VIF News Digest: National Security, Defence Studies and Terrorism, 1-15 June, 2019
  • Shri Rajnath Singh Assumes Office of the Defence Minister;
  • Visit of Chief of the Air Staff to Sweden;
  • IAF AN-32 Aircraft Missing;
  • Defence Minister Visits Siachen Glacier;
  • Defence Minister Reviews Defence Cooperation Mechanism;
  • Defence Minister Reviews Navy’s Preparations for Cyclone 'VAYU';
  • 20th Anniversary of the Victory at Kargil.
International Terrorism:
  • Somalia- Al-Shabaab claims responsibility of attack in Shabelle
  • Islamic State (IS) expanding in Afghanistan, claim Afghan and US officials;
  • Taliban targets convoy of US security forces in Kabul;
  • IS leader from Kerala believed to be killed in US bombings in Afghanistan.
  • Sri Lanka
    • Sri Lanka to implement UN Resolutions on Counter-Terrorism.
    Domestic Terrorism:
    Jammu and Kashmir
    • Central Government revised the list of ‘most wanted’ terrorists in J&K;
    • Five terrorists killed in CT operations in Shopian and Pulwama;
    • One terrorist and an OGW killed in CT operation in Shopian;
    • Islamic State’s IS-JK is linked with Pakistan, claims NIA;
    • Multi-Agency body to monitor all terrorism cases in J&K;
    • Five CRPF Jawans martyred in an attack in Anantnag;
    • Security forces neutralise four JeM terrorists in Pulwama;
    • Al-Qa’ida affiliate AGuH names new chief and deputy commander;
    • Six Pakistani ‘spies’ arrested from Jammu region;
    • Al-Qa’ida may plan Pathankot-style attack on security installations.
    Left-Wing Extremism:
    • One soldier martyred in Maoist attack in Jharkhand;
    • Maoist IED expert arrested in Odisha;
    • Wanted Maoist ‘couple’ arrested in Telangana.
    Khalistan-Inspired Extremism:
    • ISI supports BKI to expand its presence in the United Kingdom.
    Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective):
    • Taiwan bans China-made Semiconductors in Digital Set-top boxes;
    • Tech Mahindra joins IIT-Kanpur for research in Cyber Security.
    Shri Rajnath Singh assumes office of the Defence Minister

    Shri Rajnath Singh took over the responsibility as the Defence Minister on June 1, 2019. On his arrival at the Ministry of Defence in South Block, the new minister was received by the Minister of State for Defence Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, the three Services’ Chiefs, Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra, Chairman DRDO Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Secretary (Defence Production) Dr. Ajay Kumar and Mrs S Kutty, Secretary ESW. Shri Rajnath Singh was Minister of Home Affairs in the earlier NDA government since May 27, 2014.

    Shri Rajnath Singh was given a brief presentation on the functioning of the MoD and all the four Departments of the MoD namely Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Department of Ex-serviceman Welfare and Department of Research and Development Organization. Click here to read...

    Visit of Chief of the Air Staff to Sweden

    Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff Indian Air Force paid a four-day official visit to Sweden from 03 to 06 Jun 2019. The bilateral goodwill visit was on invitation by the Chief of the Swedish Air Force. The CAS is scheduled to visit various operational and training units as well as interact with senior functionaries of the Swedish Air Force amongst others. Click here to read...

    IAF AN-32 aircraft missing

    An AN-32 got airborne on June 3, 2019 from Jorhat at 1227 hrs for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at 1300 hrs (approx). Since the aircraft did not reach the destination, overdue actions were initiated by Indian Air Force. A total of eight aircrew and five passengers were onboard the aircraft. C-130, AN-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 of IAF and Indian Army ALH helicopters were launched to locate the missing aircraft.

    Eight days later, on 11 Jun 19, the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted 16 kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato, Arunachal Pradesh at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter. Aerial operations were launched subsequently to the designated crash site however, due to steep slope and thick forest the helicopter could not land near the crash site. Two km from the crash site, a camp was established for helicopters to land with the recovery parties. On 12 Jun 19, a team of nine IAF personnel (including mountaineers), four Army Special Forces personnel and two local mountaineers were dropped at the campsite.

    On 13 Jun 19, eight members of the rescue team reached the crash site. Unfortunately no air-warrior survived the crash. Air-warriors who lost their life in the tragic accident crash are Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenant MK Garg, Flight Lieutenant S Mohanty, Flight Lieutenant A Tanwar, Flight Lieutenant R Thapa, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sharin, Leading Aircraftman SK Singh, Leading Aircraftman Pankaj, NC(E) Putali and NC(E) Rajesh Kumar. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of accident. Click here to read...

