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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 13, No. 27, January 05, 2015

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal


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Afghanistan: Recycling History
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

The US has a long history of failed military campaigns abroad, and an entrenched proclivity to 'declare victory and run'. As 2014 came to a close, the US-led coalition in Afghanistan added another page to this dismal history, when the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) officially concluded its combat mission in Afghanistan at an event held at ISAF headquarters in capital city Kabul on December 28, 2014. ISAF had been constituted under US leadership under the Bonn Agreement 13 years earlier, in December 2001. The ISAF worked under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement, on the same day, boasted,
The mandate of the United Nations Security Council was to help the Afghan authorities provide security across the country and develop new Afghan Forces. This mandate was carried out at great cost, but with great success… Thanks to the remarkable effort of our forces, we have achieved what we set out to do. We have made our own nations safer, by denying safe haven to international terrorists. We have made Afghanistan stronger, by building up from scratch strong security forces..

Regrettably, however, the Secretary General's statement remains far from reality. Afghanistan today is unsecure and volatile, and is home to a multiplicity of Islamist extremist and terrorist formations that constitute a tremendous and potentially global threat. Moreover, the grave risks located in the wider Af-Pak region, and the neglect of the principal source of Islamist terrorism in the South Asian region - Pakistan - was studiously ignored through the period of ISAF's engagement in Afghanistan, despite the continuous losses inflicted on ISAF personnel and infrastructure by terrorist formations located on Pakistani soil. Afghanistan is now utterly exposed to the dangers of a proxy war by the Pakistani state backing the Taliban, as well as an incendiary mix of radicalized terrorist formations that have slipped out of Pakistani state control.

As per numbers compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) from various sources, 2014 recorded the highest terrorism-related fatalities since 2007 (comprehensive data on fatalities in Afghanistan has been available only since 2007). Through 2014, a total of 10,373 fatalities were recorded, surpassing the previous high of 10,193 in 2010. Overall fatalities increased by almost 38.97 per cent in 2014, as compared to 2013.

Terrorism-related Fatalities in Afghanistan: 2007-2014





Security Force Personnel**



Afghan National Army (ANA)
Afghan National Police (ANA)
















*Data till December 31, 2014
Sources: [*Civilians: 2007-November 30, 2014, UNAMA; December 1, 2014, onwards Institute for Conflict Management (ICM)], [**SFs: ANA-2007-2013, Brookings; 2014: ICM; ANP-2007-2012, Brookings, 2013-2014, ICM; ISAF: ISAF website], [***Militants: ICM]

Fatalities among civilians, the best indicator of the prevailing security scenario in any theatre of conflict, have been rising constantly since 2007 [when the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) first began counting civilian fatalities], with the exception of 2012. 2014 registered 3,298 fatalities among civilians, the highest ever recorded by UNAMA.

In one of the deadliest attacks targeting civilians, in 2014, terrorists carried out a suicide attack on a large crowd watching a volleyball match in Paktika Province, killing at least 53 civilians, including 21 children, on November 23. Earlier on July 15, 2014, 89 people were killed when a suicide bomber, driving a truck packed with explosives, had blown himself up when he was stopped by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in a busy market area in the Urgun District of Paktika Province.

Raising concern about civilian security, Hadi Marifat, a Kabul-based analyst with the Centre for Civilians in Conflict, observed, “There is a lot of concern for the rise in civilian casualties. The more territory the Taliban tries to occupy in the coming years, the more civilian casualties there will be because of military confrontations.” Significantly, Taliban is 'regaining' its control at an alarming rate. A December 14, 2014, report thus observes, "There is no government whatsoever as soon as you travel around 12 miles away from any district centre in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. The British and the US forces left the southern area at the end of October, and in just over a month, vast swathes of the countryside have seemingly been lost to the Taliban." Indeed, varying media sources estimate that the Taliban, which lost power in 2001 as the US and its allies launched Operation Enduring Freedom in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, has regrouped and now dominates an estimated 40 to 60 per cent of Afghanistan.

In another indicator of the deteriorating security scenario, a total of 19,469 'security incidents' were recorded across the country in 2014 (data till November 15) as against 17,645 such incidents recorded during the corresponding period of 2013, an increase of 10.3 per cent, according to a UN report. The southern, south eastern and eastern parts of the country, all along the Pakistan border, which account for 69 per cent of the reported incidents, remain the most volatile regions.

