Delivering the keynote address at the plenary session of the UNSC special meeting of the counter-terrorism committee in Delhi on Saturday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar fired a fresh salvo at Pakistan. He explained the manner in which terrorists are misusing new technologies and posing new challenges for governments across the world. For instance, he flagged that drones from Pakistan are used for the cross-border trafficking of weapons and drugs in India. On this occasion, he announced that India would make a voluntary contribution of 0.5 million dollars to the UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism.
S Jaishankar remarked, "Terrorism remains one of the gravest threats to humanity. The UNSC in the past two decades has evolved an important architecture built primarily around the counter-terrorism sanctions regime to combat this menace. This has been very effective in putting those countries on notice that had turned terrorism into a state-funded enterprise. Despite this, the threat of terrorism is only growing and expanding particularly in Asia and Africa as successive reports of the 1267 Sanctions Committee have highlighted."
"These very technologies have thrown up new challenges for governments and regulatory bodies due to their potential vulnerability for misuse by non-state actors given the very nature of some of these technologies and the nascent regulatory environment. In recent years, terrorist groups that ideological fellow travellers particularly in open and liberal societies and lone wolf attackers have significantly enhanced capabilities by gaining access to these technologies. They use technology and money and most importantly the ethos of open society to attack freedom, tolerance and progress," he observed.
Delivered the keynote address at the plenary session of UNSC special meeting of counter-terrorism committee on ‘Countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes’ in New Delhi today. pic.twitter.com/1rIVnAvSwe— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) October 29, 2022
In his speech, Jaishankar also highlighted that the internet and social media platforms have turned into potent instruments in the toolkit of terrorists and militant groups. He added, "Another add-on worry for governments across the world is the use of unmanned aerial systems by terrorist groups and organized criminal networks. Being a relatively low-cost option with increasing ease of accessibility, misuse of these unmanned aerial platforms for nefarious purposes by terrorist groups such as weapons and explosives delivery and targeted attacks have become an imminent danger".
He recalled the use of VoIP by terrorists to communicate with their Pakistani handlers during the 26/11 terror attacks. The External Affairs Minister emphasised, "Our experience showed us how a benign technology of VoIP could be used for organising and directing such a barbaric terrorist attack from beyond our borders. More recently, these terrorist groups have been using unmanned aerial platforms such as drones and quadcopters for cross-border trafficking of drugs and arms and for carrying out terrorist attacks".