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The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 10 Dec 2017 18:03

French fighters appear with IS in Afghanistan - AFP, ToI
French and Algerian fighters, some arriving from Syria, have joined the ranks of the Islamic State group in northern Afghanistan where the militants have established new bases, multiple international and Afghan sources have said.

It is the first time that the presence of French IS fighters has been recorded in Afghanistan, and comes as analysts suggested foreigners may be heading for the war-torn country after being driven from Syria and Iraq.

It is also a troubling sign as France, which has faced the worst of the IS-inspired violence in Europe since 2015, debates how to handle hundreds of its citizens who went to fight for the group in the Middle East.

"A number" of Algerian and French nationals entered the largely IS-controlled district of Darzab in northern Jowzjan province in November, said district governor Baaz Mohammad Dawar.

At least two women were among the arrivals, who were travelling with a translator from Tajikistan as well as Chechens and Uzbeks, Dawar added.

European and Afghan security sources in Kabul confirmed Dawar's claim that French citizens were among the fighters -- though, one cautioned, "we do not know how many there are".

Three of the Algerians seen in Darzab are believed to have been in Syria and Iraq, Dawar said, suggesting they may link Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K), the group's franchise in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the main group in the Middle East.

When it first emerged in 2015, IS-K overran large parts of eastern Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, though initially its part in the Afghan conflict was overshadowed by the Taliban.

The jihadists have since spread north, including in Jowzjan on the border with Uzbekistan, and carried out multiple devastating attacks in the capital Kabul.

Mohammad Raza Ghafoori, the Jowzjan provincial governor's spokesman, said French-speaking Caucasian men and women had been seen training IS fighters in Darzab.

He cited reports saying that around 50 children, some as young as 10, have also been recruited by the fighters.

Darzab residents told AFP that roughly 200 foreigners had set up camp just a few hundred metres (yards) from the village of Bibi Mariam.

One local man who gave his name as Hajji said the fighters were of several nationalities, including French, and were tall, aged in their late 20s, and dressed in military clothing.

"They ride their (motor) bikes, go to the border and come back, but they talk to nobody," he said.

Hashar, a former district village chief, said some were training others to use suicide bombs and lay mines.

"They are... bringing misery to normal people," he told AFP, as other villagers said many residents had fled the area.

Locals along with district governor Dawar warned the fighters were also exploiting natural resources, such as precious stones and metals.

One of the security sources said that two of the French had been nicknamed "The Engineers" and appeared to be organising some sort of extraction, "but we do not know what they are looking for"

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby Kashi » 10 Dec 2017 18:11

How are they getting into Afghanistan? Either the US/NATO is resettling the evacuated ISIS cadres into Afghanistan or they are moving across the Durand line from Pakistan.

If it's the former, I wonder what their game plan is. Keeping the ISIS powder dry for the rainy day? This time probably hitting Iran proper instead of Iranian proxy in Syria?

For Bakis, well no explanation is needed.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 17 Dec 2017 20:46

Islamic State claims Pakistan church attack: Amaq news agency - Reuters
Islamic State claimed an attack on a church in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Sunday which killed at least five people, the group's Amaq news agency said in an online statement.

It said two Islamic State members had carried out the attack but provided no evidence for the claim.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 18 Dec 2017 08:25

NIA books 5 Kerala men for backing IS - PTI
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a case against five alleged sympathisers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), hailing from Kannur district in Kerala, the agency said on Sunday.

Case from Kerala police

The NIA said it took over the case from the Kerala police who had booked the five men in October.

The case was registered at the Valapattanam police station in Kannur district on Saturday.

The NIA case against these men was registered under Sections 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, for “being members of the proscribed terrorist organisation, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Daesh, and for supporting the organisation by travelling out of India to join the terrorist organisation in Syria and fight on its behalf,” the agency said in a release.

