Washington: The Indian Government has made significant efforts to detect, disrupt, and degrade the operations of terrorist organisations, according to the US Bureau of Counterterrorism’s ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2021: India’.
In 2021, terrorism affected the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the North-eastern States, and parts of central India. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen, ISIS, al-Qa’ida, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, are the terrorist groups active in India, the report stated.
A shift was observed in terrorists’ tactics in 2021. They shifted towards attacks on civilians and greater reliance on IEDs, including an explosive attack using drones on an air force base.
The US, India in October 2021, held the 18th meeting of the Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, and in November 2021, India hosted the second Quad counterterrorism tabletop exercise along with Australia and Japan.
According to the ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2021: India’ report, India responds promptly to US requests for information related to terrorism investigations and makes efforts to mitigate threats in response to U.S. information. Collaborative efforts to disrupt terrorist travel continue and alerts are issued to US authorities for possible threats in the United States and against US interests.
In 2021, 153 terrorist attacks were reported in India’s Jammu and Kashmir. The attacks caused 274 deaths which included 45 security personnel, 36 civilians, and 193 terrorists. Other notable attacks included an attack on November 1 in Manipur, in which the People’s Liberation Army of Manipur and Naga People’s Front killed seven persons in an ambush, including an Indian Army officer and his wife and minor son.
However, there were no changes in India’s terrorism-related legislation in 2021. India expanded the number of state-level Multi-Agency Centers to strengthen sharing of intelligence among state and federal agencies.
India implemented UNSCR 2396 by using watch lists, implementing biographic and biometric screening at ports of entry, and prioritising information sharing. Pursuant to a bilateral arrangement, the US and Indian governments have committed to collaborating on improving border security and information-sharing capabilities. The US Government is still pending a decision from the Government of India on an offer to collaborate on watch listing assistance, as per the official reports.
India is implementing dual-screen X-raying for cargo screening at airport locations.
Significant law enforcement actions by India include a National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Special Court sentencing three Lashkar-e-Tayyiba/Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami terrorists to prison sentences of ten years for weapons smuggling, eight Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh terrorists were convicted for attacks with explosives in Bodh Gaya in 2012.
The NIA through September 2021, investigated 37 cases related to ISIS and arrested 168 people.
India is a member of FATF, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, and the Eurasian Group. India’s Financial Intelligence Unit-India is part of the Egmont Group. NIA investigated nine cases of possible terror funding.
The Indian Army runs schools, training courses, recruitment drives, medical camps, and emergency services in Jammu and Kashmir to prevent “radicalisation”.