Tag Archives: Indian Navy

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 September 2021

DEFENCE

  • Kazakhstan joint military exercise Kazind-21.
  • Indian army to participate in multi-lateral exercise Zapad 2021 in Russia.
  • India & US sign project agreement for air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle.
  • Pacific air chiefs’ symposium 2021.
  • 28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).
  • Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy commence bilateral exercise – ‘Ausindex’.
  • Delegation of Financial powers to Armed Forces for Revenue Procurement.
  • Cabinet approves procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for Indian Air Force.
  • Inauguration of emergency landing facility.
  • DRDO hands over air defence missile (MRSAM) System to Indian Air Force.
  • First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
  • India–Africa Defence Dialogue to be held alongside every DefExpo.
  • 6th edition of Exercise “Peaceful Mission”.
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh addresses 18th India-US Economic Summit.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

  • India and Russia discussed bilateral cooperation on security issues.
Africa
Nigeria
  • Around 6,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered in last few weeks: claimed Nigerian armed forces.
Afghanistan
  • “Al-Qa’ida will rebuild in Afghanistan,” said CIA’s former Dy. Director Morell.
  • “Al-Qa’ida may seek a comeback in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan,” said the US Defense Secretary Austin.
  • “The UN must not give recognition to Taliban-led government in Afghanistan,” said Afghan envoy to the UN.
Pakistan
  • “Pakistan is involved in harbouring Taliban and the Haqqanis,” said the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • Pakistan continues to develop culture of violence, claimed India at the UN.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NH-44 is high on target of JeM and LeT: warned intelligence agencies.
  • Security forces arrested a HM terrorist from Pulwama district.
  • Pakistan’s ISI exporting IS-KP operatives to PoK for a major attack in Kashmir, claimed intelligence reports.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • In 2020, Maoist violence highest in Chhattisgarh: NCRB data.
  • Police arrested senior Maoist leader from Odisha.
  • 52 Maoists, including sympathisers, surrendered in Telangana.
Islamic Extremism
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against three IS operatives in Kerala module case.
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against an IS operative in ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • NIA Special Court framed charges against eight KLF terrorists in connection to killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu, SC awardee.
North-East Region Insurgency
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against five ULFA-I operatives in 2019 Grenade Blast case.

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

  • “Cyber-attacks increasingly targeting Australia’s Critical National Infrastructure”, claimed ACSC.
  • Indian start-up firm comes up with a device to prevent cyber-attacks.
  • US keen to collaborate with Telangana State government in cyber security.
Defence
Indian army to participate in multi-lateral exercise Zapad 2021 in Russia

A 200 personnel contingent of Indian Army is participating in Exercise ZAPAD 2021, a Multi Nation exercise being held at Nizhniy, Russia from 03 to 16 September 2021. ZAPAD 2021 is one of the theatre level exercises of Russian Armed Forces and will focus primarily on operations against terrorists. Over a dozen countries from Eurasian and South Asian Region will participate in this signature event. The NAGA Battalion group participating in the exercise will feature an all Arms combined task force. The exercise aims to enhance military and strategic ties amongst the participating nations while they plan & execute this exercise.

Kazakhstan joint military exercise Kazind-21

The India – Kazakhstan joint military exercise “KAZIND-21” commenced on 01 Sep 2021 at training node Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan. This is the 5th Edition of Annual bilateral joint exercise of both Armies and will continue till 10th September 2021. The fourth edition of the exercise was held at Pithoragarh, India in Sep 2019. The contingent comprises 120 troops from Kazakhstan and 90 soldiers from the Indian Army. Both the contingents will share their expertise and skills in the field of counter terror operations. The exercise will culminate in a 48 hours joint validation exercise scheduled on 08 & 09 September 2021. Click here to read…

India & US sign project agreement for air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle

Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defence signed a Project Agreement (PA) for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) under the Joint Working Group Air Systems in the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) on July 30, 2021. The PA for ALUAV falls under the Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) Memorandum of Agreement between Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defence, which was first signed in January 2006 and renewed in January 2015. The agreement is a significant step towards deepening defence technology collaboration between the two nations through co-development of defence equipment. Click here to read…

Pacific Air Chiefs’ symposium 2021

Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) attended the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium 2021 (PACS-21) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii from 30 Aug to 02 Sep 21. The event themed “Enduring Cooperation towards Regional Stability” was attended by Air Chiefs from countries in the Indo-Pacific region. CAS was nominated as the Dean for the Symposium.

The Symposium saw deliberations through panel discussions, table top exercises and keynote addresses on topics ranging from aspects of Regional Security and the significance of Air Domain Awareness, to cooperation amongst Air Forces for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations.In addition to participation in the symposium, CAS met General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force and General Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Commander, Pacific Air Forces. He also held bilateral and multilateral meetings on defence cooperation and security with Air Chiefs from eleven other countries. Click here to read…

28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX)

The 28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) was conducted from 02 to 04 Sep 21.The Indian Navy, Singapore Navy participated with their ships and four F-16 fighter aircraft of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also participated in the exercise during the Air Defence Drills. Click here to read…

Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy commence bilateral exercise – ‘Ausindex’

The Indian Navy Task Group participated in the 4th edition of AUSINDEX from 06 to 10 Sep 21. Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Anzac Class Frigate, HMAS Warramunga which participated in Exercise MALABAR along with the IN units is also part of the exercise. This edition of AUSINDEX includes complex surface, sub-surface and air operations between ships, submarines, helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the participating Navies.

The participating Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are the latest indigenously designed and built Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively.

The exercise is a true representation of Joint Guidance signed by the Chief of the Naval Staff, IN and Chief of Navy, RAN on 18 Aug 21. This important document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ between the two nations and aims to further consolidate shared commitment to regional and global security challenges promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Click here to read…

Delegation of Financial powers to Armed Forces for Revenue Procurement

Raksha Mantri released in New Delhi on September 07, 2021 order on Delegation of Financial Powers to Defence Services (DFPDS) 2021, providing enhanced delegation of Revenue Procurement powers to the Armed Forces. The DFPDS 2021 aims to empower field formations; focus on operational preparedness; promote ease of doing business and enhance jointness among the Services.

The enhanced delegation of Financial Powers to functionaries in Service Headquarters and lower formations would result in quicker decision making at all levels leading to better planning and operational preparedness of the Services in a quicker time frame and optimum utilisation of resources. Some of the highlights are:-

  • Financial powers devolved to field formations; focus on operational preparedness; promote ease of doing business & jointness among Services
  • Two times general enhancement for Competent Financial Authorities; Up to 5-10 times at field formations in certain Schedules
  • 10% increase in Delegated Financial Powers of Vice Chiefs of Services
  • Up to three times increase in Schedules related to Indigenisation/R&D to achieve ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
  • Enabling provision of Emergency Financial Powers to Field formations below Command level for Defence Services incorporated in Emergency Powers Schedule for ops immediate military necessities

Click here to read….

Cabinet approves procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for Indian Air Force

Today, Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement of fifty six C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain for the Indian Air Force. C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 Tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract and forty aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium within ten years of signing of the contract. Click here to read…

Inauguration of emergency landing facility

The Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) was inaugurated for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Satta-Gandhav stretch on NH-925A near Barmer, Rajasthan on September 09, 2021. Two Union Ministers travelled to Barmer on C-130J aircraft to inaugurate the facility. They also witnessed aircraft operations on the ELF, which has been constructed in just 19 months by M/S GHV India Pvt. Ltd. under the supervision of IAF and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). This is the first time that a National Highway has been used for emergency landing of aircraft of Indian Air Force. This landing strip will be able to facilitate landing of all types of IAF aircraft. Click here to read…

DRDO hands over air defence missile (MRSAM) System to Indian Air Force

First deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System was handed over to Indian Air Force (IAF) in the presence of Raksha Mantri at Air Force Station, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on September 09, 2021. The MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network centric combat Air Defence System developed jointly by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Indian industry comprising of private and public sectors including MSMEs.
Key Highlights:

  • MRSAM provides air defence against aerial threats like fighter aircraft, UAVs, guided and unguided munitions & cruise missiles
  • Capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 kilometres
  • Indigenously developed rocket motor & control system for achieving high manoeuvrability
  • State-of-the-art missile system
First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

India hosted the inaugural India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on 11 September 2021 in New Delhi. H.E. Ms. Marise Payne, Foreign Minister, and H.E. Mr. Peter Dutton, Defence Minister, of Australia were visiting India on 10-12 September 2021 to take part in the Dialogue. From the Indian side, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar lead the delegation which comprised of officials from the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs. The inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is being held pursuant to the elevation of India-Australia bilateral relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the India-Australia Leaders’ Virtual Summit on 04 June 2020. The agenda for the Dialogue covered a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. The RM in his interaction with the Australian Defence Minister highlighted the following issues in his address.

  • Wide-ranging discussions on bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional issues
  • Both sides agree to work jointly to realise full potential of India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
  • Partnership based on shared vision of free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region
  • Military engagements to be expanded
  • Australian industry invited to take advantage of India’s liberalised FDI policies

Click here to read…

India–Africa Defence Dialogue to be held alongside every Def Expo

India proposes to institutionalise the India Africa Defence Dialogue during successive Def Expos to be held once every two years. Institutionalisation of the India Africa Defence Dialogue will help building on the existing partnerships between African countries & India and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagements including areas like capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter terrorism.

It has been decided that Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses shall be the knowledge partner of India Africa Defence Dialogue and will assist in providing necessary support for enhanced defence cooperation between India and Africa. It has also been decided that Raksha Mantri will host the Defence Ministers of African Nations in the next India – Africa Defence Dialogue on the sidelines of the Def Expo that is scheduled to be held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in March 2022. The broad theme of this India Africa Defence Dialogue will be ‘India – Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation’.

6th edition of Exercise “Peaceful Mission”

Joint Counter Terrorism Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION is a Multilateral Exercise, which is conducted biennially as part of military diplomacy between Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states. The 6th edition of Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION is being hosted by Russia in the Orenburg Region of South West Russia from 13 to 25 September 2021. The aim of the exercise is to foster close relations between SCO member states and to enhance abilities of the military leaders to command multi-national military contingents.