This enveloping insecurity forced ISAF to turn its headquarters in Kabul into a fortress during the December 28 'end of mission' ceremony. Not to miss an opportunity, the Afghan Taliban, through its 'spokesman' Zabihullah Mujahid, mocked ISAF on December 29:
The ISAF withdrawal ceremony went strangely unheralded in the United States and much of the world and then news surfaced that ISAF was going to arrange its big farewell ceremony in secret due to threat of Mujahidin attacks in Kabul. ISAF rolled up its flag in an atmosphere of failure and disappointment without having achieved anything substantial or tangible. It should be emphasized that due to the blessed Jihad most of the involved nations excluding America have withdrawn all of their troops from Afghanistan... Without a doubt the defeat of the infidel Western military alliance in Afghanistan [sic] at the hands of a few empty handed believing Mujahidin, the destruction of fortified bases by their own hands and their hasty withdrawal were unconceivable [sic] and is a clear sign of the divine help of Allah Almighty. While the admonitory withdrawal of foreign forces is taking place, the presence of their internal stooges is being rolled back from much of the country at the same time. Mujahidin are taking over new areas daily, dismantling their bases and are tightening their sieges. The demoralised American-built forces will constantly be dealt defeats just like their masters.

Indeed, ISAF with the US at the helm, has lost the battle. This is the third time foreign troops have returned defeated from Afghan land. During the ‘First Great Game’, it was the British Indian Forces that fought and lost in Afghanistan in 19th Century (twice, between 1839-42 and 1878-1880). Soviet Forces waged a losing battle for over nine years, during the course of the ‘Second Great Game’, to eventually withdraw in humiliation in 1989. As with these Forces, ISAF now leaves Afghanistan in utter disarray.

US President Barack Obama, while hailing ISAF's role, nevertheless conceded, on December 28, 2014, "Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and the Afghan people and their security forces continue to make tremendous sacrifices in defense of their country. US forces in the country will continue to face risks..."

The US role in Afghanistan is, however, unlikely to end. A contingent of US 'military advisors' and Special Forces will remain stationed in the country, and the drone campaign against the Taliban and its allies is expected to continue. The US is also likely to put additional pressure on Islamabad to end support to destabilizing forces in Afghanistan. The minimum expected is that the US will now drastically cut economic aid to Pakistan, as it has been proved time and again that authorities in Pakistan have used this aid to promote terror groups inimical to both Afghanistan and India. These terrorist organizations operating out of Pakistani soil have carried out numerous attacks inside Afghanistan, targeting Afghan and Indian interest, as well as ISAF units. Thus, in the case of the July 17, 2014, attack by heavily armed Taliban terrorists on the Kabul International Airport, the Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqi, asserted that the attack was either plotted by the Pakistan’s external Intelligence Agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or the Haqqani Network. Earlier, on May 23, 2014, gunmen armed with machine guns and RPGs attacked the Indian Consulate in Herat Province in Afghanistan. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel and Afghan SFs in an encounter that lasted 10 hours killed all the four attackers. Then Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai confirmed, "According to information given to us by a Western intelligence agency, the perpetrators of the Herat attack belonged to the LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba]. This was mentioned in writing in the report shared with us". LeT is ISI’s most trusted terrorist proxy.

Meanwhile, the NATO has now begun its Resolute Support Mission (RSM). Approximately 12,000 personnel from the 28-member NATO and 14 partner nations will be deployed in support of the mission. The mission is planned to operate with one central hub (in Kabul/Bagram) and four 'spokes' in Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar and Laghman. Its key functions include:
  • Supporting planning, programming and budgeting;
  • Assuring transparency, accountability and oversight;
  • Supporting adherence to the principles of rule of law and good governance;
  • Supporting establishment and sustainment of such processes as force generation, recruiting, training, managing and development of person
  • RSM clearly states that "this mission will not involve combat” and 12,000 personnel performing broadly administrative and training assistance and oversight functions are not going to secure Afghanistan where the much larger ISAF, with 132,457 personnel, as on July 26, 2011, failed. RSM was preceded by the signing of two separate security pacts by Afghanistan with the US and NATO.

