Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence teams to tackle chemical and nuclear threat

Source: Deccan Herald

Intelligence agencies are gearing up to operate in a contaminated environment by raising a dedicated team of equipped officials to deal with possible threat from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials that terrorists and foreign nations might use to create a disaster in the country.

Though waking up late, the intelligence agencies are of the view that a well trained and fully equipped team to counter specialized CBRN threats should be raised as the next attack could come from the unconventional sources.  External spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is undertaking an exercise to acquaint its official with the latest CBRN materials, protection solutions available and keeping an eye on capabilities of foreign countries and anti-national groups so that the country can be safeguarded from offshore attack.

Government sources said that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) is focused on preparing itself in two stages – pre-emptive action and post incident role.

As an initial plan, the agency is having confabulations with others stake holders to put together a blueprint for a new innings, the source added.

Since the IB is tasked with internal security, the top brass is of the view that a core team be raised drawing sleuths handling counter terrorism and VVIP security from within the organization. These officers would be given training in identification and developing counter strategies against the CBRN threats and attacks.

Crucial to handling this new threat perception would be to provide cover to VIPs and vital installations and to defang terrorist outfits as a way of pre-empting any possible strike.
So far agency officials claim that there is not even a remote possibility of CBRN attack.

Agency officials said that they need to work closely with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Defence Research and Development Organisation which are specialized government agencies having authority on the various facets of the CBRN issue. The move is in sink with UPA government’s attempt at strengthening the weak architecture in the country, as the DRDO is also in the process of setting up a national centre for CBRN to manage disasters arising out of these sources.

The DRDO has developed over 60 products and technologies, including suites that are being produced by Indian Ordinance Factories.  Sources said that it will take a couple of years before the agencies would be fully geared to handle such a situation since the Army, which expressed interest in procuring CBRN equipments two years back, is far from procuring the products. Leave alone attacks, said government sources, the nation is not even prepared to handle Japan-like civil nuclear disaster.

The proposal to secure 18 major airports from a nuclear, chemical and biological radiation is gathering dust in government file cabinets.

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