The Indian military contingent comprising of an all arms combined force of 200 personnel to include 38 personnel from the Indian Air Force is participating in the Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION -2021. The Indian contingent was inducted to the exercise area by two IL-76 aircrafts. Click here to read…

Raksha Mantri (RM) addresses the 18th India-US Economic Summit

Delivering the inaugural address at the 18th India-US Economic Summit, on the theme ‘Bouncing Back – Resilient Recovery Path Post COVID-19’ organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce through video conferencing on September 15, 2021. The RM highlighted the defence sector as an integral part of not just the security but overall growth of the country, RM stated the initiatives taken by the Government have transformed India into a strong and reliable investment destination. He said, India is now home to stable and secure government which focuses on economic growth through series of reforms. He added that robust domestic demand and availability of talented young work force & innovation make India a major investment destination.

The RM called upon the industry leaders to focus on transfer of technology through joint ventures to realise the country’s true potential in defence sector. The foreign OEMs can set up manufacturing facilities individually or partner with Indian companies through a JV or technology agreement to capitalise on the ‘Make in India’ initiative, he added. The RM exhorted them to begin the process of Research and Development with the young minds of the country which will increase the linkages among the industries and create an ecosystem through equal contribution from academia and research.

The RM emphasised that there is a lot of scope for the American and Indian defence Industries for co-production and co-development, adding that Indian industry can supply components to American Industries. Click here to read…

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

India and Russia discussed bilateral cooperation on security issues

On 08 September 2021, India’s National Security Adviser (NSA)— Ajit Doval and Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council— Nikolai Patrushev met in New Delhi and discussed deepening the bilateral cooperation on security issues and intensifying the joint efforts on special services and military establishments, with emphasis on anti-terror track, combating illegal migration and narcotics trafficking.

The humanitarian and migration crisis in Afghanistan, including the prospects for the India-Russia joint efforts for creating the launch of peaceful settlement process on the basis of an intra-Afghan dialogue was also discussed. Click here to read…

Africa
Nigeria
Around 6,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered in last few weeks: claimed Nigerian armed forces

In a statement released on 02 September 2021, the Nigerian armed forces informed that in last few weeks, more than 5,860 Boko Haram terrorists, including commanders, have surrendered with their families in the North-East zone. “Out of surrendered terrorists, 565 had been handed over to the government of North-Eastern Borno State for further management after thorough profiling”, said Spokesperson for the Nigerian armed forces— Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko. Click here to read…

Afghanistan
“Al-Qa’ida will rebuild in Afghanistan,” said CIA’s former Dy. Director Morell

Addressing an online forum hosted by the United States (US) Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia on 08 September, the former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—Michael Morell emphasised that the Taliban will provide safe-haven to al-Qa’ida and the latter intent to build its capability to attack the US at home. “Counter-terrorism efforts fall into a pattern in which their (al-Qa’ida’s) capabilities can be easily degraded by a focused effort, but easily rebuilds when the focus fades,” said Morell. Click here to read…

“Al-Qa’ida may seek a comeback in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan,” said the US Defense Secretary Austin

On 09 September 2021, the United States (US) Secretary of Defense— Llyod Austin said that the al-Qa’ida group that used Afghanistan as a staging base to attack the US 20 years ago, may attempt to regenerate there following the US withdrawal that has left the Taliban in power. “We have put the Taliban on notice that we expect them to not allow that happen”, Secretary of State Austin said, referring to the possibility of al-Qa’ida using Afghanistan as a staging base in the future. Click here to read…

“The UN must not give recognition to Taliban-led government in Afghanistan,” said Afghan envoy to the UN

On 09 September 2021, the Afghanistan Ambassador to the United Nations (UN)— Ghulam Isaczai urged that the UN should not recognise “caretaker” government formed by the Taliban which overthrew the democratically elected government in mid-August this year. “I….ask you [the UN] to withhold any recognition of any government in Afghanistan, unless it is truly inclusive and formed on the basis of the free will of the people,” said Ambassador Isaczai. Click here to read…

Pakistan
“Pakistan is involved in harbouring Taliban and the Haqqanis,” said the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Speaking at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on 13 September 2021, the United States (US) Secretary of State—Antony Blinken said that Pakistan has harboured the members of the Taliban, including terrorists of Haqqani Network (HQN), and needs to “line-up” with a broad majority of the international community regarding Afghanistan.

Pakistan has denied its deep ties with the Taliban and has been accused of supporting the group overtly and covertly. It (Pakistan) is also a nation where many senior Taliban leaders, including slain al-Qa’ida leader— Osama bin Laden, have escaped to after the US-led War on Terror in Afghanistan in 2001. Click here to read…

Pakistan continues to develop culture of violence, claimed India at the UN

In the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 07 September 2021, the First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN)— Vidisha Maitra said that Pakistan continues to foment a “culture of violence” at home and across the border; along with using the UN platform for hate speech against India. We dismiss and condemn all such efforts. Click here to read…

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
NH-44 is high on target of JeM and LeT: warned intelligence agencies

The Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) send intelligence inputs to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) indicating that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are planning to carry out a major attack along the National Highway-44 (NH-44) in Srinagar—from Qazigund to Khanabal.