The accused are Midhilaj, 26, Abdul Rasak, 34, Rashid M.V., 24, Manaf Rahman, 42, and Hamsa U.K., 57.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 26 Dec 2017 04:51

Pledge allegiance to Islamic State, exhorts video of ‘Kashmiri fighter’ - Bharti Jain, ToI
A pro-Islamic State (IS), Kashmir-centric media unit Al-Qaraar has released a video of an alleged Kashmiri 'fighter' asking fellow fighters and Muslims in the Valley to pledge allegiance to the terror group Islamic State and join its so-called 'caliphate'.

The nearly 14-minute long video, carrying English subitles, has a fighter identified as 'Abu al-Bara' al-Kashmiri' delivering a speech in Urdu while sitting in front of a flag bearing the words 'Kashmir Province', according to an update put out by the SITE Intelligence Group website.

He calls upon the 'fighters' and Muslims in Kashmir who fight a seek to establish a 'calipahte', including Zakir Musa-led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, to swear allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Men can be seen in the video marching through the street carrying the IS' banner.

On December 22, Al-Qaraar had published a poster calling Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind fighters and its leader, Zakir Musa, to join the IS. Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind was floated by Al Qaida as its Kashmir wing, with former Hizbul Mujahideen leader Zakir Musa in the lead.

Al Qaraar uploaded the poster carrying the message: "We invite soldiers of Ansaar Gazwat-ul-Hind and their Ameer Zakir Musa to join the caravan of the Caliphate respond to the call of time... don't listen to the blames of the blamers" — on its Telegram channel and Twitter account on December 22.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 26 Dec 2017 19:45

In Tangled Afghan War, a Thin Line of Defense Against ISIS - Mujib Mashal, NYT
KHOGYANI, Afghanistan — When the American military dropped the largest bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State cave complex here in eastern Afghanistan in April, the generals justified it as part of a robust campaign to destroy the group’s local affiliate by year’s end.

Its force had been reduced to 700 fighters from 3,000, they said, and its area of operation diminished to three districts from 11.

But as the year comes to a close, the Islamic State is far from being vanquished in eastern Afghanistan, even as the group is on the run in its core territory in Iraq and Syria. It has waged brutal attacks that have displaced thousands of families and forced even some Taliban fighters, who had long controlled the mountainous terrain, to seek government protection.

The shifting dynamic has, in turn, threatened the American-backed government’s tenuous hold on the region.

And two years into the joint United States-Afghanistan operation, a clear understanding of the Islamic State affiliate, the latest enemy in the long Afghan war, still evades even some of those charged with fighting it.

Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, recently said that 1,400 operations and airstrikes had “removed from the battlefield” more than 1,600 Islamic State fighters since March — more than double the estimate from early in the year.

Some Afghan and other Western officials question whether those numbers are inflated, but the Americans say they are an indication that the group continues to replenish its ranks with new fighters.

Part of the reason the two-year joint operation by the United States and Afghanistan against the Islamic State has made little progress is simply that the two forces are operating in a terrain where they have had little control for years. Airstrikes and commando operations bring bursts of pressure, but the militants have release valves all around them. On one side is the porous border with Pakistan, where many of the fighters come from. Elsewhere is largely Taliban country.

“It’s like a balloon,” General Nicholson said. “We squeeze them in this area, and they’ll try to move out elsewhere.”

A visit this month to Khogyani, a district in the east where Islamic State fighters have shifted, showed the increasing complexity of the Afghan conflict, and underlined how daunting a task it will be to defeat the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The Afghan government’s authority in Khogyani, in a remote region of Nangarhar Province, has long been confined to the district compound and the immediate surroundings. The Taliban ruled the rest. Opium has been grown all around.

After years of war with no clear victor, the region had settled into a strange sort of calm as the Taliban and the government found ways to coexist, as has happened to varying degrees around the country.

Although the Taliban are known for their opposition to girls’ education, in Khogyani, the militants here allowed schooling, showing a willingness to drop a demand that had lost them hearts and minds before. In return for having nominal control, the government has paid the salaries of teachers and health workers that the Taliban could not afford.

