As physical interaction with residents of J&K has become very difficult, Pakistan’s intelligence agency and terror groups are recruiting terrorists through applications in cyber and mobile space. ISI handlers are using doctored or fake videos of atrocities committed by the security forces and are spreading the propaganda to stir up emotions among the new recruits.
Earlier, terrorists used to physically contact potential recruits to bring them into their organisation. However, when security forces adopted harsh measures to stop these exercises, terrorists changed their way of working.
In 2020, Security agencies caught more than two dozen terror modules and arrested more than 40 such sympathisers. Last month, two terrorists, Tawar Waghey and Amir Ahmed Mir, surrendered before 34 Rashtriya Rifles of the Army. During interrogation, these terrorists told the security forces about the use of cyber recruitment. A Pakistan based handler contacted both these terrorists through Facebook and hended them to a recruiter code-named Khalid and Mohammed Abbas Sheikh.
They were trained online using public platforms like YouTube. Both of them met their local contact only once in South Kashmir. This was done in order to secure them from security forces. Local residents have provided information to the security forces and on the basis of which, they have busted many terror modules.
These two terrorists were recruited into The Resistance Front (TRF) which is a sub-group of banned terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba. They were receiving orders and religious teachings from Pakistan-based Burhan Hamza.
The officials said that they found around 40 such cases in which the recruitment was done and they were trained through social media. Most of these cases are from south Kashmir.
Terror groups are also facing shortage of arms and as a result Pakistan-based terror outfits are more focused on sending more arms and less manpower. Officials cite that last month a local terrorist was killed, he was also recruited through social media. His name was Siraj and he was a final year graduation student from Khawaja Gilgat in Sopore. Siraj was living with his maternal uncle in Adipora in north Kashmir.
He could not be found by his family members after 24 June 2020. Later, it was confirmed that he was recruited by the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed via social media.