India on Monday (local time) expressed concern at United Nations (UN) over misuse of information and communication technology for terrorist propaganda and radicalisation and called on the attention of the UN member states on the possibility of weaponised drones for terrorist purposes.
Speaking at a UN high-level conference of heads of counter-terrorism agencies, VSK Kaumudi, Special Secretary (Internal Security), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), said: “Being a low-cost option and easily available, utilisation of these aerial/sub-surface platforms for sinister purposes by terrorist groups such as intelligence collection, weapon/explosives delivery and targeted attacks have become an imminent danger and challenge for security agencies worldwide.”
“The possibility of the use of weaponised drones for terrorist purposes against strategic and commercial assets calls for serious attention by the member states,” he added.
Kaumudi also slammed a vitriolic diatribe by the Pakistan delegation, accusing it of “peddling false narratives and making baseless allegations against India”.
“For a nation that engages in sectarian violence against its own minorities and harbors a deep sense of insecurity and orchestrated hatred for India, there is nothing new that we could have expected from this delegation. 7th review of the Global Counter- Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) is over and Pakistan’s false narrative was summarily negated by the UN membership,” he said.
He added that the international community should call upon Pakistan to take effective, verifiable and irreversible actions against terror outfits operating on the territory under its control and not take the high road of morality which is only laden with mines of falsehood.
The MHA Special Secretary also highlighted how the internet and social media platforms have become indispensable resources for global terrorist groups for spreading terrorist propaganda and conspiracy theories aimed at spreading hatred among societies and communities and officer radicalisation opportunities.
He also noted that the usage of technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, ‘deep fakes’, blockchain and more are fraught with the risk of being abused by terrorists and said that cryptocurrencies, virtual assets and crowdfunding platforms are helping terror financing.
“COVID-19 and the subsequent isolation has further accentuated the impact of the internet on people making them vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment by terrorist groups. Spreading terrorist propaganda through use of “indulging video games” is another strategy that was deployed by terrorist groups during the pandemic,” Kaumudi said.
The Secretary also suggested a multipronged approach to tackle the global threats emanating out of misuse of new technologies particularly aiming towards terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism.
“The transborder nature of this threat calls for collective and unified action by the international community, without any excuse or exceptions, ensuring that those countries which provide safe havens to terrorists should be called out and held accountable,” he said.
He also mentioned that India has put in place an elaborate CT and security architecture besides introducing a series of measures in the cyber-space encapsulating counter-radicalisation and de-radicalisation strategies. “The Government of India stands fully committed to the fight against terrorism and has been fully supportive of the United Nations efforts in this regard,” he remarked.