Khalistani terrorists using latest tech to evade law enforcing agencies: Intel report

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : Nov 1, 2023, 10:01 PM IST

Investigation carried out by the Indian security agencies has revealed that the use of the latest modes of communication by Khalistani terrorists to carry out terror activities and spread anti-India propaganda on many occasions evades the eyes of law-enforcing agencies.

Khalistani terrorists have of late been using two categories of communication including private for operational purposes and public for spreading propaganda, said a senior official attached to the security establishment told ETV Bharat on Wednesday. -- Reports Gautam Debroy.

New Delhi: An investigation carried out by the Indian security agencies has revealed that the use of the latest modes of communication by Khalistani terrorists to carry out terror activities and spread anti-India propaganda on many occasions evades the eyes of law-enforcing agencies.

A senior official in the security establishment told ETV Bharat on Wednesday that Khalistani terrorists have of late been using two categories of communication: private for operational purposes and public for spreading propaganda. The modes used for operational communication leverage the easy availability of encrypted chat apps, virtual private network (VPN) among other freely available technology.

“The Khalistani terrorist organization gives topmost priority to the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology which allows voice and multimedia communication over Internet networks instead of a regular or analog phone line,” the official said, quoting an intelligence report. Several applications, and services are easily available for making VoIP communications such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Talk etc, the official said.

“These applications provide data encryption features due to which the contents of communications cannot be lawfully intercepted by the law enforcement agencies. This provides a safe and secure channel of communication for these extremists. Apps such as Signal also feature relay servers to hide the IP addresses in peer-to-peer communications,” he said.

The terrorists are also using several applications that allow users to generate virtual phone numbers that can be used as real phone numbers but without a physical SIM card.

“These numbers provide anonymity to the user and can be associated with almost all the Internet calling applications. As these numbers have not been issued by regulated Telecom Service Providers, it makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify and trace the user. Khalistani Extremists are using such numbers for operational communication and to extend threats to their targets,” the official added.

The terrorists also use VPN, a protected network connection over a public network. “VPNs encrypt the internet traffic and disguise the source IP of the user. The extremists tend to use this technology while communicating over the Internet thereby masking their identity, location, etc. Some of the VPN service providers allow multiple layering that renders detection of the user almost impossible for the law enforcement agencies,” he said.

As far as spreading anti-India propaganda is concerned, the terrorists use social media applications to communicate within themselves to avoid detection and interception by law enforcement agencies.

“These platforms enable users to communicate safely and privately in one-to-one as well as one-to-all modes. Applications like WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, Telegram, Viber, etc. are used for individual communications whereas platforms like Twitter, YouTube etc. are being used to propagate ideology to the public,” the official said.

Referring to the use of dialer services, the official said that free and paid automatic call dialer services widely used by service sector companies for business have caught the fancy of extremist groups.

This technology is used to send pre-recorded voice calls or messages to mobiles and landlines across the globe. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of SFJ is excessively using this mode of communication for sending recorded calls, and voice messages to people across India and thus propagating his secessionist ideology, he said.

As far as logistical modes are concerned, sources said that the terrorists use three categories of logistics that include domestic, cross-border, and international.

“Under domestic logistics, the terrorists use local gangsters, narcotraffickers, and arms suppliers to run their activities. Jails are also becoming hubs of recruitment and safe haven whereas the terrorists use traditional hawala operators for mobilizing money for funding operations, collection of proceeds of narcotrade, etc,” the official said.

Drones are being used widely for the delivery of arm-ammunitions, explosives, and narcotic substances to the extremists in India from neighboring countries under the terrorists' cross-border logistics.

Khalistan extremists including some wanted for terror crimes are comfortably staying and continuing their activities in the US, Canada, and other European countries.

“Several western nations view Khalistan terrorism with a different lens, the electoral compulsion of western leaders due to large population of Sikh diaspora and it’s support for Khalistan cause,” the official said and added Hardeep Singh Nijjar (died), Gurpatwant Singh Pannu are some of the examples of such western patronage.

Also read: Babbar Khalsa International based in UK, Canada funding cadres in India: NIA

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