Online Propaganda of Islamic State calls for Jihad in India
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: india;
The propaganda magazine ‘Voice of Hind’, is the Islamic State’s tool to gain a foothold in India by eulogizing Jihad and violent extremism.
Through its online publications and propaganda material, the Islamic State has made multiple clarion calls to its supporters for carrying out terror attacks in India. The major source among these is ‘The Voice of Hind’, an English-language magazine published and distributed online by the ISIS supporters in India. Al-Qitaal Media Center, a pro-ISIS media outlet, and Junudul Khilafah al-Hind were behind the launch of this magazine.
The first issue of ‘The Voice of Hind’ was released in late February to coincide with President Donald Trump’s visit to India. It featured Mahmood Paracha, a senior lawyer accused of inciting communal hatred in the past, on its cover page. The first issue of the magazine also stated that there is no place for nationalism in Islam, and that India’s Muslims should join the Caliphate instead. The issue eulogised few alleged IS fighters from India who have died, including one Huzaifa al-Bakistani, whose name (as a pseudonym) appeared in investigations conducted by Indian law enforcement agencies as that of an online recruiter, followed by Shafi Armar (known as Yusuf al-Hindi), a former Indian Mujahideen member.
The second issue of the magazine was released on March 24, that urged the IS “supporters” in India to carry out strikes and exploit the preoccupation of the Forces in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue called the COVID-19 as a “punishment of Allah” and called “Knights of the Tawheed (Oneness)” to attack police and military with a “sword, knife or even a rope”, even when they are performing their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic. The magazine also included an old propaganda message from a Kashmiri IS terrorist, Abu Hamza al-Kashmiri who was killed in 2018.
On April 21, 2020, the third edition of the newsletter produced by the Islamic State’s Wilayat al-Hind, or India province, called on the IS supporters to prepare for a ‘ghazwa’-battles associated with the expansion of Muslim territory in the region. The cover of the newsletter reflects its areas of prioritisation, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The mention of Kashmir, India, solidifies the notion that the IS considers the region fertile ground for future Islamic State conversion due to perpetual unrest in the disputed territories and there being a precedent of state-sponsored terrorism. It may be recalled that the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a Sikh temple and civilian complex in Kabul that occurred on March 25, 2020. A statement by the Islamic State’s Amaq media claimed that the attack was “revenge for the Muslims in Kashmir” who were facing alleged atrocities at the hands of the Indian Government.
The statement also identified the main terrorist responsible for the attack as Abu Khalid al-Hindi, suggesting that he was likely from India. The fourth and fifth edition of the magazine was published in May and June 22, respectively that further glorified the IS ideology and made calls for jihad against the Indian state. In between the fourth and the fifth issue, the IS published a 17-page “lockdown special” agenda online, on the cover featuring photos of surgical-masked individuals and a temperature check, declaring that “it’s time for kuffar (disbelievers) to fall”. The special edition mentions that in a diseased world, supporters should “stay firm and be ready to launch a severe attack on the enemies of Allah’s religion who are embroiled in a fight against the disease brought about by Allah’s rage against them”. “COVID-19 has plagued the disbelievers and it is time to make it worse … believers can wreak havoc on disbelievers by spreading the disease among them so that they are forced to bow down before Allah’s rule before they are wiped out from the Earth,” the article continues, adding that “every brother and sister, even children, can contribute to Allah’s cause by becoming the carriers of this disease and striking the colonies of the disbelievers, wherever they find them”. They claimed that “no disease can harm even a hair of a believer”.
Thus, through the propaganda magazine ‘Voice of Hind’, the Islamic State is trying to gain a foothold in India by eulogizing Jihad and violent extremism. Although the Indian law-enforcing agencies are alert to the threat of the IS and in the past couple of years have busted a number of its terror modules in India, a strict crackdown is the need of the hour towards the online propaganda of the IS in India.
Source: New Delhi Times