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Intelligence cuts terror hunt time

| | New Delhi
Intelligence cuts terror hunt time

The setting up of deeply-entrenched Intelligence network and augmenting its technical surveillance capabilities is helping security forces in eliminating top terror commanders operating in Jammu & Kashmir.  

The security forces took just 20 minutes to eliminate top Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) commander Abu Ismail last Thursday after they got the Intelligence feedback about his presence. The latest Intelligence inputs suggest that 240 terrorists, including 100 foreign mercenaries, are waiting in the wings to strike.

Though the last few months have not seen a major attack by the terrorists, security forces fear that the desperate terrorists will carry out a big hit in the coming days.  The last two such incidents took place in 2016 when terrorists stormed an Army camp in Uri on September 18 killing 19 soldiers followed by another audacious attack on an Army camp near the Corps headquarters in Nagrota in Jammu region on November 29 in which seven soldiers and three terrorists were killed.

Given such a long lull, the security establishment is apprehensive of an imminent attack of  big magnitude and is taking all steps to prevent it.  The presence of at least nine terrorists of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in South Kashmir has added to the concerns of the security forces, officials said.

A group of 12 JeM terrorists had infiltrated into Kashmir valley earlier this month. Three of these ‘fidayeen (suicide attackers)’ were killed when they attacked a Jammu & Kashmir Police establishment, and the remaining nine fanned out in other parts of the Valley.  Intelligence inputs indicate that they have split into group of three each and hiding in Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama.

While the anti-terrorist grid is on a high alert following this development, officials admitted the security forces are vulnerable in the hinterland. The Army has deployed two additional battalions on National Highway-44 passing through South Kashmir. So far the terrorists have not been successful to breach the cordon.

However, the Army convoys traversing through the roads in the hinterland may be targeted by these highly trained JeM terrorists.  The small Army and para-military camps dotting the hinterland with thin strength of troops guarding them, also face similar challenges, they said.

In this situation, the operational commanders have stepped up the tempo of operations in South Kashmir to deny freedom of movement to the terrorists.

The local police have further strengthened its Intelligence network in terms of human and technical inputs to enable the security forces to conduct operations based on real time Intelligence.

In fact, Abu Ismail was neutralised in such a strike not lasting more than 30 minutes after the local police managed to locate his position in Naugam through technical Intelligence.  Police then followed it up with its sources on confirming the technical input and a joint team of the Army and police then eliminated Ismail, who had infiltrated into the valley last year and rapidly rose through the hierarchy of LeT.  He was carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head.

The vastly improved Intelligence gathering machinery of the local police helped the security forces to go after other big guns, including Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in July last year besides and top man of LeT Abu Dujana two months back. 

It was the biggest success for security forces as Dujana had managed to evade them for the last four years after infiltrating from across the Line of Control (LOC).



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