VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 November 2021
Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF

DEFENCE

  • Defence Acquisition Council approves proposals worth Rs 7,965 crore.
    Second India - Japan space dialogue.
  • Successful flight tests of indigenously-developed smart anti-airfield weapon.
  • Indian Army organises a webinar on “Indian Army Make Projects 2021”.
  • Maritime Conclave – 2021.

  • Indian Army signs MOU with Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (Bisag-N).
  • DRDO & Directorate of Defence R&D, Israel sign Bilateral Innovation Agreement for development of dual use technologies.
  • Delivery of fourth Scorpene submarine.
  • Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar to be the next Chief of the Naval Staff.
  • The 11thDefence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group meeting.
  • Joint Call on Prime Minister by National Security Advisers / Secretaries of Security Councils attending the "Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan”.
  • Second bi-annual IAF Commanders’ Conference.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) Contingent has inducted for participation in the biennial Dubai Air Show.
  • 6th edition of Indo France joint military exercise "Ex Shakti 2021”.
  • General MM Naravane on a visit to Israel.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

West Asia
  • Saudi Arabia designated Hizbu’llah’s financial wing as ‘terrorists.
Africa
Somalia
  • Security forces arrested 12 al-Shabaab terrorists in Baidoa town in Bay region.
Nigeria
  • Boko Haram terrorists attacked a military base in Borno State.
Afghanistan
  • A senior commander of Taliban’s Badri Battalion killed in an attack in Kabul.
  • “55 IS-KP terrorists surrendered in Nangarhar province,” claimed Taliban.
  • Women’s rights activist killed in Balkh province.
Pakistan
  • CTD arrested an AQIS terrorist from Punjab province.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir

• NIA officials arrested two OGWs in ‘J&K Terrorism Conspiracy’ case.
• Unidentified terrorists killed a local salesman in Srinagar.
• Security forces arrested two LeT terrorists from Anantnag and Pulwama.

Left-Wing Extremism
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against seven CPI (Maoist) operatives and conspirators in Dummugudem Maoist case of Telangana.
  • NIA arrested an OGW in Edakkara Maoist case.
  • Security forces eliminated a Maoist in Chhattisgarh.
  • 20 Maoists surrendered in Telangana.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • In Canada, the NIA probed pro-Khalistan groups and their funding
Islamic Extremism
  • NIA conducted search and arrested a JMB terrorist from West Bengal.

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

  • “Electronic Warfare was the main threat from Beijing”: claimed Taiwan’s defence experts.
  • US administration directed all federal agencies to patch hundreds of security bugs.

DEFENCE

Defence Acquisition Council approves proposals worth Rs 7,965 crore.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in its meeting of November 02, 2021 accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition proposals for modernisation and operational needs of the Armed Forces amounting to Rs 7,965 crore. All of these proposals (100%) are under ‘Make in India’ with focus on design, development and manufacturing in India. Key approvals of procurement from domestic sources include twelve Light Utility Helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Lynx U2 Fire Control System from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Mid Life Upgradation of the Dornier Aircraft from HAL to increase the Naval capacity of maritime reconnaissance and coastal surveillance.
For more information: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1768857" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Click here to read...

Second India - Japan space dialogue.

The Second India-Japan Space Dialogue was held in virtual mode on 2 November 2021. The two sides exchanged information on their respective space policies and priorities, international developments in space domain including space security, space situational awareness, global navigation satellite systems, and bilateral cooperation between ISRO-JAXA, space industries and technology trade.
For more information: Click here to read...

Successful flight tests of indigenously-developed smart anti-airfield weapon.

Two flight tests of indigenously-developed smart anti-airfield weapon with two different configurations based on satellite navigation and electro optical sensors have been successfully tested. Electro optical seeker based flight test of this class of bomb has been conducted for the first time in the country with the electro optic sensor developed indigenously. In both the tests, the intended target was hit with high accuracy. The system is designed for a maximum range 100 kilometres.
For more information: Click here to read...

Indian Army organises a webinar on “Indian Army Make Projects 2021”.

