Indian officials have said that a request would be sent to the U.S. to seek details from a service provider of “virtual SIMs”, which were used by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber behind the Pulwama attack and his Pakistan and Kashmir-based handlers.
According to officials, during investigation, Jammu and Kashmir police and central security agencies at an encounter site in Tral as well as other locations, have found that the bomber, Adil Dar, was in constant touch with the JeM across the border.
It was a fairly new modus operandi where terrorists across the border were using a “virtual SIM”, generated by a service provider in the United States. In this technology, the computer generates a telephone number and the user downloads an application of the service provider on their smartphone.
According to official sources, the numbers used were pre-fixed with “+1”, the Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN) number used for the United States.
The number in a virtual sim is linked to social networking sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram or Twitter through a verification code that is generated by these networking sites and is then received on the smartphone and the user is ready to go.
On February 14, in one of the deadliest terror attack that India has seen, a suicide bomber rammed into a CRPF convoy killing 40 in Pulwama region of Kashmir valley. Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan based terror group, had claimed responsibility for the attack. In retaliation, India had launched an airstrike in Balakot, the hideout of Jaish members.