written by Mr. Oded Raz
On the morning of the 7th of November an explosive device exploded in close proximity to one of the gates of the High Court in Delhi, the capital of India. As a result of the explosion, approximately ten people were killed and more than sixty were wounded. According to preliminary findings, the terrorist attack was perpetrated by means of a suitcase bomb.
A few hours subsequent to the terrorist attack an e-mail message was received in these words:
“We own the responsibility for today’s blasts at Delhi High Court”, it was stated in an electronic mail message circulated by Harkat ul-Jihad Islami. “Our demand is that Afzal Guru’s death sentence be repealed immediately else we would target major high courts and the Supreme Court of India”.
According to security officials in India, this involves an authentic mail that is characteristic of the organization and its modus operandi. Afzal Guru, whose name appears in the message, was sentenced to death for his involvement in a terrorist attack on the parliament building in New Delhi in December 2001. He denied his connections with the organization and during the course of the trial the prosecution introduced cellular telephone records tying him to the terrorists who had perpetrated the terrorist attack.
HARKAT UL-JIHAD ISLAMI ORGANIZATION:
The Harkat ul-Jihad Islami Organization operates out of Pakistan and is very close to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network. The organization’s leader, Ilyas Kashmiri, who was killed approximately three months ago in an American aircraft air strike, was considered one of the leaders of Al-Qaeda and his name was even mentioned as someone who may take leadership of the network following the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The organization has been involved in political activity and in terrorist activity against domestic and foreign objectives and as evidenced by the terrorist attack on the parliament building in New Delhi in the beginning of 2000.
The HUJI-B organization has an estimated cadre force of a few thousand members and it runs operational and logistics systems of the organization’s supporters. In Bangladesh, the organization maintains at least six camps. The funding of HUJI-B comes mainly from religious supporters and institutions in Bangladesh. The organization also has connections with extremists in Pakistan, who assist in funding and support.
The organization’s cooperation with Al-Qaeda people enables it to improve its operational capabilities in all matters related to its operational activity. Furthermore, the head organization assists in planning, training and assimilating operational models at the terrorist attack planning stage.
THE OPERATIONAL OUTLINE:
The explosive device was placed during the morning hours in close proximity to one of the entrance gates to the site of the court. According to the officials, a medium-sized explosive device was involved. It was further mentioned that the area in which the device was placed was not secure.
The global jihad organizations convey operational know-how to each other. This is the reason that in many cases the modus operandi of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by these organizations throughout the world is similar. Two practices of these organizations can be characterized at the operational outline preparation stage:
- Prolonged gathering of pre-operational intelligence for the area wherein they intend to act.
- Planning of the operational outline around the security failure points in the area of the terrorist attack.
Since the officials have admitted that the area of the terrorist attack was not secure, then it may be established with a high level of probability that this fact was known to the perpetrators in time and therefore the terrorist attack was at this gate and not in other places.
- Peripheral security around an objective must be continuous, since when gathering the pre-operational intelligence, the adversary will identify the failure points in security and will act through them.
- From familiarity with the modus operandi of the global jihad terrorists, prior to perpetration of terrorist attacks intelligence is gathered around the objective. The means of dealing with the pre-operational intelligence gatherers is posting relevant technology and/or posting security personnel in the outside areas in order to identify irregular elements.
- The security personnel must analyze the secured objective sector, note the places where pre-operational intelligence may be gathered and prepare an operational outline in the spirit of the aforesaid in clause 2.
- Warning and deterrent are significant tools available to security personnel. The security plan must routinely provide a warning and deterring security appearance.
- It is advisable to keep an operations log where all the irregular incidents that have been identified in the secured objective sector will be recorded. The log should be gone over once per period in order to identify irregular patterns that persist over time.
- Professional control and alertness training are effective tools for identifying failures in the security action around the secured objective.
- Studying past incidents and drawing conclusions will assist in writing an effective security plan.
The security personnel operating in the field have an advantage over the perpetrator in as much as they should know the secure area inside and out. A professional security system is likely to thwart terrorist attacks if they act pursuant to the above-mentioned conclusions and lessons.