Kolkata: Former top sleuths and security experts concede that terrorists are outwitting Indian intelligence agencies but say it would be unfair to lay the blame for incidents like the Mumbai blasts squarely on intelligence failure.
The terrorists are not only growing in numbers and groups but are also acquiring sophisticated weapons as well as finding new ways of striking, besides choosing soft targets, they say.
"It is not possible for the intelligence and the security people to keep a tab on everything, everywhere," Amiya Samanta, former joint director of Intelligence Bureau in New Delhi, told a news agency.
"The intelligence agencies are getting outwitted. But to be fair to them, we must concede that they have a difficult job. Every now and then, you hear new terrorist groups are cropping up," said Samanta, who was also director general of intelligence of West Bengal Police.
"Then, there are sleeper cells which suddenly activate, cause a terrorist activity and again go dormant," he added.
He said the fight against terrorism was a continuous process where one outwits the other at times.
Samanta also said Kolkata was equally vulnerable to such attacks. "Because of its geographical position, terrorists may sneak in, cause a blast and then easily escape through the borders."
Former Kolkata police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, who retired as director of police research and development, echoed the same views.
"I won`t call it an intelligence failure or a security lapse. The terrorists are always on the lookout for opportunities and whenever they get a chance, they strike. They always choose a soft target. Why don`t they attack high security areas?"
"The police are already much stretched and one cannot be on high alert all the time. Whenever there is such activity, people clamour about intelligence failure but when the agencies foil any attack, why is there no publicity?" Mukherjee asked.
India`s financial and entertainment hub Mumbai was Wednesday hit by three serial blasts that killed 17 people and injured 131.