Abdul Jabar, who had been displaced from his home near the Pakistan border by recent battles between ISIS and the Taliban, said there was a two-story high school for girls close to his new home, with an enrollment of up to 1,600. Mir Haidar, who distributes vaccinations, said the three clinics there employed women, despite the Taliban’s past opposition to women in the workplace.

So established was Taliban rule in Khogyani that when Islamic State fighters started shifting there, many people said they trusted in the Taliban’s protection.

Then the Taliban lines started to buckle.

“The Taliban were puffing their chest — ‘We are strong, don’t go, we will take care of you,’ ” said Abdul Qadeem, a father of 13. “Then,” he said, the Islamic State “arrived at night, and we left with nothing but this shawl on my shoulder.”

The Islamic State’s local affiliate in Afghanistan first emerged in 2014, swiftly gaining ground across Nangarhar Province. It quickly drew the attention of the United States military
, which had scaled down its presence in Afghanistan to a small counterterrorism mission against Al Qaeda and a larger NATO mission to train Afghan forces to hold their ground against the Taliban.

American and Afghan officials now have little reason to believe that the Afghan group, despite pledging allegiance to ISIS, maintains regular contact or receives directions from the Islamic State operating in Iraq and Syria. Instead, they say, the Islamic State in Afghanistan is largely made up of Pakistani militants pushed across the border by military operations in that country.

The militants used the Afghan mountains simply as a safe haven at first, before embracing the Islamic State and turning their weapons on Afghanistan. Opinions are divided on how and why.

Some officials believe it was only a matter of time before extremists seeking relevance would be attracted to the Islamic State. Others say the Afghan and American militaries miscalculated and fostered a new enemy by going after Pakistani militants seeking safe havens in Afghanistan in the hopes that the Pakistanis would reciprocate with Afghan Taliban leaders on their soil.

A third theory blames the cynical designs of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, which Afghans have long accused of trying to destabilize their government.

No matter who they are, the militants have brought more violence and suffering to Afghan civilians. In Khogyani, American airstrikes intended to destroy the Islamic State may have temporarily depleted its forces, but they have also upended the relative peace.

Afghan officials say they believe the fighting between the Islamic State and the Taliban has little to do with ideology.

“The reason they are fighting each other is over resources, and over territory,” said Mohammed Gulab Mangal, the governor of Nangarhar Province, who says both groups “drink from the same spring” — a subtle reference to their perceived Pakistani origins.

People in Khogyani say the Islamic State militants are better armed and fight harder than the Taliban.

“If you tie a Taliban fighter to the trunk of this tree, and then you tell him ISIS is coming, he will run so hard that he will uproot the tree with him,” said Malik Makee, a tribal elder who runs a militia of several dozen men in support of the government, helping to maintain a buffer around the district center.

Mr. Makee is an example of how fluid alliances can be here. He lived under Taliban rule for years, without much problem, until they killed one of his sons. He retaliated by killing six Taliban, and then packing up to join the government.

Mr. Makee — who admits to growing opium, as many in the district do — is one of the three men running the war in Khogyani on behalf of the government. All three are veterans of many previous conflicts.

The busiest of them these days is a potbellied intelligence operative in his 50s who is trying to peel away Taliban commanders and foot soldiers fleeing the Islamic State. His agents make a simple argument to potential defectors: You have no escape from the Islamic State, so come to us for protection. About three dozen have.

On a recent afternoon, the operative completed a deal with two Taliban over tea and raisins in a dark room of the district compound. The men, both of whom fought the government for six years, were disarmed of a rocket-propelled grenade, a Kalashnikov and a pistol.

When the operative asked if the two Taliban had government IDs, they pulled them out, neatly wrapped in plastic sheets. Asked how they had obtained the documents, one of the men, who gave his name as Zabihullah Ghorzang, replied:

“My uncle was the district governor here.”

Putting his hand on Mr. Ghorzang’s knee, the operative said the men’s decision to join the government’s side was patriotic. The government had forgiven their wrongdoings. The deal complete, Mr. Ghorzang was given back his pistol.

