I as an Interior Minister of Pakistan for 5 years hardly remember a day when major or minor act of terrorism was not reported and I am happy to report to this forum that we gradually used all available tools to smash their head and our blood battle with terrorist in Mlakand, Swat was the deciding factor against the terrorist. Largely we have controlled the situation now but still Daesh is rising its head from the neighborhood and limited number of terrorism acts are still continuing

Before moving onto the Countering Measures I would like to evaluate that how the modern technology is being used by the terrorist Organizations for achieving their targets. It is already discussed that the Modern terrorism is instantaneous and unpredictable. There is a need for assessment as to how the modern technology is being used by the terror organization in their acts of terrorism:-

Internet/ Electronic communication is equally available to the terrorist and the states.

Terrorist operate under cover using the weakness in Social Media.

The secured Communication through various apps available to both states and terrorist.

Cyber Terrorism by concealing the identity, fake news, hacking the accounts, online transfers of funds through hacking, use of ATM for terrorist fund raising etc.

Motivational tools of the terrorist for recruitment and deployment. The terrorist are motivated with religious fantasies, luring in of economic benefits and brighter future as a terrorist.

For deployment the terrorist are trained as per their expertise keeping in view their origin and their qualities of infiltration and the mindset against a certain act to justify their actions.

Suicide bombing through direct detonation, through mobile device, through internet, through Wi-Fi and through mobile SIMs. Pakistan suffered very heavily because of suicide bombing both with self-detonation and remote control detonations against Pakistan Army and Civilians. As interior Minister after a thorough study I decided to block the mobile phones in certain areas and the areas with threat alerts, specific religious occasions, big prayers and processions and it reduced the bombing by more than 80% immediately.

Mines have been experienced by Pakistan though it was a military weapon but normally the terrorist protects their vicinity with mines and attack the Law Enforcement Agencies with Mines detonation.

Use of false documents for travelling, hiring the id and infiltrate into organizations etc. through the falsification of documents.

Pakistan experienced to see the camps of terrorist used in Afghanistan basically the same training camps with US Intelligence developed the Jihadis’ against Soviet Union and these are being used today by Al Qaeda, Taliban and Daesh.

Today, the availability of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons is what makes it a thing of present-day called “Modern Terrorism”. The modern day weapons and technology have made terrorism a particular source of dread. The way terrorists have modernize themselves with the use of advanced technologies and weaponries, it is about time that the world community should also find new ways, technologies and counter strategies in order to put an end to these never ending tragedies caused by Terrorism.

Having gone through the assessment of the technologies; being used by the terrorist now we are in better understanding of employing the workable Innovative and Technical Countering Measures against Terrorism. An account of the same is discussed hereunder:-

Digital Intelligence Tools. The use of Electronic surveillance through GPRS system and through Drawn Technology. These two tools have been used by Pakistan very effectively and our Law Enforcement Agencies have the capability of zeroing the terrorist localities.

Digital Forensic Tools. The Forensic analysis of the available data based on the captured terrorist, potential terrorist/ groups identified and to develop further leads through cyber forensic by using all available software’s to analyze the telephones internet data leading to the terrorist/ terrorist groups. Tools capable of rapid unlocking, extracting, decoding and analyzing the digital data from multiple sources including the cloud being able to analyze and sort through large volumes of data with speed and it is critical to identifying terrorists and their accomplices as well as preventing future attacks

Techniques To Extract Data. The Law Enforcing Agencies have got techniques to reach to the terrorist with the available basic information like telephone, email, use of applications, Interconnectivity with in the terrorist groups using various code which can be disport We have been able to successfully reach to the terrorist through IMEI Numbers and Cell phones SIMs the terrorist normally used cellphone SIM through the handset with multiple IMEI numbers. Which means that, the same IMEI is sometimes used in thousands of the handsets which make the task of the Law Enforcement Agencies bit difficult in the way of extracting the data however data can be extracted from certain devices using nondestructive techniques, even if they are damaged, and nonfunctional. Of course, it depends on the level of damage, but having this capability is massive, especially in the case of an actual event

Artificial Intelligence. Terrorist always use the camouflage and hide their identity through sketches, stolen id etc. on the social media. They avoid using the known IP addresses and prefer to use those which will be in use at public places The material, arms and ammunitions and detonation material is normally exchanged either by train, by their own transport at a given point or be shared through codes. We identified over thousand codes which the terrorist have been using by using pages of a common book in which remained successful till one end was intercepted. A leading Social Media Platform has announced that it is using Artificial Intelligence to find and remove terrorist content from its platform behind the scenes it uses image-matching technology to identify and prevent photos and videos from known terrorists from popping up on other accounts

Countering Terror Financing.It is the back bone and promotion of terrorism in the world Terrorist raised their funds through following means:-

State sponsored terrorist through the respective governments

Raise funding through drugs trafficking

Raise funding through kidnapping for ransom

Raise funding through Bank dacoits

Top class hackers from hefty accounts with well-organized disposal of funds at the other end immediately

Some terrorist are part of the money laundering network Hundi.

The most essential phenomenon to break the back bone of the terrorist networks all over the world is to curb the terrorist financing.

Most modern technologies are being used to provide the terrorists with the finances for the execution of the assigned targets. In order to track the terrorist financing sources it is essential to monitor the flow of economy and the identifying the invisible trails

As a Law Enforcer for 30 years and Federal Interior Minister having fought terrorism for 5 years and still fighting against it, as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior I firmly believe that the terrorist cannot have sustainability unless they have backing either by a State, Powerful Criminal Mafia or Powerful Business groups. The terrorism for state, aggressions and economic gains are carried out by highly sophisticated and well educated individuals which are well protected pre and post operations.

The exploitation of the religious elements is the worst sort of terrorism where the motivation tools are used to exploit his love for his region. It is basically the creation of a mindset against a group, a religion or a state where a terrorist has been trained with a very strong mindset that, he won’t mind giving his life using more lethal ways and means of killing the people.

The subject is very interesting; Terrorism has emerged like a stake holder in the respective field. Obviously it is a difficult task to counter a modern terrorist with modern gadgets and means with available state resources as the terrorist does it operation in a hidden way and they prayed like the financer, group head, handler, supervisor and then the executor of the terrorist act. They use many cut outs in communications and I experienced numerous cases but the murder of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is one of the example where it took use three years to break the terrorist network.

We as international community need to carry out the next level of counter terrorism approaches and strategies collectively to inflict a heavy blow upon this mammoth of terrorism. As a mean to eradicate the terrorism to the core we need to attack both the manifestation as well as the underpinning cause of the extremism. The military solution alone cannot be helpful enough to solve the problem of terrorism as it rather adds fuel to it. Even the sole use of diplomacy or dialogue with the terrorists is not sufficient as it creates weakness. A combination of different factors would help us resolve the issue including the use of force/military, diplomacy, education, technology as well as patience.

It was a great International forum which I have used in favor of Kashmir, although the topic was not directed particularly towards Kashmir but I somehow managed to induct Kashmir In the said conference and brought the sensitivity of this issue into the notice of International Community.

The writer is Former Interior Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Chairman of Think Tank “Global Eye”.

He can be reached at: rmalik1212@gmail.com, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik

We as international community need to carry out the next level of counter terrorism approaches and strategies collectively to inflict a heavy blow upon this mammoth of terrorism.