Barring a terror attack on July 13, 2011 things have been relatively peaceful in India. Indian agencies are busy figuring out this menace which is now being caused by fringe groups. However the big question is what are the bigger groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba doing during this period of lull and calm.
The biggest weapon which these groups have is their patience and Indian Intelligence Bureau officials say that while they are not carrying out terror attacks there is a lot of activity that such groups carry out. The war is always on, but it is different in nature. There is no doubt that they are planning larger attacks on the Indian soil, but in the meantime what they continue to do is circulate fake currency, smuggle arms and ammunition carry out recruitments and build up terror modules across the country.
Fake currency- The year 2010 alone has seen fake currency worth Rs 3200 crore in circulation while over all since the past ten years the amount is a stunning Rs 12,00,000 crore. The notes continue to be under circulation and the Home Ministry says that every 5th note out every 1000 is fake today. The Lashkar which is the biggest beneficiary of this racket pumps in these notes through the Dawood Ibrahim network and it has now been established that the notes of very fine quality are being printed in Pakistan.
What has been worrying the Indian agencies is that the number of routes to smuggle in fake currency have increased and also the printing units in Pakistan too have gone up. Earlier the government owned printing press in Karachi was being used to print fake currency, but today the establishment feels that there is a need to increase the supply and hence have instructed their other state owned press at Quetta to do the same. This only means that the number of notes which will be in circulation especially in India will double and Indian agencies have a tough task ahead.
The earlier routes that were being used to pump in fake currency into India were through Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. However now the reliance on countries such as Thailand and also Dubai have increased. In the future one would get to see this racket emerging more from these two countries since the heat on the operatives are lower compared to the ones operating from Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Moreover within India too there have been changes and fake currency that is pumped in through Dubai has been landing in Thiruvananthapuram and then circulated into other parts of the country. Hyderabad always continues to be a hub for such a racket, Indian agencies point out.
India claims that it is doing its bit to counter this menace in every possible way it can. The issues such as the sourcing of paper to print the notes from London continues to be a contentious issue. The Pakistani agencies have adopted the same route to source their papers which has made the entire exercise very difficult for Indian agencies. India will raise this issue with the Financial Action Task Force in the month of October since it has decided that it would need the help of the international community to fight this menace.
Arms and ammunition- While studying this aspect of terror it becomes extremely crucial to understand why the closure of the D Gang is very important to India. While there continues to be infiltration into India through the borders of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal the whole other problem that comes along with it is the smuggling of arms and ammunition. While these are the normal transit points, there is a chunk of this coming in from Thailand as well which has led agencies to believe that recruits of the D Gang have been aiding this menace. While these arms that have been smuggled in are not being used for terror activities, they continue to be in circulation in the market and are being supplied to gangs and the money being raised out of this is used to fund terrorism on a 70:30 basis.
Recruitments- This is one of the most important aspects for any terror organisation. With the Indian Mujahideen down in the dumps and their modules in re-grouping mode, Pakistan based outfits have had to rely largely on their independent networks to carry out a recruitment process. The Lashkar in particular has been looking more into their Kerala connections through the Gulf and are carrying out recruitments. There has also been an increase in activity in Hyderabad and the ongoing problems in the area have only helped these groups go about their job without being noticed. The entire focus of the police is on the agitation and this has given terror groups a safe path to go about their recruitment. When looking at this issue on a national level, the IB says that most of the activity has been down south when compared to the North which has slowed down in the area of recruitment. However these recruits would focus more on carrying on the fake currency trade and also bringing in more youth into the outfit. There have been no instances in the past couple of months to show that recruits have been sent outside the country to train. They are taking it slow deliberately to avoid the heat and they would try and ensure that nothing is done on a large scale.
Terror modules- Realistically speaking the lashkar alone has around 500 modules across the country. While the big bosses are headquartered at Pakistan, the Gulf modules have been put in charge of setting up terror modules in the country. The IB explains that the money is pumped in from the Gulf which lands up either in Andhra Pradesh or Kerala. This in turn is passed on to the recruits in these areas who carry it around the country and help set up modules. Most of the modules which are operated are not as active as they may have been a couple of years back. The IB says that this lack of activity cannot be misunderstood as them being down. These persons apart from increasing the number of modules continue to aide the circulation of fake currency and also the arms trade.