    The burden now falls on an underprepared ANSF (strength of about 350,000). Significantly, Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson, a top commander of the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, on November 5, 2014, disclosed that 4,634 ANSF personnel were killed in action in 2014, adding to 4,350 killed in 2013. It is useful to note that, during the entire course of its combat mission, over 13 years, ISAF lost a total of 3,485 personnel.

    ANSF is also riddled with Taliban elements that have been infiltrated into the Force, as well as numerous 'green-on-green' fratricidal killings,  and large scale desertions. Further, according to a US Department of Defense "Report on Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan" published in November 2013, between April 1 and September 30, 2013, there were 33 'insider attacks' against ANSF, up from 20 during the same period in 2012, an increase of 65 percent. The updated version of the same report published in October 2014, though, did not provide details of such attacks, but noted, "The threat of insider attacks continues to be a challenge for the ANSF and will require continued close coordination." Gulab Khan, the head of criminal investigations in Uruzgan Province, observed that the killing of Afghan Forces by their own colleagues was an increasingly urgent problem: “If we have local police who are easily switching to the Taliban, soon the aftermath will be grave and will pose a big threat to the Afghan Government.”

    Nevertheless, the year witnessed a significant positive development. For the first time in its recent history Afghanistan saw a violence-free transition of power from one civilian Government to another, following a successfully held Presidential Election. Moreover, in a sign of growing political stability, despite a protracted faceoff, an agreement to form a National Unity Government was signed on September 21, and subsequently Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was sworn in as President and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the new Government, on September 29, 2014.

    Crucially, 58 per cent and 60 per cent of voters risked their lives to cast their vote in the two phases of the Presidential election in April and June 2014, despite Taliban threats and escalating violence, suggesting a tremendous surge in popular support to the democratic process. The 2009 Presidential elections had recorded a turnout of 38.7 per cent.

    Unfortunately, Afghanistan's future will continue to be defined substantially by Islamabad's mischief. Unless Pakistan is compelled by the international community to end its support to the Taliban and other extremist formations in Afghanistan, the prevailing troubles can only escalate.

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    MANIPUR: Fragile Consolidation
    Giriraj Bhattacharjee
    Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

    Three non-locals [non-Manipuris] were killed and another four were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast at a tea stall run by a non-local at Khoyathong, near the Motbung Bus Parking in Imphal West District, on December 21, 2014. The dead were identified as Ram Khusum Das, Shiva Kumar and Lallan, all hailing from Uttar Pradesh.

    In a similar incident, on December 15, two migrant traders hailing from Bihar were killed and another four were injured, when a powerful IED exploded at a betel leaf market located in Thangal Bazar in Imphal East District.

    According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of eight non-locals, hailing from States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal were killed and 47 were injured in six incidents of attacks targeting non-locals across the State through 2014. In 2013, 12 people were killed and another 39 were injured in seven such attacks.

    Despite these incidents, however, the general security environment in the State has seen marked improvement over the past six years. Indeed, according to the SATP database, 54 fatalities [20 civilians, 10 Security Force (SF) personnel and 24 militants] were recorded in the State in 2014, as compared to 55 [21 civilians, six SF troopers, 28 militants] in 2013. Manipur had registered 485 insurgency-linked fatalities, including 131 civilians, 13 SF personnel and 341 militants, in 2008. Fatalities have registered a constant decline thereafter, with the exception of 2012, when there was a spike, primarily due to increasing militant fatalities, at 73 in 2012, as compared to 30 in 2011. Fatalities among civilians have registered a constant decline since 2008.

    Other parameters of violence also declined through 2014. As against five major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities) resulting in 25 fatalities in 2013, 2014 saw four such incidents resulting in 11 deaths. 2014 recorded 66 incidents of explosions, in which 15 persons were killed and 76 were injured, as against 76 incidents in 2013, which resulted in 24 fatalities and 103 injuries.  

    Fratricidal clashes between Naga militants also declined. There were just five such clashes through 2014 resulting in three fatalities. These clashes occurred between the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) – at times a combined force of ZUF and Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland–Khaplang (NSCN-K) – and the NSCN-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), and between NSCN-IM and NSCN-Khole-Kitovi (NSCN-KK). There were seven such incidents, resulting in nine fatalities, in 2013.

    The number of Districts from where killings were reported remained the same – at eight - in both 2013 and 2014. The maximum number of fatalities were reported from Ukhrul (12), followed jointly by Tamenglong, Senapati and Imphal East (eight each). By comparison, in 2013, Tamenglong recorded the highest fatalities, at 12; followed by Senapati, 11. 

