VIF News Digest: National Security, Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16-30 April, 2019
  • Chief of Naval Staff visits Thailand;
  • 2nd Edition of IN-VPN BILAT EX concludes;
  • Indian Navy Ships participate in IFR at Qingado, China;
  • Naval Commanders’ Conference concludes;
  • IDU organised Cyber exercise on scenario building and response.
International Terrorism
Afghanistan: IS-KP claimed suicide attack on Telecommunication Ministry.
Syria: IS killed 35 security forces personnel in Syria.
  • Security Forces killed 52 Boko Haram terrorists in CT operations;
  • Boko Haram terrorists killed 11 people in Cameroon.
Somalia- Four people killed in car blast in Mogadishu.
Pakistan: BRAS terrorists killed 14 travellers in Balochistan.
Sri Lanka: Eight blasts in Churches and Hotels killed 321 and injured 500 people.
Domestic Terrorism
Jammu and Kashmir:
  • JeM leadership is destroyed in the Valley, claims Indian Army;
  • J&K HC dismissed petitions by Yaseen Malik to transfer of case;
  • JeM threatens to target politicians, temples, and railway stations;
  • IS & JeM planning fidayeen attacks in India, warned Intelligence agencies;
  • JeM terrorist killed in CT Operation in Baramulla;
  • Police arrested three JeM terrorists from Budgam;
  • Security Forces killed two terrorists in CT operation in Anantnag;
  • Four JeM terrorists were arrested from Awantipora;
  • Police arrested six terrorists in connection with Banihal car blast;
  • Pakistan-based terrorists are involved in LoC trade.
Left-Wing Extremism:
  • Maoist surrendered in Odisha;
  • Wanted Maoist arrested in Odisha.
Islamist Extremism in India (including Islamic State):
  • NIA raided two locations in connection to IS module case;
  • NIA arrested HuHI leader from Delhi.
Khalistan-Inspired Extremism: SFJ appointed ‘wanted’ Khalistan terrorist to lead ‘Referendum 2020’.
Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective): HCL Tech sets-up Cyber Security centre in US.
Chief of Naval Staff’s visit to Thailand

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Sunil Lanba paid an official visit to Thailand from 17 to 19 April, 2019. The visit was intended to strengthen and enhance Maritime bilateral relations between India and Thailand. During the visit, Admiral Lanba held discussions with the Chief of Defence Forces, Royal Thai Armed Forces General Ponpipaat Benyasri, Commander-in-Chief Royal Thai Navy Admiral Luechai Ruddit, and other senior government officials. The Royal Thai Navy is also a member of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and actively participates in the three IONS Working Groups— ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief’ (HADR), ‘Maritime Security’ and ‘Information Sharing and Interoperability’. Click here to read....

2nd Edition of IN-VPN BILAT Exercise concludes

Focusing on Maritime engagement, a bilateral Maritime exercise - IN-VPN BILAT Exercise, between the Indian Navy (IN) and Vietnam Peoples’ Navy (VPN) - was held at/off Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam from 13 to 16 April, 2019. INS Kolkata, under the command of Capt Aditya Hara, and INS Shakti, under the command of Capt Sriram Amur participated in the exercise which involved a Composite Training Programme (CTP) in the fields of Submarine, Aviation and Dockyard training. The two countries have signed an agreement to exchange White Shipping Information (WSI) and have a running ‘Information Sharing’ programme. The IN-VPN BILAT Exercise focused on strengthening mutual confidence and inter-operability as well as sharing best practices between the Indian and the Vietnam Peoples’ Navies. Click here to read....

Indian Navy Ships participated in IFR at Qingado, China

INS Shakti and Kolkata, participated in the International Fleet Review (IFR) at Qingdao in China as a part of 70th Anniversary Celebrations of PLA Navy. The participation of the Indian Navy in PLA Navy IFR, for third consecutive time - 2009, 2014, and 2019 - demonstrated India’s commitment to enhance Maritime cooperation, and bonds of friendship between two countries. IN ships took part in the parade of naval ships on 23 April which was reviewed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping. The India’s Ambassador to China Amb Vikram Misri hosted a reception on-board INS Kolkata for dignitaries, officers of PLA Navy, and other delegations of the IFR. Click here to read....

