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

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

Postby A_Gupta » 18 May 2019 08:32

Tuan wrote:Nevermind, I found this link instead.

ISIS claims it has established a new “province” in India
https://qz.com/1617113/isis-claims-it-h ... -in-india/


Probably means Pakistan. AFAIK, Pakistan is part of "Hind" in Arabic; and Pakistanis are "Hindu Muslims". We might take "Hindu" to refer to religion; but again, AFAIK, "Hind" is a geographic tag.

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

Postby SSridhar » 18 May 2019 22:01

Nine more militants nabbed in Indonesia - Straits Times
Indonesian police have arrested nine more militants in connection with a plot to strike during the ongoing election period.

Those nabbed include six men who had returned home after travelling to the Middle East to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

National police spokesman Mohammad Iqbal yesterday said the suspects, aged between 24 and 45, are from a Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) terrorist cell in Central Java.

The JAD is a local militant network whose leaders have pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Its members have mounted attacks on Indonesian soil in the name of the extremist group, which is also known as Daesh.

The nine men were rounded up by Indonesian counter-terrorism police Detachment 88 across East Java and Central Java on Tuesday.

The latest arrests follow intelligence reports of possible terrorist attacks at the release of the presidential election results next week.

Inspector-General Iqbal said there were indications the suspects were planning an amaliyah, or mission, using bombs on May 22 when the elections commission will announce the official vote count.

The senior police official yesterday also urged people not to gather to protest en masse in public. "It is going to be dangerous because they will attack the masses, as well as the authorities, with bombs," he added.

Voters in Indonesia went to the polls on April 17 to elect a president as well as their parliamentarians and local leaders.

Indonesian national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal (centre) shows the evidence seized in the arrest of suspected militants during a press conference at the police headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 17, 2019.

The incumbent Joko Widodo is poised to be declared the winner of the presidential election, but mass protests by supporters of his only challenger, Mr Prabowo Subianto - who has refused to concede the race - are expected once the official results are out.

The police said earlier that they may have uncovered a plot by militants to set off bombs during street rallies expected to be held in the days ahead.

Nine other suspects with several homemade bombs and bomb-making materials in Bekasi and Lampung, among other places, were arrested last week.

Police Brigadier-General Dedi Prasetyo said on Thursday that unlike the suspects who were arrested earlier, the group nabbed on Tuesday had more field experience.

Six successfully travelled to join ISIS in Syria, where they took part in the conflict between 2013 and 2017, while another was intercepted en route by Turkish security forces and deported to Indonesia, twice.


"This means the perpetrators who were arrested (on Tuesday) have the experience, the ability, and are more militant than the perpetrators captured previously in Bekasi and Lampung," added Brig-Gen Dedi.

More than 32,000 troops are being deployed in Jakarta to beef up security in the capital ahead of the announcement of the election results.

The police said that aside from securing the elections, the ramping up of counter-terrorism operations was also aimed at preventing attacks during Ramadan.

This has become standard operational procedure in Indonesia following a suicide bombing in Solo on the eve of Idul Fitri in 2016.

Insp-Gen Iqbal said a total of 68 terror suspects have been detained during raids by Detachment 88 since January.

The recent arrests in Indonesia came hot on the heels of a series of raids against ISIS-linked terrorists in neighbouring Malaysia, stoking fears of a resurgence of terror cells across the region.

The latest analysis of counter-terrorism trends published on Thursday by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies noted that the territorial defeat of ISIS has shifted the epicentre of violence from Iraq and Syria to countries with an active presence of ISIS-linked cells or other insurgents or terrorists.

"The return of segments of these foreign terrorist fighters indicates an escalation of threats in their home countries as they come armed with operational skills and could possibly regroup, establish local cells and engage in violence," said the report.