    Defence Minister visits Siachen Glacier

    Raksha Mantri (RM) Shri Rajnath Singh made his maiden visit to the world’s highest battle field on June 3, 2019. He was accompanied by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff and was, on arrival at the Thoise air field, received by Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C, Northern Command. The minister made an aerial reconnaissance of the Siachen Glacier to get acquainted with the expanse of this formidable frozen frontier and landed at one of the forward posts. The minister assured the troops that the government is fully aware of all operational and administrative requirements for optimal functioning at the Glacier and assured Government’s full support to fulfil the requirements on priority for our brave ‘Siachen Warriors’. Click here to read...

    Defence Minister reviews Defence Cooperation Mechanism

    Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed activities of the Ministry of Defence. He was briefed regarding Defence Cooperation activities with Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs). He was also briefed about planning activities of the Armed Forces including Tri-Services agencies viz. HQ IDS and Defence Cyber Agency, Defence Space Agency and Armed Forces Special Forces Division which were approved by the CCS in 2019. He was also briefed about the Defence Planning Committee setup in 2018.

    Raksha Mantri reviewed the policy matters pertaining to defence diplomacy including bilateral/multilateral exercises, capacity building, training, material assistance to FFCs, etc. Minister of State Shripad Yesso Naik, Defence Secretary and other senior officials of MoD were also present on the occasion. Click here to read...

    Defence Minister reviews preparations of Indian Navy for the Cyclone 'VAYU'

    Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the preparedness of Indian Navy along the Maharashtra and Gujarat coast in view of the approaching Cyclone Vayu at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi. He was briefed about the ability & readiness of various assets of Headquarters Western Naval Command (HQWNC) that have been made ready to be deployed to the affected areas in case of requirement.

    The Western Naval Command, Mumbai was closely monitoring the developing situation. INS Chennai, Gomati and Deepak at Mumbai were embarked with Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Material, and were ready to be deployed at short notice. Seven IN aircraft and three helicopters, two Diving & Rescue teams and three Medical teams were standby for deployment. Click here to read...

    20th Anniversary of the victory at Kargil

    The year 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of victory in ‘Operation VIJAY’ popularly known as the ‘Kargil War’. The Nation will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of victory this year with pride, honour and inspiration. The War will always be remembered for its strategic and tactical surprises, self-imposed national strategy of restraint in keeping the war limited to Kargil - Siachen Sectors and swift execution of tri-services military strategy and plans. The Kargil War will also be remembered for the determination and daring junior leadership and the raw courage of our jawans. Click here to read...

    Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility of attack in Shabelle

    The Al-Shabaab group had claimed responsibility for landmine blast near Wanlaweyn district in Lower Shabelle region on 09 June. In a statement released, Al-Shabaab claimed that the bomb attack had inflicted casualties on the Somali soldiers travelling in a convoy. Click here to read...

    Islamic State expanding in Afghanistan, claims Afghan and US officials

    After the loss of territories in Iraq and Syria, according to the Afghanistan and United States officials, the Islamic State (IS) is expanding its presence in Afghanistan, and conspiring attacks against US and other Western countries. Because of IS’s sophisticated military capabilities, and its strategy of targeting civilian population, the group seems to be a greater threat than the Taliban. The recent wave of attacks in Kabul could be assumed as ‘trials’ for even bigger attacks in Europe and the US, said a US intelligence official based in Afghanistan. Click here to read...

    Taliban target US security forces convoy in Kabul

    On 31 May, Taliban claimed responsibility of a VBIED (Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device) attack on the convoy of US security forces in Kabul. In the attack, four US security force personnel received injuries. A day earlier, (30 May), the Islamic State (IS) claimed a suicide attack outside the Military Training Academy, Kabul, in which six people were killed. According to an Afghan security official, nine US security personnel were martyred, and six civilians were injured. On the contrary, the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that the attack destroyed two US vehicles, and killed 10 US security personnel. Click here to read...

    IS leader from Kerala believed to be killed in US bombings in Afghanistan

    According to a news report, the leader of Islamic State (IS) module in Kerala, Rashid Abdulla, who had migrated with his wife to Afghanistan to join the IS two years ago, was killed during US bombings in the region, a month ago. Rashid Abdulla, a native of Kasaragod district in Kerala was active in spreading IS’s ideology on social-media and spearheaded a group of 21 people from Kerala who later joined IS in Afghanistan. However, Indian security agencies have not yet confirm the killing of Rashid Abdulla, and are awaiting confirmation from Abdulla’s relatives based in the Gulf region. Click here to read...

