Dawood Ibrahim, a known major drug trafficker, a don who is wanted by India for a number of heinous and barbaric crimes, serial blasts, Mumbai Bombing of 26/11 and recent terrorists attacks in Pune is being protected by ISI of Pakistan. One of the Foreign Policy Journals had also reported some time back that there are sufficient indications to the effect that the CIA had also had interest at one time, in preventing Dawood Ibrahim being handed over to India.
In fact, Dawood had once attracted the attention of American secret agents, who were supporting the Islamic mujahideen in their battle against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Dawood reportedly had assisted a number of U.S. deep cover operations in funneling money to the then Afghan rebels via casinos in Kathmandu, Nepal. Thus, for some time the CIA was not probably interested that Dawood should be handed over to India. Sometime back, a press release of the US Department said: “Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian crime lord, has found common cause with Al Qaida, sharing his smuggling routes with the terror syndicate and funding attacks by Islamic extremists aimed at destabilizing the Indian government. A fact sheet attached to the press release also said “Ibrahim’s syndicate is involved in large scale shipments of narcotics in the UK and Western Europe. The syndicate’s smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shared with Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network.
The US governments has also now assessed that D-Company has a common cause with Al Qaeda and shares their smuggling routes. The analysts also believe that though Ibrahim’s gang may not formally merge with the radical terrorist groups, yet its own terrorist Endeavour, having deep pockets, and cooperation with the LeT and Al Qaeda can create a substantial threat to US interests in South Asia.
Despite the strong directives of the UNSC, some time back, its member countries like Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continue to flout its policy decision & the International community is not seriously acting against them for the violations. The perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai attack were clandestinely transported to Pakistan by the members of mafia group of Dawood, where they were given training in the camps run by the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), now a member of Bin Laden’s. Islamic Front and sent back to Mumbai for the dastardly attacks. Pakistani explosives and detonators and timers of US origin from the ISI stocks were reportedly supplied to them for this action. Unfortunately Dawood Ibrahim one of the most wanted terrorists continues to remain at large.
Extensive foreign sponsorship of terrorism by some countries, encouragement or toleration by authorities of one country of terrorist activities in another country of organized activities calculated to carry out terrorist acts in the another state, need to be stopped in the war against terrorism.
Terrorist organizations always like to have alliances with existing terrorist groups, and drug mafia to achieve their strategic aspirations. They can initiate, direct, and perpetrate terrorist attacks without even external assistance. Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) is benefiting immensely due to its collaboration with D- Company of Dawood which continues to attract recruits and has the required financial muscle. Dawood and his allies in the D-company have ventured into main- stream commercial enterprises without letting go of its original money spinner, smuggling and Hawala and are a great asset to Pakistan based terrorist organizations.
As on date, the D-Company’ is almost an official part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba’s terror network. The Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is interested to get Dawood gang merge with the fundamentalist terror organization as part of a game plan against India posing great threat to India.
Though the arrest of his aides Hamza and Mufti Obaidulla was a setback for the D-gang yet that Dawood’s company has persisted with the task of rebuilding its network in India.
Earlier, terror-related operations by the criminals were used to be limited to providing funds and logistics to the radicals. However, of late the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence has specifically directed the underworld gang and criminals to handle terror plots in various parts of India. The modules of Lashkar-e- Tayiba and Indian Mujahideen have gradually gone underground as these modules were unable to operate as freely as they used to earlier after the arrest of several key persons of these organizations by the Indian security forces.
The ISI seems to have perceived that the focus of Indian Security agencies on the underworld operatives was much less compared to the terror modules of SIMI, Lashker-e-Taiba and IM.
The interrogation of these criminals turned radicals may not yield any substantial result, as they would be fresh in the business. The funding may come both from UAE and Pakistan.
This would be indeed dangerous as the D-gang network within India is far larger compared to the IM or the Lashkar network. Though, their men are strongest in Maharashtra. Yet, there has been a major expansion and rise in Lucknow, Kerala and Mangalore also.
According to sources Dawood is also acting as number one espionage agent of Pakistan. His men in India particularly in Mumbai can help him to get whatever information he needs for Pakistan.
Now when Washington and London have agreed with India’s legal claim on Dawood and have lifted the longstanding, so called “official protection” accorded to him for his past services to Western intelligence agencies, it is high time for India to press for Dawood extradition to India. As Dawood knows too much about darker secrets of some western diplomats in South Asia and the Gulf, they could scuttle the extradition of Dawood to India. He was reported to have been whisked away to a safe house in Quetta, near the tribal area of Waziristan some time back.
India needs to take advantage of the opening provided by the US by designating him as a global terrorist and should ensure through various diplomatic channels that Pakistan does not again wriggle out of its obligations under the UNSC Resolution 1373. Dawood is professional on many counts and therefore he is a formidable adversary. Some in Pakistan’s military intelligence agency say that Dawood is dead (or was killed in July). This version is more and less a variation of bin Laden story.
The new security architecture of India designed by the present Home Minister is proposed to be brought in to place within a year. However, so far, the inadequacites and “crisis of capacities” remains only partially addressed. The gaps between the intelligence, enforcement and administrative apparatus are proposed to be bridged in the new architecture. `The proposed new architecture revolves around the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), and the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) already provided by the Intelligence Bureau (IB). This structure proposes to stream line and take out the security system out of the prevailing institutional paralysis, it has been suffering so far.
The nefarious activities of criminal gangs particularly the organized gangs like ‘D’ company, whose resources and contacts in India are proposed to be used by the ISI to create lawlessness, panic and chaos in India, need to be monitored on day to day basis. Further, the need of technology to ensure instant communication and quick response can not be under estimated. Any worthwhile security system has to take into account the ‘invisible plans and moves of the hid- den enemy’ to preempt the same. The intelligence is always the main tool for any good security. This tool needs to be sharpened and the response to the same in a federal system has to be nationally coordinated.