    SF action resulted in an increased number of militants arrested. 536 militants were arrested in 2014, as against 368 in 2013. Arrested militants prominently included People’s Liberation Army (PLA), 58; People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), 56; United National Liberation Front (UNLF), 55; Progressive faction of PREPAK (PREPAK-PRO), 45; Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), 42; and ZUF, nine. Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei stated in the State Assembly on July 23, 2014, that a total of 2,432 militants had been arrested in the State since April 2012 and INR 61.86 million was recovered from them. While 2,415 militants were arrested within the State, 17 were arrested in locations outside State boundaries. He added that 1,154 militants were in judicial custody and eight were in Police custody, while 1,270 cadres had been released on bail.

    At least 93 militants surrendered in 2014, adding to 273 in 2013. In one the most significant surrenders of 2014, 57 militants of three different militant groups – 35 of the K. K. Nganba faction of Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP- K.K. Nganba; 20 of the Nongdrenkhomba faction of KCP- Military Council (KCP-MC-Nongdrenkhomba); and two of the Vice-chairman Faction of PREPAK - surrendered and laid down their arms in a 'home coming ceremony' on December 15, 2014. The surrendered militants included Nongdrenkhomba, 'commander-in-chief' of KCP-MC; Ningomba Nabachandra alias Naba, 'chairman' of the PREPAK-VC faction; and Potsangbam Chinglen alias London, 'finance secretary ‘of PREPAK. On December 19, 2014, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei informed the State Assembly that a total of 2,731 underground cadres belonging to various armed groups operating in the State were being provided assistance under the Centre’s surrender policy: “Out of them, 1,122 belong to different groups under KNO (Kuki National Organisation), 1059 under UPF (United People’s Front) groups, besides 550 others.” Currently, about 19 underground groups under KNO and UPF are under a Suspension of Operations (SoO) Agreement in the State.

    The threat from the most active militant formation, Coordination Committee (CorCom), has also decreased. CorCom was responsible for eight fatalities in 2014, the same as in 2013, and accounted for 10 blasts through 2014, as against 28 in 2013. CorCom was set up on July 8, 2011, by seven Imphal Valley based groups (reduced to six after UPPK’s ouster in January 2013).

    Urgent concerns do, however, remain. The number of incidents of killing increased from 10 in 2013 to 31 in 2014. Three SF personnel were killed along with nine militants in 11 incidents of encounters between rebels and the SFs in 2014. Though number of such encounters in 2013 was a higher 13, no SF trooper was killed in such encounters, and all 15 fatalities in such encounters were militants.

    In terms of lethality, ZUF remained the most active outfit. Out of 54 killings in 2014, 10 were linked to ZUF, followed by NSCN-IM (six). Out of the total of 20 civilian fatalities in 2014, only seven could be attributed to a specific terror outfit. Naga militant formations were responsible for five of these [NSCN-IM (two), Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front (MNRF) (two), and ZUF (one)]; while PLA was responsible for the other two. 13 fatalities remained unattributed.

    Indeed, the spillover of the Naga insurgency has led to significant loss of life in Manipur. Deputy Chief Minister Gangmei, who also holds the Home portfolio, revealed on July 15, 2014, that over 100 persons had been killed in Manipur by NSCN-IM since the 1980’s. Further, at least eight members of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) of Manipur [formed under the provisions of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Third Amendment) Act 2008] are on the NSCN-IM's hit list. Suspected NSCN-IM militants have already killed the former Vice Chairman and Member of the Ukhrul Autonomous District Council (UADC), Ngalangzar Malue, at Finch Corner in Ukhrul District on July 12, 2014. His nephew Ratanmi Malue and driver Khangembam Bigyani were injured in the attack.

    Out of the 10 SF fatalities in 2014, six were attributed to Valley based groups - three each to UNLF and PLA. The two Naga outfits - NSCN-IM and ZUF - were responsible for one SF fatality each. 

    At least 28 militant outfits remained active in the State through 2014, according to the SATP database. These primarily included PLA, UNLF, KYKL, NSCN-IM and ZUF. On August 29, 2013, the Union Government had declared that 34 militant formations were active in Manipur.