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

Postby SSridhar » 20 May 2019 14:28

Islamic State militants riot in Tajik prison, 32 killed - Reuters
Three prison guards and 29 inmates have been killed in a high-security prison in Tajikistan after convicted Islamic State militants started a riot, the Central Asian nation's Justice Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry said the riot broke out late on Sunday in the prison in the city of Vakhdat, 10 km east of the capital Dushanbe, as militants armed themselves with knives and killed three guards and five fellow prisoners.

One of the instigators of the riot was Bekhruz Gulmurod, a son of Gulmurod Khalimov, a Tajik special forces colonel who defected to Islamic State in 2015 and, according to the ministry, has since been killed in Syria.

Security forces have killed 24 militants and restored order in the prison which has 1,500 inmates
, the ministry added.

Islamic State, which at one point controlled large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq but has now lost its strongholds, claimed responsibility for another Tajik prison riot last November, which followed a deadly attack by its followers on Western tourists in July 2018.

There has been a spate of IS violence in several Asian states in the last few weeks.

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

Postby SSridhar » 21 May 2019 07:18

NIA raids 10 Tamil Nadu places over suspected IS links - ToI
In an operation that began early on Monday, National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths searched the houses of 10 men, of whom nine were arrested last year, for suspected links with Islamic State (IS) and forming a group called ‘shahadat (martyrdom) is our goal’.

Sources said the NIA team seized several “incriminating” materials.

The nine accused were arrested from different parts of Tamil Nadu in April 2018 for raising funds to procure arms. While one man is absconding, the others were later released on bail. The NIA teams searched the houses of the accused in Muthupet in Tiruvarur district, Keelakkarai and Devipattinam in Ramanathapuram district, Lalpet in Cuddalore district and Salem district.

An NIA release said the teams seized three laptops, three hard disks, 16 mobile phones, eight SIM cards, two pen drives, five memory cards and one card reader, two knives and several digital devices.

The devices will be forensically examined for videos or content pointing to a link between IS modules based in India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and any of the attackers behind the Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka.

Accused conspired to help jailed terrorists escape, push IS ideology

Chennai: NIA had conducted similar raids on three radicalized youngsters from Kasaragod and Palakkad in April. One of the three men, who were allegedly in touch with members of an IS module who had earlier migrated to an IS-controlled territory in Afghanistan, was later arrested. Investigators are also looking for the suspects’ links with Zahran Hashim, one of the bombers in Sri Lanka.

Late last year, NIA in searches carried out in connection with ISIS Coimbatore module had found speeches of Zahran Hashim’s videos on the devices seized. This had led the agency to alert the intelligence agencies which further gathered inputs and got whiff of the IS-inspired plot to carry out terror attacks in Sri Lanka. The intelligence was shared with Sri Lankan authorities through three alerts, with the last one sent hours before the attacks.

In April-May2018, nine of the10 accusedin the Keelakkarai case were arrested on charges of hatching a conspiracy to cause communal disharmony and forming a terrorist gang raising funds, procuring arms and preparing to commit terror acts. While one man is absconding, the others were later released on bail. The agency said the 10 men from different parts of the state formed a WhatsApp group called ‘Shahadat is our goal’. They had conspired in Keelakkarai to procure arms and raise funds to wage an armed struggle, to facilitate the escape of terrorists from prisons and to propagate the IS ideology.

The Keelakarai police booked them under various sections of IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Arms act in April last year. They arrested nine of them, including the leader of the gang A Sheik Dawood, 32, from Periyapattinam in Ramanathapuram district. Police busted the terror gang when they detained a member of the gang, M Mohammed Rifas, 37, a Sri Lankan Tamil. Police stumbled upon the gang while investigating the attack on a BJP functionary in Ramanathapuram district.

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

Postby ramana » 22 May 2019 01:38

SSridhar wrote:NIA raids 10 Tamil Nadu places over suspected IS links - ToI
In an operation that began early on Monday, National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths searched the houses of 10 men, of whom nine were arrested last year, for suspected links with Islamic State (IS) and forming a group called ‘shahadat (martyrdom) is our goal’.

Sources said the NIA team seized several “incriminating” materials.

The nine accused were arrested from different parts of Tamil Nadu in April 2018 for raising funds to procure arms. While one man is absconding, the others were later released on bail. The NIA teams searched the houses of the accused in Muthupet in Tiruvarur district, Keelakkarai and Devipattinam in Ramanathapuram district, Lalpet in Cuddalore district and Salem district.

An NIA release said the teams seized three laptops, three hard disks, 16 mobile phones, eight SIM cards, two pen drives, five memory cards and one card reader, two knives and several digital devices.

The devices will be forensically examined for videos or content pointing to a link between IS modules based in India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and any of the attackers behind the Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka.

Accused conspired to help jailed terrorists escape, push IS ideology

Chennai: NIA had conducted similar raids on three radicalized youngsters from Kasaragod and Palakkad in April. One of the three men, who were allegedly in touch with members of an IS module who had earlier migrated to an IS-controlled territory in Afghanistan, was later arrested. Investigators are also looking for the suspects’ links with Zahran Hashim, one of the bombers in Sri Lanka.

Late last year, NIA in searches carried out in connection with ISIS Coimbatore module had found speeches of Zahran Hashim’s videos on the devices seized. This had led the agency to alert the intelligence agencies which further gathered inputs and got whiff of the IS-inspired plot to carry out terror attacks in Sri Lanka. The intelligence was shared with Sri Lankan authorities through three alerts, with the last one sent hours before the attacks.

In April-May2018, nine of the10 accused in the Keelakkarai case were arrested on charges of hatching a conspiracy to cause communal disharmony and forming a terrorist gang raising funds, procuring arms and preparing to commit terror acts. While one man is absconding, the others were later released on bail. The agency said the 10 men from different parts of the state formed a WhatsApp group called ‘Shahadat is our goal’. They had conspired in Keelakkarai to procure arms and raise funds to wage an armed struggle, to facilitate the escape of terrorists from prisons and to propagate the IS ideology.

The Keelakarai police booked them under various sections of IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Arms act in April last year. They arrested nine of them, including the leader of the gang A Sheik Dawood, 32, from Periyapattinam in Ramanathapuram district. Police busted the terror gang when they detained a member of the gang, M Mohammed Rifas, 37, a Sri Lankan Tamil. Police stumbled upon the gang while investigating the attack on a BJP functionary in Ramanathapuram district.



I underlined the relevant parts.
Keelakarai police booked 10 people and arrested nine of them under various provisions of IPC and UAPA, and Arms Act in April 2018 i.e. one year ago. Some of them are not even Indian citizens.
And in four districts.
How did the magistrate give bail to these nine people?
And then the attack on BJP member in Ramanthapuram happens and later the Easter Sunday bombings happen.
The same nine people homes are raided now.
What offence is non bailable in TN courts?

What was the judge thinking? And what is his name?

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

Postby Kati » 26 May 2019 00:34

(Not sure if this is the right thread, but sharing anyway ...)

Bangladesh has stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/internatio ... omatic-row

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

Postby asbchakri » 26 May 2019 02:58

Kerala coast on high alert after 15 ISIS terrorists allegedly set off from Sri Lanka towards Lakshadweep

https://zeenews.india.com/india/kerala- ... 06523.html.

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

Postby SSridhar » 26 May 2019 07:40

More info regarding the above - The Hindu
The Kerala police have sounded a coastal alert following an intelligence report that 15 people with ties to the Islamic State (IS) have left Sri Lanka in a “white boat” bound for the Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands, 400 km off Kochi.

In a May 23 communiqué to his officers, Additional Director-General of Police, Coastal Security, Tomin Thachankery said the group had started its journey under “mysterious circumstances”. He directed the heads of 72 police stations that dot the 580 km coastline to step up vigil against any possible intrusion by “non-native” boats.

Mr. Thachankery asked his officers to maintain “extreme vigilance” and alert fisherfolk and residents. He ordered his officers to patrol the shoreline intensively.

