The Mumbai Attack: Causes And Failure Of The Intelligence Attacks

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Mumbai Attack

Overview
The success of the Mumbai attack was essentially due to the fundamental failure of structure and organisation of the various intelligence agencies. This underlying failure led to a rippled effect that affected other parts of the intelligence cycle leading to multiple failures on several fronts. The 2008 Mumbai Attacks should therefore be viewed as an accumulation of multiple intelligence failures that was a result of the underlying structural problems of the intelligence agencies.

Background and outcome of the incident
The Mumbai attacks was carried out by LeT , a jihadist group based in Pakistan. The specific intent is an Islam terrorist campaign of “freeing” a majority Muslim Kashmir which is now ruled by a majority
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Within an Agency

A key finding of the HLEC was that internally there is a “desk officer” system in which intelligence alerts are directly received and process by the concerned Desk officer instead of the Addition Chief Secretary directing, receiving & handling these sensitive communications. This means that senior officers were not kept fully informed on the latest intelligence updates.

2. Between agencies of the same stratum

The three main intelligence agencies, IB, RAW and MI rarely share information with each other due to the proclivity to take credit for crucial intelligence gathered because of the well-known rivalry among the intelligence agencies. There is a tendency for RAW and IB to report straight to the Prime Ministers Offices (PMO) or political entitles, leaving JIC oblivious to intelligence inputs that are urgently needed by consumers. Such bypassing results in an information overload, piecemeal intelligence and also the submission of unprocessed and inadequately assessed intelligence to decision makers making it hard to render any intelligence useful.

3. Between agencies of different
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It lacks any effective direction or control over the various intelligence agencies and as such there is no systematic tasking of agencies or evaluation of their performance. This is due to the fact that there is no institutionalised system for coordinated action or information sharing. Its product also does not receive the attention and intelligence agencies tend to bypass JIC by passing important intelligence to the highest level. The issue is further complicated due to turf issues since each intelligence agency focuses on a particular realm.

Failure of Intelligence Cycle

1. Failure of Directing

2. Failure of Collecting, analysis and processing

3. Failure of dissemination

a. The absence of established procedures amongst the different intelligence agencies contributed to the disorganized processing of intelligence. This in
b. There was a lack of coordination and communication between the different agencie s, even at state level, Along with the lack of proper analysis and appreciation of intelligence led to redundant information being circulated to the next level.

The failure of the product
How they had intel but they didnt use it for

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