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Deep penetration, more resistance: Understanding structure of terror group TRF


New Delhi, May 14: The Resistance Front (TRF) a new terror group in Jammu and Kashmir which was launched recently mainly aims at radicalisation and recruitments for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

Army Chief General M M Naravane said that he would call the TRF a Terror Revival Front. It is all that it is and there should be no doubt that this is supported by its proxies. We have no doubt that they have foreign support. They have just come up with different names.

Deep penetration, more resistance: Understanding structure of terror group TRF

While it is amply clear that the ISI backed Lashkar-e-Tayiba launched this front in the backdrop of pressure from the Financial Action Task Force, it also must be noted that the strategy of this group is different because of the manner in which it is structured.

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The structuring of this group and the manner in which it is controlled from Pakistan clearly suggests that they want a zone-wise targeting in Kashmir.

The TRF has one handler each for the North, Central and South of Kashmir. While the South Kashmir unit is controlled by Sajjad Jatt, Hanzala Andnan handles the North Kashmir unit. For Central Kashmir, the handler is Khalid and all three are top operatives of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

Going by the manner in which the group has been structured in Kashmir, it is clear that it wants to penetrate as deep as possible. Each handler will be responsible for each region and this would give them greater control over the group. The terror group would also look to fill in the space left by the Hizbul Mujahideen, which has been losing its top terrorists at a rapid pace. With the killing of Riyaz Naikoo, the Hizbul has now chosen Saifullah Mir alias Ghazi Haider to lead. Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that, the Hizbul Mujahideen has lost its big-wigs, who had a considerable sway over the youth. This traction would come down even further with the killing of Naikoo, as he was one of the last who held that sway.

This is the space that the TRF wants to fill in, the officer cited above said. By claiming responsibility for big attacks and with a high radicalisation drive, it would aim to enter the local space in Kashmir. The target would only be the local and the role of foreigners in this group would only be limited to the handlers and funding.

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The TRF has in recent times claimed responsibility for the attacks Keran and Handwara. In both attacks ten Indian security personnel were martyred. The TRF is also running a very aggressive online campaign to bring in as many youths as possible.

Most of the posts on the groups run by the TRF speak about recruitments and also incite youth to take up arms against the Indian security personnel. After one module was busted in April 2020, the police stumbled upon the chat transcripts on the Telegram channels. The key theme of the chats was about increasing resistance in Kashmir. It reminds the youth about the abrogation of Article 370.

More details about this group came to light following the raid that took place in Sopore.

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The arrested, Ahtisham Farooq Malik, Shafqat Ali Tagoo, Musaib Hassan Bhat and Nisar Ahmad. A police officer who interrogated them told this correspondent that they were reporting to a handler in Pakistan, who goes by the alias, Andrew Jones. On the chat group, he operates under the ID Khan Bilal.

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