NEW DELHI: Security agencies working in Kashmir are faced with a new challenge because of a major shift in terror tactics. Pakistan-sponsored terror groups are now seeking to expand the arc of violence in the insurgency-hit state to North Kashmir from their traditional stronghold in South Kashmir.
The change in strategy comes amid a slightly higher presence of foreign terrorists than the locals and the elimination of a number of terrorists in targeted, intelligence-based operations in South Kashmir.
“According to recent inputs, an increased movement of LeT (Lashkar-e-Tayyeba) foreign cadres was witnessed in North Kashmir areas, doing reconnaissance and planning, which indicates that a massive terror attacks, especially on security forces’ camps, might be launched by the outfit in Baramulla and Kupwara. Earlier, there have been inputs of the JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad), the LeT and the HM (Hizbul Mujahideen) working in coordination. The HM may provide the local support network to JeM cadres to carry out attacks,” said a report of the Intelligence Directorate of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Various agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau, the BSF, the CRPF, the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police have been alerted to the tactical shift by the terror groups. The agencies have also been asked to further corroborate the inputs and generate actionable assessments.
The terror masterminds in Pakistan are apparently reposing more trust on foreign mercenaries than the Valley-based operatives. The increasing reliance on them could be due to the reverses suffered by the terror groups in South Kashmir, officials said.
The deployment of foreign terrorists in the Valley could also be aimed at evading the intelligence agencies which have, during the last one year, generated remarkable actionable intelligence leading to the elimination of nearly 180 terrorists in encounters. While the estimated number of foreign terrorists is 130, the local operatives in the Valley are pegged at 128.
Officials said inputs from other intelligence agencies also suggested that the LeT and HM cadres were likely to provide logistical support to the JeM to execute a major terror attack in North Kashmir with a view to increase their presence in Baramulla and Kupwara districts.
The report further said infiltration attempts continued from PoK-based terror launching pads. The JeM and LeT militants may carry out attacks on security camps in Jammu region also.
Inputs from intelligence agencies suggested that the LeT and HM cadres were likely to provide logistical support to the JeM to execute a major terror attack in North Kashmir with a view to increase their presence in Baramulla and Kupwara districts