VIF News Digest: National Security- Defence Studies & Terrorism, 1-15 March, 2019
  • Permanent Commission to Women;
  • Press Statements Post Balakote Air Strike;
  • IAF MiG-21 Bison Crash;
  • Admiral Sunil Lanba chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff visits UK from 12-15 March 2019;
  • Twin Success for Guided PINAKA.
International Terrorism:
  • Al-Qaeda linked group killed 33 pro-regime fighters near Idlib province.
  • 16 civilians killed in a suicide attack in Nangarhar province.
  • Pakistan initiates ‘crackdown’ on UNSC banned terror groups.
Domestic Terrorism
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Two HM militants killed in Pulwama;
  • Three terrorists were killed in CT operation in Tral;
  • Police arrested three JeI leaders in Jammu;
  • JeM terrorist was killed in Kupwara;
  • Grenade blast in Jammu;
  • Charge Sheet against five HM operatives in Assam.
Khalistan-Inspired Extremism
  • Clash between pro-Khalistan activists and British-Indians outside Indian High Commission in London;
  • KCF operative arrested in Delhi.
Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
  • DPRK conducted cyber-attacks on US, during Trump-Kim Summit;
  • AI assists CISF to prevent mishaps across DMRC network.
Curtain Raiser: Al Nagah 2019

Exercise Al Nagah III, third in the series of bilateral joint exercise between India and Oman. is scheduled to be held from 12 to 25 March 2019 at Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains in Oman. The exercise will see both the armies exchanging expertise and experience in tactics, weapon handling and firing, with an aim to enhance interoperability in counterterrorist operations in semi urban mountainous terrain.

India-Oman bilateral security ties have continued to evolve since the beginning of India-Oman Joint Military Cooperation meetings in 2006. Exercise Al Nagah III follows the first two joint exercises held in Oman in January 2015 and India in March 2017 respectively. Similar exercises are also in vogue between the navies and air forces of both the nations thus underscoring the growing bilateral military and strategic partnership between the two important nations of Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Click here to read...

Permanent Commission to Women

Ministry of Defence has taken steps to ensure implementation of announcement by the Prime Minister on 15th August, 2018 regarding grant of Permanent Commission to Women officers in the Armed Forces.

In the Indian Air Force, all Branches, including Fighter Pilots are now open for women officers. In the Indian Navy all non-sea going Branches/Cadre/Specialisation have been opened for induction of women officers through Short Service Commission. In addition to education, Law & Naval Constructor branch/cadre, women SSC officers have been made eligible for grant of Permanent Commission in the Naval Armament branch, at par with the male officers. Click here to read...

MoD press statements post-Balakote air strike

In the morning of 27 Feb 19, 2019, our Air Defence system was on full alert. Build-up of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aircraft on their side of LC was noticed in time and additional aircraft were scrambled to tackle the adversary. In their attempt to attack our ground targets, PAF aircraft were engaged effectively. From Indian Air Force (IAF) side, Mirage-2000, Su-30 and MiG-21 Bison aircraft were involved in the engagement. PAF aircraft were forced to withdraw in a hurry, which is also evident from large missed distances of the weapons dropped by them.

During combat, use of F-16 by PAF and multiple launches of AMRAAM were conclusively observed. Prompt and correct tactical action by Su-30 aircraft, in response to AMRAAM launch, defeated the missile. Parts of the missile fell in area East of Rajouri in J&K, injuring a civilian on ground. Detailed report in this regard has already been released by IAF. All the Su-30 aircraft engaged in combat landed back safely. False claim by Pakistan of shooting down a Su-30, appears to be a cover up for loss of its own aircraft. Click here to read...

IAF MiG-21 Bison crash

An Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison aircraft airborne from Air force Station Nal for a routine sortie, crashed near Bikaner, Rajasthan on 08 Mar 19 at around 1430 hrs. The pilot ejected safely. Initial inputs indicate the likely cause of accident as bird hit after take-off. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of accident. Click here to read...

