Chidambaram’s counter-terrorism intelligence hub cleared

January 12th, 2012 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) An ambitious plan of Home Minister P. Chidambaram to set up an intelligence hub to collate and analyse inputs on terror activities in India — hanging fire for almost two years — was finally accorded government approval Thursday.

The plan to set up the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), which had been opposed by many ministries, was given the go ahead in a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

The agency, worked out on the model of US’s NCTC, is aimed at combating terrorism by analysing threats, sharing the inputs and information with other agencies and converting them into actionable data.

The counter-terrorism agency will be a separate body under the control of the ministry of home affairs.

Sources knowing about the draft proposal said the NCTC would be the nodal agency for all counter-terrorism activities of the government.

It would have to coordinate with agencies such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW;), Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and state intelligence agencies, the sources said.

Chidambaram had floated the idea to set up the NCTC after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008.

Intelligence agencies and state police had complained in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks that sharing of information among them was one of the biggest worries.

Despite intelligence inputs given prior to the attack, the Mumbai Police had said the information was not good enough for them to act upon.

In the wake of this complaint and also because there was no agency that would collate the inputs, the home minister had proposed a centre aimed at putting the intelligence in the right place at the right time.

The main job of this agency would be to warn and also pre-empt terror strikes after all other agencies dealing with counter-terror measures provide their information to the NCTC.

A panel of experts at the centre would then analyse with the help of a data base about suspected terrorists and terror outfits.

The agency will be set up through an executive order to be issued soon. Its head, an additional director general-level police officer, will report to the union home secretary.

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