Sunday, November 7, 2010
NDMA guards Obama against chemical or nuclear attack
Security agencies are taking no chances when it comes to guarding President of United States Barack Obama. The entire city has turned into a fortress.
While the entire city stands guard the security around the Parliament where the US president will make a 20 minute address is at an all time high. The event is a very important one and since the Parliament of India which has been attacked in the past is the top most on the terrorist radar, Indian security agencies have decided to use the services of the National Disaster Management Authority to provide security cover.
The primary job of the NDMA would be to provide cover against Chemical, Nuclear and Biological warfare.
The NDMA which came into existence in the year 2007 was set up with a specific purpose of countering biological, chemical and nuclear types of terror strikes. This was set up after Indian intelligence agencies picked up specific intercepts with regard to terror groups improvising their capabilities to carry out such types of attacks on Indian soil.
While the NDMA was used for the first time at the Common Wealth Games, the Indian security team thought that it would be important to use this team at the Parliament when the US president makes his address. Two vans have already been put on stand by, a source in one of the security agencies told rediff.com.
This team is usually used very sparingly. We use the services of this specialized wing only in case of specific inputs or when a very high profile visitor is in the country, sources added. Moreover it is an expensive affair to use the services of this team. The primary job of the team would be to sniff out any sort of biological or chemical attacks. The vans have been fitted with state of the art mechanism and the equipment on them is capable of sensing any sort of leak. Moreover the team keeps regularly in touch with the other security agencies picking up intercepts. This team is also capable of diffusing in no time any possible attack by terror groups. Sources say that it is a constant process and the teams check regularly around the premises for any such security risks or threats.
The team relies heavily on the quality of the air around the venue to detect any leaks. In addition to this the team regularly collects air samples to notice if there is any change.
Security agencies say that they want to take no chances during this visit and this is an add on service in addition to the already heavy security cover that the President would have. However this team has not been pressed into service in any other area of New Delhi and its job would be restricted to the Parliament area alone which is the most high profile location that the President of the United States would be visiting.
Prior to the Obama visit, Intelligence agencies had directed all security agencies to brace for any form of an attack. They had picked up over 10 specific intercepts of terror groups trying to creat mayhem. Although there was no specific intercept with regard to the chemical or biological form of terrorism during this visit, security agencies had still decided not to take any chances since terror groups have always thrived on the surprise element while carrying out an attack.