Challenges to Internal Security (DAMP)
- Discuss the concept of hybrid terrorism and explain how it poses challenges to national security.
- Examine the relationship between terrorism and organized crime. Discuss international efforts to combat these interconnected threats.
- Discuss the social, economic, political, and ideological dimensions of naxalism in India. Highlight the factors that led to a decline in Naxal violence and affected areas in recent times.
- Intelligence sharing and international cooperation is crucial in addressing the challenges posed by external state and non-state actors to India’s internal security.
- Discuss how technologies are helping in detecting and preventing money laundering. Elaborate measures to tackle the problem of money laundering both at national and international levels.
- The increasing drug menace poses a serious threat to India’s internal security. Discuss. Also, suggest comprehensive measures to effectively address it.
- The inclusion of ‘virtual digital assets’ in the Prevention of Money-laundering Act 2002 is a positive step, but there are significant challenges in implementing the same.
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Hybrid terrorism refers to a strategy employed by terrorist organizations that combines traditional tactics
with modern tools and techniques. It involves the use of a variety of means to achieve their objectives, such as conventional attacks, suicide bombings, propaganda through social media, cyber warfare, and exploiting political and social grievances.
Hybrid terrorism poses significant challenges to national security due to several reasons:
- Identification challenge: Hybrid terrorists blend into local populations, making it difficult for security forces to identify them.
- Propaganda and recruitment: Hybrid terrorists use social media to spread propaganda and recruit vulnerable individuals.
- Technological sophistication: Hybrid terrorists employ encrypted communication, cryptocurrencies, and advanced weapons, making tracking and interception difficult.
- Adaptive tactics: Hybrid terrorists adapt their methods to exploit changing circumstances and security measures, requiring preparedness for various types of attacks.
- Global connections: Hybrid terrorists receive support from external actors, necessitating international cooperation in countering the transnational nature of the threat.
India has implemented several initiatives to address the issue of hybrid terrorism:
- National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC): The NCTC serves as a central agency for gathering intelligence, coordinating counterterrorism operations, and enhancing inter-agency cooperation.
- Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord): The CyCord aims to strengthen cybersecurity by monitoring online activities, analyzing threats, and coordinating responses to cyber threats related to hybrid terrorism.
- National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID): NATGRID is a robust intelligence sharing platform that integrates data from various sources, enabling faster analysis and response to potential threats.
- International Cooperation: India actively participates in international forums, such as the Global
Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), to share best practices, collaborate on countering hybrid terrorism, and strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
- Strengthening Legal Framework: India has enacted stringent laws, such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and amendments to the Information Technology Act, to enhance legal mechanisms for investigating and prosecuting hybrid terrorists.
These initiatives collectively aim to improve intelligence gathering, strengthen cybersecurity, foster community participation, and enhance international cooperation to effectively address the challenges posed by hybrid terrorism in India.
Terrorism is a form of violent and unlawful action that involves the use or threat of violence with the intention of instilling fear, intimidating societies for political, ideological, or religious purposes. It often targets innocent individuals or property to create widespread panic and destabilize societies.
Organized crime is any crime committed by a group of people, who interact in a structured manner for the purpose of committing unlawful activities.
Relationship between Terrorism and Organized crime:
- Both Terror groups and organised crime syndicates challenge the authority of the state and infuse feeling of insecurity among citizens.
- Provides Funding: Organised crime syndicates provide funds to the terror groups for carrying out its
activities, as seen during 1993 Mumbai blasts.
- Provides Manpower: Since organised groups have surplus manpower, they provide it to terror groups for supplying explosives, money, shelter etc.
- Provides cross-border linkages: For transfer of funds through hawala, narcotics trade etc. across the borders.
- Organised crime prospers in an environment of fear and lawless situation, created by terrorist activities.
International efforts for combatting:
- UN Security Council (UNSC) Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC): It was established by UNSC resolution 1373 (2001) in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States. It is tasked with monitoring the implementation of steps to enhance countries’ legal and institutional counter-terrorism abilities, at every level, locally and internationally.
