Pakistani terrorists getting local militants’ support to strike in Jammu: Intel agencies - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Pakistani terrorists getting local militants’ support to strike in Jammu: Intel agencies

Jul 10, 2024 04:19 PM IST

Security forces suspect two to three local militants from Doda infiltrated border with foreign counterparts about three months ago. Familiar with terrain, they are now helping the foreign terrorists identify targets and safe havens in jungles.

Amid the spike in terror attacks in the Jammu region, security and intelligence agencies believe that two to three local terrorists, who had ex-filtrated to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) from the Doda region, have infiltrated the international border recently along with Pakistani terrorists and are helping them with the strikes in Kathua, Udhampur and Doda districts.

Security forces during a search operation at Bhadnota village in Kathua after the terror attack on an army vehicle that left five soldiers dead on July 9. (PTI Photo)
Security forces during a search operation at Bhadnota village in Kathua after the terror attack on an army vehicle that left five soldiers dead on July 9. (PTI Photo)

Sources in the security establishment said that these local terrorists had ex-filtrated several years ago and had managed to re-enter about three months ago. “We have intelligence inputs which suggest that these local terrorists have infiltrated with their foreign counterparts about three months ago. Familiar with the geographical terrain, they are now helping them in identifying targets and safe havens in the jungles. At the same time, local support by sleeper cells cannot be overlooked,” a senior security officer said, requesting anonymity as investigation is on.

A week ago, Jammu and Kashmir director general of police (DGP) RR Swain said that some foreign terrorists had managed to infiltrate and the security forces have intensified anti-terror operations to eliminate them.

Leveraging tech to advantage

Intelligence sources said that the Pakistani terrorists are leveraging technology, such as the Alpine Quest mobile app used by trekkers and the Chinese Ultra Set handset that combines cellphone capabilities with specialised radio equipment, to help them navigate the geographical terrain, communicate and locate their targets accurately.

The investigating agencies probing the July 8 Kathua terror attack that left five soldiers dead and five others injured at Bhadnota village of Machhedi area found that the terrorists had used the Alpine Quest app to select the place of target. “We are investigating if the app had been used in all terrorist attacks that have taken place in Jammu in the past one-and-a-half years. The app helps in identifying the exact location of rivers, streams and hills,” said a police source.

This app helps the terrorists navigate the dense forests and dodge security forces. It provides precise details of the hill areas even without internet network.

Two groups active in Jammu region

Kashmir Tigers, a proxy of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit, has taken responsibility for Kathua attack.

Investigators believe that two groups of terrorists are active in the Jammu region. “Both the groups have split into smaller groups of three to four terrorists and have spread in the upper reaches of Doda, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi districts,” the police officer said.

In May last year, the Centre had banned 14 mobile messaging applications that were allegedly being used by terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir to communicate with their supporters and over ground workers (OGW) and also receive instructions from Pakistan. The banned apps were Crypviser, Enigma, Safeswiss, Wickrme, Mediafire, Briar, BChat, Nandbox, Conion, IMO, Element, Second Line, Zangi, and Threema.

On Monday, the Delhi high court refused to set aside the Centre’s order blocking open-source messaging application Briar in Jammu and Kashmir with an observation that in matters of national security, principles of natural justice can be given a go-by.

Briar operates on a technology in which a person can directly send a message to another without internet connectivity.

Recent encounters with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir also led to the seizure of the encrypted Chinese telecom device, Ultra Set. These handsets bypass traditional mobile technologies, such as GSM (global system for mobile communication) or CDMA (code division multiple access). Ultra Set operates on radio waves for message transmission and is linked to a master server in Pakistan via Chinese satellites.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On