VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 October 2021
Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF

DEFENCE

  • India and US to set-up joint working group in defence industrial security
  • Major road projects launched in Ladakh to be constructed by BRO
  • 8th Edition of India Sri Lanka bilateral joint exercise Mitra Shakti
  • 15th Edition of Indo-Nepal joint training exercise
  • India – Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise- JIMEX
  • 6th Edition of India - UK joint company level military training exercise Ajeya Warrior
  • India-US defence policy group (DPG) Meeting in Washington DC
  • Second Phase of Multilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar
  • 13th round of India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting
  • Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy on a five day visit to India
  • Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visit to Sri Lanka
  • Indo-US joint military training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2021
  • Seven defence companies, carved out of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

West Asia
  • “Iran—a sincere and loyal ally,” said Hizbu’llah chief Nasrallah
  • Senior al-Qa’ida commander killed in an airstrike in Syria.
Africa
Somalia
  • Somali National Army killed seven al-Shabaab terrorists in the Lower Shabelle region
Afghanistan
  • At G20 Leaders’ Summit, Indian PM cautioned on terrorism from Afghanistan
  • Islamic State claimed a suicide bombing on a mosque in Kunduz province
Pakistan
  • Islamic State-Khurasan Province claimed killing of a Sikh physician in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

  • NIA arrested former LTTE operative from Tamil Nadu
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Two terrorists killed in CT operations in Anantnag and Bandipora
  • NIA raided multiple location in J&K and arrested three IS operatives in “ISIS Voice of Hind” case
  • Security forces killed a JeM commander in Pulwama
  • NIA raided multiple locations in J&K and arrested 09 terrorists in ‘terrorism conspiracy’ case
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against TuM terrorists in ‘Poonch-TuM conspiracy’ case
Left-Wing Extremism
  • STF officials arrested three people, including a Maoist, from Bihar
  • NIA raided multiple locations across Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu in ‘Edakkara Maoist’ case
  • Police arrested a PhD scholar for ‘Maoist links’, from Telangana
Islamic Extremism
  • NIA Special Court sentenced three al-Qa’ida—base movement terrorists in ‘Mysuru Court blast’ case
  • NIA charge-sheeted an Islamic State operative in ‘ISIS-Madurai Hizbut-Tahrir module’ case
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • Police arrested four operatives of KTF, from Moga

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

  • CSCoE-DSCI and Tech Mahindra to join hands to boost cyber security innovation in India.
  • GoI’s Ministry of Power, New & Renewable Energy released guidelines for cyber security in Power sector

DEFENCE

India and US to set-up joint working group in defence industrial security

The Industrial Security Agreement (ISA) summit between India and the United States was held between September 27to October 01, 2021 at New Delhi. The summit was organised to develop protocol for the exchange of classified information between the defence industries of both the nations.During the summit, both the sides agreed in-principle to establish the Indo-US Industrial Security Joint Working Group.This group will meet periodically to align the policies and procedures expeditiously that will allow the defence industries to collaborate on cutting edge defence technologies. Click here to read...

Major road projects launched in Ladakh to be constructed by BRO

Construction on 05 major road infrastructure development projects was launched from Turtuk, the northernmost village of India. The 05 projects started include preparation of greenfield alignment and upgradation of major single lane roads to double-lane (NHDL specification) and tunnelling works. Construction of road Hanuthang-Handanbroke-Zungpal-Turtuk, the 26.6 Km long greenfield road is planned to provide inter valley connectivity between Hanuthang-Handanbroke (Indus Valley) and Zungpal-Turtuk (Shyok Valley) across the Stakpuchan Range. This will also reduce the travel time to Three and Half Hours from existing Nine Hours to Turtuk via Leh without crossing the treacherous Khardungla pass. Up-gradation of 4 major single lane roads has also commenced. Click here to read...

8th Edition of India Sri Lanka bilateral joint exercise Mitra Shakti

The 8th Edition of India Sri Lanka bilateral joint Exercise Mitra Shakti will be conducted at Combat Training School, Ampara in Sri Lanka from 4 to 15 October 2021. An all arms contingent of 120 personnel of the Indian Army will participate in the exercise along with a battalion of the Sri Lankan Army. Click here to read...