The Indian Army in conjunction with FICCI organised a webinar on ‘Indian Army Make Projects’ on 08 November 2021. This was the sixth such webinar since the inception of the Make process in 2016. During the webinar, the Indian Army unveiled Six new ‘Make-II Projects’. The new projects spanned technologies across unmanned systems, technologies to counter such systems as well as emerging solutions for augmenting air defence capabilities.
For more information: Click here to read...

Maritime Conclave – 2021.

The 3rd edition of Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) was held from 07 to 09 November 2021 under the aegis of Naval War College, Goa. The theme for this year’s edition was “Maritime Security and Emerging Non-Traditional Threats: A Case for Proactive Role for IOR Navies”. At the GMC 2021, Indian Navy was hosting Chiefs of Navies/ Heads of Maritime Forces from 12 Indian Ocean Region countries comprising Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The Keynote Address was delivered by Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary, who highlighted India’s vision of SAGAR and approach to maritime security.
For more information: Click here to read...

Indian Army signs MOU with Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (Bisag-N).

The Indian Army has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG-N), Gandhinagar, Gujarat. This MoU will facilitate exchange of knowledge and collaboration in the fields emerging technologies for development of GIS and IT based Enterprise Resource Planning Software, Training Content, Telecasting of Audio-Visual Content, Research and Knowledge Partnership, Technical Support and Upgradation for Resources Developed under a holistic partnership for projects which have the prior approval of Army Management Studies Board (AMSB) or approved on case-to-case basis. The MOU will leverage the relative advantage of BISAG-N to support training and evolving innovative solutions to boost operational capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces.
For more information: Click here to read...

DRDO & Directorate of Defence R&D, Israel sign Bilateral Innovation Agreement for development of dual use technologies.

As a tangible demonstration of the growing Indo–Israeli technological cooperation, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D), Ministry of Defence, Israel have entered into a Bilateral Innovation Agreement (BIA) to promote innovation and accelerated R&D in start-ups and MSMEs of both countries for the development of dual use technologies. Under the agreement, start-ups and industry of both countries will work together to bring out next generation technologies and products in the areas such as Drones, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum technology, Photonics, Bio sensing, Brain-Machine Interface, Energy Storage, Wearable Devices, Natural Language Processing, etc. Products and technologies will be customised to meet unique requirements of both the countries. The development efforts will be jointly funded by DRDO and DDR&D, Israel.
For more information: Click here to read...

Delivery of fourth Scorpene submarine.

The fourth submarine of the Project – 75, Yard 11878 was delivered to the Indian Navy today, 09 November 2021. Project – 75 includes construction of six submarines of Scorpene design. These submarines are being constructed at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France.
For more information: Click here to read...

Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar to be the next Chief of the Naval Staff.

The Government have appointed Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC presently Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command as the next Chief of the Naval Staff with effect from the afternoon of 30th November 2021. The present Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, retires from service on 30th November, 2021.
For more information: Click here to read...

The 11thDefence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group meeting.

The 11thDefence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group meeting between India and the United States (US) was held virtually on November 09, 2021. Four Joint Working Groups focused on land, naval, air and aircraft carrier technologies have been established under DTTI to promote mutually agreed projects within their domains. The groups reported to the co-chairs on ongoing activities and collaborative opportunities, including a number of near-term projects targeted for completion on priority. The co-chairs were also pleased to note that since the last DTTI Group meeting in September 2020, the first Project Agreement for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle under the Joint Working Group Air Systems was signed which a major accomplishment for DTTI.
For more information: Click here to read...

Joint Call on Prime Minister by National Security Advisers / Secretaries of Security Councils attending the "Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan”.

The Heads of the National Security Councils of seven nations, who are in Delhi for the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan hosted today by National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval, collectively called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi after the completion of the Dialogue.

In their comments to the Prime Minister, the senior security officers, representing the nations of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, expressed their appreciation of India's initiative in organising the Dialogue and of the quality of the exchanges. They also conveyed the perspectives of their respective countries on the Afghan situation.