Also, there have been reports of Masood Azhar (JeM’s leader) meeting Taliban’s top leaders in Kandahar in mid-August seeking support for anti-India operations. In 2021, around 272 youths from Kashmir went missing, and it is estimated that at least 82 of them have joined terrorist groups in the Valley, with 42 being recruited by LeT. Click here to read…

Security forces arrested a HM terrorist from Pulwama district

In a joint operation on 09 September 2021, the 50 Rashtriya Rifle (RR), Awantipora police, and the 185th Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), arrested a Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorist— Shahid Ahmed Khanday, from Androosa Khrew area of Awantipora area in Pulwama district.

During the search operation, security forces observed some suspicious movement in the area and noticed that a person was trying to flee; however, he was apprehended by the security forces personnel. Click here to read…

Pakistan’s ISI exporting IS-KP operatives to PoK for a major attack in Kashmir, claimed intelligence reports

The intelligence reports claimed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been exporting the Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) terrorists into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) with aim to carry out major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

These IS-KP terrorists were released from Afghan jails and returned to Pakistan after the Taliban overthrew the Ghani government in Afghanistan, amidst the United States (US) withdrawal from the country. Click here to read…

Left-Wing Extremism
In 2020, Maoist violence highest in Chhattisgarh: NCRB data

According to the annual report released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), on 14 September 2021, Chhattisgarh recorded the highest number of Maoist-related crimes in 2020. Followed by Jharkhand (133 cases registered) and Maharashtra (32 cases registered), Chhattisgarh topped in murders, loot, attempted murders, and arson by Maoists. Click here to read…

Police arrested senior Maoist leader from Odisha

On 14 September 2021, Odisha police arrested senior Maoist leader and Special Zonal Committee member of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC)—Dubbasi Shankar aka Mahender, from Koraput district in Odisha.

Reportedly, Dubbasi had moved out of the jungle terrain to undergo some medical treatment in Koraput district, where he was arrested by police’s special team. Click here to read…

52 Maoists, including sympathisers, surrendered in Telangana

On 09 September 2021, 52 Maoists, including village committee members and sympathisers, from four border villages of Charlamandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district in Telangana, surrendered before Superintendent of Police (SP).

Among those who surrendered were five women and seven minors from Pusuguppa, Battigudem, Bathinapalli, and Chennapuram villages. In November 2020, 33 Maoists, including village committee members, had surrendered before police. Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism
NIA filed charge-sheet against three IS operatives in Kerala module case

On 08 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge-sheet against three Islamic State (IS) operatives—Mohammed Ameen aka Abu Yahya, Mushab Anwar, and Rahees Rasheed. The case was registered on 05 March 2021, pertaining to terrorist activities of Mohammed Ameen and his associates. Mohammed Ameen have been running various IS propaganda on different social media platforms, including Telegram, Hoop, and Instagram. Click here to read…

NIA filed charge-sheet against an IS operative in ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case

On 03 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary charge-sheet against Shihabudeenaka Sirajudeenaka Khalid aka Rajesh—an Islamic State (IS) operative, in connection with ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case.

On 10 January 2020, the case was registered against Mehboob Pasha aka Abdullah, and 16 others, in several cases related to terrorism, and murder of Hindu leaders. Investigation has revealed that Shihabudeen was part of larger conspiracy and had collected & hand-over the arms & ammunition in Mumbai to other operatives to be used in the murder of the Special Sub-Inspector (SSI) Y Wilson in Tamil Nadu police. Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism inspired Extremism
NIA Special Court framed charges against eight KLF terrorists in connection to killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu, SC awardee

On 31 August 2021, the Special Judge for NIA (National Investigation Agency) cases, Mohali, framed charges against eight Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) terrorists— i) Sukhraj Singh aka Sukhaaka Lakhanpal, ii) Ravinder Singh aka Ravi Dhillon, iii) Akashdeep Arora aka Dhaliwal, iv) Jagroop Singh, v) Sukhdeep Singh aka Buraaka Bhura, vi) Gurjit Singh aka Bha, vii) Inderjit Singh, and viii) Sukhmeet Pal Singh aka Sukhaka SukhBhikariwal, in connection with murder of Comrade Balwinder Singh, Shaurya Chakra awardee. On 16 October 2020, two unidentified persons killed Comrade Balwinder Singh at his residence in Bhikhiwind, Taran Tarn district in Punjab. Click here to read…

North-East Region Insurgency
NIA filed charge-sheet against five ULFA-I operatives in 2019 Grenade Blast case

On 14 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary charge-sheet against five operatives of the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) in connection with 2019 Grenade Blast case. In 2019, two ULFA-I operatives threw grenade at a police party near Central Mall, RGB road, Guwahati, in which 12 people were injured. The self-styled commander-in-chief of ULFA-I—Paresh Baruah, took responsibility of the attack.

