010, are still confusing.

2.However,certain aspects of the attack are clear: It was a single target swarm attack, meant to penetrate the US Consulate in a manner similar to the penetration of the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi in October last year. It was not a multiple-target attack similar to what one had seen in Mumbai from November 26 to 29,2008, and in Kabul subsequently. As in Mumbai and Kabul, it was a multiple modus operandi attack too involving the use of explosives and hand-held weapons As in Kabul, there was also a mix of the suicidal and the suicide techniques.In Mumbai, the suicidal technique was there, but not the suicide technique. As in Mumbai and Kabul, there was also a mix of the army-style commando attacks and conventional techniques, not requiring knowledge of military tactics.

3. As in Mumbai (10 terrorists), the number of terrorists involved was small. There are contradictory versions of the number, which varies between four and eight. As in GHQ, Rawalpindi, the terrorists managed to maintain the surprise element of the attack---- with the security guards becoming aware of their intentions and plans only after the terrorists reportedly used two car bombs against two security barriers outside the Consulate---one at a distance of about 40 metres and the other at a distance of 20 metres. At the first security barrier an armoured personnel carrier of the Frontier Corps was disabled through a car bomb. At least two suicide bombers were killed in the attempt to find their way across the two barriers. Thereafter, before they could approach the gate, which was damaged by the second vehicular explosion, the security detail of the Consulate consisting of the Frontier Corps personnel deployed by the NWFP Government and private security guards employed by the US Consulate retaliated effectively and killed the surviving terrorists wielding assault rifles and hand-grenades. The number of suicide terrorists killed seems to be between two and four and the number of commando-style attackers killed between four and six.

4. The reported fatalities are eight--- three members of the Frontier Corps, two security Guards of the US Consulate and three passers-by. It is not known whether the two security guards and the three passers-by were Pakistani or US nationals. The US Consulate is located in the Hospital Road which is closed to public vehicles. The terrorists managed to enter the road in police-like vehicles and move for some distance ---about 40 metres--- towards the Consulate before they were mowed down. Thus, the approach road security failed enabling the terrorists to move towards the gate of the Consulate. But, the physical security enhancements at and near the gate and the good reflexes of the Frontier Corps and Consulate security personnel manning the external perimeter security mowed down the terrorists before they could succeed in pentrating the Consulate.

5. The reports from Peshawar bring to mind the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament House on December 13,2001, in some respects. The attack on the Indian Parliament was a single-target, single-MO attack, but the terrorists, who employed the suicidal and not the suicide technique, evaded the approach road security by coming in vehicles resembling Government vehicles used for transporting members of Parliament and security personnel. While they breached the approach road security, they could not breach the external perimeter security due to the alertness and good reflexes of the security personnel guarding the outer perimeter.

6. In the case of the attack on the GHQ in Rawalpindi, the approach road security as well as the outer perimeter security failed enabling the terrorists to penetrate the premises. They could be mowed down only after they had gained entry into the GHQ campus, including the offices of the security staff.

7. The Peshawar attack illustrates two lessons in counter-terrorism, which are well-known but rarely followed: First, a well-trained and well-reflexed physical security can thwart a terrorist attack even if intelligence fails. Second, in a multi-layered physical security set-up, even if one layer fails, others can stop the terrorists. A multi-layered security set-up is a must for all sensitive establishments.

8. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Consulate. It has been threatening attacks on US nationals and interests ever since the reported ( but not yert confirmed) death of Hakimullah Mehsud in January last following a US Drone strike. Presuming its claim is correct, it has taken it three months to form the attack team and train them. American nationals and interests have been the targets of terrorist attacks in Pakistan right from the 1990s, but almost all the previous attacks involved explosives or hand-held weapons. This is the first time a US establishment in Pakistan has been the target of a military-style commando attack. Will the Taliban be able to mount a similar attack on the US Embassy in Islamabad or the US Consulate in Karachi? That is a question that must be worrying the US and Pakistani authorities.

9. Despite Pakistani claims----endorsed by a naiva Obama Administration---of successes in its counter-terrorism operations in the Swat Valley of the Malakand Division of the NWFP and in the South Waziristan and Bajaur Agencies of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA ), the Pashtun and the Punjabi Taliban remain as well-motivated, as resourceful, as innovative and as determined to kill as ever. They are feeling no shortage of suicide volunteers as seen from the Peshawar attack and the suicide attack (45 fatalities) the same day on a rally of the secular Awami National Party (ANP) in the Lower Dir District of the NWFP. Lower and Upper Dirs are the strongholds of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), founded by Maulana Fazlulla, who hails from the Dir area. The indications are that while the Lower Dir attack was carried out by the TNSM faction of the TTP, the Peshawar attack was carried out by the Mehsud faction from South Waziristan. It is difficult to say whether the two were co-ordinated by the same command and control./

10. If the Obama Administration does not wake up to the on-going Afghanisation of Pakistan with a rainbow coalition of terrorist groups having a free run, the ultimate humiliation of the Administration could come not from Afghanistan, but from Pakistan. ( 6-4-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Strudies, Chennai.E-mail: )

Friday, April 2, 2010




The case of Colleen La Rose also known as Jihad Jane and Fatima La Rose, who was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) a fortnight after the arrest of David Coleman Headley of the Chicago cell of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in October,2009, and indicted on March 4,2010, on a charge of involvement in a conspiracy to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had drawn a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in his paper, has not received in India the attention it deserves.