But Mr. Makee, who was at the meeting, couldn’t keep quiet. “The government can forgive you for all it wants,” he told the two Taliban. “But if I find out that you had done anything wrong against my men, I swear I will chase you wherever you hide.”

Lt. Col. Noor Agha, the third of the three men fighting ISIS here, is a district police chief who cuts a soft-spoken, fatherly figure. He has been in charge of the last line of defense against ISIS: This far into Taliban country, there were no Afghan commandos or American special forces to help out.

Colonel Agha has only about 170 regular police officers under his command, 30 of them not present for duty, and about as many militiamen, such as the ones Mr. Makee commands.

As residents started fleeing last month from the fighting between the Islamic State and the Taliban, it suddenly appeared that the government could lose even its nominal control if ISIS fighters reached a strategic hill.

Colonel Agha carved a road from the district center to the top of the hill, a path made for the first time, 16 years into the war. He cobbled together about 50 men, 20 of them from the army, and they made their way through the poppy fields to establish outposts on the hill.

Many of the men on the hill slept under the open sky. They lacked heavy weaponry. As they looked down, it was Taliban to the right, Taliban to the left, Taliban at the foot of the hill. In the distance was the Islamic State, its fighters heavily armed with machine guns and rocket launchers, Col. Agha says. He knows that because his troops have been fired upon and taunted over the radio as infidels and American militias.

Letting down his pride for a moment, the colonel admitted they couldn’t fire back.

“What can we hit them back with?”

In the end, Colonel Agha’s fighters were saved from having to find out by additional Afghan Army units, who arrived to help clear ISIS from Khogyani. Local commanders in recent days say they have killed at least 50, and the rest have started shifting their base of operations — again.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby deejay » 27 Dec 2017 10:55

Are we beginning to see the first clear links of ISI and ISIS in Afghanistan? I suspect ISIS will be the new ISI foreign policy tool in both Afghanistan and Kashmir (as indeed rest of India).

SS ji, I think referred to this one year ago or maybe even earlier. As LeT is mainstreamed, and I suspect it has US blessings (getting removed from US funds for war against terror list, no US action after Hafiz Saeed's release from House Arrest), the ISIS modules will be next weapons of ISI. From large terror attacks to combination of large,medium and individual terror strikes by radicalized instruments, we are looking at another tactical brilliance from the "Spy's who lost it".

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby Karthik S » 27 Dec 2017 12:05

ISIS, paki army, ISI, LeT, JeM, Auranzeb, Timur, Babur all are same to us. Doesn't matter what color uniform jihadi wears, their end goal and means to end goal is the same.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby devesh » 27 Dec 2017 14:25

ISIS and Taliban are two sides of the same coin. Russian/American/Chinese propaganda notwithstanding.

There was a prediction a while ago on BRF that Pak and Afg are headed towards an "islamic union".

Also, see the spectacle of Pak state bowing to every Islamic group and its demands. Even central level ministers are being forced out or turned into persona-non-grata. And the Pak Army is helping this process. I wonder if the jernails see this as an opportunity to bring the politicos under their thumbs, or if the jernails themselves have no choice due to 'mood' of common soldiery and lower ranks. Or maybe it's a bit of chicken-and-egg (both). A vortex loop from which there is no backing out....if that's the case, the trajectory of Pak should be easy to map out.

It is already a mostly theocratic state. If the elite shahzadas start bailing to US/UK, the whole process is probably unstoppable at that point.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 08 Jan 2018 14:11

IS footprint on the rise in Pakistan, claims report - DAWN
Footprint of the militant Islamic State (IS) group is continuously on the rise in the country, especially in northern Sindh and Balochistan, as over the past one year responsibility for as many as six deadliest attacks, in which 153 people were killed, was claimed by this outfit.

This has been claimed in a report, ‘Pakistan Security Report 2017’, released by a think-tank, Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS)
, on Sunday.

