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Cops unable to trace ultras' net messages

Zulfikar Majid Srinagar: Dec 8, 2012 DH News Service 21:23 IST

Police lack equipment to track their cyber activities

With terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba increasingly using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and social networking sites as a safe mode to communicate with each other, security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir are becoming anxious.

Sources told Deccan Herald that terrorists have found a way out to communicate with each other so that their messages cannot be intercepted by security agencies.

The police department is unable to intercept the militant communications as there isno equipment to monitor social networking sites and voice chats, sources said.

“It results in huge intelligence vacuum,” a source said. Of late militants are excessively using VoIP and social networking sites to communicate with their handlers across the border making it almost impossible to track their movement.

“The police department is in the process to acquire state-of-the-art equipment worth crores of rupees soon to overcome the problem,” a senior police officer said.

At present only the Army’s Signal Intelligence has the facility to monitor VoIP, he added.
“But they are not sharing it with police,” the officer said. So the police department should have its own intelligence facility, he said.

LeT chief Abdullah Unni, who was killed last year in north Kashmir’s Sopore town, and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Yasir Tunda, shot in Baramulla last month, were believed to be using VoIP and social networking sites.

“Unni and Tunda were communicating with their handlers in Pakistan and militants in Kashmir through VoIP only. That is the reason they survived for long,” police sources said.
Last year, joint secretary (Kashmir) in the Union ministry of home Affairs, Sakananan had asked telecom operators to ensure that communications taking place over their networks either through VoIP or on social networking sites should be available for the security agencies to monitor.

Sakananan had assured Jammu and Kashmir Police that every possible option would be explored to provide latest equipment and facilities to monitor cyber activities of the militants.

The increased use of VoIP communication by militants is being seen as one of the biggest challenges faced in counter-insurgency operations.

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