- The Da’esh and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee or 1267 sanctions committee of the UNSC to designate organizations and individuals as global terrorist.
- Financial Action Task Force to act against nations supporting and harbouring terrorists.
- United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) was adopted by consensus in 2006. sends a clear message that terrorism is unacceptable in all its forms and manifestations.
- UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) under UN Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT) promotes
international cooperation in fight against terrorism and supports the member states to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
- The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000 to fight against transnational organized crime.
- The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, composed of a network of law enforcement, governance, and development practitioners, with the objective of developing innovative strategies and responses to organized crime.
- Intelligence sharing among nations to prevent terror related incidents.
- Anti-terrorism cooperation, counter terrorism exercises have become key aspect of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
There is a need to depoliticize these efforts and platform and need to tackle it from the perspective of humanity, rather than geopolitical calculations.
Q) Discuss the social, economic, political, and ideological dimensions of naxalism in India. Highlight the factors that led to a decline in Naxal violence and affected areas in recent times. (15 Marks, 250 Words)
Naxalism or Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) is an insurgent and separatism movement based on the ideology of Maoism. It originated from Naxalbari village in West Bengal and aims at violent overthrow of the state. Former PM Manmohan Singh termed naxalism as the single biggest security challenge faced by the country.
- Continuation of social discrimination based on caste and ethnic identities.
- Exploitation and misbehaviour with the female members of weaker sections of the society.
- Attempts by the affluent class to maintain traditional hierarchies in a changed global scenario.
- Limited economic opportunities in the hinterlands and tribal areas.
- Stark economic inequalities that continue to expand.
- Land acquisition 4 mega projects resulting in displacement of tribals.
- Apathy of the political class towards marginalised sections and population in the hinterland.
- Lack of true representation Tribals, Dalits and other marginalised communities.
- Poor functioning of the Gram sabhas, Tribal councils and autonomous councils.
- The ideology remains attractive in a society with a history of discrimination and prevailing socio-economic inequalities.
- Many well-meaning liberal intellectuals fall prey to the Maoist propaganda without understanding the true nature of Maoist insurgency doctrine which glorifies violence and believes in adopting the military line to capture power.
Factors leading to decline in Naxal violence in recent times:
- Security Approach: Modernisation of Police force scheme, targeting senior leadership, strengthening state Intelligence Bureaus (SIBs) etc.
- Developmental Approach: Better health and education facilities in affected areas, aspirational district programs, MGNREGA, Eklavya Residential schools for tribal children, entrepreneurship through TRIFED etc.
- Centre-state cooperation: in security domain through funding under security related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, Multi-Agency Centres, deployment of CRPFs etc, Bastariya batallion in Chhattisgarh etc.
- Central Government Initiatives: 14 specialized CoBRA batallions of CRPF to assist the states, use of UAVs and mini-UAVs, CPI (Maoist) banned under UAPA, SAMADHAN initiative etc.
- State-specific initiatives: Specialized units to tackle naxalism like Andhra Pradesh (Greyhounds), Jharkhand (Jaguar), Maharashtra (C-60) etc.
- Disillusionment with ideology: Dur to development initiatives of central and state governments, Naxalites targeting civilians, mobility in search of employment etc.
There is need for center and states to regularly cooperate and coordinate in both security and developmental initiatives to completely eradicate the threat of naxalism.
External state actors refer to foreign governments or their intelligence agencies that may engage in activities that pose a threat to India’s internal security.
- Non-state actors, on the other hand, are entities or groups that are not affiliated with any government but still have the capability to impact India’s internal security, such as terrorist organizations or transnational criminal networks.
- Located in a hostile neighborhood with geopolitical conflicts, India’s internal security faces multiple challenges from state and non-state actors:
Challenges posed by External state actors:
- Incursion in border areas as seen by Chinses army in Doklam and Galwan.
- Infiltration and capturing of strategic locations to cut-off Kashmir valley as seen during Kargil conflict.
- Spying and cyber snooping to get information about strategic installations and technologies- Honey trapping experts from DRDO, BARC by ISI.
Challenges posed by External non-state actors:
- Terror attacks within India like 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Pathankot Airbase attack etc.