The organisation compiled its findings on the basis of its multi-source database, coupled with interviews and articles by subject experts.

“The IS has claimed responsibility for just six terrorist attacks in the country, but they were the most deadliest ones, such as attacks on the convoy of Senate Deputy Chairman Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Sehwan shrine, Shah Noorani shrine in Lasbela, Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta and Dargah Pir Rakhyal Shah in Fatehpur area of Jhal Magsi district and the abduction and killing of two Chinese nationals,” PIPS senior project manager Muhammad Ismail Khan said while talking to Dawn.

“There is a need to take the matter more seriously because there is a possibility that foreign fighters would come to Pakistan in near future as things are continuously changing in the Middle East,” he said.

The report claims that despite a 16 per cent decline in terrorist attacks last year, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its associated groups remained the most potent threat. They were followed by nationalist-insurgent groups, especially Balochistan Liberation Army and Balochistan Liberation Front.

What has been quite alarming are the increasing footprints of IS, especially in Balochistan and northern Sindh where the group has claimed responsibility for some of the deadliest attacks, the report says.

Such realities required concerted efforts and a revision of the National Action Plan (NAP), it said suggesting parliamentary oversight of the country’s counter-terror plan.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 11 Jan 2018 13:57

IS cells evade security forces in Kabul - AFP
Middle-class Afghans turned jihadists have assisted the Islamic State group’s expansion from its stronghold in Afghanistan’s restive east to Kabul, analysts say, helping to make the capital one of the deadliest places in the country.

IS has claimed nearly 20 attacks across Kabul in 18 months, with cells including students, professors and shopkeepers evading Afghan and US security forces to bring carnage to the highly fortified city.

It is an alarming development for Kabul’s war-weary civilians and beleaguered security forces, who are already struggling to beat back the resurgent Taliban, as well as for the U.S. counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan.

“This is not just a group that has a rural bastion in eastern Afghanistan — it is staging high-casualty, high-visibility attacks in the nation’s capital and I think that’s something to be worried about,” said analyst Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center in Washington.

The Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K), the Middle East group’s affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, emerged in the region in 2014, largely made up of disaffected fighters from the Taliban and other jihadist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.

It claimed its first attack in Kabul in the summer of 2016.

The group’s resilience has raised fears that Afghanistan could become a new base for IS fighters fleeing the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, where the group has lost swathes of territory.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 19 Jan 2018 09:19

IS recruit from Kerala killed in Syria - ToI
Another Islamic State (IS) operative from the state engaged in extremist activities, has been killed in Syria, claimed cops.

The youth — Abdul Manaf P P (30) — who hailed from Valapattanam in the district, was killed in November 2017. His friend and another IS recruit from Kannur, Abdul Khayyoom (25), reportedly conveyed the death to Manaf's family on January 17 from Syria.
According to police, nearly 17 IS recruits from the state have been killed while waging the so called holy war in Syria. At least six of them are from Kannur. Cops said Manaf went to Syria using a fake passport and there is a case lodged against him in this connection. He was a close associate of Shahjahan Velluva, another IS operative who was arrested from Delhi a few months ago.

Before leaving for Syria, Manaf had also worked as the office secretary of the Popular Front of India for some time. He was accused in the murder of a CPM worker in 2009. Investigations reveal that nearly 15 out of 29 people, who left for Syria to wage 'jihad', reached there through Manaf's network. Five people with terror links were arrested in October last year, including the main recruiter to the network, UK Hamza alias Biryani Hamza.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby Tuan » 24 Jan 2018 00:22

This is our latest article that I coauthored with my colleague Ammna Nasser for the NATO Association of Canada on ISIS methods of radicalization both online and in real-world settings....