15th Edition of Indo-Nepal joint training exercise

The 15th Edition of Indo-Nepal Joint Training Exercise Surya Kiran culminated on 02 Oct 2021 at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand after 14 days of rigorous training. The Joint Exercise, which began on 20 Sep 2021, was focused on Counter Terrorism and Disaster Relief operations. Click here to read...

India – Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise- JIMEX

The 5th edition ofthe bilateral maritime exercise JIMEX, between Japan and India, was conducted in the Arabian Sea from06 – 08 October2021. Click here to read...

6th Edition of India - UK joint company level military training exercise Ajeya Warrior

The 6th Edition of India - UK joint company level military training exercise Ajeya Warrior has commenced at Chaubatia, Uttarakhand and will culminate on 20 Oct 2021. The exercise is part of an initiative to develop inter-operability and sharing expertise with friendly foreign nations. During this exercise, an Infantry Company from Indian Army and an equivalent strength from UK Army would be sharing their experiences gained during the conduct of various military operations in their respective countries and during overseas engagements. Click here to read...

India-US defence policy group (DPG) Meeting in Washington DC

Defence Secretary of India and the US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, co-chaired the 16th meeting of the India-US Defence Policy Group (DPG) on 08 October 2021 in Washington DC.The two sides reviewed the progress in operationalising India-US Major Defence Partnership, mil-to-mil engagements, implementation of foundational defence agreements, defence exercises, strengthening technology cooperation and defence trade. Both sides shared regional security perspectives and cooperation, and to work together to promote shared interests in the Indo Pacific region.The two sides reviewed preparation for the forthcoming 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. It was agreed to hold the next DPG meeting in India on mutually convenient dates. Click here to read...

Second Phase of Multilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar

The Indian Navy (IN) would be participating in the Second Phase of Multilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar along with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the United States Navy (USN). The exercise is being conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 12 – 15 Oct 2021. First Phase of the exercise was conducted in the Philippines Sea from 26 – 29 Aug 2021. Click here to read...

13th round of India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting

The 13th round of India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting was held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on 10th October 2021. During the meeting the discussions between the two sides focussed on resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. The Indian side pointed out that the situation along the LAC had been caused by unilateral attempts of Chinese side to alter the status quo and in violation of the bilateral agreements. It was therefore necessary that the Chinese side take appropriate steps in the remaining areas so as to restore peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the Western Sector. This would also be in accord with the guidance provided by the two Foreign Ministers in their recent meeting in Dushanbe where they had agreed that the two sides should resolve the remaining issues at the earliest. The Indian side emphasised such resolution of the remaining areas would facilitate progress in the bilateral relations. During the meeting, the Indian side therefore made constructive suggestions for resolving the remaining areas but the Chinese side was not agreeable and also could not provide any forward-looking proposals. The meeting thus did not result in resolution of the remaining areas.

The two sides have agreed to maintain communications and also to maintain stability on the ground. It is our expectation that the Chinese side will take into account the overall perspective of bilateral relations and will work towards early resolution of the remaining issues while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols. Click here to read...

Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy on a five day visit to India

During the visit, Admiral Gilday will interact with Chief of the Naval Staff, in addition to other high ranking GoI officials. Admiral Gilday is scheduled to visit Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command (at Mumbai) and Eastern Naval Command (at Visakhapatnam) wherein he would interact with the respective Commander-in-Chiefs. He is also scheduled to embark the USN Carrier Strike Group off the East Coast of India alongwith an Indian delegation. Click here to read...

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visit to Sri Lanka

General MM Naravane, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has proceeded on his first visit to Sri Lanka from 12 to 16 October 2021. During the visit, he will be meeting with the Service Chiefs, visit the Headquarters of the Sri Lankan Army, the Gajaba Regimental Headquarters and the Sri Lankan Military Academy. The COAS will witness the culmination phase of the joint exercise between India and Sri Lanka, “Exercise Mitra Shakti”. Click here to read...

