Intelligence inputs received by the Indian Navy indicates that offshoot organisations of LeT’s like Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Al Dawa Water Rescue, Life Line Water Rescue and Rescue Mili Foundation have been training terrorists in deep water diving at several locations in Punjab province since June this year. The report further states that JeM, on the other hand, has been training its cadre in ‘Samundri Jihad’ in Bhawalpur.
The report claims that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists, based out of Pakistan, may be planning attacks on installations like ports, cargo ships and oil tankers in India.
Following the intelligence input, the Navy and the Coast Guard have been placed on high alert. The alert comes in the backdrop of reports that the LeT has been increasing its capabilities over the past few months to strike India via sea.
One report has been even published in the Hindustan Times quoting Pakistan watchers and counter-terrorism officials The report claims terrorists are also being trained in swimming and deep diving.
When undergoing interrogation by NIA, 26/11 accused David Coleman Headley had, talked about the marine wing. Headley had also shockingly claimed that the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008, had been trained by Pakistan Navy’s deep sea divers. During the Mumbai attack 164 people were killed and more than 300 injured.
It is believed that the LeT terrorists could employ the strategy of hijacking cargo ships or oil tankers on high seas and then use them to hit at Indian ports. The plane may also be to push suicide attackers through sea and inland water channels.
So it is high time that both Western Naval Command and Eastern Naval Command immediately raise a HQ Coastal Surveillance and Security under a Flag Officer each of Rear Admiral rank to start with.
Southern Naval Command and Andaman & Nicobar Command should also have this HQ but presently under Command a Commodore only.
Over a period of time the chain of Surveillance radars, Surface to Surface missile bases, Air Defence missile assets, anti Cruise Missile defences together with a flotilla of ships for coastal defence will add all the muscles to this HQ.