VIF News Digest: National Security- Defence Studies & Terrorism (Vol 2 Issue VII) | Vivekananda International Foundation
VIF News Digest: National Security- Defence Studies & Terrorism (Vol 2 Issue VII)

May 1 – 15, 2018



Exercise Harimau Shakti 2018;

Joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance of Maldives;

International Terrorism:

US-Led Coalition announces End of major Operations in Iraq;

Iraq’s National Intelligence Service arrests Daesh Commanders;

ISF to go in support of SDF in anti-Daesh Operation at Deir az-Zour;

SDF launched a Military Campaign in East of Euphrates;

Afghanistan-Drone Strike in Nangarhar Province;

Indonesia-Surabaya Bombings;

Africa-Rising Daesh inspired attacks in Somalia;

Domestic Terrorism:

NIA registers FIR Against Babbar Khalsa Militant;

MHA approves the Deployment of NSG in Jammu and Kashmir;

Multi-Agency Group to combat LWE financing.


Exercise Harimau Shakti 2018

Exercise Harimau Shakti 2018 between Indian and Malaysian Armies concluded at the tropical rainforests of Hulu Langat on 11 May 2018. The professional acumen, operational abilities, battle drills and physical endurance displayed by the contingents over the last fortnight, were of extremely high standard and an apt reflection of the level of interoperability achieved during the Exercise. The contingents from Indian and Malaysian Armies have been able to share their experiences in counter-insurgency operations and learn from each other. Exercise Harimau Shakti will ensure that the two nations continue to maintain close defence ties in ensuring peace and security in the region.
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Joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance of Maldives

As part of Indian Navy’s ‘Mission Based Deployments’, Indian Naval (IN) ship Sumedha, a Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV), was deployed to undertake joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives from 09 to 17 May 18. The Joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives is an endeavour of the Government of India and the Indian Navy to ensure the safety and security of the vast EEZ of the island nation.
The ship undertook an Operational Turnaround (OTR) at Male from 11 to 12 May 2018, during which the ship imparted training to Maldives’ National Defence Forces (MNDF) personnel. In addition, two officers and eight sailors of the Indian Navy’s Marine Commando (MARCO) cadre also undertook 2nd Asymmetric Warfare Training Exercise ‘Ekatha 2018’ at the Maldives, from 28 Apr to 15 May 2018. The exercise was held at Composite Training Centre, Maafilhafushi, which is about 145 km North of Male. [Back to Contents ]

International Terrorism

US-Led Coalition announces End of major Operations in Iraq

The US-led international coalition announced on May 01, 2018, the end of its anti-Daesh combat operations in Iraq. The headquarters of Combined Joint Force Land Component Command (CJFLCC) was de-activated on May 01, 2018 marking the end of its major combat operations in Iraq. The CJFLCC was mainly responsible for coalition land force operations in support of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in anti-Daesh operations in which more than 4.5 million Iraqis were liberated from Daesh controlled territory. The operations of CJFLCC were mainly conducted in Falluja till Tikrit, Baiji, Ramadi, Sinjar, Mosul areas, supporting ISF and Kurdish Peshmerga forces to liberate Iraqi territory.
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Iraq’s National Intelligence Service arrests Daesh Commanders

In an intelligence-driven operation, the Iraqi National Intelligence Agency (INIA)) arrested (May 11, 2018) five prominent Daesh commanders after luring them into Iraq from Syria as part of Operation 732. The 3-month long operation by INIA and ISF involved culling out of operational intelligence from interrogation of captured Daesh leaders Ismail Al-Eithwy. The arrested ISIS leaders were Saddam al-Jamal, head of ISIS’ security; Abdul Qadir al-Zawbai (also known as Abu Abdul-Haq al-Human), commander of the “strike force”; Mohammed Hussain al-Qadeer, commander of the Mayadin region; and Omar al-Karbouly. Since the day of elections in Iraq on May 12, 2018, Daesh has claimed to have carried out over 60 insurgent-style attacks throughout Iraq against specific targets.
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ISF to support SDF in anti-Daesh Operation at Deir az-Zour

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) started working with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the area between the Euphrates with ISF from one side and the SDF from the northern side. The ongoing airstrikes by ISF in Syrian Daesh outposts are also conducted under the same mechanism of Task Force. Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi who had denied intentions to intervene in Syrian Affairs; however, on May 06, 2018, confirmed ISF Air Strikes on Daesh hideouts in Syria and affirmed that ISF will follow Daesh militants in the whole region, not only in Iraq.
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SDF launches Military Campaign in East of Euphrates

The SDF has also announced resumption of military campaign against the last bastion of Daesh in East of Euphrates. The SDF statement confirmed the presence of Daesh militants in four villages at the Eastern banks of Euphrates and also at the northeastern part of Deir ez-Zour linked to the southern part of al-Hasaka on the Iraqi Syrian border. [Back to Contents ]