The charge-sheeted accused are identified as—Pappu Koch Bokoliyal aka BijoyAsom, Amrit Ballav Goswami, Paresh Baruah aka Paresh Asom, Arunodoy Dahotiya aka Bijit Gogoi, and Munna Baruah aka Munna Asom. Click here to read…

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

“Cyber-attacks increasingly targeting Australia’s Critical National Infrastructure”, claimed the ACSC

In a report published on 15 September 2021, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) informed that a quarter of cyber attacks reported to the Australian security officials over the past year have targeted the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and essential services, including healthcare, food distribution, and energy. The ransomware attacks increased by 15 per cent in the 2020-2021 financial year, as compared to the previous financial year. The ACSC received more than 67,500 reports of cyber-crime of all types in 2020-2021. Click here to read…

Indian start-up firm comes up with a device to prevent cyber-attacks

A Pune-based cyber security start-up firm—Elementik Technologies has launched “Byteseal”— a device to prevent identity-related cyber-attacks, such as phishing and credential thefts. The start-up incubated with Science and Technology Park in Pune and has raised ₹ 1 crore through the Park’s seed-funding scheme, supported by the Department of Science and Technology.

“Byteseal is a secure authentication device which helps subscribers manage their passwords in a more secure and simple way. The device carries the world’s most secure capacitive fingerprint sensor, wireless connectivity to phone and computer via Bluetooth technology and has a long-lasting rechargeable battery up to three months,” said Nikhilesh Wani—founder of the Elementik Technologies. Click here to read…

US keen to collaborate with Telangana State government in cyber security

The United States (US) government expressed its interest to explore ties with Telangana State government in cyber security areas, mainly crypto currency forensics, capacity building, and technology transfer. During her visit to India in August 2021, the US Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) for Cyber & Emerging Technologies— Anne Neuberger exchanged thoughts on potential cooperation with the State government of Telangana, represented by Industries & Commerce and IT Principal Secretary— Jayesh Ranjan.

Telangana State has been a forerunner in cyber security with dedicated efforts such as State policy, Hyderabad Security Cluster (HSC) and Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CSCE). Click here to read…

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16-31 August 2021

DEFENCE

  • Webinar between India & Malaysia on ‘Indian Defence Industry Global Outreach for Collaborative Partnership’.
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh to launch Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0.
  • Indian Navy undertakes bilateral maritime exercise with Vietnam People’s Navy.
  • ‘Joint guidance for the Australia – India navy to navy relationship’ signed between Indian Navy & Australian Navy.
  • DRDO develops Advanced Chaff Technology for Indian Air Force.
  • Indo-Kazakhstan joint training exercise to commence on 30 August 2021.
  • Commander, US Indo-Pacific Command calls on Chief of Defence Staff.
  • Indian Navy participates in Naval Exercise Malabar.
  • MoD signs Rs 1,350 crore contract for Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare Defence Suites with an Indian company.
  • Indian Navy’s Maiden Exercise with Algerian Navy.
  • BEL to supply of Naval Anti drone system.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Somalia
  • Somali army killed 60 al-Shabaab terrorists in Lower Shabelle.
  • “Al-Shabaab may try to imitate Taliban in Somalia”, warned security experts.
Afghanistan
  • Al-Qa’ida hailed Taliban for ‘liberating’ Afghans.
  • US drone targeted Islamic State terrorists in Kabul.
  • Foreign terrorists of IS-KP and al-Qa’ida entered Afghanistan via Pakistan, cited UN report.
  • Pakistan
    • “Pakistan engineered Taliban’s return to Kabul,” claimed US experts.

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM

    Jammu and Kashmir
    • Security forces eliminated three JeM terrorists in Pulwama.
    • NIA charge-sheeted seven terrorists in narco-terrorism case.
    • Security forces arrested six LeT terrorists from Bandipora.
    • Two HM terrorists were killed in CT operation in Pulwama.
    Left-Wing Extremism
    • Two high-ranking Maoists arrested in joint operations in Jharkhand.
    • Two ITBP personnel attained Veergati in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh.
    Islamic Extremism
    • NIA arrested two IS terrorists in ‘IS Kerala module case’ from Kerala.
    • BRICS adopted a new action plan to combat terrorism and terror-financing.
    Khalistan-inspired Extremism
    • Police arrested two ISYF terrorists from Kapurthala and Jalandhar districts.

    CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

    • Ragnarok ransomware threat actors released the ‘master key’ to decrypt infected files.
    • The US and Singapore pledged for deeper cooperation in cyber security.
    • Intelligent Waves won the contract from the USAF’s IW research project.
    • Interpol issued global alerts as cyber criminals target governments with COVID-19 vaccine scams.
    • Hackers stole records of T-Mobile’s 54.6 million customers.

    Defence

    Webinar between India & Malaysia on ‘Indian Defence Industry Global Outreach for Collaborative Partnership’.

    A webinar and expo between India & Malaysia on the theme ‘Indian Defence Industry Global Outreach for Collaborative Partnership’ was held on August 17, 2021. It was organised under the aegis of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence through Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM). Nine Indian companies, including Bharat Electronics Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, L&T Defence and Bharat Forge Limited, gave presentations on major defence platforms and products. From the Malaysian side, Aerospace Technology Systems Corporation, AMP Corporation, DEFTECH Unmanned Systems and Innopeak SDN BHD made company presentations.

    Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh to launch Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0

    Three years after the launch of Defence India Startup Challenge 1.0 (DISC), Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), DISC 5.0 was launched in New Delhi on August 19, 2021.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Indian Navy undertakes bilateral maritime exercise with Vietnam People’s Navy

    Indian Navy ships undertook bilateral maritime exercise with Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) frigate on 18 Aug 21. The bilateral interaction aims to consolidate the strong bond shared by the two navies and would be another step towards strengthening India-Vietnam defence relations. The Indian Naval ships arrived at Cam Ranh, Vietnam on 15 August 21 for harbour phase, the sea phase included surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills and helicopter operations. This visit also holds special importance as Indian Naval ships celebrated the country’s 75th Independence Day in Vietnam.

    ‘Joint guidance for the Australia – India navy to navy relationship’ signed between Indian Navy & Australian Navy

    The document was signed between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy on 18 August 2021. The document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreed by the Prime Ministers and aims to ensure shared approached to regional and global security challenges. The broad scope of the guidance is focussed on developing mutual understanding, cooperate for regional security; collaborate in mutually beneficial activities and to develop interoperability. The highlights of document include close cooperation in regional and multilateral fora, including Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Expert Working Groups subordinate to the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus framework.

    DRDO develops Advanced Chaff Technology for Indian Air Force

    Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) against hostile radar threats. Defence Laboratory Jodhpur, a DRDO laboratory developed the advanced Chaff material and chaff cartridge-118/I in collaboration with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), a Pune based laboratory of DRDO, meeting qualitative requirements of IAF. The Indian Air Force has started the process of induction of this technology after completion of successful user trials.

    Indo-Kazakhstan joint training exercise to commence on 30 august 2021

    As part of military diplomacy and to strengthen the growing strategic relation with Kazakhstan, the 5th edition of Indo- Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise, “KAZIND-21” will be conducted at Training Node, Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan, from 30 August to 11 September 2021. The exercise is a joint training between both the Armies, which will boost the bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan.
    The Indian Army contingent represented by a battalion of The Bihar Regiment consists of a total of 90 personnel led by a Contingent Commander. The Kazakhstan Army will be represented by a company group.
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    Commander, US Indo-Pacific Command calls on Chief of Defence Staff

    Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat held a meeting with Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (US INDOPACOM) Admiral John C Aquilino in New Delhi on August 25, 2021. Issues related to peace & security in the region and bilateral defence cooperation were part of the agenda for the meeting. Admiral Aquilino also held meetings with the Tri-Service Chiefs and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar. He is on an official visit to India from August 24-26, 2021.

    Indian Navy participates in Naval Exercise Malabar

    Indian Navy is participating in the sea phase of Exercise Malabar 2021 from 26 – 29 August 2021 along with the US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).This year marks the 25th edition of Ex Malabar, being hosted by USN in the Western Pacific.The Indian Navy’s participation includes INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt and P8I patrol aircraft led by Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. The US Navy will be represented by USS Barry, USNS Rappahannock, USNS Big Horn and P8A patrol aircraft. The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force will be represented by JS Kaga, Murasame and Shiranui, in addition to a submarine and P1 patrol aircraft. The Royal Australian Navy will be represented by HMAS Warramunga.
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    MoD signs Rs 1,350 crore contract for Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare Defence Suites with an Indian company

    Ministry of Defence (MoD) has concluded a contract with Mahindra Defence Systems Limited for procurement of 14 Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Defence Suites (IADS) at a cost of Rs 1,349.95 crore in New Delhi on August 27, 2021.
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    Indian Navy’s Maiden Exercise with Algerian Navy

    As part of her ongoing goodwill visit to Europe and Africa, INS Tabar took part in a Maritime Partnership Exercise with Algerian Navy ship ‘Ezzadjer’ on 29 Aug 21. The exercise, held off the Algerian coast, saw participation of a frontline Algerian warship, ‘Ezzadjer’.

    BEL to supply of Naval Anti drone system

    Indian Navy has signed contract with Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Limited (BEL) for supply of the first indigenous comprehensive Naval Anti Drone System (NADS) with both hard kill and soft kill capabilities in New Delhi on August 31, 2021.

    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

    Africa
    Somalia
    Somali army killed 60 al-Shabaab terrorists in Lower Shabelle

    On 17 August 2021, the Somali National Army (SNA) eliminated 60 al-Shabaab terrorists during a foiled attack on two military camps—Sabiid and Anole, in Lower Shabelle in Somalia. “We received intelligence inputs that the terrorists are grouped to attack outside Sabiid and Anole. Our soldiers killed 60 terrorists, including two al-Shabaab commanders,” said the SNA commander—Daud Abukar Abdi.
    On 02 April 2019, Somali security forces and African Union peacekeeping personnel liberated the strategic town of Sabiid.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    “al-Shabaab may try to imitate Taliban in Somalia”, warned security experts

    Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan may encourage other Islamic extremist groups, such as al-Shabaab in Somalia. “Somalia could see a similar development unless the Somali government ends its over-dependence on international security forces. Although al-Shabaab does not possess the military-like power of the Taliban, but nothing would stop them if they chose the similar path,” said former Somali intelligence official Abdulsalam Gulaid.

