US-Made M4 Carbines in the Hands of Kashmiri Terrorists: A Growing Concern

US-Made M4 Carbines

Srinagar: The escalating terrorist activities in the region have raised serious alarm bells for national security. However, an even graver concern looms: the terrorists now wield high-tech weaponry specifically, the US-made M4 carbine assault rifles. Security experts are deeply troubled by this trend, which has been unfolding over the past few years.

The M4 Carbine: A Deadly Arsenal

The M4 carbine, a lightweight, gas-operated, air-cooled rifle, has been in service since 1994. With over 500,000 units produced since the 1980s, it boasts a cyclic rate of fire ranging from 700 to 970 rounds per minute and an effective firing range of 500 to 600 meters. Its lethal capabilities make it a formidable weapon on the battlefield.

The Troubling Origins

How did these sophisticated rifles end up in the hands of terrorists? The answer lies in the aftermath of the US forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. As they departed, they left behind a substantial stockpile of arms and ammunition. While the Americans claim to have destroyed most of it, experts believe that some of these weapons found their way into the hands of militants. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) allegedly facilitated this transfer, providing state-of-the-art weaponry to further the terrorists’ nefarious designs in Jammu and Kashmir.

Incidents and Recoveries

The M4 carbine has made its deadly mark in the valley. Notably, on November 7, 2017, security forces recovered an M4 carbine rifle from Talha Rashid Masood, the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, who was killed in an encounter in Pulwama district. Another recovery occurred in 2018 when Usman Ibrahim, another relative of Azhar, was killed in a Pulwama encounter, and an M4 carbine rifle was seized. Most recently, on July 11, 2022, during an encounter in Awantipora, Jaish-e-Mohammed commander Kaiser Koka and another terrorist were killed, and yet another M4 carbine rifle was recovered.

US-Made M4 Carbines

Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Perspective

Former Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Shesh Paul Vaid, sheds light on the situation. During his tenure from December 2016 to September 2018, there were no regular incidents of M4 carbine rifle use by terrorists. However, after the US left weapons in Afghanistan, their widespread use in Kashmir became evident. While these sophisticated weapons increase the risk of casualties, Vaid remains hopeful that security forces can effectively tackle this challenge.

In summary, the proliferation of M4 carbines among terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir demands urgent attention. As the security apparatus grapples with this threat, the stakes remain high, and the battle against terror continues on the rugged terrain of the valley.