    Sri Lanka-to collaborate in implementation of UN Resolutions on Counter-Terrorism

    On 12 June, the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry stated that the country shall give effect to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to counter terrorism and violent extremism. In a recent visit to Sri Lanka on 7-8 June, UN Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) and Executive Director of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Michele Coninsx, had discussions on measures to collaborate with UN mechanisms in keeping with the International norms and practices. The subjects covered during the discussion included terrorist financing and asset freezing, dealing with foreign terrorist fighters, the counter terrorism legislation, countering radicalization and violent extremism, effective border management against terrorist travel, and the threat posed by the internet and social media in spreading radical ideology and violent extremism. Click here to read...

    Jammu and Kashmir
    List of ‘most wanted’ terrorists in J&K Revised

    Based on inputs from the J&K police, CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Ministry of Home Affairs has compiled a list of 10 ‘most-wanted’ terrorists active in J&K (Jammu and Kashmir). The list consists of two terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), one each belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Al-Badr and six from Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM). LeT chief Wasim Ahmed aka Osama, and HM commander Riyaz Naikoo aka Mohammad Bin Qasim were also mentioned in the list. Click here to read...

    Five terrorists killed in CT operations in Shopian and Pulwama

    In two separate Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations on 01 June, security forces killed five militants in Shopian and Pulwama districts. In the first incident, during security forces searches operations in Dragad village of Sugan area in Shopian, during exchange of fire, three HM terrorists, Abid Manzoor Magray aka Saju, Jasim Rashid Shah, and Hilal Ahmad Bhat, were killed. According to the police, Abid and Hilal were involved in several terror attacks on security forces in the area. Jasim was reportedly missing from his home since 31 May.

    In another CT operation, security forces killed two terrorists of JeM during exchange of fire in Nanar village in Awantipora area in Pulwama district. Both terrorists were yet to be identified. Click here to read...

    One terrorist and an OGW killed in CT operation in Shopian

    On June 03, two terrorists including an Over-Ground Worker (OGW), opened fire while travelling in a vehicle, at a check-post of 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) in Moolu Chitragam village in Shopian district. The security forces responded and killed both terrorists identified as Firdous Ahmad Bhat, and Sajad Ahmad Dar. Click here to read...

    Islamic State’s IS-JK is linked with Pakistan, claims NIA

    In its charge sheet filed in the Jammu Court, the National Investigation Agency has claimed that Islamic State’s branch, Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) is linked with Pakistan. On 22 May 2019, NIA filed a charge sheet against four active terrorists of ISJK— Tahir Ahmad Khan, Haris Mustaq Khan, Asif Suhail Nadaf, and Asif Majid who were arrested by Delhi Police in Srinagar on 25 November 2018. On 06 September 2018, security forces arrested two ISJK terrorists from Delhi, whose interrogation led to the arrest of four ISJK terrorists in November 2018. According to the charge sheet Tahir, Haris, and Nadaf were active terrorists, whereas Nadaf was a ‘chronic’ stone pelter. Click here to read...

    Multi-Agency body to monitor all terrorism cases in J&K

    A multi-disciplinary terror monitoring group, led by the J&K Police and comprising representatives from the IB, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Income Tax (I-T) Department, will be monitoring all developments in terrorism related cases in the J&K. Initially, it may be recalled, the group was established to evaluate evidences related to the declaration of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir, and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) as banned organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A]. Click here to read...

    Five CRPF Jawans martyred in an attack in Anantnag

    On June 12, five jawans of CRPF’s 116th Battalion - ASIs Neeru Sharma, and Ramesh Kumar, and Constables Satinder Kumar, M K Kushwa and Mahesh Kumar - were martyred and three other CRPF jawans were injured in a terrorist attack at Khanabal-Pahalgam road in Anantnag district. In retaliation, security forces killed one terrorist. J&K police recovered one AK-47 rifle from terrorist. According to the local news agency GNS, terrorist organisation Al-Umar Mujahideen claimed the responsibility of the attack. Click here to read...

    Security forces kill four JeM terrorists in Pulwama

    During a Cordon and Search operation carried out by the security forces on June 06, in Panjran village in Pulwama district, four terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were killed and large cache of weapons were recovered. Click here to read...