    The State recorded an increase in the number of extortion and abduction cases during in 2014. 27 extortion cases were reported during 2014, as compared to 14 in 2013 [the reported instances are likely a fraction of the actual incidence]. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) issued a public notice on March 9, 2014, asking all sections of people in general and affluent groups in particular to lodge complaints with the nearest Police Station or inform the Ministry through helplines, if such incidents occurred. The notification stated that names of the underground organisations, amount demanded, their telephone numbers and other particulars should be notified to the Police Stations and the MHA. The victims were required to use their own telephone numbers, and complaints lodged using some other phones would not be entertained or acknowledged. The identity of the callers, the notification stated, would be kept confidential. No further information is available on the implementation of this measure.

    There were at least 31 recorded incidents of abductions through 2014, with 43 persons abducted. 23 registered incidents resulting in 40 abductions are on record in 2013.

    The year also witnessed increased activities of Islamist outfits in the State. Worryingly, in July 2014, it was reported that at least 23 youth from the Lilong area in Thoubal District had left home to join al-Qaeda. According to a September 5 report, an unnamed Government official disclosed, “They had gone in two batches. Four have returned home while the others are untraceable.” The official disclosed further that these recruits were first indoctrinated and trained in weapons before being placed in the actual war theatres in Afghanistan and Iraq. Significantly, Deputy CM, Gaikhangam confirmed that al Qaeda was recruiting youth from the Northeast, noting, “It is a fact that Al-Qaida recruits youth from the Northeast, and we must take care of the element that is threatening the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.” However, State-based Muslim outfits, including People's United Liberation Front (PULF), remained dormant.

    With ethnic militant formations maintaining safe bases in Myanmar and Bangladesh, insurgency in the State is far from over. The Border Security Force (BSF), during the 3-day bi-annual Inspector General level meeting for border management and coordination, commencing on March 6, 2014, handed over a list of 66 camps of insurgent groups, operating in India's Northeast, which exist inside Bangladesh, to their Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) counterparts. The list included camps of the Manipur-based KYKL and PLA. Besides, CorCom is based in Myanmar, and is mulling plans for increased coordination amongst various militant groups operating in India's Northeast. CorCom ‘convenor’ Khun-dongbam Pambei, in a Press Statement on the occasion of the Committee’s third foundation day (July 8, 2014), stated that the people of Manipur and ‘Western South East Asia (WESEA)’ [Northeast India] would soon see a new face of the ongoing revolutionary movement with its ‘Joint Fighting Force (JFF)’ determined to step up its armed campaign against the Indian military under the command of the ‘Joint Military Council (JMC)’.

    Under the prevailing circumstances, the State Cabinet extended the 'disturbed area status’ of the State under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) for another year, from December 1, 2014. State Education Minister and Government spokesman M. Okendro, while announcing the decision to the media, observed, "Taking serious note of frequent bomb blasts and other acts of violence, the Government considered it necessary to extend the disturbed area status in the state."

    Meanwhile, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on August 15, 2014, stated that the demand for an 'Alternative Arrangement' by the Nagas in Manipur was a 'pipe dream' and added that if it was conceded, the integrity of the State would be jeopardized. Also, Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, observed that the Union Government would not allow the ongoing peace talks with NSCN-IM to jeopardize the State’s territorial integrity. The United Naga Council (UNC) is leading the movement for an Alternative Arrangement for Naga inhabited areas of the State. UNC held its first round of political level talks with representatives of the Union Government in Senapati District on February 6, 2014. Earlier, six rounds of tripartite talks had been held between State, Union Government and UNC representatives, before the political level talks.

    Manipur boasts of a significantly high police population ratio, at 1,020 policemen per 100,000 population, many multiples of the national average of 141 (at the end of 2013, according to National Crime Records Bureau data). Unfortunately, recruitment to the Police (as well as other Departments of Government) is seen more as an employment generation activity in the State, rather than as a security measure, and the quality and preparedness of the Force is abysmal. Manipur Police has planned to modernize its functioning, to include cyber crime investigation, enhancing the mobility of the force, improving communication system, upgrading the striking capability with induction of sophisticated weapons, increasing office space and housing of lower subordinates, procuring security gadgets, and to professionalize its working in 2015, according to state police sources. The State Police Department Public Relations Officer, S. Gautam, stated, on January 2, 2015, “Efforts are also on to upgrade the knowledge and skills of all field operatives especially the armed police by putting them through Refresher Training Courses both within and outside the State.”