    According to the Somalia Transition Plan, approved by the government and the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, the AMISOM peacekeeping forces will gradually transfer security responsibilities to Somali security agencies before the complete pull-out. In July 2021, more than 250 al-Shabaab terrorists had been killed during Somali military operations unaided by AMISOM.
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    US drone targeted Islamic State terrorists in Kabul

    On 29 August 2021, a United States (US) drone strike killed a suicide car bomber, affiliated with Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) group, who was preparing to strike Kabul airport. Earlier, on 26 August 2021, an IS suicide bomber carried out an operation outside the Kabul airport in which 13 US troops were martyred and several Afghan civilians were killed.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Foreign terrorists of IS-KP and al-Qa’ida entered Afghanistan via Pakistan, cited UN report

    According to the United Nations (UN) Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring report, almost all foreign terrorists of Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) and al-Qa’ida have entered Afghanistan via Pakistan, and also, the leaders of these outfits along with those of the Taliban have been living in Pakistan. The report also established ties between IS-KP, Taliban, and al-Qa’ida.

    “The Taliban’s capture of Kabul has invited radical Islamic groups in the region to move into Afghanistan. The ‘creeping aggression’ of Pakistan will soon turn Afghanistan into a breeding ground of terror,” said Mahmoud Saikal, former Afghanistan envoy to the UN.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Pakistan
    “Pakistan engineered Taliban’s return to Kabul,” claimed US experts

    The United States (US) analysts claimed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) provided planning assistance, training expertise, and even the ground advice to the Taliban all through the operations leading up to the capture of Kabul. The US experts cited that in last three months, the Pakistani military waved a surge of new breed of terrorists across the border from sanctuaries inside Pakistan.
    “The Taliban would not be where they are without the assistance of the Pakistanis,” said Douglas London, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Counter-Terrorism chief for South and South-West Asia.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM

    Jammu and Kashmir
    Security forces eliminated three JeM terrorists in Pulwama

    On 21 August 2021, security forces eliminated three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists in a counter-terrorism (CT) operation in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Acting upon inputs, security forces launched Cordon and Search Operation (CaSO) in the forest area of Nagbaeran Tral in Pulwama district. The search operation led to the exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists after latter fired at the security forces.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA charge-sheeted seven terrorists in narco-terrorism case

    On 27 August 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary charge-sheet against seven terrorists—Showkat Salam Parray, Asif Gul, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Romesh Kumar, Mudasir Ahmed Dar, Amin Allaiaka Hilal Mir, Abdul Rashid, in a narco-terrorism case, in NIA Special Court, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

    On 11 June 2020, an accused terrorist—Abdul Momin Peer was intercepted Police Naka party at Kairo Bridge, Handwara. Abdul Peer was travelling from Baramulla to Handwara. During search cash amounting to ₹ 20,01,000 and two kilograms of Heroin was seized. The investigation has revealed that seven accused terrorists were involved in conspiracy for procuring and selling narcotic substances and generating funds in the J&K in close association with terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM).
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    Security forces arrested six LeT terrorists from Bandipora district

    Security forces, on 24 August 2021, arrested six Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists from Bandipora district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and recovered arms and ammunition from their possession. The arrested terrorists have been identified as MuzaffarMohiuddin Lone, Mohammad Amin Lone, RizwanQadir Lone, Imtiyaz Ahmad Lone, Javaid Ahmed Lone, and Mohammad Saleem Khan.

    “The preliminary investigation revealed that the arrested terrorists were providing shelter, logistics, and other support to the other active LeT terrorists in Bandipora district,” said a police official on the condition of anonymity.
    For more information: Click here to read…
    Two HM terrorists were killed in CT operation in Pulwama

    On 20 August 2021, security forces killed two Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists in an exchange of fire in the Pampore area of Awantipora in Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). “Both terrorists were part of the hit squad of HM responsible for killing civilians in South Kashmir. An AK-47 rifle, and a pistol was recovered from the operation site,” said J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Left-Wing Extremism
    Two high-ranking Maoists arrested in joint operations in Jharkhand

    In a joint anti-Naxal operation on 19-20 August 2021, the Jharkhand and Bihar police arrested two high-ranking Maoists—Ramesh Ganjhu and Pradyuman Sharma, from Chatra and Hazaribagh districts respectively.
    Ganjhu was involved in several ambushes against security forces in the past two decades across Jharkhand and Bihar. Pradyuman Sharma was arrested during a combing operation in forested area in Hazaribagh district.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Two ITBP personnel attained Veergati in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh

    On 20 August 2021, two Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel—Assistant Commandant Sudhakar Shinde, and Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Gurmukh Singh, attained Veergati in a Maoist attack in Narayanpur district in Chhattisgarh.
    “A squad from the Kadameta camp of the 45th Battalion of the ITBP, had gone on an area domination operation, when a small group of armed Maoists fired on them. The Maoists escaped with an AK-47 rifle, two bulletproof jackets, and a wireless set belonging to the security personnel,” said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Bastar—P Sundarraj.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Islamic Extremism
    NIA arrested two IS terrorists in ‘IS Kerala module case’ from Kerala.