The Prime Minister emphasised on four aspects that countries in the region would need to focus on, in the context of Afghanistan: the need for an inclusive government; a zero-tolerance stance about Afghan territory being used by terrorist groups; a strategy to counter trafficking of drugs and arms from Afghanistan; and addressing the increasingly critical humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
For more information: Click here to read...

Second bi-annual IAF Commanders’ Conference.

The Second bi-annual IAF Commanders’ Conference was inaugurated by Raksha Mantri on 10 Nov 21 at Air Headquarter. The theme of the conference was “Ensuring Certainty amidst Uncertainties”.
For more information: Click here to read...

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Contingent has inducted for participation in the biennial Dubai Air Show.

The IAF contingent inducted on 09th Nov for participation in the biennial Dubai Air Show. The IAF was invited by the Government of UAE to participate with the Sarang and Suryakiran Aerobatics Teams. These teams will be performing along with some of the best aerobatics and display teams in the world, including the Saudi Hawks, Russian Knights and the UAE’s Al Fursan. In addition, the IAF’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas shall be part of the aerobatics and static displays during the show.

The induction of five Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruvs of the Sarang Team, 10 BAE Hawk 132s of the Suryakiran Team and the three LCA Tejas was completed by 09th November 21. The induction was supported by the IAF’s C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130J Super Hercules. The Dubai Air Show will be the first occasion for the Suryakirans and the Tejas to show off their aerial manoeuvres here.
For more information: Click here to read...

6th edition of Indo France joint military exercise "Ex Shakti 2021”.

The 6th Edition of the biennial training exercise “EX SHAKTI 2021” is being conducted from 15 to 26 November 2021 in Frejus, France. A platoon strength of a Gorkha Rifles Infantry Battalion is representing the Indian Army in this bilateral exercise and the French side is being represented by troops of 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of 6th Light Armoured Brigade. Exercise SHAKTI will focus on Counter Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-urban terrain under United Nations Mandate with an aim to enhance military cooperation and inter-operability between the two Armies.
For more information: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1771234" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Click here to read...

General MM Naravane on a visit to Israel.

General MM Naravane, has proceeded on a visit to Israel from 15 to 19 November 2021. This is his first visit to Israel. The Army Chief will take forward the excellent bilateral defence cooperation between Israel and India through multiple meetings with senior officials of the security establishment and exchange views on various defence related issues.
For more information: Click here to read...

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

West Asia
Saudi Arabia designated Hizbu’llah’s financial wing as ‘terrorists.

In a security statement released on 27 October 2021, the Saudi Arabia’s authorities have designated Lebanon-based Al-Qard Al-Hasan, an alleged financial wing of Hizbu’llah, as a terrorist entity. “The association [Al-Qard Al-Hasan] works on managing funds for terrorist organisation [Hizbu’llah] and its financing, including support for military purposes,” read the statement.
According to the statement, “all assets belonging to the organisation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should be frozen and it is prohibited to carry out any direct or indirect dealings with or for the benefit of the association”.
For more information: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/27/saudi-arabia-hezbollah-lebanon-al-qard-al-hassan-terrorists" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Click here to read...

Africa
Somalia
Security forces arrested 12 al-Shabaab terrorists in Baidoa town in Bay region.

On 07 November 2021, Somali security forces carried out a counter-terrorism (CT) operation and arrested 12 al-Shabaab terrorists, from Baidoa town in Bay region in South-West Somalia. “Somali security forces managed to arrest 12 al-Shabaab operatives aimed at ensuring security of Baidoa town. We are committed to safeguard our people and candidates during the Federal Parliamentary elections,” said Commander of Intelligence and Security Agency— Mohamud Mohamed Hassan.
For more information: Click here to read...

Nigeria
Boko Haram terrorists attacked a military base in Borno State.

Wearing military uniforms, the Boko Haram terrorists, on 08 November 2021, attacked a military base at Tamsukawu in Kaga local council of Borno State in Nigeria. The exchange of fire between troops and terrorists lasted over an hour, before fighter jets and ground troops moved in as reinforcement for the soldiers at the base.
For more information: Click here to read...

Afghanistan
A senior commander of Taliban’s Badri Battalion killed in an attack in Kabul.