    While it is now established state policy to seek negotiated solutions with armed rebel groups, it is necessary for the state to define the limits beyond which it will not compromise, and to strengthen its security apparatus to control future challenges.


    Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
    December 29, 2014 - January 4, 2015



    Security Force Personnel







    Left-wing Extremism




    Total (INDIA)












    PAKISTAN (Total)

    Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


    Four suspected terrorists dead as intruder boat blows itself up off Gujarat coast: Coast Guard patrol vessels intercepted a suspicious Pakistani fishing boat in the Arabian Sea in the early hours of January 1. Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials said the four people on the fishing trawler set it ablaze after an "hour-long hot pursuit", which ended with "warning shots" being fired to stop the vessel around 365 km from Porbandar in Gujarat. The ship, with those on board, finally sank to the seabed amid loud explosions around 6.30am on January 1. Times of India, January 3, 2015.

    Terror groups ready to cross over LoC and IB before Barack Obama's visit, according to intelligence report: Groups of Pakistani terrorists have positioned themselves at eight to nine launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). They are waiting to infiltrate under the cover of fire provided by Pakistani forces, for carrying out attacks in India ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit in January, according to sources in the Indian security establishment. Times of India, January 3, 2015.

    ISI upset with LeT over peaceful J&K elections, says report: Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is disappointed with militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) over the peaceful conduct of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) elections. According to reports, ISI had asked LeT to disrupt the elections in J&K. However, due to effective vigilance of Indian Security Forces, LeT failed to disrupt the polls in which 65.2 voters cast their vote. Zee News, January 3, 2015.

    NLFT suffers another split: The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) has suffered another split with "commander" Prabhat Jamatya (39), in early December 2014, leaving the group's camp in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh with more than 25 followers and a large number of arms and ammunition. NLFT-Prabhat, have based themselves in the large and sprawling house of a retired Bangladeshi Policeman in Rajghat the tea garden area under Chunarughat subdistrict of Bangladesh, which borders Monaibari under Khowai Subdivision of Tripura. Telegraph, January 2, 2015.

    BSF trooper and four Pakistan Rangerss killed as Pakistan violates CFA in Jammu and Kashmir: Four Pakistani Rangers were killed after Border Security Force (BSF) personnel retaliated effectively the Pakistan shelling and firing in Samba sector during the day in which one BSF trooper was killed and another injured while mortar shells and bullets fell in fields and close to civilians houses at Khwara, Regal, Suchetgarh Kullian and Mawa in Samba sector of Samba District on December 31. The Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing on the BSF posts and civilian areas at Khwara, Regal, Suchetgarh Kullian and Mawa along the International Border in Samba sector at 1.15 pm. Daily Excelsior, January 1, 2015.

    Government blocks 32 websites carrying anti-India content from Islamic State, says report: Government has blocked 32 websites citing national security concerns, as they were allegedly carrying anti-India material from terror groups such as Islamic State (IS). "We have blocked some websites, as there were serious national security concerns," an unnamed government official said. The websites that have faced the crackdown include popular video sharing platforms like DailyMotion and Vimeo, while some of them have been allowed to function after removing the objectionable content. IBN Live, January 1, 2015.

    Cybercrime goes up by over 40 per cent, according to reports: Cybercrimes have registered an annual increase of more than 40 per cent in India in the past two years. According to Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) statistics, as many as 71,780 cyberfrauds were reported in 2013, while 22,060 such cases were reported in 2012. There have been 62,189 incidents of cyber frauds till June, 2014. In 2013, a total of 28,481 Indian websites were hacked by various hacker groups spread across the globe. The number of hacking incidents were 27,605 in 2012 and 21,699 in 2011. Times of India, December 31, 2014.


    UCPN-M forms sub-committees to manage protest programmes: The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) has formed five sub-committees to manage its upcoming January 3-19 protest programmes and make them systematic and effective. The protests are aimed at putting pressure on the ruling coalition to choose consensus ahead of the Constituent Assembly's (CA) January 22, 2015, schedule for bringing out a new constitution. Nepal News, January 2, 2015.


    63 militants and four civilians among 68 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 31 militants have been killed and scores of others injured as jet fighters targeted militants hideouts in Koki Khel area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 4.