- Weapons, explosives, and narcotics trafficking within India.
- Supplying counterfeit currencies within India to weaken the economy and monetary system.
- Supporting left-wing insurgents and secessionists within India to destabilise India from within.
Benefits of Intelligence sharing and international cooperation:
- Enhanced Situational Awareness: Availability of prior information and intelligence about designs of
- potential risks.
- Strengthened Alliances:
- Availability of weapons and other platforms in times of tensions and conflicts. Israel’s modifying Indian fighter jets during Kargil conflict.
- Technological cooperation for real-time information sharing. e.g.- USA providing information about
Chinese activities in Doklam.
- Putting sanctions on nations involved in supporting terrorism: Pakistan under Grey list of FATF.
- Operational Coordination: Cooperation facilitates joint operations, enabling synchronized efforts to counter shared security challenges.
- Timely and Effective Response: Sharing intelligence enables swift responses to be emerging threats, enabling proactive measures and rapid decision-making.
India continues to cooperate with regional and global partners like USA, Russia, Israel, France, Germany, and Japan in the field of intelligence sharing and cooperation to secure India against external state and non-state actors.
Q: Discuss how technologies are helping in detecting and preventing money laundering. Elaborate measures to tackle the problem of money laundering both at national and international levels. (15 Marks, 250 Words)
Money laundering is the process of hiding the source of money obtained from illegal sources and converting it to a clean source, thereby avoiding prosecution, conviction, and confiscation of the criminal funds. It is an illegal exercise that converts black money into white money.
Role of technology in detecting and preventing money laundering:
- Artificial Intelligence can identify patterns of transactions, behaviours, and anomalies rapidly, which helps in analysing the results, investigating root causes and prevent money laundering.
- Big data has enabled organisations to move away from just tracking financial crime at a transaction level and to ‘map out’ strings of transactions, which allows easier tracing of original sources of illicit activity.
- With big data, financial institutions gain a clearer understanding of the trail of illicit gains from illegal activities and tracing individuals, entities and supply chains involved in the laundering process.
- Anti-Money Laundering screening software help financial institutions check the details of sender and receivers. Any doubtful individual can be red-flagged and promptly tracked.
- Machine Learning (ML) helps organisations and government agencies in detecting and understanding the evolving methods and patterns used by launderers and devise the strategies accordingly to prevent them.
- Measures to tackle the problem of money laundering:
At national Level:
- Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to regulate and scrutinise the foreign funding of persons and
institutions/ organizations in India.
- The prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to combat the menace of money laundering.
- PMLA allows the Central Government to enter into an agreement with foreign governments for enforcing the provisions and exchange of information for the prevention of any offence under PMLA.
- Linking of bank accounts with PAN card and Aadhaar for better tracking of financial transactions.
- PAN card has been made mandatory for any transaction above Rs. 50,000.
At international levels:
- United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988 was the first major initiative in the prevention of money laundering.
- Forty Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, 1990
- Basel Committee on Banking Regulations and Supervisory Practices to to guarantee that banks are not used to hide or launder money obtained via illicit or unlawful activity.
- The council of Europe Convention creates a common policy on the subject of money laundering, provides a common description of money laundering, and provides means for dealing with it.
- Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering with the goal of establishing high standards and
promoting the efficient implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
- Interpol created the Interpol Money Laundering Automated Search Service (IMLASS) to aid anti-money laundering efforts by building a database and tracking, connecting, and identifying suspects and tracking the flow of unlawful funds.
- Political Declaration and Global Program of Action adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1990.
- UN Global Program against Money Laundering founded in 1997 to increase the efficiency of all international measures to prevent money laundering via technical cooperation services provided to governments.
Strict enforcement at the national and cooperation at the global level, supported by modern technologies, remain the key to detecting and preventing the menace of money laundering.
Recently, J&K has surpassed Punjab in drug abuse cases and is currently at top position among the top
drug abuser states or union territories in the country. According to World Drug Report 2022, India has the fourth largest quantity of opium seized in 2020 at 5.2 tons and the third-highest amount of morphine was also seized in the same year at 0.7 tons.
