STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

26/11 Is the Result of a Deadly 'Near-miss' in Spycraft History

An investigative report said the US, British and Indian spy agencies failed to pull together all the strands gathered by their high-tech surveillance to thwart the assault on India\'s financial capital.

Published: 22nd December 2014 12:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2014 02:54 PM   |  A+A-

Mumbai-terror-26-11
By PTI

NEW YORK: The 26/11 Mumbai attacks happened as a result of one of the "most devastating near-misses in the history of spycraft" in which the US, British and Indian spy agencies failed to pull together all the strands gathered by their high-tech surveillance to thwart the assault on India's financial capital, according to an investigative report said.

A detailed report by the New York Times, ProPublica and the PBS series 'Frontline' titled 'In 2008 Mumbai Killings, Piles of Spy Data, but an Uncompleted Puzzle' said "that hidden history of the Mumbai attacks reveals the vulnerability as well as the strengths of computer surveillance and intercepts as a counter-terrorism weapon."

"What happened next may rank among the most devastating near-misses in the history of spycraft. The intelligence agencies of the three nations did not pull together all the strands gathered by their high-tech surveillance and other tools, which might have allowed them to disrupt a terror strike so scarring that it is often called India's 9/11," said the lengthy report.

Citing classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, it said although electronic eavesdropping often yields valuable data, even "tantalizing" clues can be missed if the technology is not closely monitored, the intelligence gleaned from it is not linked with other information, or analysis does not sift incriminating activity from the ocean of digital data.

In one of the most glaring intelligence failures, the report said Indian and British intelligence agencies monitored online activities of a key 26/11 planner Zarrar Shah, the technology chief of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group, "but couldn't connect the dots" before the attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

In the fall of 2008, Shah "roamed from outposts in the northern mountains of Pakistan to safe houses near the Arabian Sea, plotting mayhem in Mumbai, India's commercial gem."

He was, however, unaware that by September, the British were spying on many of his online activities, tracking his Internet searches and messages, the report said.

"They were not the only spies watching. Shah drew similar scrutiny from an Indian intelligence agency," it said, citing a former official briefed on the operation.

While the US was unaware of the two agencies' efforts, it had picked up signs of a plot through other electronic and human sources, and warned Indian security officials several times in the months before the attack, the report said.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp