Intelligence grid to deter terror attacks: Shinde
Bangalore, Dec 14 : The National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) being set up by the central government across the country would act as a deterrent against terror attacks, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Saturday.
"As an integrated intelligence grid, the Natgrid will link databases of various departments and ministries for use by intelligence agencies to enhance our counter-terrorism capabilities across the country," Shinde said at an event here.
The home minister laid the foundation stone for the Rs. 92-crore disaster recovery centre of the grid in the city's northern suburb of Yelahanka.
Shinde said Bangalore would provide the ecosystem to develop Natgrid into a world-class entity and a unique framework to ensure national security.
"I call upon the city's IT professionals to join team Natgrid and contribute towards building a system for national security as the grid will make India one of the few countries to have such a capability the world over," he said.
Natgrid was proposed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram during his tenure as home minister (December 2008-August 2012) in the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, which exposed several shortcomings in the country's intelligence gathering and action.
As a counter-terror measure, Natgrid will collect and collate information from state-run databases, including tax and bank account details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.
The Natgrid data will be accessed and shared by 11 central intelligence agencies, including National Investigation Agency (NIA), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Narcotics Control Bureau and Enforcement Directorate.
"Lessons that emerged post-26/11 were that information and indicators of possible attacks were present in separate parts of the system but there was no technological framework to help the agencies to put the pieces together to develop actionable and timely intelligence," Shinde recalled.
As a powerful framework to help intelligence agencies deal with any eventuality to counter terrorism and ensure national security, Natgrid will use cutting-edge technology.
"Natgrid will strengthen intelligence and law enforcement agencies' ability to swiftly piece together information that could help pre-empt terror attacks or find perpetrators in the event of an attack taking place," Shinde said.
The state-run National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) will build the disaster recovery centre with a service yard building and transit accommodation by 2015.
The centre's campus will be under closed circuit television (CCTV) monitoring and will have high security.
"The ability of terrorists to merge into same communities they target and use the same infrastructure they seek to destroy makes it difficult for intelligence agencies to identify perpetrators," Shinde pointed out.
The home minister also asserted that the government had ensured to prevent recurrence of a 26/11 type attack over the past five years.
He said the hanging of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru and arrest of Indian Mujahideen terror suspects Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar (Haddi) and Abdul Karim Tunda, solving bomb blast cases of Bodh Gaya and Patna have shown the nation's resolve to provide safety and security to people.
"We are upgrading our capabilities to ensure our security agencies are able to arrest the menace of terrorism," Shinde added.(IANS)