The Impending Threat of Islamic Radicalization: A look at Assimilation

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 25 Jan 2018 20:18

Tuan wrote:The Impending Threat of Islamic Radicalization: A look at Assimilation

This may be more applicable in a Western narrative. However, IMO, it may be suspect even in that environment. Any such analysis that does not take into account the dichotomy of dar-ul-harb and dar-ul-Islam, the methods sanctioned by the Koran to achieve the former, the interpretations of the Koran & Hadith by the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence which converge singularly and remarkably on how to achieve dar-ul-Islam, the history of the various Islamist conquests over the last fifteen centuries etc. achieves very little purpose.

We can say inane things just in order to appear decent, secular, accommodating and impartial but those very same qualities would be exploited by those who belong to Islamist jihadi groups such as ISIS or AQAM etc.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jan 2018 13:13

Eleven soldiers killed as IS targets Afghan military post - AFP
Gunmen and suicide bombers launched a pre-dawn attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group on a military compound in Kabul on Monday, killing 11 soldiers in the third major assault in the Afghan capital in recent days.

The series of assaults have left already war-weary citizens grief-stricken and angry as the Taliban and IS escalate their offensive.

Monday’s attack on an Afghan Army battalion killed at least 11 soldiers and wounded 16, a Defence Ministry spokesman said. “Two bombers detonated themselves and two were killed by our forces and one was detained alive,” said the spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, adding that the attack was over. Officials said the men, armed with a rocket, two Kalashnikovs and at least one suicide vest, had attempted to breach an army battalion near the Marshal Fahim military academy, where high-ranking officers are trained.

The gunmen did not enter the heavily fortified compound, an Afghan security source said.

In October, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 15 Afghan Army trainees as they travelled home from the Marshal Fahim academy.

Afghan troops have taken what the UN describes as “shocking” casualties since international forces ended their combat role at the end of 2014, though troop casualty figures are no longer released.

Last Saturday, a Taliban suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed ambulance blew it up in a crowded area of the capital, killing at least 103 people — mainly civilians — and wounding 235 in one of the worst bombings in the city in recent years. The government has blamed Saturday’s attack, which was followed by a national day of mourning, on the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network.

Earlier, on January 20, Taliban fighters stormed Kabul’s landmark Intercontinental hotel and killed at least 25 people, the majority of them foreigners, in an assault lasting more than 12 hours. Kabul remains on high alert as the city braces for further violence. On Sunday, usually a working day, the capital was unusually quiet, while Monday was a national holiday.

Security warnings sent to foreigners in recent days said IS militants were planning to attack supermarkets, hotels and shops frequented by foreigners.

IS fighters also attacked Save the Children’s office in Afghanistan’s east on Wednesday. Five people were killed and 26 wounded while the organisation was forced to suspend operations across the country.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jan 2018 19:40

NIA books nine for forcible conversion of woman - PTI
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday said it has registered a case against nine people hailing from Kerala and Bangalore for allegedly being involved in forcible conversion of a Gujarat-based woman and attempting to sell her off to ISIS terrorists in Saudi Arabia.

A spokesman of the NIA said in a statement that the case was registered against the nine people following a complaint from the 25-year-old woman who alleged that Muhammed Riyas Rasheed had lured her and taken objectionable pictures of her, besides illegally confining her.

According to the NIA spokesman, the complainant also mentioned that the accused had married her through deceit by forging documents and “forcibly converted her to Islam”.

Rasheed, according to the NIA, had illegally confined and threatened the woman in Kerala before taking her to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in August, 2017 for joining terror group ISIS.

Besides Rasheed, Nahas Abdulkhader of Kannur (Kerala), Muhammed Nazish T K of Perigadi, Abdul Muhasin K of Kannur, Danish Najeeb of Bangalore, Gazila of Bangalore, Fawas Jamal of Peruvaram, Moin Patel of Bangalore and Iliyas Mohammed of Bangalore have been named in the FIR.

The case, originally registered in Ernakulam district of Kerala, was filed for criminal conspiracy and pursuant unlawful activities prejudicial to the maintenance of communal harmony besides wrongful confinement, extortion, rape, forgery and forceful religious conversion with the common intention of recruitment to the terrorist organisation ISIS.