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff, visits UK

Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chairman of the Chief of Staff’s Committee (COSC) and Chief of the Naval Staff paid an official visit to the UK from 12 to 15 March 2019. The Indian Navy has had traditional links with the Royal Navy (RN) which have come a long way since institutionalisation of various defence forums for enhancing bilateral relationship between the two countries. With the constitution of the Indo-UK Defence Consultative Group (DCG) and the Military Sub Group (MSG) in 1995, a two-tier structure of cooperation was established to progress various areas of defence cooperation.

In September 2004, the two countries inked a pact to embark upon a strategic partnership in which defence cooperation figured prominently. The ‘Service-level Staff Talks’ forum, officially referred to as ‘Executive Steering Group’ is the primary mechanism of enhancing cooperation between the two Armed Forces. Click here to read...

Twin success for Guided PINAKA

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired the Guided PINAKA rockets from Pokhran ranges. The weapon system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance kit comprising an advanced navigation and control system. In both the missions, the weapon systems impacted the intended targets with high precision and achieved desired accuracies. Telemetry Systems tracked and monitored the vehicle all through the flight path. All the mission objectives have been met.

The indigenously developed Guided Pinaka rocket system by DRDO will significantly boost the capability of the artillery to make precision hits. Click here to read...

Syria-al-Qaeda linked group killed 33 pro-regime fighters near Idlib province

On 03 March, an al-Qaeda affiliated group—Ansar al-Tawhid (AT) killed at least 33 pro-regime fighters in a gun-battle near Idlib province. Ansar al-Tawhid is considered a semi-official franchisee of al-Qaeda in Syria. According to news report, one of the two attacks was carried out at Masasna Village in Hama province. Click here to read...

Afghanistan - 16 civilians killed in a suicide attack in Nangarhar Province

On 06 March, unidentified suicide bombers and terrorists attacked the office premises of a construction company in Jalalabad and killed 16 of its employees. Two suicide bombers blew-up themselves outside the company office and three armed terrorists opened fire, killing the security guards and others. Three armed terrorists were killed during the gun-battle. No group has claimed the responsibility of the attack. Since the beginning of 2015, Islamic State (IS) has a stronghold in the Nangarhar province and had claimed few attacks earlier. Click here to read...

Pakistan initiates ‘crackdown’ on UNSC banned terror groups

Under international pressure, on 04 March, Pakistan declared to freeze accounts and seize assets belonging or linked to terrorist organisations or groups proscribed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The pressure build-up was due to strained relations between India and Pakistan after the Pulwama terrorist attack on 14 February, 2019. In a statement, Pakistan Foreign Office stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government had issued the “United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019” in accordance with the Pakistan’s UNSC Act 1948.

Pakistan has banned the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), which are led by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed. LeT was the main conspirator of 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. Click here to read...

Jammu and Kashmir
Two HM militants were killed in Pulwama

On 05 March, two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists, Adfar Fayaz Parray and Irfan Ahmed Rather, were killed in a Counter-Terrorism (CT) operation in Tral area in Pulwama district. During a Cordon and Search Operation (CaSO) at Reshipora in Tral area, the terrorists opened fire at the security forces. Click here to read...

Two terrorists killed in CT operation in Kupwara

According to news report, on 03 March, in a counter-terrorism operation that lasted for over 60 hours, security forces killed two unidentified terrorists hiding in houses at Babagund village in Kupwara district. During the gun-battle, five security forces personnel, three CRPF soldiers and two J&K policemen, were martyred. Click here to read...

Three terrorists killed in CT operation in Tral

On 11 March, three terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) including a key conspirator of the Pulwama attack, Mudassar Khan, were killed in a CT operation in Tral. Over the last 21 days, a total 18 terrorists have been neutralised. Mudassar Khan was an electrician with a graduate degree. He had reportedly arranged the vehicle and explosives that were used in the Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred. Click here to read...