Indo-US joint military training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2021

As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, the joint military training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2021 will be conducted at joint base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (USA) from 15 to 29 October 2021. The contingent, comprising of 350 personnel of an Infantry Battalion Group departed on 14 October 2021 from India. Exercise Yudh Abhyas is the largest running joint military training and defence cooperation endeavor between India and USA. This will be the 17th Edition of the joint exercise which is hosted alternately between both countries. Click here to read...

Seven defence companies, carved out of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)

To enhance functional autonomy, efficiency and unleash new growth potential & innovation, Government had decided to convert OFB from a Government Department into seven 100 per cent Government-owned corporate entities as a measure to improve self-reliance in the defence preparedness of the country. The seven new Defence companies are: Munitions India Limited (MIL); Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI); Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India); Troop Comforts Limited (TCL) (Troop Comfort Items); Yantra India Limited (YIL); India Optel Limited (IOL) and Gliders India Limited (GIL). These companies have commenced business from October 01, 2021. Click here to read...

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

West Asia
“Iran—a sincere and loyal ally,” said Hizbu’llah chief Nasrallah

On 07 October 2021, during the meeting with the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister—Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Secretary-General of Hizbu’llah—Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah thanked Iran for standing with the Lebanese people, government, and the resistance movement since decades ago. “Iran has proven that it is sincere and loyal ally, and it does not leave its friends alone at difficult times,” said Hizbu’llah chief Nasrallah.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Abdollahian and Nasrallah also assessed the recent political developments in Lebanon. Click here to read...

Senior al-Qa’ida commander killed in an airstrike in Syria

On 01 October 2021, the United States (US) military released the identification of a senior al-Qa’ida commander killed in an airstrike in the Idlib region in Syria on 20 September 2021. In a statement released by the Centcom, its spokesman John Rigsbee confirmed that Salim Abu Ahmad, a senior al-Qa’ida commander was killed in an airstrike. Salim was responsible for planning, funding, and approving trans-regional al-Qa’ida attacks. Click here to read...

Africa
Somalia
Somali National Army killed seven al-Shabaab terrorists in the Lower Shabelle region

On 04 October 2021, the Somali National Army (SNA)’s Special Forces (Danab) eliminated seven al-Shabaab terrorists in a counter-terrorism (CT) operation in the Lower Shabelle region. Several terrorists were injured, and their hideouts were destroyed during the CT operation in Busley and Bulo-Alundi villages under the Janale area, after the SNA received intelligence inputs about al-Shabaab’s presence in those locations. Click here to read...

Afghanistan/h5>

At G20 Leaders’ Summit, Indian PM cautioned on terrorism from Afghanistan

On 12 October 2021, while addressing the G20 Leaders’ Summit, the Indian Prime Minister (PM)—Narendra Modi underlined the need to ensure Afghanistan did not become a source of radicalisation and terrorism, regionally or globally, and reiterated India’s call for an inclusive government that has women and minorities. The G20 Summit focused on issues related to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, terrorism and Human Rights. Click here to read...

Islamic State claimed a suicide bombing on a mosque in Kunduz province

On 08 October 2021, Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a mosque in Kunduz province in Afghanistan. Around 46 people were killed, including the attacker, and 140 were injured in the attack. The mosque is used by the Shi’ites—a minority Muslim community in Afghanistan. Click here to read...

Pakistan
Islamic State-Khurasan Province claimed killing of a Sikh physician in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) claimed responsibility of murdering a renowned Sikh ‘Hakeem’ – Sardar Satnam Singh (Khalsa) at his clinic in Peshawar city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On 30 September 2021, unidentified gunmen barged into Satnam Singh’s cabin and opened fire at him. The gunmen managed to escape the crime scene.
Hakeem Sardar Satnam Singh was a well-known figure in the Sikh community and was practicing Unani medicine at his clinic ‘Dharmandar Pharmacy’ on Charsadda Road in Peshawar, for the past 20 years. Click here to read...
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DOMESTIC TERRORISM

NIA arrested former LTTE operative from Tamil Nadu

On 05 October 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested a former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) operative— Satkunam aka Sabesan, a Sri Lankan citizen, from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Satkunam was arrested in connection of smuggling of arms & drugs from Pakistan to Sri Lanka and utilising the proceeds for furthering the revival of the Tamil militant organisation—LTTE.

In beginning of this year, the NIA had taken over an investigation against six Sri Lankan nationals, following the seizure of five AK-47 rifles, thousands of 9mm ammunition, along with 300 kilograms of Heroin from a fishing vessel intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the Coast of Minicoy in Lakshadweep on 18 March 2021. Click here to read...

Jammu and Kashmir
Two terrorists killed in CT operations in Anantnag and Bandipora

In two separate counter-terrorism (CT) operations on 11 October 2021, security forces eliminated two terrorists in Anantnag and Bandipora districts. In an operation in Anantnag, security forces had carried out a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in Khagund in Verinag area. The CASO turned into a gun-battle in which a terrorist was eliminated.

In second operation, security forces killed a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)/The Resistance Front (TRF)’s terrorist— Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar, in Gundjahangir in Bandipora district. Click here to read...

NIA raided multiple location in J&K and arrested three IS operatives in ‘ISIS Voice of Hind’ case

On 08 October 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted search operations at 08 locations in Srinagar, and Anantnag districts of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and arrested three Islamic State (IS) operatives— i) Tawheed Latief aka Limon, ii) Suhail Ahmad, and iii) Afshan Parvez.

The case is related to the conspiracy hatched by the IS to radicalise and recruit Indian Muslim youth to wage jihad against India. In order to radicalise and recruit, IS organised campaign over the cyberspace which is supplemented by on-ground terror financing activities. Earlier, the NIA had arrested four IS operatives in the case. Click here to read...

Security forces killed a JeM commander in Pulwama

On 13 October 2021, security forces killed a top commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)— Sham Sofi, in a counter-terrorism (CT) operation in Tral area of Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Click here to read...

NIA raided multiple locations in J&K and arrested 09 terrorists in ‘terrorism conspiracy’ case

On 12-13 October 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided 18 locations in Srinagar, Pulwama, and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and arrested 09 terrorists in “J&K terrorism conspiracy case”. The arrested terrorists are identified as— i) Waseem Ahmed Sofi, ii) Tariq Ahmed Dar, iii) Bilal Ahmed Mir, iv) Tariq Ahmed Bafanda, v) Mohammad Haneef Chiralu, vi) Hafeez, vii) Owais Dar, viii) Mateen Bhat, and ix) Arif Farooq Bhat.

The case is related to the conspiracy of carrying out terrorist attacks in J&K, and other major cities in India, by operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM), al-Badr, and other terror outfits, including The Resistance Front (TRF) and People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF). The preliminary investigation revealed that the arrested terrorists have been instrumental in providing logistic support to terrorists and facilitating them to carryout terror acts. Click here to read...

NIA filed charge-sheet against TuM terrorists in ‘Poonch-TuM conspiracy’ case

On 04 October 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed supplementary charge-sheet against two Tehreekul-Mujahideen (TuM) terrorists— i) Shaid Naveed, and ii) Zafar Iqbal aka Shamsheer, under Section 120-B read with Sections 121-A & 122 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 7 & 25 of Arms Act, Sections 3 & 4 of Explosive Substance Act (ESA), and Sections 17, 18, 38, & 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A].

The accused were part of large conspiracy hatched by Pakistan-based TuM’s handlers and their associates based in Poonch and Kuwait to carry out terror acts and to wage jihad against India. Click here to read...

Left-Wing Extremism
STF officials arrested three people, including a Maoist, from Bihar

In three separate operations carried out on 08 October 2021, officials of the Special Task Force (STF) arrested three people, including a Maoist, from Gopalganj, Muzaffarpur, and Lakhisarai districts in Bihar, and recovered carbine & live cartridges from their possession.
In first incident, the Gopalganj police along with the STF team arrested Dilip Kumar Sharma from Narainian village in Gopalganj district.

Another team of STF officials arrested a Maoist—Rambabu Prasad from DeraChowk in Muzaffarpur district. In third operation, the STF team arrested Bambam Singh, a notorious criminal, from Lakhisarai district. Bambam Singh had been evading arrest in an illegal arms recovery case registered in 2020. Click here to read...

NIA raided multiple locations across Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu in ‘Edakkara Maoist’ case

On 12 October 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided 20 locations across Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu in connection with “Edakkara Maoist” case. The case is related to the conspiracy by CPI (Maoist) operatives for conducting training camp, arms training, flag hoisting, and celebrations for formation day of CPI (Maoist) during the last week of September 2016 in the Nilambur forest area and also for engaging in anti-national acts, threatening the unity, integrity, and security of India. Click here to read...

Police arrested a PhD scholar for ‘Maoist links’, from Telangana

On 03 October 2021, Telangana police arrested K Srinivas Goud, a PhD scholar at Osmania University, for his alleged links and encouraging people to join the banned CPI (Maoist) party. Srinivas was in alleged possession of Maoist literature and was also involved in the collection of money from various sources in support of the party. Click here to read...

Islamic Extremism
NIA Special Court sentenced three al-Qa’ida—base movement terrorists in ‘Mysuru Court blast’ case

On 11 October 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court (Bengaluru) sentenced three al-Qa’ida—base movement terrorists— i) Nainar Abbas Ali, ii) Samsun Karim Raja, and iii) Sulaiman, in 2016 Mysuru Court blast case. Click here to read...

NIA charge-sheeted an Islamic State operative in ‘ISIS-Madurai Hizbut-Tahrir module’ case

On 06 October 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge-sheet against a Hizbut-Tahrir (HuT) operative—Abdullah aka Saravana Kumar, in NIA Special Court (Chennai), for his involvement in uploading provocative posts on his Facebook account, supporting and disseminating the ideology of the Islamic State (IS).

Investigation revealed that Abdullah is a ‘highly’ radicalised HuT operative and was willingly associated himself with IS recruiters with intentions to further the ideology and support the activities of the terrorist organisation—IS. Click here to read...

Khalistan-inspired Extremism
Police arrested four operatives of KTF, from Moga

On 01 October 2021, Punjab Police arrested four operatives— i) Amandeep Singh aka Machher, ii) Jaswinder Singh aka Jassu, iii) Balraj Singh, and iv) Arun Sarwan, of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), from Moga. The arrested operatives were close aid of KTF operative— Arshdeep Singh aka Arsh Dala, who is a close associate of KTF’s chief— Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Click here to read...

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

CSCoE-DSCI and Tech Mahindra to join hands to boost cyber security innovation in India

To drive and strengthen the cyber security innovation ecosystem in India, Tech Mahindra Limited has partnered with the Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CSCoE)-Data Security Council of India (DSCI). The CSCoE is a joint initiative of Telangana government and the DSCI to create a safe, secure, and trusted cyberspace.

“With cyber threats becoming a serious concern in the digitally-driven environment, cyber security has become a mandate for every organisation across sectors. The partnership between Tech Mahindra and CSCoE-DSCI is aimed to further fuel the cyber security innovation ecosystem in India by co-innovating with latest research, technologies, and global community of experts to start-ups, to provide the most reliable, flexible, and scalable cyber security and enterprise risk management services to organisations worldwide,” said Rajesh Dhuddu, Blockchain and Cyber Security Practice Leader of APAC and EMEA at Tech Mahindra. Click here to read...

GoI’s Ministry of Power, New & Renewable Energy released guidelines for cyber security in Power sector

On 07 October 2021, under the direction of the Ministry of Power, New & Renewable Energy, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) released the guidelines for cyber security in the Power sector. The guidelines lay down the actions required to raise the level of cyber security preparedness through a cyber assurance framework. The norms have been prepared after intensive deliberations with stakeholders and inputs from expert agencies in the field of cyber security, including CERT-In, NCIIPC, NSCS, and IIT-Kanpur.

The guidelines also mandate ICT-based procurement from identified ‘trusted sources’ and ‘trusted products’ or else the product has to be tested for malware/hardware trojans before deployment for use in the Power Supply System Network (PSSN). Click here to read...

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