Security agencies gear up to fight ‘bedroom jihadis’ in Kashmir

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Srinagar: After years of fighting armed terrorists with bullets and brickbats, security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir are now facing a new enemy – ‘bedroom jihadis’ who manipulate social media from the comfort of their homes to spread rumors and influence youths.
It’s a new battleground and a new battle, say senior officers. Far removed from conventional weaponry and the conventional fighting zones of the warren of narrow streets and forests, these new age jihadis use computers and smartphones to wage war from just about anywhere – in Kashmir or outside, safe inside their homes or out on the streets, from a nearby cafe or even just a convenient roadside.
An immediate worry for security agencies is the Amarnath Yatra that starts June 29. Armed with access to platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, there are fears that the new band of jihadis could instigate communal riots in the Valley ahead of the 40-day pilgrimage to the high altitude shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.
“It is a virtual battleground where a bloody war is fought, but with words. However, this has an impact on the young minds,” said a senior police officer.

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