The Islamic State threat must be taken seriously
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: india;
India’s security establishment must take serious note of a recent United Nations report warning of the growing threat posed by global jihadist groups. According to the report, Hind Wilayah, as the Islamic State’s Indian affiliate is known, has 180-200 members.
There is reason for Karnataka and Kerala to be particularly concerned. There are “significant numbers” of IS terrorists in the two states, according to the 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team oncerning the IS, the al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities. As for the al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), it has 150-200 members in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan and is planning attacks in the region, the report warns.
While the AQIS has been active in the region for over a decade, the IS’ entry has been more recent; it was only a year ago that the IS announced its arrival in India with the formation of Hind Wilayah , its so-called Indian province. The presence of IS modules in India came under the scanner soon after the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka last year that were carried out by a Sri Lankan Islamist terror outfit with help from global jihadists.
Several jihadist modules were unearthed in the South Indian states. While some locals left the country to fight in jihadist battlegrounds, others were active locally.
Karnataka’s Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that the report cites police figures, which means it has nothing new to say. He has also said that the state police has been co-ordinating with the National Investigating Agency to arrest jihadist suspects and monitor modules.
However, there can be no room for complacency. Terrorist outfits are like icebergs; just a fraction of their activity is evident to the outside world. Hence, state authorities must remain vigilant to ensure that the potential attacks mentioned in the UN report are averted.
In convincing itself and the world that Pakistan is the only source of anti-India terrorism, which incidentally is politically convenient, the Indian establishment has tended to downplay, even overlook, the growing threat of jihadist violence.
It must shed its ostrich-like approach to jihadist groups. Importantly, it needs to address the anger and alienation among targeted minorities that could drive them into the arms of global jihadi outfits. Majoritarianism may be popular and fetch electoral victories for the ruling party, but it also endangers national security by pushing alienated youth towards radicalisation and extremism.
This cannot be fought by simply arresting a few jihadists every now and then. Only a pluralist and secular India can keep IS and AQIS at bay
Source: Deccan Herald