The woman’s complaint, which forms the base of the NIA case, also alleged that the accused had coerced her to become disciple of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who has been on the run after his name surfaced during an investigation into a bomb blast case in Bangladesh.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 13 Feb 2018 16:01

NIA nabs one more IS suspect in Chennai - ToI
Investigators with the National Investigation Agency on Monday arrested another Islamic State (IS/ISIS/Daish) supporter from the city as part of their probe of a plot by members and sympathisers of the jihadist group to carry out terror attacks in Tamil Nadu.

NIA officers had been searching for Ansar Meeran, 29, of Thiruvithankodu near Kanyakumari, for the past year. They apprehended Meeran, accused No. 4 in the agency’s FIR in the IS-Tamil Nadu case, from a hideout near Poonamallee.

Investigating officers, who had booked Meeran and eight others under IPC Section 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) as also sections 17, 18, 18-B, 20, 38, 39 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, produced him in a special court for bomb blast cases in Poonamallee, which remanded him in judicial custody in Puzhal Central Prison.

Meeran and his accomplices, led by Haja Fakkurudeen, a native of Cuddalore district who worked Singapore, hoping to further an IS mission in Chennai and south India, had from 2013 hatched a criminal conspiracy, organised meetings, recruited members and raised funds for the purpose, an investigating officer said.

They also arranged for individuals to travel to Syria to join IS.

The NIA started to unravel the IS scheme last January with the arrest of Fakkurudeen in Delhi.
Fakkurudeen visited India twice between November 2013 and January 2014, and held several meetings with Meeran and other accomplices in various places in Tamil Nadu with the intention of recruiting individuals for IS from Tamil Nadu, the officer said.

“Fakkurudeen, 41, was the mastermind of the plot to carry out terror attacks in the state and find new members for the Islamic State,” the officer said. “We believe that he joined IS in Syria sometime in January 2014.”

NIA officers on September 15, 2017 formally arrested Khaja Moideen alias Abdullah Muthalif, a resident of Kollumedu in Cuddalore district, in connection with the case. Moideen, accused No. 2 in the agency’s FIR registered in Delhi in January, was already in judicial custody for the June 2014 murder of Hindu Munnani Tiruvallur leader K P S Suresh Kumar.

Three days later, they apprehended Shakul Hameed, a resident of SS Puram in Otteri, Chennai, who in 2015 made an abortive attempt to travel to Syria to join IS as a foot soldier. The agency named Hameed accused No. 3 in the case.

“Meeran had helped Fakkurudeen and his family travel to Syria in January 2014,” the officer said.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 20 Feb 2018 08:21

X-posted from the AQIS thread.

AQIS terrorists work as advisers and trainers of Taliban: UN report - PTI
Al-Qaida in Indian Sub-continent (AQIS) recruit personnel from remote areas of India and Bangladesh, and nearly 180 operatives of the group work as advisers and trainers of the Taliban in southern and eastern Afghanistan, a UN monitoring committee report has said.

According to the 21st report of the ISIL (Daesh) and al-Qaida/Taliban Monitoring Team, which was established by the UN Security Council, al-Qaida continues to cooperate with the Taliban in return for sanctuary and operating space.

Al-Qaida leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri is still assumed to be in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region
, said the report dated January 26, which was made public last week.

The report said that fighters of AQIS operate as advisers and trainers of the Taliban, with 150 to 180 operatives present in southern and eastern Afghanistan. They recruit personnel from remote areas of India and Bangladesh, it said.

And despite concerns expressed by some countries, the report said it was not clear that significant numbers of al-Qaida elements ultimately travelled to Syria to join the fight.

According to the report, one country expressed concern about the vulnerability of the Maldives to returnees, since the number of Maldivian fighters per capita is one of the highest in the world.

Notably the travel of new foreign terrorist fighters from Central and South Asia to the conflict zones has virtually ceased, initially because of measures taken by countries, but later by the lack of appetite or capacity on the part of the ISIL core to receive new foreign terrorist fighters, the report said.

