Saturday, 1 September 2007

AP will hire 100 linguists to fight terror

September 2007
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept. 1: The Andhra Pradesh police is planning to hire experts in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Pushto, Bangla, Uzbek, Baluchi, Kurdish, Hebrew, Spanish and Chechen to enable its proposed anti-terrorist cell to study the communications, websites and literature of terror networks.
About 100 experts will study communications of terrorist organisations to preempt possible attacks in Andhra Pradesh or other parts of the country.
But a difficult task lies before the police รข€” recruiting language experts who are "reliable, averse to terrorism and patriotic to the core".
"We cannot hire foreign nationals," said a senior intelligence official. "We will never be sure if they are trustworthy. We need experts who detest terrorism and who are familiar with the modus operandi of terrorists."
Sources said that about 100 foreign language experts will be hired for regular consultation.
At present, the police depends on the forensic department for decoding jihadi websites or literature if the content is in a foreign language. This is a long drawn out process. By the time the police decipher everything, the suspected terror elements simply fall off the radar.
The existing counter-intelligence wing will be merged with the anti-terrorist cell, which will be an elite intelligence-cum-combat wing of the Andhra Pradesh police.
Officers of the cell will be trained in handling hostage situations at bus and railway stations. The police is not geared up to tackle such emergency situations.
Andhra Pradesh is the second state in South India, after Karnataka, to set up such a cell. Though neighbouring Maharashtra, too, has such a unit, they have no foreign language experts.

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