Srinagar, July 13: In a significant development, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out a series of raids at five different locations in three districts of Kashmir on Thursday. The operation aimed to investigate a terrorist conspiracy case involving the cadres and Overground Workers (OGWs) associated with various outfits, allegedly responsible for spreading terror and violence in the region.
An NIA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that the agency's ongoing investigations in the Jammu and Kashmir terrorist conspiracy case prompted these latest raids. The targeted premises belonged to hybrid terrorists and OGWs affiliated with outfits and affiliates of Pakistan-backed banned terrorist organizations.
The official stated, "Some of these newly-floated outfits, such as The Resistance Front (TRF), a shadow organization of Lashkar-e-Taiba, have been found issuing threats of carrying out attacks in J&K over social media."
The search operations were conducted at five locations spanning the districts of Shopian, Awantipora, and Pulwama, during the early hours of Thursday. The targeted premises belonged to sympathizers and members of newly formed outfits, including The Resistance Front (TRF), United Liberation Front Jammu and Kashmir (ULFJ&K), Mujahideen Gazwat-ul-Hind (MGH), Jammu and Kashmir Freedom Fighters (JKFF), Kashmir Tigers, PAAF, and others. All these outfits are known to have affiliations with banned Pakistani-backed organizations such as LeT, JeM, HM, Al-Badr, and Al-Qaeda.
During the raids, the NIA recovered several digital devices containing substantial volumes of incriminating data, bolstering their ongoing investigations.
"These searches have once again highlighted the significance of OGWs in the terror ecosystem of the Valley, which is being systematically dismantled," the NIA official emphasized. OGWs, also known as hybrid terrorists, provide support to militants and terrorists based in Pakistan.
The NIA had previously initiated a suo moto case (RC-05/2022/NIA/JMU) on June 21, 2022, to probe the involvement of cadres and OGWs associated with various outfits in spreading activities related to terrorism, violence, and subversion in J&K.
"These individuals have been implicated in the collection and distribution of sticky bombs/magnetic bombs, IEDs, funds, narcotic substances, and arms and ammunition," the official stated.
The investigations conducted by the NIA further revealed that Pakistan-based operatives were utilizing social media platforms to promote terror activities. Meanwhile, drones were being employed to transport arms, ammunition, explosives, narcotics, and other contraband to their operatives and cadres in the Kashmir valley.
Officials stressed that the terror conspiracy in question involved plotting by banned outfits in both physical and cyberspace, aiming to carry out violent terrorist attacks in J&K using sticky bombs, IEDs, and small arms.
"These organizations, supported by their handlers in Pakistan, have conspired to commit acts of terror and violence by radicalizing local youth and mobilizing overground workers, thereby threatening peace and communal harmony in J&K," the official affirmed.
In a similar operation on July 11, the NIA conducted raids at five locations in Anantnag, Shopian, and Pulwama districts, seizing numerous digital devices containing significant incriminating data. The crackdown specifically targeted newly-floated offshoots of proscribed Pakistan-backed terrorist groups operating within the Union territory.