Police arrested three JeI leaders in Kishtwar

After the Ministry of Home Affairs proscribed Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) group under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], 1967, on 02 March, police raided offices and houses of leaders and activists of JeI at six different locations in Jammu. During the raid, around a dozen assets were sealed and three leaders, Mohammad Majeed Sheikh, Mohammad Iqbal Naik and Ghulam Qadir Bhat, were arrested from Kishtwar district. Schools run by JeI were also searched but kept under the surveillance. Click here to read...

JeM terrorist killed in Kupwara

On 06 March, security forces conducted a CaSO in Kralgund area of Handwara town in Kupwara. On the following day, an exchange of fire led to the killing of a terrorist belong to JeM group. The terrorist was identified as Anwar, a Pakistan national. Security forces seized arms and ammunition from the operation site. Click here to read...

Grenade blast in Jammu

On 07 March, a teenager, Mohammad Shariq (17 years-old),was killed and 30 persons were injured in a grenade explosion at the main bus terminus in Jammu. According to Inspector-General (IG) of police (Jammu) Manish K Sinha, on the basis of CCTV camera footage and oral witnesses, police was able to identify a suspect who was arrested and he confessed his crime during the preliminary interrogation. Police suspect HM group behind the grenade attack. Click here to read...

Charge Sheet against five HM operatives in Assam

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 11 March, filed a charge sheet against five operatives of HM for conspiring terrorist attacks in various parts of Assam. Five accused, Kamruj Zaman aka Dr Hurairah, Mohammad Sahnawaz Alam aka Mridul, Mohammad Saidul Alam, Mohammad Omar Faruk, and Mohammad Jaynal Uddin aka Jainal Ahmed, were charged under Sections 18, 18B, 19, and 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The NIA had taken over investigation of the the case from Assam Police on 05 October 2018. According to the charge sheet, Kamruj Zaman joined HM and received weapon training from June 2017 to March 2018 in the forest area of Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. Click here to read...

Khalistan Inspired Extremism
Pro-Khalistan activists demonstrated outside Indian High Commission in London

On 09 March, pro-Khalistan activists, backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), clashed with pro-Indian groups in the course of a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in London. Members of Overseas Pakistanis Welfare Council (OPWC) together with Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) had clash with another group, Friends of India Society (FIS), during a demonstration when the members of SFJ and OPWC shouted anti-India slogans and “Nara-e-Taqbeer, Allah-u-Akbar”. Click here to read...

KCF operative arrested in Delhi

On 12 March, Delhi Police arrested Gursewak Singh (53 years), an operative of banned terrorist organisation, Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) and an associate of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, from Delhi’s Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT). The suspect was conspiring to re-activate his organisation under instructions from KCF chief Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, based in Pakistan. Gursewak was involved in more than 50 terrorist activities, bank robberies and murders. Till 2010, he remained in jail for 26 years in different cases and was in regular contact with Pakistan-based terrorists in jail. Click here to read...

Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
North Korea conducted cyber-attacks on US, during Trump-Kim Summit

According to a news report, North Korea supported hackers conducted multiple cyber-attacks on US-based companies, during the recent meeting of US President Donald Trump and Leader Kim Jong-un on 27-28 February 2019, held in Hanoi, Vietnam. According to a report by McAfee published on 03 March, during the 18-month operation, hackers of Lazarus group targeted key industries in US, including government, US defence, energy and telecommunications.

The cyber-attacks targeted over 100 companies, mainly banks, utilities, oil and gas, based in US and other Western countries. However, countries which have good relations with North Korea, such as China and Russia, did not receive attacks. Click here to read...

AI assists CISF to prevent mishaps across DMRC network

In last three years, with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) successfully managed to prevent 103 incidents of attempted suicide and tracked down suspicious elements across the network of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Technologies such as video analytics, facial recognition software and robotics, helped the CISF personnel to keep Delhi Metro stations secure from any terrorist attacks. This was stated by CISF Director-General (DG) Rajesh Ranjan. According to the data, from 2017 till January 2019, around 27 attempted suicide were prevented and first-aid were provided to 76 people after the suicide attempt. Click here to read...

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