On 02 November 2021, two blasts took place at the entrance of the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital in Kabul, followed by heavy gunfire by the Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) terrorists. “Five IS-KP group fighters carried out simultaneous coordinated attacks at the hospital,” claimed IS-KP in a statement on its Telegram channels.
“The IS-KP wanted to target civilians, doctors, and patients in the hospital, but Taliban forces had repulsed the attack within 15 minutes,” claimed Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. In the attack, Hamdullah Mokhlis— a senior commander of Badri Battalion was killed.
For more information: Click here to read...

Women’s rights activist was killed in Balkh province.

In first known death of women’s rights defender since Taliban came in power in Afghanistan, Frozan Safi— a 29 years-old activist and economics lecturer, was killed in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province. Frozan’s went missing on 20 October 2021. “We recognised her [Frozan] by her clothes, as bullets had destroyed her face. Bullet wounds were all over her body, including her head, heart, chest, kidneys, and legs,” said Frozan’s sister—Rita, a doctor.
For more information: Click here to read...

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
NIA officials arrested two OGWs in ‘J&K Terrorism Conspiracy’ case.

On 12 November 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s officials arrested two Over-Ground Workers (OGWs)— i) Rashid Muzaffar Ganaie, and ii) Nasir Mir, in registered case ‘RC-29/2021/NIA/DLI, of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Terrorism Conspiracy case. The case is related to the conspiracy, including in cyberspace, for carrying out terrorist acts in J&K and other major cities in India, by the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), al-Badr, and other affiliated groups such as The Resistance Front (TRF), and People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF).
For more information:
Click here to read...

Unidentified terrorists killed a local salesman in Srinagar.

On 08 November 2021, unidentified terrorists killed a local salesman— Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, in BohriKadal market in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). In prompt action, police cordoned the entire city and had launched a search operation to catch terrorists. In less than 24 hours, Ibrahim Khan was the second victim. Earlier, a policeman attained Veergati when unidentified terrorists shot him outside his residence in Batamaloo area in Srinagar.
Since October 2021, around 15 civilians have been killed in Kashmir valley, including non-local labourers. Terrorists are targeting these civilians on suspicion of being either police informers or a threat to regional demographics.
For more information: Click here to read...

Security forces arrested two LeT terrorists from Anantnag and Pulwama.

In two separate joint operations on 08 November 2021, security forces arrested two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists— i) Sarwir Ahmed Mir (21 years-old), and ii) Hafiz Abdullah Malik (affiliated with LeT’s The Resistance Front [TRF]), from Rajpora in Pulwama and Wahadan village in Anantnag districts, respectively.
For more information: Click here to read...

Left-Wing Extremism
NIA filed charge-sheet against seven CPI (Maoist) operatives and conspirators in Dummugudem Maoist case of Telangana.

On 12 November 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge-sheet against seven CPI (Maoist) operatives and conspirators under Section 120B r/w 121 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 18, 20, 23, 38, 39, and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], Sections 4, 5, and 6 of the Explosive Substances Act (ESA), and Section 9B of the Explosive Act.

Out of seven persons mentioned in the charge-sheet, four persons were arrested, whereas three are absconders. All seven accused are identified as: i) Muthu Nagaraju aka M Nagaraju, ii) Kommarajula Kanukaiah aka Kommaraju Kanakaiahm, iii) Sura Saraiah, iv) Madvi Hidma aka Santosh aka Hidmalu [commander of 1st Battalion of People’s Liberation Guerrilla

Army (PLGA) of CPI (Maoist)], v) Koyyada Sambaiah aka Azad [Telangana State Committee member and Secretary of Badradri Kothagudem-East Godavari (BK-EG) Divisional Committee of CPI (Maoist)], vi) Madakam Kosiaka Rajitha (commander of Cherla Area Committee- Dalam and, vii) Vallepu Swamy.

Investigation had revealed that top operatives of CPI (Maoist), including Madvi Hidma, Koyyada Sambaiah, and Madakam Kosi carried out a criminal conspiracy along with the Over-Ground Workers (OGWs) to wage war against the elected government by carrying out terrorist acts against the security personnel.
For more information: Click here to read...