Afghanistan-Drone Strike in Nangarhar Province

In a US drone strike at Taryali area of Nangarhar 18 Daesh militants including five of Pakistani descent militants were killed on May 3, 2018. Simultaneously, the Afghan Special Forces also conducted raids in Ghani Khail, Roudat, Koot and Heska Mena District of Nangarhar province in which 4 civilians were also killed.
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Indonesia-Surabaya Bombings

The Second largest city of Indonesia, Surabaya, was hit by suicide bombings carried out by members of the same family on May 13, 2018. The attacks were carried out targeting churches of Surabaya city. In these attacks, nearly 11 people were killed and nearly 45 people were severely injured. These are the worst attacks in Indonesia since bombings of 2002 and 2005. The Daesh claimed responsibility for these attacks in a statement issued by its propaganda media agency Amaq. The Indonesian Intelligence Agency have also affirmed that Jemaah Anshrut Daulah (JAD), a Daesh inspired group, was suspected to be behind these attacks. Indonesia has effectively dealt with Jemaah Islamiyah, the network responsible for the Bali attacks by cracking down heavily on militants of this group. However, a new threat has emerged in Indonesia inspired by Daesh ideology. Counter-terrorism experts have estimated that nearly 1100 Indonesian fighters had travelled to Syria to fight for Daesh and have emerged as an immediate security threat as returning fighters.
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Rising Daesh Inspired Attacks in Somalia
Since April 2018, Daesh has stepped up terror strikes in Somalia. As per claim by Amaq, Daesh has conducted at least 13 strikes inside Somalia in 2018. Main operating commander of Daesh in Somalia is Abdul Qadir Mumin, who is a former Al-Shabab commander and a designated global terrorists by the US State Department since August 2016.
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Attack at Mosque in North-East Nigeria

The city of Mubi witnessed twin suicide bombings at a Mosque on May 2, 2018, killing nearly 87 people and injuring 59. No terror organisation has claimed responsibility for the attacks, however, investigators indicated that blasts bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram. The city of Mubi with a population of 1,75,000 people and located near the border with Cameroon, was under control of Boko Haram before their being ousted by the Nigerian military in early 2015. Since then Mubi was relatively peaceful until November 2017 terror attack in which 50 people were killed.
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1000 Hostages Rescued from the Captivity of Boko Haram

The Nigerian Army in association with Cameroonian troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force achieved huge success in a week-long operation in the Borno State of North-East Nigeria on May 8, 2018. Total 1000 hostages, mostly women and children, were rescued by the Nigerian Army. In this prolong operation nearly 50 militants were killed. This is a major rescue operation by the Nigerian Armed forces after the famous rescue of Dapchi girls on March 21, 2018.
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Al Shabab Kills Nine KDF Soldiers in Somalia

Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers were ambushed in an IED blast while crossing the fencing of their military base located in the outskirts of Dhobley of Lower Juba Region of Somalia on May 7, 2018. Nine KDF soldiers were killed and 15 others were injured. The Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. In response the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) raised the security level in potential target areas like markets, hotels and AMISOM bases etc.
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Domestic Terrorism

NIA registers FIR Against Babbar Khalsa Militant
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani militant based at Surrey, Canada on May 5, 2018. Nijjar is allegedly involved in planning terrorist attacks in Punjab. The FIR mentioned the involvement of Nijjar to promote disharmony among different groups on the basis of religion and revive terrorism in Punjab. Nijjar was also listed in handed over to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by the Chief Minister of Punjab during Trudeau's visit to India in February 2018. The NIA has initiated extradition process of Nijjar for his involvement in several terrorism-related cases in Punjab. Nijjar is a core member of the BKI which is among the 39 terror organisations banned by India. Indian authorities suspect Nijjar is also linked to the Khalistan Tiger Force and suspect he is conducting weapons training for Sikh youths in Vancouver, Canada.
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MHA approves deployment of NSG in Jammu and Kashmir

The Ministry of Home Affairs on May 4, 2018, approved the deployment of National Security Guards (NSG) in Jammu and Kashmir as part of Counter-militancy Grid. Along with the operational deployment, NSG will also train Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF personnel in Counter-terror operations. Besides, the deployment would also provide an opportunity for its commandos to keep its skills sharp. The use of advanced tactics along with advanced weapon systems will add muscle to the counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir and significantly reduce casualties in security forces.
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Multi-Agency Group to Combat LWE Financing

The Ministry of Home Affairs has established a multi-disciplinary group to take action for chocking funding resources of the Left Wing Extremists (LWE) and seize their assets. For investigation of certain LWE related cases, a special unit is set up in the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The deployment of the NIA, which has an outstanding track record in handling so many cases especially related to financial transactions in support of terrorism and militancy related issues, will make an impact in dealing with the menace of left-wing extremism. The Multi-disciplinary Group will include officers from Intelligence Bureau, CBI, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, NIA, CBDT, CRPF and state police as well as special branches, CIDs and other state units.
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