ISI agent arrest in Chennai significant – Terrorism expert
Sri Lankan terrorism expert, Dr Rohan Gunaratna, considers the arrest of suspected Lankan Muslim terrorist Zakir Hussain in Chennai on Tuesday, and the busting of his outfit in Tamil Nadu as being “very significant” for the entire South Asian region.
Gunaratna, who heads the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, declined to reveal details, but said that cells such as Hussain’s have been functioning in Lanka, the Maldives and India, posing a “severe threat” to the entire region.Author of an authoritative book on Al Qaida, Gunaratna told Express that Hussain was planning to attack targets in Lanka and the Maldives as well as India.
The fact that terror groups are becoming autonomous and developing a life of their own, is making them intractable, Gunaratna pointed out in his comments.
Lankan police spokesman Ajith Rohana said that the Indian authorities have not yet approached Lanka for help to investigate Hussein’s activities there.
The apprehended ISI agent and Lankan national Hussain was gathering information on diplomatic missions in the country. Sources said Hussain was assigned to recruit members for Pakistani-based terrorist outfits through networking in the banned outfits operating in the country in order to build a base in Chennai, which would facilitate sabotage missions in the city and at other vital installations.
He was assigned to gather details related to the US Consulate in Chennai and the Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru. He was entrusted with the task of troubling the economy in the region by circulating counterfeits. An official privy to the investigation said that Hussain had been under surveillance by the Central agencies ever since he arrived in the city.
M Daud Ehtisham, Press Attache at the Pakistan High Commission in SL, told Express that reports of Hussain working at the behest of Counselor Amir Zubair Siddiqui, are “speculative” and appear to be part of a “malicious media campaign”.
Gunaratna’s prognosis is that with the US reducing its military presence in Afghanistan, Islamic terror organizations will become more active all over South Asia. “It is of critical importance for India, Lanka, and the Maldives to have a joint approach towards terrorism. It is time Lanka got a modern and integrated border protection agency comprising personnel from immigration, intelligence, customs, police, the armed forces, and the police narcotic bureau. While retaining the Visa on Arrival regime, Lanka should introduce a system by which the moment an individual buys an air ticket, the immigration authorities in Colombo will be able to check if he is on their data base on criminals,” he pointed out.
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Yes, I agree totally with Rohan Gunarathne. Arresting this suspected Muslim terrorist is very significant. The irony is, some groups in Sri Lanka running after BBS saying that they are terrorists and ignoring the real terrorists.
BBS are not terrorists. It is an organisation to protect SL national religion, Buddhism by confronting radical Islam and rise of Islam terrorism in SL. Islamists in SL are forming ghettos for Muslims in State land grabbed from places like Wilpattu jungle to build their towns and mosques exclusively for the Muslims. They breed Muslim terrorists here who are trained, armed and funded by radical Islamists in the Middle East and Pakistan.
I am glad India has arrested such a Muslim terrorist in Chennai. But how many more are there who are moving about like shadows.
SL should work together with India to improve its intelligence gathering, with a special branch to track radical Islamists to keep tabs on their terrorist plots against SL govt to topple it and replace with pro-Islam govt.
I hope India will share their knowledge of Islam terrorism in SE Asia and help SL to build a special force to counter it exclusively.
Terrorism is not something people practice because they have nothing better to do. Jews under British rule became “terrorists” (ie former Israeli prime minister) as did Nelson Mandela under Apartheid South Africa.
Labelling these people as “terrorists” is convenient, misleading and often inappropriate, when their struggles are legitimate.
Consider the devastation of Iraq by the US/UK allies where two million innocent Iraqis were murdered, with absolutely no justification for Iraq to be attacked. If ordinary Iraqis become “terrorists” (as described by America)their acts are just.
A similar story can be said of Afghanistan. The Jihadists were nurtured by America (ie Osama bin Laden)during Soviet rule and the same people become bad eggs when it suits the name caller.
There are also some pundits who become “experts” on terrorism and thrive on the industry. They fear becoming redundant and manufacture theories as they go along, putting fear into people’s minds for their own self-interest.