Despite the raids by Indian Air Force last year, the terror hub in Balakot is back in action and training terrorists to launch attacks on India ….reports Asian Lite News
As the first anniversary of Balakot air raids near, Indian intelligence reports that the Balakot camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is active again and currently training 27 terrorists.
Delhi-based Hindustan Times quoting intelligence and counterterror operatives said the terrorists are targeting Indian posts.
The camp, targeted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a reprisal for the suicide bombing in Pulwama by a Jaish terrorist, and also to prevent further attacks against India, is currently headed by Yusuf Azhar, kin of Maulana Masood Azhar, and is currently providing terror training to 27 extremists for launching attacks against India, the HT said.
According to the counterterror operatives, out of the 27, eight are from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. They are being trained by two instructors from Punjab, Pakistan and three from Afghanistan. The operatives, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the intelligence at their disposal suggests that the training will be completed within this week, after which the terrorists will be ready for insertion into India. At the time when India launched strikes at Balakot, there were no less than 300 terrorists being trained there, according to the operatives.
The preparations for the terror offensive come even as around 40 JeM functionaries including Abdul Rauf were arrested on January 22, as part of Pakistan’s compliance with the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental agency which combats money-laundering and terror financing. Even as Rawalpindi GHQ does this, the Indian operatives say, it may also launch a full-fledged information campaign to actually project the February 26, 2019, Indian Air Force strike at Balakot as a victory for the Imran Khan regime.
The newspaper said the aim of such a campaign would be to boost public confidence in the political and military leadership, lift the morale of Kashmiris, counter the Indian narrative on both Balakot and Kashmir, and present India internationally as a threat to global peace and security.
Over 300 terrorists at PoK launchpads
Meanwhile, another report says that approximate 300 terrorists, including some from Afghanistan, are being trained at launchpads in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The latest intelligence report mentions that around 40-50 terror launchpads are currently functional in PoK and are being facilitated by Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Pakistan Army to train terrorists.
The report warns that these terrorists are set to infiltrate into India to carry out major attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and other major cities.
A high-level alert has been sounded in various Indian cities ahead of Republic Day on January 26 following the intelligence report which specifically mentions that over 50 terrorists from Afghanistan among 300 getting training under Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed and ready for cross-border action.
Neelam, Leepa and Tangdhar valleys in PoK near the Line of Control (LoC) are reported to be the regions where these terrorist launchpads are based, the report reveals.
Home Ministry officials said that the terror launchpads were “wound-up” in most of PoK after the 2019 Balakot airstrike conducted by Indian Air Force when Indian warplanes crossed the de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir on February 26 and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The officials, seeking anonymity, said some small groups of Pakistani Special Service Group commandos are positioned in PoK opposite the Keran and Poonch sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. However, they said that the number of these groups were not clear.
Information has been shared by Indian intelligence agencies that Mufti Rauf Asgar, the brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar, has been planning for attacks in India and has briefed to those terrorists being trained in these launchpads in PoK.
Asgar, who is held to be behind various terror strikes in India, had held a meeting in August last year in Bahawalpur regarding the future plans of the JeM and instructed to the launchpads commanders to push infiltrators into India, said the officials.
It is a “revival” attempt of the JeM in Jammu and Kashmir against the backdrop of killing of “157 terrorists in the year 2019” due to major anti-terror operations conducted by the security forces as per data shared by Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy to Parliament in the monsoon session last year.
The data had also mentioned that the cross-border infiltration attempts increased to 84 since scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, as compared to 53 in the preceding time frame. Successful infiltration attempts, however, have come down from 59 to 32, the home ministry said.
The JeM and LeT are learned to have been tasked with increasing of their ranks and strengthening the operational leadership in Jammu and Kashmir which has been bifurcated into two Union Territories.
The banned group, the officials said, also wanted to revive its local base in Jammu and Kashmir as most of their ground workers are caught or killed in security forces’ operations and the remaining are unable to survive and fight.