    A United States (US) drone strike at Wacha Basti village near Alwara Mandi in Dattakhel of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) killed eight militants and injured two others on January 4.

    A bomb targeting Shias at a volleyball match killed at least four persons and injured eight at the Hussaini ground in the Kalaya area of Orakzai Agency on January 4.

    At least 23 militants were killed when Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets on December 31 pounded suspected militant positions in the Shawal area of NWA. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, December 30, 2014-January 5, 2015.

    Operation against TTP, its supporters and sympathisers launched, says Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan: The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on January 3 that action had been launched against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), its supporters and sympathisers. Speaking at a press conference, he said it had been decided in the National Action Plan (NAP) that TTP operatives, their supporters, masterminds and financiers would be identified across the country. The Federal intelligence agencies would cooperate with provinces to accomplish the task, he added. Dawn, January 5, 2015.

    Resurgence of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz poses security threat, warn Security Agencies: A report titled 'Activities of Maulana Abdul Aziz', forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Interior by the Security Agencies on January 4 warned the Government that due to his links with militant outfits and his anti-government rhetoric the resurgence of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Aziz poses security threat to the law and order situation in Islamabad. The report states that the "Lal Masjid mafia" has links with militant groups and land grabbers and is currently reorganising the Ghazi Force spawned by his own followers after the Lal Masjid operation in 2007. Dawn, January 5, 2015.

    TTP-JuA 'spokesperson' Ehsanullah Ehsan's account emerges on social networking site LinkedIn: Ehsanullah Ehsan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan-Jama'at-ul-Ahrar (TTP-JuA) 'spokesperson', has been found using social networking site LinkedIn, listing his skills as "jihad and journalism". Ehsanullah Ehsan has 69 connections on LinkedIn, indicating a sizable network. Ehsan does not hide his associations and openly promotes himself on LinkedIn as 'spokesman' for TTP-JuA. Times of India, The Telegraph, January 5, 2015.

    Three special courts set up in Punjab, KP and Balochistan: Three special courts were formed on January 1 in accordance with the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) to preside over cases relating to terrorism. Five special courts are to be formed in total. The three courts have been formed in Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Lahore (Punjab) and Quetta (Balochistan) in accordance with the PPA passed by parliament in order to curb rising militancy in the country. Judge Mukarrab Khan will head the special court in Lahore, Judge Zafar Khosa in Quetta and judge Anwar Ali Khan will preside over the court in Peshawar. Daily Times, January 2, 2015.

    Consensus against terror not be lost to petty rifts, says CoAS General Raheel Sharif: The Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS), General Raheel Sharif, on January 1 said the political consensus against terrorism should not be lost to petty differences. He said the entire nation was looking towards the political and military leadership of the country to take bold and meaningful decisions leading to stern action against the terrorists and their sympathisers. He was addressing the 178th Corps Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters. The News, January 2, 2015.

    Punjab is the training centre for terrorists, says ANP Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain: Awami National Party (ANP) Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain on January 1 declared Punjab a training centre for terrorists and their masterminds and demanded that the Government begin a decisive action against terrorist outfits in the province. He was speaking at the 'Shuhada Amn Qaumi Conference' here at Nishtar Hall in Peshawar. Mian Iftikhar told participants that terrorism could not be eliminated from the country until an operation began against terrorist organisations in Punjab. Mian Iftikhar demands 'decisive action' against terrorist outfits in the province. Dawn, January 2, 2015.

    824 persons killed and another 2,339 injured in bomb attacks across Pakistan in 2014, says report: At least 824 people were killed and 2,339 others injured in 372 bomb attacks, including 26 suicide bombings that occurred across Pakistan during 2014, according to official statistics. According to the data, the suicide attacks killed 249 people and left 582 wounded in different areas of the country last year. In 2014, the number of suicide attacks dropped by 34 percent from the year of 2013 when 39 suicide blasts took place. Daily Times, January 2, 2015.

    600 NGOs licences being confirmed to curb terror funding: In order to implement the National Action Plan to root out the menace of terrorism, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has decided to re-validate the licences of hundreds of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to curb terrorist financing. "Yes, the SECP has decided to confirm the licences of over 600 NGOs registered under Section 42 of Companies Ordinance 1984," official sources in the Ministry of Finance confirmed to The News. The News, January 1, 2015.

