Falcon Squad: Terror Module Of LeT’s Wing A New Threat For J-K

As Jammu and Kashmir is put on maximum alert amid the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, ‘Falcon Squad’ module of ‘The Resistance Front’ (TRF)– Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Indian offshoot– is among one of a new threat for the Union Territory and a major challenge for the security forces.
The role of ‘Falcon Squad’ came to the fore with its involvement in various terrorist acts as was disclosed and brought out during the investigation which include last year’s grenade attacks in Baramulla town, a top official in the security establishment requesting anonymity told ANI.

“The group’s role is under the radar of Jammu and Kashmir police as well as other security agencies with its involvement in various firing incidents in and around Baramulla, transportation of proscribed weapons and explosives,” said the official.

The module’s role also came to light in a recent grenade attack on a newly established wine shop, which left an employee dead and three others injured in May.

During the investigation of the attack on the wine shop, the Jammu and Kashmir Police achieved a major breakthrough by arresting four militants and their one associate of the ‘Falcon Squad’–a group of local youths who do not have a previous criminal record.

As per inputs received from security agencies, ‘Falcon Squad’ youths come with pistols, attack and escape, and start living a normal life. “In such a situation, it is difficult to identify them. The new module of these terrorists is being called Falcon Squad or Gazelle Squad,” said the official.

Sources in the security department tell that these terrorists are of young age between 15-18 years and they are recruited online.

“They are given training online. After this, they are sent to attack. Such squads carry out attacks in numbers of 1-2. Following the strategy of hit and run, these terrorists complete their work in close accordion with Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of LeT’s TRF wing,” the official said.

Another senior official of the security wing said that terrorist commanders of LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) among others have been using youths by radicalising and recruiting them for selective killing in Kashmir.

Agencies are learnt to have working in this direction to prevent Jammu and Kashmir youth from coming in contact with the commander of the big terrorist organisation.

The security agencies also managed to neutralize 125 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir till July 5 while 141, including 82 foreigners, are still active in the Union Territory (UT).

Of the total 141 active terrorists, the report mentions, 59 are locals who are recruited by different terrorist groups like LeT, JeM and HM among others.

The report, available with key security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, also mentions that the figure of the currently active terrorists in the UT is noticed despite of neutralization of 125 terrorists, including 34 foreign terrorists, there between January 1 and July 5 this year.

In June (this year) alone, a maximum of 34 terrorists, including six foreigners and 28 locals, were neutralized by the security forces. The number of terrorists neutralized in January was 20, 7 in February, 13 in March, 24 in April and 27 in May.

As per a report available till June 28 this year, those neutralized by security forces belong to LeT (68), JeM (29) and HM (16).

As per the report, 69 recruitments were also taken place this year till 5th July while the number was 142 last year. (ANI)

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