The report said that fighters loyal to the Taliban combined with members of various al-Qaida affiliated groups could number as many as 60,000 fighters, an increase from 2016.

Currently, there are more than 20 groups active in the war-torn country. The Taliban remains the largest, with about 40,000 to 45,000 fighters.

The others are ISIL in Afghanistan and a range of al-Qaida affiliated entities, including TTP, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ), Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI), Jundullah, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or IMU.

The number of foreign fighters currently operating in Afghanistan is estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000.

However, despite having been further degraded by Afghan and international military operations, ISIL continues to resist and mount attacks, especially in Kabul. In some areas, it is in violent competition with the Taliban; in others there appears to be some mutual accommodation, it said.

Noting that the number and geographic dispersal of ISIL-affiliated elements in Afghanistan has increased, the report said some countries have expressed concern that the presence of ethnic Uzbek and Tajik fighters in northern Afghanistan could potentially lead over time to an ISIL threat to the Central Asian States.

Overall, in the country, ISIL commands between 1,000 and 4,000 fighters, which include former members of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and IMU, fighters from outside the immediate region, as well as Afghan Taliban defectors.

A significant number of the fighters formerly belonged to TTP. ISIL in Nangarhar continues to lose personnel owing to sustained military pressure but is able to replenish its ranks fairly quickly.

The UN monitoring committee said ISIL in Afghanistan obtains funds by extorting the population and agricultural production in Nangarhar. The group has made some money from timber and kidnapping for ransom.

ISIL in Afghanistan has received some financial support from the ISIL core, but has been encouraged to become more self-sufficient and recognizes that funding from the ISIL core may not continue, the report said.

It is therefore, under pressure to find new ways of raising money, especially if it is to maintain its competitive advantage of paying fighters higher wages than other groups in the region, it added.

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Re: The Islamic State, the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby SSridhar » 20 Feb 2018 18:57

Defeats in Middle East driving Islamic State fighters to Philippines: Separatist - Reuters
Foreign Islamic State fighters forced out of Syria and Iraq have been arriving in the Philippines with the intent of recruiting, and they have plans to attack two Philippine towns, the head of the country's largest Muslim rebel group said on Tuesday.

More than 1,100 people were killed last year when pro-Islamic State militants attacked and held the Philippine city of Marawi for five months, leading to massive destruction across the scenic lakeside town.

That could happen in other cities if Congress fails to pass a law to allow Muslims in the southern Philippines to run their own affairs, according to Ebrahim Murad, leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a separatist group which signed a peace deal with the government in return for greater autonomy.

"Based on our own intelligence information, foreign fighters who were displaced from the Middle East continued to enter into our porous borders and may be planning to take two southern cities - Iligan and Cotabato," Murad said.

The two cities are 38km (24 miles) and 265 km (165 miles) respectively from Marawi.

Murad said fighters from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Middle East were known to have entered the Philippines, including a Middle Eastern man holding a Canadian passport.

That man went to a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf militant group, notorious for kidnapping and piracy, Murad said.

Murad said militants had been recruiting fighters in remote Muslim communities, exploiting delays in the passage of legislation aimed at addressing long-standing Muslim grievances, the Bangsamoro Basic law (BBL).

"These extremists are going into madrasas, teaching young Muslims their own version of the Koran, and some enter local universities to influence students, planting the seeds of hatred and violence," he said.

Such a scenario would be a major headache for the military, which is fighting on multiple fronts on the southern island of Mindanao to defeat home-grown Islamic State loyalists, bandits and communist insurgents.

Mindanao is under martial law.

The military has said remnants of the militant alliance that occupied Marawi were trying to regroup and were using cash and gold looted from Marawi to recruit.

Murad's statement echoed those of President Rodrigo Duterte, who last month urged lawmakers to pass the BBL, or face re-igniting war with separatists after two decades of peace.

"We cannot decisively win the war against extremism if we cannot win the peace in the halls of Congress," Murad said.

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