VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies and Terrorism, 16-30 September, 2019
  • Validation and Closing Ceremony Indo-Thailand Joint Military Exercise ‘Maitree’ 2019;
  • Sea Phase of maiden IN-RSN-RTN Trilateral Exercise Commences;
  • Validation Exercise and Closing Ceremony: Exercise Yudh Abhyas – 2019;
  • Curtain Raiser: INDO-KAZAKHSTAN Joint Military Exercise KAZIND – 2019;
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh commissions indigenously built submarine INS Khanderi;
  • Raksha Mantri also commissions Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Varaha’;
  • Raksha Mantri launches Navy's first new stealth frigate, INS ‘Nilgiri’;
  • India to achieve USD 26 Billion Defence Industry by 2025;
  • Government committed to defence modernisation to fulfil nation’s aspirations: Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik.
International Terrorism:
  • India and France conduct meetings as part of CT partnership.
  • Nigeria- Boko Haram terrorist attack military camp in Borno State.
  • US designats TTP chief as global terrorist.
Domestic Terrorism:
Jammu and Kashmir
  • “Around 230 terrorists ready to infiltrate into J&K”, said NSA;
  • Terrorism graph is declining in J&K, says J&K police chief;
  • Police arrest three people for publicising JeM posters in Pulwama;
  • Security Forces kill four terrorists in separates incidents in Ganderbal & Ramban;
  • Police arrest three people for aiding terror activities;
  • NIA files Charge sheet against four JeM terrorists.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • Police kill three Maoists in Visakhapatnam district.
Khalistan-Inspired Extremism
  • 10 sorties of drones in eight days dropped arms and ammunitions in Punjab.
Islamist Extremism in India (including Islamic State)
  • Jharkhand ATS arrested AQIS terrorist from Jamshedpur;
  • Police arrest JeM terrorist from Haryana.
Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective):
  • Google establishes AI research lab in Bengaluru;
  • Indian Army conducted seminar on AI and its use in modern warfare.
Validation and Closing Ceremony Indo-Thailand Joint Military Exercise Maitree – 2019

Exercise MAITREE-2019, the joint military training exercise between Indian Army (IA) & Royal Thailand Army (RTA), which commenced on 16 Sep 19, culminated on 29 Sep 2019 at Foreign Training Node, Umroi (Meghalaya). During the 14 days, contingents of both armies shared their expertise and experiences in counter terrorism operations and enhanced interoperability. The scope of the exercise encompassed joint training in various facets of counter terrorism operations in urban and jungle environments.

The training culminated with a 48 hours outdoor exercise in which troops carried out cordon and search operation in a mock village. The validation exercise was reviewed by Brigadier Anil Raman. The Thailand side was represented by Col Pana Cleawplodtook. Click here to read...

Sea Phase of maiden IN-RSN-RTN Trilateral Exercise Commences

Sea Phase of maiden SITMEX-19 (Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise), commenced in the Andaman Sea from 18 Sep 19. IN Ships Ranvir, a Guided Missile Destroyer, Kora, a Missile Corvette, Sumedha, an Offshore Patrol Vessel along with Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8I are jointly exercising with RSS Tenacious, a Formidable-class Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and HTMS Kraburi, a Guided Missile Frigate and engaged in various gunnery, force protection measures, air defence and communication exercises to enhance maritime interoperability between the participating navies. Sea Riders have also been exchanged between participating ships to provide experience sharing of best practices.

Earlier, the harbour phase of SITMEX-19 culminated at Port Blair and included professional interaction in the form of Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE), Pre-Sail Conferences which was attended by Command teams and friendly basketball matches between joint teams drawn from participating ships. Click here to read...

Validation Exercise and Closing Ceremony: Exercise Yudh Abhyas – 2019

Soldiers from 5-20 Infantry Battalion of US Army and The Assam Regiment from the Indian Army concluded Exercise Yudh Abhyas – 2019 at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), Washington, USA on 18 September 2019. Yudh Abhyas - 2019 is an annual, US Army sponsored Theatre Security Cooperation Program bilateral exercise designed to strengthen bilateral partnership. The training was focused on counter-insurgency & counter-terrorist operations in an urban environment. Helicopter based mobilisation of teams for quick response was also practiced. The initial days of field training comprised of platoon level training on basic manoeuvres, which then progressed towards company level operations.

The two Armies gained from each other's expertise and experience in conduct of platoon and company level operations. In addition, the lndian contingent got a first-hand experience of operating with the 'Stryker' Infantry Combat Vehicle and the US Army gained an insight on training of an infantry unit in mountainous terrain. Click here to read...

Curtain Raiser: Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Military Exercise

The Joint Military Exercise KAZIND-2019 between India and Kazakhstan will be conducted at Pithoragarh from 02 to 15 October 2019. The exercise will comprise of nearly 100 soldiers from both Indian and Kazakhstan Army sharing their experience during conduct of various counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in the past. This is the fourth edition of the Exercise KAZIND-2019, an annual event which is conducted alternatively in Kazakhstan and India. The aim of this exercise is to conduct company level joint training with emphasis on counter terrorism operations in mountainous terrain.

The joint military exercise will enhance the level of defence cooperation further fostering bilateral relations between the two nations. Click here to read...

Raksha Mantri Commissions Indigenously Built Submarine INS Khanderi

Emphasising the government’s deep commitment to modernisation programmes, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh said on 27 Sep 2019 at the Commissioning Ceremony of indigenously built submarine INS Khanderi in Mumbai, that due impetus has been given for timely acquisition of state-of-the-art weapons, sensors and platforms. He added that the Government has given more freedom to the armed forces to take decisions in the nation’s interest. “We are committed to far-reaching changes in our defence preparedness”, he said.

Raksha Mantri assured that the Indian Navy will not pose any threat to any peace-loving nation but will build a sense of confidence and mutual trust with all big-small nations in the Indian Ocean Region. Highlighting PM Modi’s “Security and Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR) the Defence Minister said, “We believe in peaceful and mutually beneficial co-existence with our neighbours”. Raksha Mantri added that protected sea lanes have a positive impact on trade. Describing INS Khanderi as a ‘potent combatant’, Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated the Navy and the Western Naval Command on its induction and for achieving very high levels of operational preparedness prior its commissioning. He said it is a matter of great pride that India is one of the few countries capable of constructing their own Submarine.

INS Khanderi is the second of Kalvari Class diesel electric attack submarines of the Indian Navy. It has been built in India to the French Scorpene design and is the second submarine of the Project-75. INS Khanderi is the follow-on to INS Kalvari, which was the first of the French origin Scorpene class submarines being indigenously constructed in India and commissioned by the Prime Minister in 2017. INS Khanderi has undergone comprehensive sea trials, torpedo and missile firings to validate her fighting capability. Click here to read...

Raksha Mantri Commissions Coast Guard Ship ‘Varaha’

Speaking at the Commissioning Ceremony of Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ‘Varaha’ in Chennai on 25 Sep 2019, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh called for proactive coordination among all agencies and stakeholders involved in coastal security to achieve the common goal of national security. He expressed the hope that ICGS ’Varaha’ will enhance the surveillance and patrolling capabilities of Indian Coast Guard and reinforce their role as ‘Sentinels of our Seas’.

Raksha Mantri described ICGS ’Varaha’ as a fine example of collaboration with industry and ‘Make in India’ where Larsen & Toubro (L&T) shipbuilding has played a very important role in production and maintenance of our sea-based assets. Rajnath Singh urged the private sector to develop naval equipment of stringent standards. The Government has taken a conscious decision to encourage other shipyards, including private yards, to enter the specialised field of warship-construction. Raksha Mantri also commended ‘Swachh Sagar Abhiyan’ of Indian Coast Guard in line with ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ saying that “Clean oceans are important for India’s Economic prosperity and sustainability”. He said, ICGS ‘Varaha’ is capable of carrying Pollution response equipment.

Earlier, ICGS ‘Varaha’, the state-of-the-art offshore patrol vessel, was commissioned into the Coast Guard fleet. It is the fourth among the series of seven ships to be delivered by L&T with features like ultra-advanced navigation, communication sensors and machinery. Click here to read...

Raksha Mantri launches Navy's first new Stealth Frigate, INS ‘Nilgiri’

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh today said, the Government is making concerted efforts to modernise the Navy and equip it with the best platforms, weapons and sensors to deal with any conventional and unconventional threats to India’s maritime interests. Shri Rajnath Singh was speaking at the launch of INS ‘Nilgiri’, the first of the Navy's seven new stealth frigates, at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai on 29 Sep 2019.

Shri Rajnath Singh emphasised on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Design and Make in India’ with regard to defence equipment. He highlighted that Directorate of Naval Design has designed over 19 classes of ships to which more than 90 ships have been built since then. Click here to read...

India to achieve USD 26 Billion Defence Industry by 2025

Raksha Mantri said the Government is committed to working towards achieving a USD 26 billion Defence industry by 2025. Addressing the second annual session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, he said the Defence sector has been identified as one of the most prominent sectors under “Make in India” Initiative to realize USD 5 Trillion Economy by 2024. Underlining the need to reduce dependency on arms imports, Raksha Mantri said several steps have been taken under the “Make in India” initiative to make the country a major Defence manufacturing hub and net Defence exporter. The Government would not hesitate to initiate more measures, if required, he added.

Shri Rajnath Singh said, the government has simplified industry licensing process, increased the FDI cap and taken necessary steps to promote Defence exports. He said, Defence offset policy has been streamlined and government owned trial and testing facility has been provided to private sector. Two Defence industrial corridors have been launched in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Elaborating the Government’s initiatives to promote Start-Ups and MSMEs, the Minister said that at present over 8000 MSMEs are engaged in Defence production. Efforts are on to double this figure to 16,000.

Referring to the strong IT industry of the country, Shri Rajnath Singh said that a road map has been prepared to promote Artificial Intelligence in national security to make India a significant power in Defence Artificial Intelligence (AI). Click here to read...

Government committed to Defence Modernisation, says Raksha Rajya Mantri Shripad Naik

Raksha Rajya Mantri Shripad Naik reiterated government’s commitment in pursuing defence modernisation to fulfil the aspirations of the 130-crore Indians and domestic Defence Industry. Addressing India Defence & Security Expo 2019 on the theme ‘Make in India 2.0’ at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi on 27 Sep 2019, Shri Naik said, “It is time, Indian Armed Forces fought wars in the Subcontinent with Indian industry made weapon systems”. Underlining the significance of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Defence Production, the RRM called upon all concerned to focus on MSMEs, saying they are employment generators, innovators, focussed with niche expertise, flexible, adaptive and resilient. Click here to read...

International Terrorism
India and France conduct Meetings as part of CT Partnership

From 01 to 04 October, France hosted the delegation from India’s three agencies: The NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), and the NIA (National Investigation Agency), as part of their bilateral Counter-Terrorism (CT) partnership. This activity, specifically deal with the ‘Bio-terrorism threat management’. From France, the members of the DGSCGC (Directorate General for Civil Security and Crisis Management), the BSPP (Paris Fire Brigade), and the GBGN (National Gendarmerie’s Armoured Division) participated in the bilateral meetings. Click here to read...

Nigeria: Boko Haram Terrorist Attacked Military Camp in Borno State

On 15 September, Boko Haram terrorists launched gun attack and suicide bombing targeting a military camp outside the Maiduguri University in Nigeria’s Borno State. Following the attack, troops were forced to withdraw before a suicide bomber detonated his explosives. Fortunately, no casualties were reported during the attack. The terrorists waded away through deep trenches dug around the university, said the Head of the Rapid Response Team—Bello Dambatta. Click here to read...

Pakistan: US designates TTP chief as Global Terrorist

On 10 September, the United States’ Department of State imposed sanctions and designated the chief of proscribed terrorist group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)—Noor Wali Mehsud as a global terrorist. Following the death of TTP’s previous chief Mullah Fazlullah, Mehsud took over the TTP in June 2018. Since its inception in 2007, TTP continues to be a potent threat and one of the most violent terrorist organisations based in Pakistan. Reportedly, over the past 12 years, TTP has been involved in more than 1,400 terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Click here to read...

Domestic Terrorism
Jammu and Kashmir
“Around 230 Terrorists are ready to Infiltrate into J&K”, said NSA

National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval has said that around 230 terrorists were trying to infiltrate into different locations in J&K, as Pakistan continued to instigate violence in the Valley. The estimate of terrorist counts is based on radio intercepts and intelligence inputs from the ground. Some of the terrorists were already apprehended by the security forces, said military officials. India would like to see all restrictions to go, but it also depends on how Pakistan behaves. Pakistan must stop sending signals and communications to terrorists through its towers, then we can lift the restrictions, said NSA Doval. Click here to read...

Terrorism Graph is Declining in J&K, says J&K Police Chief

On 17 September 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police Chief Director-General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh claimed significant decline in the terrorism graph in the State. Elements across the border were trying to provoke trouble in the Valley but the security forces are efficiently tackling them. DGP Singh interacted with police officers along with Army and Paramilitary force officials and had a detailed deliberation on counter-terrorism operations in the Kishtwar district of Jammu. Click here to read...

Police Arrest three for Publicising JeM Posters in Pulwama

On 21 September, J&K police arrested three people who were allegedly publicising threat posters of terrorist group—Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) to locals in Ladhoo village of Awantipora in Pulwama district. Police registered a case and seized the incriminating material. Further investigation is on-going into the matter. Click here to read...

Security Forces Killed four Terrorists in two Incidents in Ganderbal and Ramban

On 28 September, in a Counter-Terrorism (CT) operation, security forces killed three Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorists— Usman, Zahid, and Haroon in Batote area of Ramban district in J&K. In a nine-hour gun-battle between security forces and terrorists, one soldier was killed.

In a separate incident, security forces killed an unidentified terrorist in a gun-battle near Gangabal area of Kangan in Ganderbal district. Click here to read...

Police Arrested Three people for alleged Aiding Terror Activities

On 26 September, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K police arrested three people, including Imtiyaz Ahmad Nengroo, and two of his associates on suspicions of aiding terror activities, from Purmandal area on Jammu-Pathankot Highway. All three are suspected to be a part of a cell involved in providing logistics support and arms & ammunitions to terrorists.

Earlier, on 12 September, police had intercepted a truck and arrested three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists, along with huge cache of arms and ammunition in Kathua district, Jammu. The truck was coming from Punjab, and was heading towards Kashmir. Click here to read...

NIA files Charge Sheet against four JeM Terrorists

On 16 September, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a Charge sheet in the Delhi Court against four Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists— Sajjad Ahmad Khan, Tanveer Ahmed Ganie, Bilal Ahmad Mir, and Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat, for their alleged involvement in conspiring terror attacks in India. According to the Charge sheet, Sajjad Ahmad Khan was a close associate of the Pulwama attack mastermind Mudassir Ahmad Khan. Click here to read...

Left-Wing Extremism
Police Killed Three Maoists in Visakhapatnam District

During combing operation in G K Veedhi block, bordering Odisha, on 22 September 2019, Andhra Pradesh police killed three Maoists in a gun-battle in Visakhapatnam district. According to the Superintendent of Police, all three Maoists belonged to Galikonda squad of Andhra Odisha Border committee. Police also recovered weapons and kit bags from the operation site. Click here to read...

Khalistan-Inspired Extremism
10 Sorties of Drones Dropped Arms and Ammunitions in Punjab

According to an investigation of weapons seizure at Tarn Taran in Punjab, between 09-16 September, Pakistan had used drones to drop AK-47 rifles, 80 kg of ammunition, counterfeit Indian currency, and narcotic substances. The consignment was apparently for conducting 26/11 type attack in Punjab and neighbouring States. Investigation also revealed that the drones were of Chinese make with 10 kg payloads, and were used to drop weapons. Click here to read...

Islamist Extremism in India (including Islamic State)
Jharkhand ATS arrested AQIS terrorist from Jamshedpur

On 21 September, the Jharkhand Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested a wanted terrorist of al-Qa’ida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)—Mohammed Kalimuddin Mujahiri, from Jameshedpur, Jharkhand. Reportedly, Kalumuddin Mujahiri had been absconding from last three years by changing locations. In AQIS, Kalimuddin is in-charge of Eastern India cell which encourages people for Jihad and does recruitment after ensuring a ‘suitable mind-set’ of the youth. The potential recruits were further re-groomed in al-Qa’ida and Indian Mujahideen (IM) training camps based in Pakistan. In preliminary interrogation, Kalimuddin has revealed that he has recruited many people for his group, out of which some are in jail while some are getting trained in foreign countries, said Jharkhand ATS Superintendent of Police (SP) A Vijaya Laxmi. Click here to read...

Police Arrested JeM Terrorist from Haryana

Acting upon the intelligence inputs from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Military Intelligence and Punjab Police, on 27 September, Haryana Police set up a Naka (check-over point) on Ambala-Delhi National Highway and arrested a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist— Mohammad Ismail, from an Apple laden truck heading towards Delhi. Police stopped the truck and found that a man sitting inside the truck who failed to provide his identification, which raised suspicions, said Ambala police’s Superintendent of Police (SP) – Abhishek Jorwal. In this regard, Haryana police had informed India Army’s Military Intelligence, J&K police, and Punjab police. Later, Mohammad Ismail was handed-over to Jammu police for further investigation. Click here to read...

Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
Google Established AI Research Lab in Bengaluru

During its Fifth edition of Google India event on 19 September, Google launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research lab in Bengaluru city of Karnataka. As a Director-appointed of “AI for Social Good”, Director of Harvard Centre for Computation & Society— Professor Milind Tambe would build a research programme with AI to tackle “big problems” in various areas, including healthcare, agriculture, or education. In his address at the same event, Ravi Shankar Prasad— the Minister of Law & Justice, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, has said that Digital India campaign was designed to ensure digital inclusion, and there is no doubt that Google has a crucial role in helping India achieve its goal of a trillion dollar digital economy. Click here to read...

Indian Army conducted Seminar on AI and its use in Modern Warfare

On 25 September, the Indian Army conducted first of its kind seminar on the AI in Hisar city of Haryana. The purpose of the seminar was to understand and harness the AI into various platforms and procedures. Further, with the help of AI to be more accurate, more efficient, and to use our main resource—“the foot soldier”, more potently and effectively, said Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Indian Army. The seminar was attended by academics, research scholars, industry people, and officers from DRDO, and all three Indian Armed Forces. Click here to read...

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