    2,841 terrorists, 327 security officials and 882 civilians killed in 2014: The year 2014 remained deadly for Pakistan with over 4070 casualties in terrorism related activities including killings of 2851 terrorists, 327 security personnel and 892 civilians as compared to the year 2013 which had seen 3268 deaths including 1448 civilians, 360 security officials and 1460 terrorists. Hence, the year also remained worst for the terrorists as a total 2841 terrorist were killed while in the year 2013 as many as 1460 terrorists were killed. According to the data compiled with the help from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) and Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), in addition to over 4070 killings as many as 2114 others were injured in terrorism incidences. Daily Times, January 1, 2015.

    Pakistan most dangerous country for journalists in 2014, says International Federation of Journalists report: Pakistan has been the most dangerous country for journalists in the world, with 14 journalists killed in 2014, International Federation of Journalists report said. Syria was second on the list with 12 journalists killed throughout the year. Overall, the number of journalists who died in targeted killings, bomb attacks or shootings around the world rose to 118 in 2014 from 105 the year before, the press group said. Nine killings each occurred in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, the federation said. Tribune, January 1, 2015.

    1,265 enforced disappearances cases still pending, says report: As many as 1,265 cases of missing persons are still pending with the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance (CIED) as of December 31, 2014, says a report available with The Express Tribune. The commission - while submitting summary report on cases of alleged enforced disappearances to Interior Ministry and 12 other departments - has said it has disposed of 1,098 missing persons' cases from March 2011 to December 2014. Tribune, January 1, 2015.

    Government Committee finds LEAs 'incapable' of blocking terror funding channels: A Government committee on December 30 observed that the law enforcing personnel lacked proper training and knowledge to track and investigate terrorist financing channels. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar stressed the need for improving coordination between the Federal and Provincial Governments and law enforcing agencies to deal with the problem of terrorist financing. Dar chaired a meeting of the sub-committee formed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to recommend ways and means to choke finances for terrorists and terrorist organisations. Daily Times, December 31, 2014.

    Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar hiding in Karachi, says Afghanistan Intelligence Chief Rahmatullah Nabil: Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar is alive and hiding in Karachi, said acting Afghanistan intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil on December 29. "There is a lot of doubt whether he is alive or not. But we are more confident that he is in Karachi," Nabil was quoted as saying in The New York Times (NYT) regarding Omar's whereabouts. An unnamed European official said in the NYT report that there is a "consensus among all three branches of the Afghan Security Forces that Mullah Omar is alive". Times of India, December 30, 2014.

    'Pakistan Army fooled youth for blood game in Kashmir and Afghanistan', claims TTP senior 'commander' Adnan Rashid in a video message: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) released a new video accusing the Pakistani Army of attacking the 'Mujahideen' (holy warrior) even after using them for "blood game" and "proxy war" in Jammu and Kashmir in the name of "so-called freedom" and in Afghanistan. The video purportedly of its senior 'commander' Adnan Rashid, calls upon the soldiers of Pakistani Army to join the TTP listing the atrocities committed by force including "killing of millions" and "raping of own sisters" during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Economic Times, December 29, 2014.

    Islamic State sends out book in Urdu to journalists in Pakistan, claim media reports: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ also known as Islamic State-IS or Daish has sent out a book in Urdu language through emails to Pakistanis, especially journalists. The book in the PDF format is the first of its kind of literature in Urdu which in detail sheds light on the ISIS, its history, motives behind formation and its policy."I'm not aware of any such effort or practice through which ISIS propaganda literature, translated into Urdu-language being distributed or delivered in Pakistan," Director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Shahid Hayat Khan said. Economic Times, December 29, 2014.


    Over 14,000 skilled personnel added to SFs since end of war in 2009 to carry out post-war infrastructure development projects, says Ministry of Defense spokesperson: Ministry of Defense spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya on December 31 said that over 14,000 skilled personnel have been added to Security Forces (SFs) since the end of the war in 2009 to carry out the post-war infrastructure development projects. The spokesperson said that the Army has recruited over 10,000 skilled personnel who are not entitled for uniforms for their day-to-day duties and over 11,000 civil staff members have also been enrolled for these development duties. Colombo Page, January 3, 2015.


    The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

    SAIR is a project of the Institute for Conflict Management and the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

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