Naval Commanders’ Conference concludes

After three days of deliberations, the First edition of ‘Bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference’ concluded on 25 April 2019. In her address to the Naval Commanders, Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman complimented the Indian Navy for maintaining the high operational tempo and its ability not only safeguard India’s interest in Maritime domain but also coerce an adversary into submission as was evident during the recent standoff. She also appreciated Navy’s effort in support to the Indian Government’s initiative of ‘Make in India’. The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Sunil Lanba addressed the Commanders on various important issues related to operational readiness, capability enhancement, maintenance, operational logistics, infrastructure development and human resource management. The next edition of the conference is scheduled in October/November of this year. Click here to read....

IDU organised cyber exercise on scenario building and response

The Directorate of Indian Defence University (IDU) organised a two-day Cyber exercise on Scenario Building and Response, on 29-30 April, in New Delhi. The Exercise was participated in by representatives from NSCS, NTRO, CERT-In, DRDO, NIC, CSRC, Academia and Industrial organisations. The scope of the exercise included the threat landscape and its impact, incident reporting & response framework, procedures for information exchange, attribution, evidence gathering and malicious service takedown, enhancement of capabilities required to protect information, and information systems, enhance Cyber awareness, readiness and coordination, integrated international responses & inter-governmental/inter-agency partnerships. It was followed by portraying a scenario to seek responses from the Stakeholders. Click here to read....

Afghanistan: IS-KP claimed the suicide attack on Telecommunication Ministry

The Islamic State’s group in Afghanistan—IS-KP (Islamic State Khorasan Province) group has claimed the responsibility of suicide attack on 20 April, targeting Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and IT in Kabul that killed seven people. According to Afghan officials, a suicide bomber struck outside the Ministry building, and cleared the way for four other armed terrorists to enter the premises. All four terrorists were killed after a long gun-battle. Click here to read....

Syria: IS killed 35 security forces personnel in Syria

In a fight lasting for over two days, Islamic State (IS) terrorists attacked Syrian Army personnel and affiliated allied-militia groups in Central Syria, and killed 35 security personnel. However, IS had lost its territorial grip in Baghuz near Iraq border last month, but its terrorists are still holding out in a remote desert area. Click here to read....

Security forces kill 52 Boko Haram terrorists in CT operations

On 16 April, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MMF) killed 52 Boko Haram terrorists in a Counter-Terrorism operation at Cross Kauwa in Borno. Chadian forces recovered vehicles equipped with heavy and small arms. Click here to read....

Boko Haram terrorists killed 11 people in Cameroon

On 18 April, Boko Haram terrorist attacked a village in Tchakamari area in Cameroon and killed 11 people overnight. It was one of the deadliest attack conducted by Boko Haram in Cameroon. Click here to read....

Somalia: Four people killed in car blast in Mogadishu

On 17 April, in a car explosion at Maka Al-Mukarama road in Mogadishu, four people were killed and five were injured. Despite police check-points having been set up, following a rise in bomb attacks by al-Shabaab terrorist group, an explosive laden car struck in the busiest part of Maka Al-Mukaram road. Click here to read....

Pakistan : BRAS terrorists killed 14 travellers in Balochistan

On 18 April, terrorists belonging to the Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) attacked several buses in the remote Ormara area in Balochistan province, killing 14 bus passengers. According to news report, the non-Baloch travellers were identified by examining their ID card. They were taken to a nearby mountain and were shot dead. The targeted buses were carrying travellers from the port city of Gwadar to Karachi, a distance of around 630 km. Later BRAS claimed responsibility of the attack. According to BRAS’s Spokesperson Baloch Khan, the travellers were targeted were carrying IDs and employee cards of Pakistan Navy and Coast Guards. Click here to read....