A senior officer said various agencies had generated the intelligence from “written and visual claims,” with a “high” probability that the information could be “definitive”. But the police were tight-lipped about their sources.

In Thiruvananthapuram, police carried out inspections at lodges and hotels to ensure that no unknown person had checked in.

At Vizhinjam, where work is apace on a new port, police commandeered fishing boats and patrolled the coast in the company of fishermen. In harbours and fish landing centres across Kerala, the police have been verifying the identity of berthed vessels. They have also enlisted the help of boat owners to alert fishermen already at sea.

The Coast Guard and Navy had also been alerted through official channels, police officials said.

Separately, the State police said they were waiting for a detailed advisory from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to determine whether the perpetrators of the bombings in Sri Lanka had sympathisers in Kerala.

Last month, the NIA had arrested a 29-year-old man from Palakkad on suspicion of having plotted a suicide bombing in Kerala.

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

Postby SSridhar » 26 May 2019 14:55

Wickremesinghe vows to stop Islamic State terrorism raising its head again in Lanka - PTI
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to take security measures to prevent Islamic State (IS) terrorism raising its head again in the country as he appealed people not to support extremism or religious fanaticism.

The premier after meeting with a group of representatives of civil societies and trade union collective at Temple Trees on Saturday said the security forces and police have been able to apprehend everyone involved in the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people, the Colombo Page reported.

"But this doesn't mean that this is the end of this type of terrorism. We now have to take certain measures of counterterrorism to ensure that the country will not face terrorism again," he cautioned.

He said the government is discussing the counterterrorism measures that are being taken, with the country still on edge after the attacks on three hotels and three churches that were blamed on a local jihadi group, the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ). The Islamic State group has also claimed a role in the attacks.

"We have also had the help of the Muslim community in bringing about many changes and suggestions - Madrasa education bill not allowing sharia universities, ensuring name boards in only the three national languages," the premier said.

Civil societies and trade union representatives inquired the prime minister on the political and institutional responsibilities which have failed to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks and also on the security situation in the country after the attacks.

The premier responded, saying the parliamentary select committee (PSC) has been appointed to investigate the issue.

He pointed out that the attacks in Sri Lanka is one instance that the ISIS did not have the support of the local Muslim community for their actions and that should be maintained.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe requested not to drive people to extremism by supporting religious fanaticism and racism.

"We must maintain it that way and not allow extremism to come in, racial and religious hatred to come in, whereby driving some people to the other side," he said.

Christians make up 7.6 per cent and Muslims 10 per cent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka.

The prime minister said the government will appoint a resident committee of parliament to look into all the incidents and circumstances surrounding the Easter bomb blasts.

Wickremesinghe said a methodology will be devised preventing Islamic State (IS) terrorism to raise its head again in the country by safeguarding the law and order of the country.

He also said that the Speaker has agreed to open the proceedings through the media in order for people to gain access to the activities of the PSC.

"Today we have taken all the measure to restore law and order. We've been able to observe Ramadan, We've been able hold prayers, Sunday Mass, and Vesak Poya has been observed very, very successfully," he said.

He said schools have started and life is getting back to normal. the security forces and police have been able to apprehend everyone involved in the attacks and detained while legal proceedings are yet to be decided by the Attorney General.

"But this doesn't mean that this is the end of this type of terrorism. We now have to take certain measures of counterterrorism to ensure that the country will not face terrorism again," the Premier cautioned adding that the government is discussing the counterterrorism measures that are being taken and being presented.

"We have also had the help of the Muslim community in bringing about many changes and suggestions - Madrasa education bill not allowing sharia universities, ensuring name boards in only the three national languages," the Premier said.

He pointed out that the attacks in Sri Lanka is one instance that the ISIS did not have the support of the local Muslim community for their actions and that should be maintained.

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

Postby SSridhar » 29 May 2019 09:45

NIA team in Sri Lanka to probe IS cases
National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials are in Colombo to probe two Islamic State (IS)-related cases, which could have possible links to the April 21 Easter terror attack that killed more than 250 people.

