Global Threats Matrix Intelligence & Espionage Jul-Sept 2015 Issue

How Modern Intelligence Agencies Evolved & Operate In Todays World

The below excerpt from Globalised Terror in a Liberalised World where we examined the Mumbai Train Blasts – A Sequel to The Madrid Train Bombings Of 2004 traces the evolution of the modern day Intelligence Agencies to the crusades and the religious wars in Europe and also examines the techniques used by them and provides and explanation to the nature of terrorism we face today in India.

In politics, nothing happens by accident.
If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.
When the Shadow Powers determine the choices available to us,
they control us. Sure it’s subtle. You bet it’s effective. And we all think we’re free.

Terrorism is a universal problem. Mostly the roots of terrorism lie in the enforcement of religious ideologies. Even the roots of the economic based ideologies whenever and wherever they supported terrorism can be traced back onto religious basis. The distinction between terrorism and low scale conflicts has gained more prominence during the first half of the 20th century when the warring Christian Nations started using special squads disrupting opponent’s regular army supply line during first European War (read as World War I in colonies). These were called clandestine operations initially but later during second European War (read Word War II in colonies) were called by many names like Special Operations, Black Operations etc. Most of the special personnel in these operations were incorporated in their foreign intelligence units post warfare to effectively monitor dissent and thwart the same in their former colonies or New Independent Nations (NIN). Today these are called by various names – CIA of USA (Central Intelligence Agency), MOSSAD of Israel (Israeli External Intelligence Agency), Opus Die of Vatican (Vatican External Intelligence Agency), KGB or FSB of Russia (Federal Services Bureau), Mi6 of Britain (British External Intelligence Agency), CCIS of China (Central Chinese Intelligence Agency) to name a few. Erstwhile former colonial masters are today’s major geo-political players and former colonies are target countries.

This foreign intelligence is gathered with a specific objective of making sure the newly released colonies lie within the ambit of colonial masters, as the colonial masters still needed their economic and human resources for their survival. Keeping the leadership under the influence of colonial masters is one objective and making sure there is no dissent against the colonial masters from the new leaders of new colonies became a twin pronged strategy for these newly incarnated Special Operations.

The form of these operations can be precisely defined as areas of Low Scale Conflicts and are studied in many nations under Conflict Studies, Peace Studies, Strategic Studies or Geopolitical studies. The area is multidisciplinary in nature and encompasses economics, geography, security studies, sociology, religious studies, finance, statistics and econometric modeling. Unfortunately, in any of the former colonies such studies are not done even for their own country perspective.

Low scale conflicts encompass two areas. First is the filtering of all criminal elements within a target country and using them to carry out sabotage operations so that any adversaries in target nations can be eliminated, facilities can be attacked to sway public opinion, etc. Using domestic (target nation) criminal elements the external intelligence agencies can cover their tracks effectively. The second approach is sponsoring states that had already had a conflict (real or perceived) with the target nation.

By the later years of the Reagan regime, a preferred nomenclature suited to U.S. interests became standardized for the Third World. In the case of nations to be rolled back (e.g., Nicaragua), governments were called terrorist and the insurgents were labeled democratic. In the case of countries to be supported against “communist” insurgencies (e.g., El Salvador and the Philippines), the governments were called democratic and the insurgents were labeled terrorists.

— from the book Rollback by Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould

Each geopolitical player and their External Intelligence Agencies use variety of techniques for achieving their goals. By studying the techniques used in specific sabotage operations we can pin point the source nation of the sabotage in a target country irrespective of where the leads end up. In the same way though all leads in all terrorist operations in India recently points towards Bangladesh or terminates at the western border, by studying the damage and targets in India we can determine which geopolitical player is involved in those current sabotage operations (Mumbai Attacks of 2008 is one such case in point).

One recent phenomenon emerging since dissolution of soviet era is, if there is more than one geopolitical player involved in any target nation say Nigeria or Indonesia or India; then the turf war between the geopolitical players is spilling into the target countries. Just like in case of East India Companies whenever their parent countries (England, France, Holland etc.) went to war in Europe, their representatives in African and Indian colonies also went to war. So whenever one geopolitical player feels their turf is violated in any target countries then they do not hesitate to eliminate the others or their supporters in the target countries as well.

When the same techniques were used by Islamic and Jewish independent movements during the mid of 20th century they were called Terrorist Operations by the then colonial powers England and France. Depending on the theatre of concern these sabotage operations are called by various names; and many governments to prevent them do various preventive actions.

Unfortunately, in India there is no comprehensive study of terrorism keeping the above perspective. Our excessive determination and focus on Islamic or Jihadi terrorism though suits our emotional need it only comprises of less than one fourth of terrorist acts perpetuated on the soil of India since more than three decades. Subversion, sabotage, assassinations, abductions, facility bombings, symbolic target bombings though done by all terrorist groups we are confined and concerned only about Jihadi terrorism which is making our response to overall terrorism and its prevalence in India ineffective.

In the above wake GreatGameIndia will be publishing a series of articles with various case studies to throw a comprehensive light on the issue of terrorism India is facing and will face along with a broad counter response to the emerging issues of global terror.

Subscribe Now and read this extensively researched article where we examine the Mumbai and Madrid train bombings with a comparative analysis and also review the security issues in the sub-continent. Published in the Jul-Sept 2015 issue of GreatGameIndia – India’s only quarterly magazine on Geopolitics & International Affairs.

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Below are some of the reference case studies published by GreatGameIndia in this series:

Mumbai Train Blasts – A Sequel to The Madrid Train Bombings Of 2004

MI6 ISIS Rat Line & The Threat To India

26/11 Mumbai Attacks Part II – A High Profile Meet & An Assassination

26/11 Timeline: Buildup To The Assassination Of Hemant Karkare

Gurdaspur & 26/11 Attacks: Recurring Patterns

Pathankot Attack & The International Drug Trade

Pathankot Attack: Oil, Globalization & Terror

How Bomb Making Materials From India Reach ISIS – GreatGameIndia Exclusive

26/11 – What Really Happened At Nariman Chabad House

Parliament Standing Committee Report On Pathankot Airbase Attack

26/11 Mumbai Attacks: Why No Investigation Into Diamond Mafia & Foreign Geopolitical Players

Plot To Overthrow Bangladeshi Government Uncovered