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ISIS using 'messenger app' to avoid detection in Pak

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 March 2017, 15:29 IST
The Islamic State militants in Pakistan are dodging authorities by using a messenger app to communicate instead of calling each other to avoid detection, media reported 10 March.

The militants have been using the Telegram messenger app and not the traditional communication channels like mobile phones to avoid detection and so far their strategy has proved more than successful, a police official was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

The application has proved beneficial for militants to communicate and the most important feature is that it is 'self-destructible', he said.

"Once a voice message is sent via Telegram app it is deleted automatically from the phone so you have no back-up and that is why it is currently impossible for the police and intelligence agencies to intercept it," he said.

The official said that this app was the only way of communication in addition to verbal communication in which messengers (people) are sent to inform other members.

The police and security forces lack the technology to intercept this app.

"With the passage of time, the introduction of technology has changed the entire scenario. It is a game changer, especially when policemen have a phobia for technology while the terrorists do not," he added.

The militants were forced to stop use of mobile phone due to tough measures by Pakistan to stop issuing of SIM cards to fake persons.

Hundreds and thousands of SIMs have been blocked in the country since the crackdown launched in 2014.

But the police official claimed that pre-activated SIMs are still available openly for a few thousand rupees and these terrorists buy them.

"Some of the shopkeepers are still in the business of selling pre-activated SIMs due to higher profit margins. They trick innocent people and take their fingerprints, as well as CNIC numbers, and activate SIMs on it that are then sold to criminals and all kinds of people and these SIMs are used by terrorists also," he said.

The Islamic State has been involved in several attacks in Pakistan but the authorities never acknowledged that the group has an organized presence in the country.
First published: 10 March 2017, 15:29 IST