KASHMIR, Sep 15 : Abu Ismael, who had been leading Lashker-e-Taiba operations in the Kashmir valley over past 6-7 months, was planning a fidayeen attack on a security camp on the outskirts of Srinagar when J&K police caught up with him, top intelligence sources told.
Burhan Wani, who assumed charge of Hizbul in 2014, was killed in an encounter on July 8, 2016. Forces have since been hot on his successor Zakir Musa’s trail.
Sabzar Ahmed Bhat took over the Hizbul reins in May 2017 after Musa quit Hizbul, but was killed within a week. His successor Yasin Itoo was killed in an encounter on August 13.
“The emphasis is to create a vacuum in top echelons of the terror outfit by not allowing its seniormost commander enough time to get a grip on its operations,” said an officer.
The central agencies credit “good human intelligence” generated by J&K police for the high rate of militants killings. “J&K police always had good ground intelligence but were earlier tied up in controlling local protests including stone-pelting.
With the mob violence having ebbed, they are now using this intelligence for counter-terror operations,” he said.In the past few months, many operations were undertaken based on technical intelligence generated by central agencies and ground intelligence by J&K police.
However, after phone surveillance led to the elimination of many terrorists, a directive from top commanders asking cadres to junk their phones dried up the technical trail.
“It is now essentially human intelligence by J&K police that is helping us,” said an intelligence operative.