Coded matrix sheets: How terror groups use it differently
Following the Uri attack in which 19 soldiers were martyred, there were questions asked if the terror strike was carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammad or the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The National Investigation Agency had been handed over the probe and now based on the coded matrix sheets that it has analysed, it has been concluded that it was the handiwork of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
While decoding the matrix sheets, the NIA learnt that it was similar to the one which was found on Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Bahadur Ali who was caught alive in Kashmir. "The coded matrix sheets of the Jaish and the Lashkar are different," NIA officials explain.
Each group has a signature style of attack. "The manner in which it is planned and executed can be found out from these sheets," the NIA officer explained. The Jaish's coded matrix sheets would comprise a total of 672 boxed. They would have 28 rows and 24 columns. The LeT, on the other hand, has a matrix sheet with 357 boxes. It would also contain 17 columns and 21 rows.
Terrorists of the LeT, as well as the Jaish are tech savvy. There is a full-fledged course that these terrorists undergo before they become ready for an attack. Studying the coded matrix sheets is one part of the training. They are also trained in using radio sets and are taught on how to modify it.
For instance, engineering modifications done on ICOM RT sets (made in Japan) to cover whole range of VHF frequencies, requires high degree of precision engineering in electronics.
Providing the terrorists with specific grid references for the route to be followed and use of GPS, compass and topographical sheets during movement also establish that these LeT terrorists were trained and mentored by military experts, the National Investigation Agency says.
The terrorists are constantly guided and directed by the LeT control centre Alpha-3, which was available on a prefixed frequency on ICOM handsets, being carried by the terrorists. Control centre Alpha-3 is a fixed communication centre, established at a high altitude peak in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is operated with support from Pakistani forces. Once the terrorists are inside Indian territory, Alpha-3 guides, directs and controls their operations.
Writing their own codes:
Ali had told the NIA that his group of terrorists were launched after being staged forward at their Dett (detachment) near the line of control between India and Pakistan. This Dett is headed by a senior member of LeT who provides arms and ammunition as well as other accessories such as GPS, night vision devices, compass, grenades, grenade launchers, maps, matrix sheets, food packets, dry ration, medicines etc.
Ali was launched from Mandakuli Dett. Abu Haider was the commander at the Dett. They were repeatedly shown the infiltration route on Google maps on a LCD TV. Simultaneously, they were shown videos of landmarks available on the route.
They were also made to write their own communication codes for communicating with the control centre (Alpha-3). Ali said that a few army officers in civilian clothes visited the Dett and briefed them and checked their preparedness.
Ali said that officers were referred as 'Major sahib' and 'Captain sahib'. This corroborates the statement made by Md. Naveed, another Pakistani national, who was arrested in the BSF convoy attack at Udhampur in August 2015.