Friday, December 11, 2020

EU: Disinformation Campaign by India Utilized Think Tanks

The EU DisinfoLab has a new report entitled "Indian Chronicles" in which it details findings it has uncovered of a massive operation targeting international institutions and serving Indian interests.  Among other things, the 15-year operation resurrected "dead" think tanks in order to target the European Union and United Nations.

Here is more from the full report:

In 2019, the EU DisinfoLab uncovered a vast network of 265 coordinated fake local media outlets in 65 countries serving Indian interests, as well as multiple dubious think tanks and NGOs.  This network was active in Brussels and Geneva in producing and amplifying content designed to, primarily, undermine Pakistan.

We can classify domain names connected to think tanks created by the Srivastava group to push specific agendas towards international institutions such as the United Nations Human Rights Council or the European parliament (,,,, .net, .org for IINS -ICE-online.organd for Indian Council of Education). Some of these think tanks such as the International Club for Peace Research (, or the previously defunct Commission for the Study for the Organization of Peace (, have been central in creating and maintaining a reputation smoke screen around the operation and ordering reports to specific individuals.

We could also find that other think tanks ( IFFRAS, South Asia Democratic Forum, WESTT) have been established for instance with email addresses tied to some other of Srivastava Group’s websites, or by individuals with links to the Indian lobbying company. These think tanks have provided regular partisan reports on Indian-related topics as well as organising and/or sponsoring controversial events or visits in India or to places where Indian-related topics were discussed such as the United Nations.

Eventually, we also identified a domain name linked to the mysterious NGO Coordinating committee for Human Rights (, which may have helped to coordinate the presence of other NGOs in Geneva. This specific asset is officially a spin-off of the IINS think tank.


Here is a map of the fake think tanks and lobby organizations that have been exposed by the EU.

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of governments and various global actors setting up "fake" think tanks and creating "fake" think tank scholars (or mimicking real think tank experts) for various purposes.  However, this is the first time in recent memory that anyone has resurrected defunct think tanks in order to deceive someone.