Army hit by silent wall in LoC intelligence ops
The Indian Army’s monitors along the Line of Control with Pakistan have fallen silent for over two months now, affecting intelligence operations, senior officials aware of the development said.
The monitors fell silent soon after Article 370 was effectively revoked in Jammu & Kashmir on August 5. “The terrorists and their handlers have changed the frequency [they communicate on] and we have not been able to crack the new one,” one official said on the condition of anonymity. “We have been trying to intercept commands being sent to the Valley by terror organisations based there [in Pakistan] but have not been successful yet,’’ said another official who asked not to be named.
There is concern in the highest levels of government over this silence especially because “we know that messages are being sent to militants in the Valley”, said a third official who also asked not to be named.
The army knows, through its sources in the Valley, that directions are being sent, but the Military Intelligence directorate has not yet been able to figure out if Pakistan-backed terror organisations have switched to a new system or just changed their frequency, the officials explained.
According to intelligence garnered from on-ground sources in the Valley, the Lashkar-e-Taiba has been asked to target security forces and the Jaish-e-Mohammed led by Masood Azhar has been tasked to carry out bigger attacks. Jaish was behind the killing of 40 CRPF troopers this February. The best way to prevent terror attacks is through real-time intelligence, but the Army has for the first time been hit by a silent wall it is finding hard to penetrate.
All intelligence agencies operating in Kashmir suffered a setback due to the communications blackout. Post-paid mobile services were resumed in the Valley on Monday after 70 days, and agencies are hoping that this will help them re-establish contact with their sources. Up to 90% of intelligence received is through technical sourcing, the officials said.
The Army is therefore trying to crack the new frequency to get up-to-date with terror chatter.