2. Colleen La Rose, a 46-year-old blonde from the Philadelphia area, where Headley used to live for some years before shifting to Chicago, had a troubled personal life. She was a volunteer for jihad who was recruited by an unidentified person in South Asia through the Internet and given the task of killing the Swedish cartoonist, just as Ilyas Kashmiri initially tasked Headley through the Internet to kill the Danish cartoonist, who had published cartoons of the Prophet in a Danish paper in 2005. Headley subsequently met Ilyas in North Waziristan. There is so far no indication that Jihad Jane had met her South Asian recruit to whom she got engaged without ever having met him.

3. Whoever initially recruited Headley and Jihad Jane seems to have done so for two reasons. Firstly, both of them had typical physical features of a White American. They did not look like Muslims and could , therefore, easily evade profiling. Headley looked a typical White despite his Pakistani origin. Jihad Jane is a typical White with no mixed blood. Secondly, both of them are US nationals with valid US passports with which they could travel easily without facing difficulties in obtaining visas and in going through immigration controls.

4. Both of them had been given double tasks. Headley was given the tasks of facilitating the operations of the LET in India and attacking the office of the Danish paper in Copenhagen with the help of sleeper cells in Europe to which Ilyas had given introduction. Headley had played an active role in helping the LET in carrying out the terrorist strikes in Mumbai between November 26 and 29,2008.Jihad Jane had the dual task of killing the Swedish cartoonist with the help of Ireland-based contacts in Europe and organising acts of terrorism in South Asia. In the evidence against her, the reference is to South Asia and not specifically to India.

5. The FBI has revealed the nationalities of her seven accomplices who were picked up in Ireland, but not their identifying particulars.Of the seven arrested in Ireland two are Algerians, two Libyans, a Palestinian, a Croatian, and an American woman married to one of the two arrested Algerians. The FBI documents available so far do not say anything about her South Asian fiancee. They are silent even about his nationality. He has been described as a man who claimed that he knew how to work with bombs and explosives.

6.In June 2008, Jihad Jane had posted a comment on YouTube saying she was “desperate to do something somehow to help” suffering Muslims. According to the FBI indictment, she appears to have been contacted by the jihadis thereafter. The indictment charges that she received a direct order to kill a Swedish resident. She traveled to Sweden and tracked the target with the intent of carrying out the murder. The FBI identified the target as cartoonist Lars Vilks.In an e-mail message to a co-conspirator, she wrote that she would pursue her mission “till I achieve it or die trying,” according to the indictment.The indictment accuses her of agreeing, in March 2009, to marry a co-conspirator from a South Asian country who was trying to obtain residency in Europe.He allegedly urged her to go to Sweden, find the Swedish man "and kill him". The indictment claims she tried to raise money over the internet, lure others to her cause, and lied to FBI investigators.

7. According to US media reports, she is also linked to an online organization -- where she was a subscriber, again using the name Jihad Jane. The site is run by an American Muslim, who had made the following posting after she was indicted: "Sisters -- please consider sending her [LaRose] a message of support and hope and let's remind her she isn't alone. It's likely she's the only Muslimah there. As always, use discretion when writing, don't ask pointed questions, and of course don't say anything that could create problems for her or yourselves."

8.She has been accused not only of conspiring to murder the cartoonist, but also of allegedly trying to recruit women with Western passports to marry fellow violent jihadists and of raising money for terrorist causes.

9.The US Department of Justice has issued the following statement regarding her indictment:

"The indictment charges that LaRose (an American citizen born in 1963 who resides in Montgomery County, Pa.) and five unindicted co-conspirators (located in South Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the United States) recruited men on the Internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the Internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad.

"The indictment further charges that LaRose and her unindicted co-conspirators used the Internet to establish relationships with one another and to communicate regarding their plans, which included martyring themselves, soliciting funds for terrorists, soliciting passports and avoiding travel restrictions (through the collection of passports and through marriage) in order to wage violent jihad. The indictment further charges that LaRose stole another individual’s U.S. passport and transferred or attempted to transfer it in an effort to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

"In addition, according to the indictment, LaRose received a direct order to kill a citizen and resident of Sweden, and to do so in a way that would frighten "the whole Kufar [non-believer] world." The indictment further charges that LaRose agreed to carry out her murder assignment, and that she and her co-conspirators discussed that her appearance and American citizenship would help her blend in while carrying out her plans. According to the indictment, LaRose traveled to Europe and tracked the intended target online in an effort to complete her task."

10.Available details regading the indictment do not identify the South Asian "with knowledge of bombs and explosives" with whom she fell in love through the Internet and who recruited her for acts of terrorism in Sweden and South Asia, but the available particulars of the modus operandi of recruiting and using non-Muslim looking Whites for terrorist strikes point the needle of suspicion at the LET.

11.This may please be read in continuation of my earlier article of January 28,2010, titled "Female Headleys in Al Qaeda?" at ( 3-4-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )