VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies and Terrorism, 1-15 October, 2019
  • Curtain Raiser Indo Maldives Joint Exercise Ekuverin – 19 at Pune, Oct 19;
  • Opening Ceremony Indo Mongolian Joint Exercise Nomadic Elephant- XIV;
  • India-Bangladesh Navies Undertake Coordinated Patrol in North Bay of Bengal;
  • Curtain Raiser: Indo-Japan Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN – 2019;
  • Strong cooperation between India and France to grow and contribute to global peace, prosperity and environmental sustainability;
  • Second Annual Defence Dialogue with France; Both sides agree to strengthen and deepen defence relations;
  • Government reaffirms aim to achieve $26 billion Indian defence industry by 2025;
  • French defence industry to make India their production base and benefit from its vast market as well as export potential;
  • Goa Maritime Conclave – 2019 Concludes.
International Terrorism:
  • Somalia- Al-Shabaab terrorists attack US forces’ base in Lower Shabelle region.
  • AQIS chief Asim Umar killed in joint CT operation in Helmand province;
  • Coalition drone strikes kill five IS terrorists in Nangarhar province;
  • Afghan forces kill 89 Taliban terrorists in Tahar province.
Domestic Terrorism:
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Police arrest three HM terrorists from Kishtwar;
  • J&K Congress leader’s brother booked under UA(P) Act;
  • NIA links Pakistan High Commission with funding J&K separatists;
  • Police arrest JeM terrorist between Baramulla and Sopore districts.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • Security forces kill Maoist in Chhattisgarh;
  • Four Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh.
Islamist Extremism in India (including Islamic State)
  • IS-affiliated modules, and al-Qa’ida planned to attack Jew establishments in India;
  • India calls for cooperation between the FATF and UN against terrorism;
  • NIA files charge sheet in IS Wandoor case;
  • NIA arrests four terrorists from Karnataka.
Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
  • US’ National Security Agency launches new Cyber Security Directorate.


Curtain Raiser Indo-Maldives Joint Exercise Ekuverin–19 at Aundh Military Station, Pune from 07 to 20 Oct 19

Tenth edition of the Joint Military Exercise Ekuverin between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force is being held (07 to 20 October 2019) at Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra. Exercise Ekuverin meaning ‘Friends’ in the Dhivehi language is being held since 2009 alternatively in India and Maldives. The last exercise was held in 2018 at Northern Area Headquarters, Lh. Maafilaafushi, Maldives.
The exercise will focus on enhancing interoperability between the two forces for carrying out counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in a semi-urban environment under the United Nations mandate. Participants will also share best practices and acquaint each other with the operating procedures being followed while undertaking counter insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
India shares very close ethnic, cultural, religious and commercial ties with the Maldives and Exercise Ekuverin will assist in further strengthening of these ties between the two nations. Click here to read...

Opening ceremony of Indo-Mongolian Joint Exercise Nomadic Elephant- XIV

The 14th edition of Indo-Mongolian joint military training, Exercise Nomadic Elephant–XIV commenced on 05 and will continue till 18 Oct 19 at Bakloh. The Mongolian Army is being represented by officers and troops of their elite 084 Air Borne Special Task Battalion while Indian Army is being represented by a battalion of the RAJPUTANA RIFLES Regiment. Nomadic Elephant-XIV is the fourteenth edition between the two nations aimed at training troops in counter insurgency & counter terrorism operations under United Nations mandate. The joint exercise will enhance defence co-operation and military relations between the two nations. It is an ideal platform for the armies of both the nations to share their experiences & best practices and gain mutually during the joint training.
The joint training aims at evolving various tactical drills in counter-terror environment like convoy protection drill, room intervention drills, ambush/ counter-ambush drills, while jointly conducting counter terrorist operations under UN mandate. It will also lay emphasis on conducting operations by a cohesive subunit, comprising troops from both the armies, in an adverse operational conditions thus enhancing the interoperability between the two armies. These will go a long way in capacity building for conducting joint operations by the two armies. Click here to read...

India–Bangladesh Navies undertake coordinated patrol in North Bay of Bengal

The second edition of Indian Navy (IN)–Bangladesh Navy (BN) Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) commenced in Northern Bay of Bengal on 10 Oct 19. INS Ranvijay, a guided-missile destroyer and INS Kuthar, an ingeniously built missile Corvette are participating in the CORPAT along with BNS Ali Haider, a Type 053 frigate and BNS Shadinota, a Type 056 stealth guided missile corvette. The two-day CORPAT will be followed by the maiden edition of IN-BN Bilateral Exercise at Visakhapatnam from 12 to 16 Oct 19.
The IN-BN CORPAT which commenced in 2018, is aimed at upgrading to a bilateral exercise with the navies engaging in seamanship evolutions, flying exercises with integral helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft at sea. Additionally, exercises entailing development of mutual communication and sharing of best practices would also be undertaken, adding a new dimension to the Indo-Bangladesh maritime relations. With a common territorial boundary of over 4000 km and a maritime boundary, navies of both the counties aim to practice and hone their mutual cooperation whilst patrolling near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) during the current edition of CORPAT.
The sea phase would be followed by harbour phase that would include professional interaction between the navies, visits to the Indian Naval training and maintenance facilities at Visakhapatnam. The exercise would also include air familiarisation of BN aircrew towards a better understanding of MPA operations at INS Dega and a ten-day training exercise between IN Marine Commandos and BN SWADS. Click here to read...

Curtain Raiser: Indo-Japan Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN – 2019

Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN-2019 between India and Japan will be conducted at counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte, from 19 Oct 2019 to 02 Nov 2019. Indian Army and Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces (JGSDF) comprising 25 soldiers each will participate in the exercise with an aim to share experience gained during various Counter Terrorism Operations in respective Countries.
Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN is an annual training event which is being conducted in India since 2018. Notably, in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN with Japan is crucial and significant in terms of security challenges faced by both the nations in the backdrop of global terrorism. The scope of this exercise covers platoon level joint training on counter-terrorism operations in jungle and urban scenario. Click here to read...

Government reaffirms aim to achieve $26 billion Indian defence industry by 2025

Raksha Mantri (RM) Rajnath Singh has called for increased and active participation of the private sector in defence manufacturing to achieve Government’s target of making the Indian defence industry worth $26 billion by 2025. He was addressing the captains of industry at the 22nd India International Security Expo, 2019 (Defence & Homeland Security). RM reaffirmed the Government’s aim of inclusive growth and making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025, adding that the defence sector will play a pivotal role in achieving this goal. “Our aim is to make a world class domestic defence industry that is self-reliant and less dependent on imports”, he added.
The RM further assured the industry that the Government was open to new ideas and remained committed to harness the entrepreneurship spirit and energies of the private sector, “as a friend, philosopher & guide, the Government is ready to hold frank discussions, even on issues and problems”, he said. He invited domestic as well as foreign defence manufacturers to participate in DefExpo 2020 to be held in Lucknow from 05–08 February.
The Minister also listed out the recent measures taken by the Ministry of Defence under ‘Make in India’ programme, including for Start-Ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to further enhance the participation of Indian industry. He said, Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 has been revised to promote domestic defence industry. Raksha Mantri also highlighted that the majority of capital procurement approvals given by the Defence Acquisition Council are indigenously developed or produced. “Buy India–Indigenously Designed, Developed & Manufactured (IDDM) has been introduced to promote indigenously designed and developed defence equipment”, he added. On the Defence Industry Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, he said, that these corridors are being established to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure for the setting up of defence production facilities. The corridors will not only encourage regional industry but also develop a well-planned and efficient industrial base to promote defence production.
The other initiatives highlighted included allowing 49 percent FDI through automatic route and more than 49 percent FDI through government route; liberalisation of Industrial Licensing to remove barriers for manufacturers, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); simplification of the ‘Make’ procedure; notifying ‘strategic partnership’ model for Indian entities to develop a long-term partnership with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs); setting up of ‘Defence Investor Cell’; end-to-end online offset processing portal to promote transparency and efficiency; and formulation of i-DEX framework to encourage Indian Defence Sector innovations.
The 22nd India International Security Expo, 2019 (Defence & Homeland Security) was organized (03-05 October 2019) by Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) in collaboration with Punjab, Haryana and Delhi (PHD) Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of MSMEs and the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), among others.
Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Joint Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Sanjay Jaju, member of National Security Advisory Board & Chief Mentor, PHD Defence & Homeland Security (HLS) Committee Lt Gen Subrata Saha (Retd.), CMD, ITPO Shri LC Goyal, and Chairman, PHD Defence & HLS Committee Shri Rajiv Bhatnagar were present on the occasion. Click here to read...

Strong cooperation between India and France will continue to grow and contribute to global peace, prosperity and environmental sustainability

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh emphasised on the equipping Indian Air Force and enhancing its capabilities, adding that the new Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) will make India stronger and will give a boost to its air dominance exponentially to ensure peace and security in the region. In his address at the Rafale handing over Ceremony in Merignac, France, he said it was a historic and landmark day for the Indian Armed Forces. “In India, today is Dussehra, the festival where we celebrate victory over evil. It is also the 87th Indian Air Force Day. Therefore, the day becomes symbolic in so many ways”, Shri Singh said.
The minister further said that cooperation between India and France will continue to grow and contribute to global peace, prosperity and environmental sustainability. He also stressed the importance of the depth of strategic partnership between India and France. He hoped that the training at the French facilities will help the crew in acquiring knowledge and professional expertise required for performing their task in India.
Raksha Mantri performed the ‘Shastra Puja’ on Rafale on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami. Also, present on the occasion were French Minister of Armed Forces, Ms Florence Parly and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation, Mr Eric Trappier. The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale aircraft procurement was signed between the Government of India and Government of France on 23 September, 2016. Click here to read...

Second Annual Defence Dialogue with France; Both sides agree to strengthen and deepen defence relations

During the visit to France, the RM held the Second India-France Ministerial level Annual Defence Dialogue with his French counterpart, the Minister for the Armed Forces Ms. Florence Parly on October 8th in Paris. The two Ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of India-France Strategic Partnership. They also exchanged views on contemporary regional and international developments of mutual interest. Both sides discussed ways to further deepen defence-related official as well as operational level interactions.
The two nations agreed to expand the scope and complexity of the existing regular bilateral joint exercises (SHAKTI, VARUNA and GARUDA). Recognising that India-France partnership in the Indian Ocean Region was crucial for preserving and promoting the common strategic and security interests, the two Ministers noted the continuing implementation of actions outlined in the ‘Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region’, March 2018. The Ministers also reaffirmed the strong intention of the two sides to further deepen bilateral cooperation on counter terrorism. Click here to read...

French defence industry to make India their production base

India and France intend to explore ways to strengthen their defence industrial partnership. Addressing the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of French Defence Industries in Paris, Shri Rajnath Singh called upon the French companies for collaboration to modernise India’s shipyards and defence platforms by infusion of technology and asked them to make India its base for production of defence equipment not only for India’s large market but also for export to other countries.
The minister applauded the French companies for regularly participating in DefExpos organised in India with great energy and enthusiasm. He extended a special invitation to French firms to participate in DefExpo, which will be held in Lucknow from February 05 to 08, 2020. He highlighted India’s substantial requirement of Aero engines both in civil and military domains. He requested French OEMs to consider exploring development of an Aero engine complex on government-to-government basis saying French companies could leverage from advantages in India such as low wages and availability of technical manpower. Click here to read...

Goa Maritime Conclave–2019 concludes

The Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) 2019, was conducted by the Naval War College, Goa, over 2 days concluded on 05 Oct 19 with an address by Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff. Adm Singh exhorted all the stakeholders to work together based on a strong foundation of mutual trust, cooperation and collaboration in the Indian Ocean Region, so as to secure the sea lanes and thereby the economies of the region. The GMC 2019 was inaugurated by the National Security Advisor, Shri Ajit Doval, on 4th October 2019, and attended by Chiefs of Navies and representatives from 10 Indian Ocean littoral countries, furthered diplomatic initiatives taken by India in the maritime domain, best exemplified by the Security and Growth for All (SAGAR) initiative, enunciated by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
The visiting Naval Chiefs also addressed the gathering and put forward their perspectives to the forum. On the side-lines of the conclave, bilateral metings were also held to further build up on the bonds of friendship and discuss country specific issues. Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, VSM, NM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, presented certificates to eight officers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Vietnam who had attended and successfully completed the 4th Regional Maritime Security Course (RMSC) of eight weeks, from 13th August to 5th October 19.
Some foreign Naval Chiefs and representatives also visited Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), where they were taken on a tour of various ships and vessels under construction to demonstrate the shipbuilding capability of the shipyard. Click here to read...


Al-Shabaab terrorists attacked US forces’ base in Lower Shabelle region

On 30 September, al-Shabaab terrorists, carried out a coordinated attack on the United States forces’ base in the Lower Shabelle region in Somalia. “A vehicle-borne suicide bomber detonated at the gate of a military airstrip extensively used by the US forces and Somali forces”, said Yusuf Abdourahman, a security official with the Lower Shabelle Administration. Later, al-Shabaab claimed the responsibility of the attack. Click here to read...


AQIS chief Asim Umar got killed in joint CT operation in Helmand province

On 23 September, Asim Umar, chief of Al-Qa’ida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) was killed in a joint US-Afghan led counter-terrorism (CT) operation on a Taliban compound in Musa Qala district in Helmand province. Since AQIS’s creation in 2014, Asim Umar had led the group. In June 2016, the US Department of Treasury had designated Asim Umar a “specially designated global terrorist”. Afghanistan’s intelligence agency— the National Directorate of Security (NDS) confirmed the killing of Asim Umar with six other AQIS members who were identified as Pakistan nationals. It is to be noted that these AQIS terrorists were inside the compound owned by Taliban in Musa Qala—a stronghold region of Taliban group. Click here to read...

Coalition drone strikes killed five IS terrorists in Nangarhar province

On 01 October, the NATO-led Coalition’s Drones strikes killed two terrorist in Wazir Tangai area of Khogyani district in Nangarhar province and and also killed five Islamic State (IS) terrorists. Click here to read...

Afghan forces killed 89 Taliban terrorists in Tahar province

Addressing a news conference on 05 October, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence Spokesperson— Rohullah Ahmadzai confirmed that in past 24 hours of CT operations led by the Afghan forces throughout Afghanistan, at least 89 Taliban terrorists were killed and over 60 others were injured in Takhar province alone. Click here to read...


Jammu and Kashmir
Police arrest three HM terrorists from Kishtwar

On 23 September, Jammu and Kashmir police arrested three terrorists of Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM) — Nisar Ahmed Sheikh, Nishad Ahmed, and Azad Hussain, from Kishtwar district. All three terrorists were involved in the killings of two BJP leaders in the Valley. Click here to read...

J&K Congress leader’s brother booked under UAPA

On 28 September, J&K police booked Mohammad Shafi Saroori, brother of J&K Congress leader Ghulam Mohammad Saroori, under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) [UA(P)] Act, for allegedly giving shelter to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists involved in attacks in Kishtwar district. Shafi Saroori was among other six people who were booked for providing logistic support to terrorists. According to news report, preliminary interrogation of a terrorist in connection with murders of BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) leader Anil Parihar, and his brother Ajit Parihar, the identities of terrorists who had provided logistics to these HM terrorists, were revealed. Click here to read...

NIA links Pakistan High Commission with funding of J&K separatists

On 04 October, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed charge sheet against separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani of All Party Hurriyat Conference, JKLF (Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front) chief Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Asiya Andrabi, Alam and Zahoor Ahmad Watali, stating that these separatists had raised funds through Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, Pakistan-based terrorist groups, LC (Line of Control) trade, and Hawala (illegal monetary transaction) channels. In the charge sheet, the NIA mentioned an old TV interview of Yasin Malik wherein he had claimed to visit the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) camp in Muree in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and had addressed LeT terrorists. This was the third Charge sheet filed by the NIA (J&K) in terror-funding investigations. The earlier two charge sheets were filed in 2018. Click here to read...

Police arrest JeM terrorist at a checkpoint between Baramulla and Sopore districts

On 06 October, J&K police arrested a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist— Mohsin Manzoor Salhea, who allegedly conspired to kill a police official. Mohsin was arrested at a checkpoint between Baramulla and Sopore districts. Police recovered arms and ammunitions from Mohsin’s possession. He was part of newly created JeM’s module of three terrorists to carry out terrorist activities in Baramulla district. Click here to read...

Left-Wing Extremism

Security forces kill Maoist in Chhattisgarh

In an anti-Naxal operation on 29 September, joint team of Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF) and District Reserve Guards (DRG) killed a female Maoist operative at Taregaon in Kawardha district of Chhattisgarh. She was identified as Bandi aka Jugnim, a member of Bhoramdev Divisional Committee of CPI (Maoist). Along with body of the Maoist, security forces recovered a .315 rifle, literature, and other miscellaneous items, from the operation site. Click here to read...

Four Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh

On 09 October, four Maoists, including two female Maoists, surrendered in Sukma district of Bastar division in Chhattisgarh. According to police, the Maoists were involved in various incidents of violence. Click here to read...

Islamist Extremism in India (including Islamic State)
IS-affiliated modules, and al-Qa’ida planned to attack Jew establishments in India

Intelligence agencies issued warning about the plans of al-Qa’ida and Islamic State (IS) affiliated modules in India, of attacking Jews and Israel’s establishments in India during the festive months of September and October. The terror outfits were conspiring the attacks after Israel supported India’s decision on abrogation of Article 370. According to inputs, the possible targets included the Embassy of Israel in New Delhi, Synagogues, Jewish schools, restaurants, and hotels frequently visited by Israelis or Jews in Delhi and other cities. During September and October, three Jewish holidays are celebrated—Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) from 29 September to 01 October, Yom Kippur (the Holiest day in Judaism) on 08-09 October, and Sukkot celebrated between 13-22 October. Click here to read...

India calls for cooperation between the FATF and UN against terrorism

Addressing the UN General Assembly Sixth Committee on ‘Measures to eliminate international terrorism’, on 09 October, India’s First Secretary/Legal Adviser in Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN)— Yedla Umasankar called for strengthening cooperation between the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and the UN to combat terrorism and terror financing. India strongly condemned all forms of direct or indirect financial assistance to terrorist groups or individuals by the State or its machineries, involved in terrorist activities. The FATF plays a significant role in setting global standards for preventing and combating terrorism financing and the UN needs to enhance cooperation with such organisations, referring to the FATF, said Umasankar. Click here to read...

NIA files charge sheet in IS Wandoor case

On 04 October, the NIA filed charge sheet against seven people named in Islamic State Wandoor case. According to the press release of NIA, the charge sheet has been filed under Sections 120-B and 125 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 38, 39, and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. All accused are residents of Kerala and are identified as Shaibu Nihar (39), Muhammad Mansoor (35), Mansoor Nittoor Veettil (42), Shahanad (31), Fajid Hamsa (36), Safeer Rahman (31), and Mukhadis (31). While Shaibu Nihar was arrested, others are absconding. According to the charge sheet, while being in Bahrain and India, the accused people attempted to travel to IS-controlled territories in Iraq and Syria. Click here to read...

NIA arrests four terrorists from Karnataka

On 05 October, the National Investigation Agency officials revealed the arrest of four terrorists conspiring to cause blasts using satellite phones. The arrests were made from Srirangapatna in Mandya district in Karnataka. Click here to read...

Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
US’ National Security Agency launches new Cyber Security Directorate

With the objective of redefining its cyber security mission and enhancing capabilities of information sharing, the United States National Security Agency (NSA) launched a new Cyber Security Directorate— a major and significant organisation that will unify the agency’s foreign intelligence and cyber defence missions. The Directorate would work to prevent and contain the threats to National Security systems and other Critical Infrastructures (CI), with preliminary focus on the defence industrial base and improvement of weapons’ security. The newly launched Directorate will also assist NSA to effectively operationalise its threat assessments, intelligence, and cyber defence capabilities to deliver prioritise results. Click here to read...

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