Terrorism is one of the major concern for not a few nations but the entire world at large. With the advancement in technology, formation of new arms and weapons have helped countries in protecting its people effectively but, at the same time, it has made the terrorist organization more powerful, too, by delivering similar weapons in their hands
. Apart from the weaponry, it is the organization of the terror plans and terror agents. Armed forces have observed the use of new tactics and techniques by the terrorist organizations in carrying out their horrendous crimes. One such new technique being used by terrorist organizations is the use of sleeper cells. Let us understand what a sleeper cell is and how they actually operate.
What are Sleeper Cells:
A sleeper cell can be defined as a group of people who remain inconspicuously dormant within a community up till the time they get activated by a signal that has been prearranged by their head to carry out acts of sabotage, espionage or terrorism. It is a new and perhaps the most insidious tactics employed by terrorist organizations. Every sleeper agent gets specialized training in their home countries after which they are assigned to adapt to another nation’s society and culture. A sleeper agent lives a life like any other normal person going about their daily duties. They remain uncover for many years at length until they receive the message for activation.
How Sleeper Cells Operate:
The individual members constituting a sleeper cell may or may not be aware of one another. This is what makes sleeper cells difficult to identify for the police. They work at separate locations, they live at different places. Generally, the sleeper agents work in those fields where they can help to the terrorist organization to smuggle in people and arms with ease when the plan is to be carried out. When the head of the terrorist organization or the commander of the sleeper cell wants to activate the cell, every members receive only a single contact or they may just receive their own specific orders which they have to perform. The reason for such a process and high level of secrecy is to ensure that no member of the sleeper cell is fully aware of the entire operation. This can prevent the sabotage of the sleeper cell by the police even if they achieve success in catching hold of a member. Thus, the tracking and dismantling of a sleeper cell is quite difficult because of their nebulous construction.
While some members of the sleeper cell may be completely aware of the role they will have to play in their operation, some are kept in the dark by the commander of the cell deliberately until they are activated. This adds to the notoriously difficult nature of the sleeper cell. Sleeper cells are more damaging and deadly. Powerful government and secret agencies can often achieve success in discovering the sleeper cells either by infiltration, i.e. using a member of the cell as a double agent, or by covert surveillance.