LeT, JeM get ISI cyber training

A highly-specialised cyber division of Pakistan’s key counter intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been assigned the task of training operatives of main militant outfits in the use of cyber technology. The ISI’s cyber experts are visiting training camps of militant outfits like the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Indian Mujahideen most of which are located in PoK to train their cadre in use of computers.

These details form part of a classified note which was discussed during the high level security review meeting of DGPs/IGPs that concluded in the capital on Saturday with an address from Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. This annual conference organised by the home ministry is the biggest exercise to discuss at length the major security challenges being faced by India.

According to the note, which has been accessed by this newspaper, “the ISI is now working on a bigger gameplan in training terrorists in the use of cyber and computer technology as the Pakistani agency feels India is not fully equipped in dealing with incidents of cyber war or attack.’’

Importantly, the note states that the training given to subversive elements by ISI’s cyber experts played a key role in spreading the hate campaign through MMS and SMSes targeting people from the North-East in wake of ethnic violence in Assam. And this trend will only increase in the days to come and it is for this reason that ISI has stressed upon militant outfits to recruit more educated youth, it adds.

Sources said the issue of cyber security was discussed at length during the meeting. Some senior intelligence and security experts pointed out that the ISI was also in the process of specially training tech savvy youngsters who may be used for hacking or crippling essential services in India which are driven by computer technology.

“It is almost certain that the Pakistani agency was behind the recent cyber attack on India, at least indirectly. Having tasted success they will try it again in future and on a much bigger scale. So we must be prepared to deal with this challenge,’’a senior intelligence official said.

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