    Al-Qa’ida affiliate AGuH named new chief and deputy commander

    On June 05, Al-Qa’ida affiliate Ansar Ghazwat ul-Hind (AGuH) released a 12-minute video in which the group announced the appointment of Abdul Hameed Lelhari aka Haroon Abbas as the new chief of AGuH (after killing of Zakir Musa by security forces on 23 May 2019), and Ghazi Ibrahim Khalid as its deputy commander. Zakir Musa was chief of AGuH in Kashmir since 27 July 2017. He was heading HM after the killing of its commander Burhan Wani in 2016. Click here to read...

    Six Pakistani ‘spies’ were arrested from Jammu region

    Last month (May 2019), security forces arrested two Pakistani ‘spies’- Mushtaq Ahmed Malik (38), and Nadeem Akhter (24) - for shooting videos and taking photographs outside the Ratnuchak Military station in Jammu. During interrogation, they admitted working under the guidance of their handlers based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). They also disclosed that four other spies were active in the Jammu region. Based on the information disclosed, the security forces on June 6, arrested four of them — Saddam Hussain, Mohammad Saleem, Mohammad Shafi and Safdar Ali. All the six were in active contact with their handler, Iftikhar, a Colonel-rank officer in the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and with the operative of HM. They further revealed that ISI had assigned the task to revive militancy in Jammu region by recruiting youth. Click here to read...

    Al-Qa’ida may plan Pathankot-style attack on security installations

    According to a media report, Al Qa’ida terrorist Abdullah Alhand has been conspiring to carry out a Pathankot-style attack on a key Indian security establishment by launching a fidayeen (suicide) attack. The exact location of the target is unclear, but according to anonymous sources, security establishments based in Jammu and Kashmir may be targeted. Click here to read...

    Left-Wing Extremism
    Policeman martyred in Maoist attack in Jharkhand

    On 02 June, four security force personnel got injured and a Shastra Seema Bal (SSB) policeman, Neeraj Chhetri, was killed in a Maoist attack in Kathalia area of Dumka district in Jharkhand. The injured security force personnel were identified as Constables Rajesh Kumar Rai, Karan Kumar, Satish Gujar, and Sonu Kumar. During joint combing operation of SSB and State police, Maoists opened fire which was responded to by the forces. Click here to read...

    Maoist IED expert arrested in Odisha

    On 03 June, Maithili police arrested an outlawed CPI (Communist Party of India) (Maoist)’s IED expert, Trinath Bhumia, from Odisha. Bhumia was arrested for his alleged involvement in various extremist activities, including crimes executed by Maoists to create fear among locals. Click here to read...

    Wanted Maoist ‘couple’ arrested in Telangana

    Acting on intelligence inputs, a team of Maharashtra police arrested CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee (DKSZC) operative and Gadchiroli District-in-Charge - Kiran Kumar aka Kiran and Alluri Krishna Kumar aka Narmadakka aka Sujathakka - on 10 June, from Hyderabad. They were arrested when they reached a hospital at Gachibowli for medical treatment. Kiran had participated in an attack on a convoy of the security forces the convoy in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra on May 01, 2019 in which 15 jawans were martyred. Click here to read...

    Khalistan-Inspired Extremism
    BKI to expand its presence in the United Kingdom

    According to a news report, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is providing financial support to Khalistan terrorist group, Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), to expand its presence across the United Kingdom (UK) and other nations in the world. With ISI’s support, BKI has started expanding its presence in UK cities, such as Birmingham, Derby, and Coventry, which are home to several Indian immigrants, mostly from Punjab. Click here to read...

    Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
    Taiwan bans China-made semiconductors for used in digital set-top boxes

    For a secure information environment and National Security, the Taiwan government has banned China-made Semiconductors from being used in Digital set-top boxes. In accordance with the Cyber Security Management Act (CSMA), Taiwan’s government introduced new rules on procuring technology. The ban would directly impact the semiconductor chip making Chinese firm, HiSilicon, which is a unit of Huawei. According to news report, Taiwan’s telecommunication regulator, National Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that the cable TV broadcasters would no longer use the set-top boxes equipped with chips and wafers of hybrid integrated circuits that are made in China. Click here to read...

    Tech Mahindra joins IIT-Kanpur for research in Cyber Security

    One of India’s IT (Information Technology) giants, Tech Mahindra, has signed a pact with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur to conduct joint research in the area of Cyber Security. In this partnership, Tech Mahindra would bring “real world industry exposure” to IIT-Kanpur students and researchers to further work on projects of developing and fostering an environment which would deal with the automation process in Cyber Security. The projects would also focus on enhancing the digital resilience of National Critical Infrastructure (NCI), read the press release of Tech Mahindra. Click here to read...

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