Terrorist training camps are reportedly becoming a thing of the past in the conflict zone of Kashmir in northern India with local militant groups now relying more on video tutorials for new recruits. The aim is to evade a security crackdown on training camps.
A video leaked recently on YouTube shows a militant leader giving instructions on stripping down a hand grenade and an AK-47 rifle. The terror organisations in the region are reportedly planning to shoot more videos on weapons training.
Army sources told IBTimes India that earlier militant groups used to send fresh recruits of radicalised Kashmiri youth to training camps located in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, but those camps were vulnerable to attack from government forces and thus their use has been limited in the recent past.
"They don't want well-trained men who can defend themselves and fight. All they want is cannon fodder. These young recruits are misled, radicalised and then left out there to die at the hands of security forces. In many cases, these recruits do impart damage to the armed forces as well," a local police officer told the digital news outlet.
The army sources added that Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), which happens to be the biggest militant organisation operating in the region, is the main group that has adopted the modern training procedure.
"The HM leadership wants the young recruits to know the basics of the guns and bombs they would be using — for this their makeshift production houses are working at full pace. They get voluntary help from terror sympathisers locally to produce these shoddy basic-training videos," local intelligence sources explained.
The sources could not give an exact figure for the number of active terrorists in Kashmir, but said there could be 270 of them, most of those belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen, followed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). All the three are designated terrorist organisations.
These terrorist groups are not the first ones to use modern technology for recruiting and training militants. International terrorist organisations like Isis and al-Qaeda have been known for using messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to recruit people.
They keep posting videos of their terrorist attacks on these sites to attract vulnerable youth to join their jihadist campaigns. The rampant use of social media by terrorist organisations has prompted the companies to tighten security and vigilance over their usage.