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.
After a period of relative dormancy, India’s restive Kashmir region has been struck by violence again, witnessing an increase in the targeted killings of civilians. In October alone, there were 45 deaths, including 13 civilians and 12 security force personnel. With the killing of a well-known pharmacist, Makhanlal Bindroo, and street vendor, Virender Paswan, in Srinagar on October 5, militants from newly emerging factions have triggered a new cycle of violence.
More than a month after Taliban forces stormed Afghanistan, the self-proclaimed Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan (IEA) has yet to gain international political recognition. All eyes are on the primary stakeholder countries behind the Doha Accord of February 29, 2020, which paved the way for the Taliban’s ultimate victory.
On August 26, a prominent jihadist ideologue affiliated with al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mufti Abu Zar al-Burmi (hereafter Abu Zar), issued a congratulatory statement praising the Taliban for reestablishing Islamic rule in Afghanistan. While he vehemently criticized Islamic State (IS) for its hasty and brutal method of establishing the caliphate, he complimented the Taliban for its battlefield prowess, strict adherence to religious principles, and dedication to Islamic Sharia.
In July 2021, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), the Al Qaeda linked Kashmir jihadist group, came to the limelight when several suspected militant members were arrested in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP). This was a significant breakthrough as, for the first time, suspected AGH operatives were arrested beyond their usual operating ground, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Interrogations have found that detained militants planned to carry out suicide bombings in different parts of the state. The police had identified them as Shakeel, Mohammad Mustakeem, Mohammad Moid, Minhaz Ahmed and Maseeruddin.
On May 5, Bangladeshi police arrested Mohammad Shakib and Ali Hasan Osama, two members of the al- Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Islam terrorist group. They were arrested for “planning and instigating” an attack on the National Parliament (also called the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban) in the capital Dhaka. Shakib was arrested with a sword and black flag near the parliament while Ali Hasan Osama was apprehended in the Rajbari area of Dhaka (BDNews24.com, May 6).
After facing a huge leadership crisis due to the arrests of its top leaders in March 2021, mainly due to violent protests and media allegations about its radical activities, the HeI attempted to rebuild its image by restructuring the organisation. The new Secretary-General of Hefazat-e-Islam, Nurul Islam Jihadi, announced a new central committee (CC) formation at a press briefing at Al Jamiatul Islamia Makhzanul Uloom Madrasa in Khilgaon, Dhaka on June 7. The new CC has 33 members, with Junaid Babunagari as its chief (Ameer).
The fatal attack on former President and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed on May 6 once again reflected the deep penetration of ISIS in the Maldivian society, especially amongst the youth and certain political groups opposing liberal democracy. ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the attack on Nasheed, who was targeted for his strong views against growing radicalism in the Island country. The terrorist attack on a high profile leader in a crowded public place also reflects intelligence failure despite the police having prior information about the attack.
Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, while addressing a day-long meeting of Chief Ministers, including six of the Naxalite affected states, on April 13, 2006, observed: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.”On January 21, 2021, Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane said that 'left-wing extremism' is one of the biggest challenges before the Indian state. It seems, in the last 14 years, there has not been any phenomenal shift in the position of the LWE in India’s list of nat
On May 6, Maldives’ Speaker of Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed was seriously injured in an assassination attempt outside his home in the capital, Male. The improvised explosive device (IED) blast also wounded members of his security team and bystanders, including a foreign national. Although jihadists elements remain the primary suspect for the attempt on Nasheed’s life, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.