NIA arrested an OGW in Edakkara Maoist case.

On 07 November 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials arrested R Ragavendran aka Vinod Kumar— an Over-Ground Worker (OGW) Maoist, in Edakkara Maoist case—RC-02/2021/NIA/KOC, for his alleged involvement in arms training camp of the CPI (Maoist) in 2016, supporting activities of the proscribed group—CPI (Maoist). Nine other people have been arrested so far in this case.
For more information:
Click here to read...

Security forces eliminated a Maoist in Chhattisgarh.

On 05 November 2021, security forces eliminated a Maoist—Ramsu Korram, a section commander of Platoon no. 16 and guard of Mallesh, in an operation in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh. A 7.62 mm pistol, a 5-kg of Improvised Explosive Device (IED), wires, and other items were recovered from the operation site.
For more information: Click here to read...

20 Maoists surrendered in Telangana.

On 03 November 2021, 20 Maoists, including minors, hailing from villages on Telangana-Chhattisgarh border had surrendered before the Bhadradri-Kothagudem police in Telangana. In last few months, over 200 Maoists have surrendered due to their disagreements with Maoist ideology.
For more information: Click here to read...

Khalistan-inspired Extremism
In Canada, the NIA probed pro-Khalistan groups and their fundings.

On 05 November 2021, a three-member team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrived in Canada to investigate the funding routes of pro-Khalistan groups conspiring the unrest in India. During its four-day visit, the NIA team, led by the Inspector-General (IG) rank officer, and the Canadian authorities discussed the findings of the probe against pro-Khalistan groups, including Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF).
According to news report, the NIA team likely to forward the execution of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) for speedy sharing of information related to anti-India activities. Besides Canada, the NIA team is also investigating the financial routes from the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), Australia, France, and Germany.
For more information: Click here to read...

Islamic Extremism
NIA conducted search and arrested a JMB terrorist from West Bengal.

On 02 November 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials carried out a search operation and arrested a Jamaatul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist—Mohammad Abdul Mannan Bachu aka Mannan, a Bangladesh national and resident at South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.

The case relates to the conspiracy of al-Qa’ida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and JMB terrorist organisations to lure vulnerable Muslim youth in India and Bangladesh, via online radicalisation and recruitment. The NIA had registered the case on 06 August 2021, and till now five suspects have been arrested in this case.

The search led to the seizure of electronic devices, fake Indian Voter ID cards, Aadhaar cards, and other documents for illegal acquisition of Indian identity by Bangladesh national. These fake Indian IDs were arranged to facilitate JMB terrorists who infiltrated into India.
For more information: Click here to read...

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

“Electronic Warfare was the main threat from Beijing”: claimed Taiwan’s defence experts.

On 06 November 2021, a senior defence expert at Taiwan’s Institute for National Defence and Security Research (INDSR) — Su Tzu-yun warned that an Electronic Warfare (EW) was the main threat from China when Chinese aircrafts were intruding into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) with intentions to control electronic messaging in the war theatre. Between January to September 2021, 99 out of the 544 Chinese aircrafts, including J-16 fighter and versions of the Y-8, and Y-9, that intruded the Taiwan’s ADIZ, were equipped with EW capabilities.
“China’s strategy was to disrupt Taiwan’s Air Defence System (ADS), gain control over the air, provide erroneous radar information, and launch attacks from the air catching the opposition (Taiwan) completely unaware,” added Tzu-yun.
For more information: Click here to read...

US administration directed all federal agencies to patch hundreds of security bugs.

On 03 November 2021, the United States’ (US) Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an operational directive to federal agencies to fix more than 300 security vulnerabilities which are identified as carrying “significant risk” to their networks. The CISA gave six months to fix these security vulnerabilities, some of which date back to 2014 and 2015, and pose a “frequent attack vector” for cyber-criminals targeting the US federal agencies.

Mostly, the directive applies to the civilian federal agencies, but also applied to the networks run by the military and under the US Defense Department or the Intelligence Community (IC).
For more information: Click here to read...

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