India expands its counter-terror grid, IB network to cover 825 locations across country

By Sumit Kumar Singh
New Delhi, Dec 25 : To add more power to the counter-terror grid, India’s domestic intelligence, internal security and counter-intelligence agency, the Intelligence Bureau, is expanding its multi-agency centre (MAC) network to the district level. Now, the network will cover 825 locations around the country.

At present, a total of 374 locations are on the network of the MAC created in December 2001 in the aftermath of the Kargil Conflict as a platform to share, collate and analyse all intelligence relating to terrorism.

The network is being now extended to 475 districts selected in consultation with state police chiefs. Out of 475 identified locations, 451 have been found feasible for providing connectivity, out of which 174 districts have already been connected. When completed, the network will cover 825 locations around the country.

This was disclosed in a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by Congress Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, on the Demands for Grants of Ministry of Home Affairs placed in Parliament on December 21.

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The MAC has established a comprehensive system of communication and connectivity to share, disseminate terrorism related information and data.

For this purpose, the national capital was connected with 25 central member agencies and all state capitals. In the state capitals, the network links the SMAC (housed in the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau/SIB), state police Special Branch, and offices of all central and other counter-terror agencies.

The government has now planned to expand the MAC network base.

The report also stated that the network hosts two software platforms: an intelligence sharing tool called Threat Management system (TMS) and a database tool called National Memory Bank (NMB). TMS was developed in-house by technical staff from IB, while the NMB software was developed by C-DAC, Pune on specifications provided by Intelligence Bureau.

The Bureau is currently headed by 1984-batch Indian Police Officer Arvind Kumar.

“NMB software is deployed on all MAC and State Police servers. A large amount of data has already been uploaded onto the database by Intelligence Bureau and some other agencies including some of the States,” the report stated.

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Further, on an average, every day MAC gathers, collates, stores, shares and disseminates about 150 inputs to concerned agencies. Special alerts are also issued as and when called for.

The inputs are broadly divided under four heads – Jammu and Kashmir, North-East, Left Wing Extremism and rest of India. LWE-related inputs form the largest proportion of total inputs received by MAC currently, reflecting the spread of the problem across several states.

MAC was strengthened in December 2008 following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. The forum, along with its Subsidiary MAC (SMAC) units in all states, has emerged as the nationally recognised coordinating agency for intelligence on terrorism and insurgency.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at sumit.k@ians.in)

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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