Sources of drug trafficking:
- India is sandwiched between two largest Opium producing regions of the world that is the Golden triangle on one side and the Golden crescent on other.
- The golden triangle area comprises Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos.
- The golden crescent area includes Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
- After Taiban taking over in Afghanistan, there is increase in incidence of drug trafficking in India
originating from Afghanistan.
Drug menace posing a significant threat to internal security of India:
- Social Destabilization: Drug abuse leads to social breakdowns, family disputes, and increased crime rates, undermining the stability of communities and society.
- The youth are particularly susceptible to drug addiction, endangering the nation’s future workforce
and leadership potential.
- Economic Implications: Drug-related crimes drain resources from law enforcement, healthcare, and
social services, diverting funds that could be invested in national development.
- Drug addiction decreases productivity, affecting economic growth and competitiveness.
- Nexus with Organized Crime: The drug trade often funds organized criminal networks, fostering
corruption, money laundering and weakening law enforcement agencies.
- Cross-border Connections: Drug trafficking networks often transcend national borders, potentially
fostering transnational crime and challenging border security.
- Terrorist Financing: Illicit drug profits can inadvertently fund terrorism, creating a nexus between drug traffickers and terrorist organizations.
- Undermining Governance: Drug-related corruption can erode trust in public institutions and weaken governance structures.
- Enhanced Law Enforcement: Strengthen border control and intelligence sharing to curb cross-border trafficking. Increase penalties for drug-related offenses, focusing on deterrence.
- Demand Reduction Strategies: Promote addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs.
- Treatment and Rehabilitation: Establish more addiction treatment centers and offer accessible de-addiction services. Provide vocational training and opportunities for recovering addicts to reintegrate into society.
- Educational Reforms: Launch awareness + Integrate drug addiction topics into the education curriculum providing proper counseling services.
- International Cooperation: Collaborate with neighboring countries to curb transnational drug trafficking networks.
- Reducing Stigma: Create campaigns to reduce societal stigma associated with addiction, encouraging people to seek help.
- Economic Opportunities: Foster employment opportunities and skill development programs to prevent vulnerable populations from falling into drug abuse due to lack of opportunities.
There is need of comprehensive strategies encompassing law enforcement, rehabilitation, education, and
international cooperation to safeguard India’s internal security and social well-being.
Q: The inclusion of ‘virtual digital assets’ in the Prevention of Money-laundering Act 2002 is a positive step, but there are significant challenges in implementing the same. Comment (15 Marks, 250 Words)
Virtual Digital Asset (VDA) refers to any information, code, number, or token (not being Indian currency
or foreign currency) generated through cryptographic means or otherwise and can be called by whatever name. It can be transferred, stored, or traded electronically. The finance ministry has added the activities related to Virtual Digital Assets (VDA) and Crypto currency under the PMLA Act.
Positives of the decision:
- According to a report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, illegal use of cryptocurrencies hit a record $20.1 billion. Bringing under the PLMA will help in preventing the misuse.
- Extending regulation to virtual digital assets provides VDA platforms with a framework to diligently
monitor and take actions against malpractices.
- A standardization of such norms will go a long way in making the Indian virtual digital assets sector transparent.
- It will also build confidence and assurance in the ecosystem and give the government more oversight on virtual digital asset transactions, which will be a win-win for all.
Challenges in implementation:
- There is a concern that without a central regulator, VDA entities could end up dealing directly with
enforcement agencies, like ED (Enforcement Director).
- Owing to current tax regime, many Indian VDA users have already switched from domestic exchanges to foreign counterparts, causing a decrease in tax revenues and transaction traceability. This could also discourage international investors and result in capital outflow.
- The step goes towards regulation, rather than RBI advocacy for banning these digital assets.
- As there is multiplicity of regulations across the globe and transactions are across borders, the
implementation will be arduous task.
- Being based on blockchain platform, tracking of these transactions can be extremely challenging.
With over 10 crore people involved in VDA transactions, there is a need for greater clarity related to these assets and a nudge for global cooperation on framing common guidelines for better regulation these assets.