COUNTER-TERRORISM PERSPECTIVES (CTP) deals with Armed Insurgencies, Islamist Violence, Jihad and Radicalisation issues and other forms of Asymmetric Conflicts and policy responses in South Asia and beyond.
Two years ago, on April 21, 2019, eight suicide bombers affiliated with the Islamic State (IS)-linked local jihadist groups National Towheed Jamaat (NTJ) and Jammiyat-ul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) carried out deadly terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, targeting luxury hotels and Catholic churches. The synchronized attacks on that fateful Easter Sunday killed or injured over 750 people.
The Neo-Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB), which was responsible for the deadly July 2016 Holey Artisan Bakery terrorist attack in Dhaka claimed by Islamic State (IS), has effectively nurtured and nourished a strong network of female jihadists in the country (refworld.org, November 15, 2016). These women members have proven to be a largely unseen, but potent force behind the group’s resilience.
In early January 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that three foreign nationals – Muhammed Naufar (also, Naufar Moulavi), Muhammed Riskan and Ahamed Milhan – had been charged with conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State (IS), a designated foreign terrorist organization that claimed responsibility for the deadly April 2019 Easter Sunday violence in Sri Lanka (U.S. Department of Justice, January 8).
Although the so-called Islamic State (IS) Caliphate crumbled and disintegrated in the Middle East, the group’s most potent branch, the IS-Khorasan Province (IS-KP) remains resilient. It continues to display its violent presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, fiercely withstanding the unremitting onslaughts from government and rival Taliban forces. The group demonstratively retains the ability to carry out gruesome attacks at will in the capital Kabul and its traditional strongholds in Eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.
When Islamic State (IS) announced an Indian-based ‘province’ (wilayah) on May 10, 2019, IS effectively consolidated previously fragmented pro-IS jihadist entities under the IS Hind (IS-H) province banner. IS aimed to increase its recruitment and operational success in embattled Kashmir, which has a long tradition of Islamist militancy. However, IS also launched a propaganda campaign to have a broader pan-Indian impact. 
Since the death of firebrand Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah in June 2018, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has witnessed a substantial decline in stature and firepower due to a leadership crisis, inherent factionalism, and a sustained military offensive on its strongholds across the Durand Line, the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Following nearly two years of internal conflict, the Pakistani Taliban under the leadership of Abu Mansoor Asim Mehsud (a.k.a. Noor Wali Mehsud) has seemingly recovered from those reversals and is back from a near obsolescence.
In early May 2020, the pro-Islamic State (IS) media center Haqqu released a documentary on the life of the slain Maldivian jihadist Ahmad Nishwan. The biographical sketch on Nishwan, which is approximately 33-minutes-long, comes amid IS’ increased outreach efforts to Maldivians.
Pakistan has recently faced a renewed ethno-separatist militant surge targeting its financial and energy infrastructure. Four recent attacks indicate a resurgence within the multiple secessionist groups fighting for Baluchistan independence.