High alert in J&K as JeM plots revenge strikes, while LeT looks to recruit
New Delhi, May 11: There is a high alert in Jammu and Kashmir, after the Jaish-e-Mohammad issued a call to carry out a major strike. The JeM directed its cadres to carry out a strike on the Indian Army and para-military forces.
An Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia the attack was ordered to avenge the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, Riyaz Naikoo. The officer explained that the killing of Naikoo has demoralised the terrorists in the Valley and hence this attack is also aimed at boosting their morale.
With several terrorists being gunned down, the JeM would also be looking to recruit more persons into the outfit. It is similar in the case of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba too which has launched a new group called The Resistance Force in the Valley. The TRF is a propaganda wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and is aimed at roping in the youth in the Valley, the officer cited above said.
The first time that the agencies got to know about this group was in March 2020, when the police busted a module of The Resistance Front." The module was busted on May 23, 2020, at Sopore and it was found back then, it was linked to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
While the module was busted, its activities on the social media and Telegram channel continues unabated. A senior security official tells OneIndia that this group is the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which is operating under a new name. It is an age old trick of these groups to change names so that there is an element of surprise for the security agencies.
The group, however, indulges more in propaganda activity. On the groups, the members speak about the need to increase the resistance in Jammu and Kashmir, especially after the Centre on August 5, 2019, withdrew the special status.
The group also known as the JK Fighters is very active on social media. During the raid in Sopore, the police arrested Ahtisham Farooq Malik, Shafqat Ali Tagoo, Musaib Hassan Bhat and Nisar Ahmad Ganai. A police official who questioned the four said that they were reporting to their handler in Pakistan. He goes by the name Andrew Jones and on the group, he operates under the ID of Khan Bilal. The group is called as TRF/JK Fighters-The Resistance Front.
Officials say that the group is used to recruit local youth for terror-related activities, especially in north Kashmir. There are messages on the group, which clearly instigate the locals into taking up arms and fighting the Indian forces.
The busting of the module in Sopore came in the nick of time. The persons who were arrested had received a consignment of arms from one Kabeer Ahmed Lone. They had collected it and handed it over to Farooq Malik in Kupwara. They were also in the process of receiving a consignment of six AK-47 rifles. During the interrogation, the arrested terrorists said that the plan was on accumulating the arms. They had also drawn up a hit list of prominent personalities, including politicians and were planning targeted hits, investigations also revealed.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that this group has cropped up for a variety of reasons. The Hizbul Mujahideen, the local outfit in J&K is on the verge of a shut down. With most of its top leaders killed by the security forces, the group has not been able to draw inspiration among the youth.