Tag Archives: Terrorism

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.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    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.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    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.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    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.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    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).
    For more information:
    Click here to read…

    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:
    Click here to read…

    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.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    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.
    For more information: Click here to read… ; Click here to read…