    On 17 August 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested two Islamic State (IS) terrorists—Mizha Siddeeque and Shifa Harris, from Kerala in connection with ‘IS Kerala module case’. On 05 March 2021, NIA registered a suo moto case against Mohammed Ameen aka Abu Yahya and his associates, under Sections 120-B, 121, and 121-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 17, 18, 188, 20, 38, and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A].
    Investigations revealed that Mohammed Ameen have been running various IS propaganda channels on different social media platforms such as Telegram, Hoop, and Instagram for propagating violent ideology of IS, and radicalisation & recruitment of new members for the IS module.
    For more information:
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    BRICS adopted a new action plan to combat terrorism and terror-financing

    In the BRICS’s National Security Advisers (NSAs) meeting held virtually on 25 August 2021, the top security officials of the member nations adopted an action plan to boost practical cooperation in combating terrorism and terror financing. In action plan, India raised the issue of cross-border terrorism and activities of groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which enjoys ‘State-support’ and threaten peace and security of the region. The meeting was chaired by India’s NSA—Ajit Doval.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Khalistan-inspired Extremism
    Police arrested two ISYF terrorists from Kapurthala and Jalandhar districts.

    On 20 August 2021, Punjab police arrested two International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) terrorists—Gagandeep Singh and Gurmukh Singh, from Phagwara and Jalandhar respectively. Police recovered huge cache of live grenades and tiffin bomb, along with pistols and ammunition from their possession.
    During the investigation, Gagandeep Singh revealed that a large weapons consignment had been sent from across the border via drones over the last few months. The major part of the consignment is with his associate—Gurmukh Singh. Swiftly acting on information, police raided the Gurmukh’s house in Jalandhar and arrested him. During the search of Gurmukh’s house, police seized two live hand grenades, a box of detonators, two tubes suspected to contain RDX, one roll of high explosive yellow wire, Indian currency worth ₹ 3.75 lakh, a licensed pistol .45 bore, 14 Indian Passports, a .30 pistol along with two magazines.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

    Ragnarok ransomware threat actors released the ‘master key’ to decrypt infected files.

    In a sudden move, the Ragnarok ransomware group shutdown their cyber-attack and released the master key that can decrypt the files locked with their malware. The threat actor did not leave an explanatory note about the sudden move, however, replaced all the victims on their leak site with a short instruction on how to decrypt the files.
    The Ragnarok ransomware group has been around since January 2020 and claimed dozens of victims after making headlines for exploiting the ‘Citrix ADC vulnerability’ in 2020. The affected companies are of various sectors including manufacturing and legal services, and are based in France, Estonia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Thailand, the US, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Spain, and Italy.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    The US and Singapore pledged for deeper cooperation in cyber security

    On 23 August 2021, the United States (US) and Singapore have signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to strengthen their collaboration on cyber security across defence, financial, and research & development (R&D) sectors. One of these MoUs included an agreement between Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and the US Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to deepen the cooperation in cyber security beyond data sharing and exchanges.
    “Cyber threats do not adhere to borders, which is why international collaboration is a key part of the Biden-Harris administration’s approach to cyber security. The MoU allows us to strengthen our existing partnership with Singapore, so that we can more effectively work together to collectively defend against the threats of today and secure against the risks of tomorrow,” said CISA Director—Jen Easterly.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Intelligent Waves won the contract from the USAF’s IW Research Project

    Technology systems integrator—Intelligent Waves has been awarded an Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) contract worth USD 8.4 million, for the acceleration and implementation of advanced wireless communications in both continental and outside continental US regions. “We will leverage our combined 5G and information security expertise to help protect the nation’s most critical assets, ushering a next-generation of speed and security for operators in-country and OCONUS,” said Intelligent Waves’ CTO Marqus Hutchison.
    Under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense – Research & Engineering and the US Air Force Warfare Centre (AFWC), the Defense Department has established the “5G to Next G” program. Intelligent Waves will be tasked with building a localized, private full-scale 5G cellular network with nomadic towers/base stations (5G test-bed) to support secure connectivity between the disaggregated operations centres.
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    Interpol issued global alerts as cyber criminals target governments with COVID-19 vaccine scams

    The Interpol has issued a global alert for Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) attempting to defraud the governments with fake offers to sell COVID-19 vaccines. Some 60 cases in 40 countries around the world emerged where officials in health ministries and hospitals have received scam offers for COVID-19 vaccines approved for distribution in their country.
    Usually claiming to represent a vaccine manufacturer or a government agency facilitating the distribution of vaccines, the scammers are targeting both professional and personal email accounts of potential buyers, as well as making contact via phone.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Hacker stole records of T-Mobile’s 54.6 million customers

    After gaining unauthorised access through Brute Force into the T-Mobile network’s testing environments, an unidentified hacker stole data belonging to 54.6 million current, former, or prospective customers, containing Social Security Numbers (SSNs), phone numbers, names, addresses, dates of birth, prepaid PINs, and driver license/ID information. However, the attacker could not exfiltrate customer financial information, credit card information, debit or any other payment information.
    “The bad actor leveraged their knowledge of technical systems, along with specialised tools and capabilities, to gain access to our testing environments and then used brute force attacks and other methods to make their way into other IT servers that included customer data,” said Mike Sievert—T-Mobile’s CEO.
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