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Post Internet Lockdown, Terrorists Turn to CDR Applications to ‘Communicate’ in J&K

Srinagar: The Indian government lockdown on Internet and SMS communications over the last three months appear to have clampdown on militancy in the region but the Pakistan-supported terrorists and Kashmiri militants have engineered new ways in the digital world to stay connected without coming under the surveillance radar of the Indian Army or Indian Intelligence using a technology based on ‘Cognitive Digital Radio’ (CDR).


CDR enables users to turn their smartphones into peer-to-peer, off-grid communication tools. The network generates its own signal through proprietary adhoc networking protocols and automatically coordinates with other units within range which enables users to send and receive text messages, share their GPS locations on offline maps without necessarily having access to WiFi or cellular service.


According to the top Indian Army intelligence informers, terrorists and militants are getting special training in the usage of new-age technology in communications. We have found applications on smartphones of terrorists infiltrating into J&K. One such mobile-based application was termed Calculator. We found out about the application and usage in 2016. We have also learned through our interrogation of the terrorists caught that terrorists, militants and OGWs have been trained in map reading, GPS reading, IED development and technology upgradation for communications.”


When IndianExpose spoke to Omar (named changed as he is now as asset with the Indian Intelligence) a former militancy sympathiser who worked as a hacker and mobile application developer for militants in Kashmir, he revealed, that mobile services and internet services are no deterrent to communication in the region. Every few months a new mobile and internet-based application will be engineered and communications will continue amongst the group of terrorists and militants. Encrypted technology is effectively utilised to stay out of radar and still communicate.


The technology uses a peer-to-peer software without a central server like Facebook or WhatsApp. It works when two or more smartphones are within range of each other.


In fact in the International Intelligence circles, it was learned that ISIS-based terror backed groups would use mobile applications like RocketChat and Telegram.


Communications have gone even beyond mobile chat applications and entered into realm of gaming, ISIS-backed terror groups and sympathisers have started to use Discord – a messenger application for gamers. The platform organises its chat communities into servers and each contain numerous texts and voice channels. International Intelligence discovered chat groups that furthered ISIS-propaganda using pro-ISIS texts and photographs encouraging users to join the Jihad mission.


In fact in the chat activities seem as casual discussions, the exchange of links and usernames, and the sharing of propaganda and amateurish artwork—are exactly how recruitment takes place into militancy and terrorism.


News in the J&K region is that there is a new communication application launched post the abrogation of Article 370 and the lockdown on communications by the Indian government. IndianExpose sources have revealed that the application has been created by the ISI and it is being used by top terror operatives that have infiltrated into J&K and in other parts of India.

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