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Sleeper cells proliferate while government sleeps

August 11, 2007

There are many articles on the internet about India being a soft terror target. The reasons given range from our lax security system, poor legal system, weak response of the government to terrorism and so on….

Organisations and educational institutions don’t bother about checking the antecedents of foreign students
Two recent examples illustrate a major point – the lax security. I cannot them out of my mind. One is the news item that a lot of the foreign students who are being refused admission in their own countries because of their radical background are enrolling themselves in universities in India without proper checks. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Since the 1980s, the educational institutions of Bangalore have been attracting radical Arab and Iranian students. In 1993-94, the Israeli authorities had arrested a Palestinian student from Bangalore and recovered from him an IED. They shared the details of his interrogation with the Indian authorities and cautioned that South India in general and Bangalore in particular were attracting radical students from the Arab world and Iran, who had a potential of becoming terrorists. Around the same period, the Egyptian authorities had cautioned the Government of India that radical students denied admission to Arab universities were managing to get admission to Indian educational institutions without the Government of India being aware of their extremist background.

The fact that these students are sleeper cells is borne out by the fact that they disappeared after the Glasglow attack in the UK! It says here:

After the UK terror plot, more than 40 foreign students studying in various professional colleges in Karnataka have gone missing. The mysterious disappearance is a cause of concern for the state police. The missing students are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq and Iran. They were in various colleges in Bangalore, Mysore and Bellary….Ten Pakistanis, who came to Bangalore during the India-Pakistan cricket series, are also in the list of missing foreigners…

Anyone can buy Indian citizenship! And its cheap
Now if that doesn’t send a chill up one’s spine, what can? Well, this did. Yesterday CNN-IBN aired the expose of our so-called security system. For just Rs 35,000 (865 USD) anyone who ‘looks’ Indian can acquire Indian citizenship! The fictitious Citizen X as the channel called him, managed to get genuine documents like an Indian passport (for a bribe of Rs 7500 or 185 USD), a voter ID card (Rs 1800 or 45 USD), a driving license (Rs 2500/- or 62 USD) and a birth certificate (Rs 3000 or 74 USD)! All this happened in Delhi, our national capital, a city that is on the target of the terrorists.

I guess no Indian will really be surprised…but I had no idea that getting a fake identity was so cheap and so quick! It took just 45 days to get all these documents. I guess the only reason we haven’t had more terrorism on our soil is because terrorists have chosen not to target India that often.

Related Reading: What are the reasons for our terrorism deaths?
Should India have POTA?
Technology can help us strengthen our anti-terrorism infrastructure
Some reasons why educated people can get sucked into terrorism

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2007 10:40 am

    I quite agree. In the dark days to come we will possibly see carnage of medieval proportions. We should all be very, very concerned about security. Bt fat lot of good we can do!😦

  2. August 11, 2007 11:50 am

    Very scary indeed!
    I am even more surprised that all these things can be as cheap as Rs. 7500.

  3. August 11, 2007 2:04 pm

    I love the passage: “For just Rs 35,000 (865 USD) anyone who ‘looks’ Indian can acquire Indian citizenship!” Looking Indian? – really nice criteria🙂 I believe Indians are the only nation in the world that has all the variety of all the races. – A bit off of the topic but I really find it amazing: I even saw Indians with pretty Russian features.
    As for terrorism, I think India will never be that attractive in the trems of the world terrorism. I hope at least.

  4. August 11, 2007 8:35 pm

    There are a lot of Iranian students and families in my neighborhood and this is really sending the chill up my spine!🙂

    It should not be surprising that anyone can get these IDs so cheaply since it is well established how driver licenses, income tax PAN cards, etc. are so easily obtained. Why it is surprising is because most of us did not think that these methods would be used by terrorists to obtain fake Indian citizenship! Shocking…

  5. August 12, 2007 6:52 am

    @Vasuki:
    “I am even more surprised that all these things can be as cheap as Rs. 7500.”
    Yeah, pretty outrageous, isn’t it? How dare our national security be sold for so cheap? Arrey, rate badhaao, yaar! (“Jack up the rates!”)🙂

  6. August 12, 2007 12:55 pm

    i have been concerned about a rise in terrorism in India for awhile. this article only heightens those fears.

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