Sri Lanka: Eight blasts in churches and hotels; 321 killed and 500 injured

In the series of suicide bombings in Churches and Hotels at eight locations in Sri Lanka, on Easter Sunday (Apr 14, 2019), around 321 (later pegged at around 259 after DNA match to eliminate multiple counting) people were killed and 500 others injured. Reportedly, eight suicide bombers affiliated to an indigenous Islamist radical group, National Thoweeth Jamaath (NTJ), targeted the churches (St Anthony Church in Colombo, St Sebastian Church in Negombo, and the Zion Church in Batticaloa) along with four high end tourist hotels (Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La, Kingsbury, and Tropical Inn). One explosion occurred at Dematagoda Housing Complex when security forces raided a house to arrest the suspected terrorist. The suicide bomber blew himself, killing three security forces personnel. Around 48 hours later, the Islamic State claimed the responsibility of the attack via a message through its Amaq agency. Click here to read....

Jammu and Kashmir:
JeM leadership is destroyed in the Valley, claims Indian Army

On 24 April, addressing a press conference, Corps Commander of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, claimed that as a result of offensive operations against the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Kashmir, the entire leadership of JeM has been destroyed and no terrorist was ready to take over the outfit. Post-Pulwama attack, total 69 terrorists have been killed and 12 were arrested in Counter-Terrorism (CT) operation, out of which 25 terrorists belonged to JeM. The recruitment of local youth into militancy has come down to exceptional level, said Lt Gen Singh. Click here to read....

J&K HC dismissed petitions by Yasin Malik seeking transfer of case

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) High Court (HC), on 26 April, rejected two petitions filed by JKLF (Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front) chief Yasin Malik, seeking transfer of trials from TADA court in Jammu to Srinagar. The decades old cases pertained to the trials of Rubiya Sayeed’s abduction case and killing of five Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel. Click here to read....

JeM threatens to target politicians, temples and railway stations

According to Uttar Pradesh Police, JeM issued two letters threatening to target Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The letters received at Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli, and Uttrakhand’s Roorkee railway station, stating about blasts at important religious places, and railways stations in Western Uttar Pradesh. The letters were hand-written by JeM commander on 21 April, said Uttar Pradesh Director-General of Police (DGP) O P Singh. A high alert has been issued in the entire State. Click here to read....

IS & JeM planning fedayeen attacks in India, warn Intelligence agencies

According to news report on 29 April, the Indian intelligence agencies warned that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was in contact with terrorists of JeM and IS to execute terrorist attacks in India. In its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) reportedly highlighted that ISI organised a ‘secret’ meeting among the members of JeM and IS at undisclosed location in Afghanistan. ISI has been planning another Pulwama-like fedayeen attacks in Kashmir by making possible efforts to make the nexus of JeM and IS together. Click here to read....

JeM terrorist killed in CT Operation in Baramulla

On 19 April, a terrorist of JeM was killed during a CT operation in Baramulla district. Security forces recovered weapons and war-like stores from the operation site. However, terrorist’s identity yet to be identified. Click here to read....

Police arrested three JeM terrorists from Budgam

On 28 April, the J&K police arrested three terrorists of JeM - Mushtaq/Mustafa, Junaid, and Lateef - from Wathora area in Budgam district. All three of them were involved in an attack on police post in Srinagar’s Chanapora area on 26 April. Police team recovered a China-made pistol, two magazines, and six live rounds of ammunition from their possession. According to the news report, Mustafa/Mushtaq is a post-graduate from Kashmir University, whereas Junaid and Lateef were actively involved in incidents in the Valley, including stone-pelting and working as Over-Ground Worker (OGW) for JeM. Click here to read....

Security fForces kill two terrorists in CT operation in Anantnag

On 25 April, security forces killed two unidentified terrorists in a CTm operation in Bijbehara area in Anantnag district. Acting on intelligence inputs, security forces launched a Cordon-and-Search Operation (CASO) in the area. The terrorists fired upon the patrolling unit, following which the security forces retaliated. Arms and ammunitions were also recovered from the operation site. Click here to read....

Four JeM terrorists arrested from Awantipora

On 28 April, J&K police arrested four terrorists of JeM group from Awantipora area in Pulwama district. Out of four, three were identified as Murtaza, Aqib, and Irfan-ul-Haq. The identity of fourth terrorist was not revealed by the police. A China-made pistol, two magazines, and eight pistol rounds were recovered from Murtaza’s possession. Both, Murtaza and Aqib, were involved in providing logistic support to other JeM terrorists to execute their operations. Click here to read....

Police arrest six terrorists in connection with Bannihal car blast

On 29 April, J&K police confirmed the arrest of six terrorists of JeM and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), for their alleged involvement in the failed car explosion on 30 March, targeting CRPF convoy near Bannihal town. The six were identified as Hilal Ahmad Mantoo, Waseem, Umar Shafi, Aqib Shah, Owais Amin, and Shahid Wani. Among them, Mantoo is a PhD scholar who was arrested earlier (last week) from Central University of Punjab in Bathinda. During interrogation, Mantoo revealed that Jamiat-e-Talaba was radicalising the youths for jihad, which has become a major threat in the Kashmir Valley. According to the Inspector-General (IG) of Police (Jammu) M K Sinha, the failed car explosion was orchestrated by JeM and HM together, under the command of Pakistan-based terrorist Munna Bihari. Click here to read....

Pakistan-based terrorists involved in LC trade

According to news report, around 10 terrorists crossed over to Pakistan, established small-medium businesses with the support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and facilitated terror funding to terrorists and separatists in J&K. These terrorists (natives of J&K) are either based in Islamabad, Rawalpindi or Muzaffarabad, and operate businesses of dry fruits as a part of their modus operandi to generate funds to further unrest in J&K. Click here to read....

Left-Wing Extremism:
Maoist surrender in Odisha

On 16 April, a Maoist, Rakesh aka Bharata Kanhar (21) surrendered before the Kandhamal’s Superintendent of Police (SP). Rakesh was member of proscribed outfit Kalahandi-Kandhamal-Boudh-Nayagarh (KKBN), and had joined the CPI-Maoist on 08 March 2018. As per the Surrender and Rehabilitation Scheme of Odisha government, Rakesh will receive monetary assistance for building house, pursuing studies, and a vocational training in a skill of his interest. Click here to read....

Wanted Maoist arrested in Odisha

On 26 April, Odisha police arrested a wanted Maoist, Jayaram Khilla from Koraput in Odisha. Khilla was involved in the assassination of the TDP legislator Kidari Sarvewara Rao, from Araku, Andhra Pradesh. Khilla was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for further interrogation in killings of two political leaders. Click here to read....

Islamist Extremism in India (including Islamic State):
NIA raided two locations in connection to IS module case

On 20 April, the NIA raided two locations in Hyderabad and Wardha, in connection with an IS module case in which NIA had arrested two people, Abdullah Basith, and Mohammad Abdul Qadeer, in August 2018, for allegedly planning IS-inspired attacks in India. Both also acted as recruiter for IS. The NIA teams seized several digital devices and other documents from the premises of the four suspects who were charge sheeted in 2016 in Abu Dhabi IS module case. Click here to read....

NIA arrested HuHI leader from Delhi

On 20 April, the NIA team arrested Mohammad Gufran who had formed IS inspired module Harkat Ul Harb-e-Islam (HUHI), from Delhi. Gurfan, a resident of Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, and 13 accused were arrested in the case. Gurfan was actively involved in procurement of arms and ammunitions and conspired the terrorist attacks in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region). Click here to read....

Khalistan-Inspired Extremism:
SFJ appointed ‘wanted’ Khalistan terrorist to lead ‘Referendum 2020’

The US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) organisation has appointed wanted Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar as head of the ‘Khalistan Referendum 2020’. According to Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, the appointment of Nijjar to spearhead Khalistan Referendum has exposed the intentions and motives of SFJ. He urged the Central government to ‘keep a pull-factor on the global community’ to join India to contain threat to peace and security. Hardeep Singh Nijjar was on the list of most-wanted terrorists that CM Amarinder Singh had shared with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during their meeting in Amritsar in February 2018. India has accused Nijjar of conducting terror camp in British Columbia in Canada, and conducting weapon training for anti-India terrorists in other Western countries. Click here to read....

Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective):
HCL Tech set-up Cyber Security centre in US

Indian IT-services HCL Technologies has set up a Cyber Security Fusion Centre (CSFC) in Frisco, Texas in US. The Centre will conduct training and college hiring programmes. The Centre will focus on providing support to secure business growth to its customers with enterprise security lifecycle from detection to remediation. A multi-dimensional approach will be adopted to combat security risks using integrated cyber-threat intelligence to detect, monitor, and remediation of cyber security incidents. Click here to read....

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