A senior government official said a two-member NIA team was in Sri Lanka in connection with the two IS-related cases, registered by the agency in 2015 and 2018.

One of the cases was registered in October 2018 by NIA, which pertained to a “criminal conspiracy to kill some Hindu leaders of Coimbatore.” The other case was registered by NIA against an IS suspect Mohammad Naser in 2015.



Just to add,

Fifteen persons from Kasargod had joined ISIS. These 15 were known as the Kasargod module. The leader of the Kasargod module is Abdul Rashid Abdulla (aka Abu Isa). Abdulla and his wife Ayisha had travelled to Sri Lanka in February 2016 to attend classes in Islamic studies at Al-Quma Arabic College in Colombo. In fact, two other couples from India, Bestin Vincent and his wife Mariyam and Ashfaq Majeed and Shamsiya, were also there with Abdulla attending the same course. They were expelled from Sri Lanka in April 2016 for spreading IS ideology and returned to India. All of them, except Yasmeen Zahid from Patna, managed to exit the country between May 31 and July 5, 2016, and are believed to have reached Nangarhar via Oman and Iran. Yasmeen, who was intercepted at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport while trying to leave India in July 2016, now stands convicted in the case. There is a strong suspicion that the visit of the Kasargod module to Sri Lanka was helped by the mastermind of the serial Easter Bombing of Sri Lanka (April 21, 2019), Mohamed Zahran Hashim of the salafi Sri Lankan jihadi outfit National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ)

The first hints of Hashim’s doctrinal videos, to likely radicalise youth, emerged when Indian authorities interrogated seven members of a group whose leader, officials found, was a follower of Hashim. The men were IS sympathisers and arrested in September 2018 in Coimbatore, on suspicion that they were plotting the assassination of certain Hindu leaders in Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka. These seven are known as the Coimbatore module. The NIA alerted Indian intelligence agencies which developed information on terror attacks being plotted in Sri Lanka. The intelligence was shared with Sri Lankan authorities on three different occasions, including hours before the actual bombings. Zahran Hashim of NTJ, Sri Lanka, had elucidated the concept of Al Wala Wal Bara (bonding and exclusion) in his speeches that was the favourite theme of extreme Salafis in Kerala. Police had registered a case against a Salafi preacher in Kerala for speaking on Al Wala Wal Bara after it was alleged that such hate speeches had contributed to the growth of the IS in Kerala. ‘Al Wala Wal Bara’ demands that Muslims keep a distance from “non-believers” and not have any emotional bonding with them.

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

Postby SSridhar » 12 Jun 2019 11:07

2 ISJK militants killed in Shopian shootout - Peerzada Ashiq, The Hindu
Two Islamic State-J&K (ISJK) militants were killed in a pre-dawn operation in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Tuesday.

A police spokesman said the militants, Sayar Ahmad Bhat from Kulgam’s Yaripora and Shakir Ahmad Wagay from Shopian’s Awneera, were surrounded at Awneera in an early morning operation.

“During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. In the ensuing encounter, the two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved,” said the police.

“The terrorists were inspired by IS ideology. They were wanted for their complicity in terror crimes, including attacks on security establishments,” the police added. Arms and ammunition were recovered, the police added.

Wagay, according to police records, was involved in the killing of civilian Irfan Hameed Sheikh of Zainapora.

In another operation, the security forces have cordoned off Wadoora in Baramulla’s Sopore.

“We have established contact with the militants. The operation to neutralise them is on,” the police said.

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

Postby SSridhar » 15 Jun 2019 08:56

Second arrest in Coimbatore IS module case - Bharti Jain, ToI
The Islamic State-inspired terror module busted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following Wednesday's raids in Coimbatore, has turned out to be larger with four persons other than the six accused being questioned for being its members. On Friday, NIA made a second arrest in the case, that of accused Shiek Hidayuthullah.

Earlier on Thursday, NIA had arrested Mohammad Azarudheen, leader of the 10-member module and a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim. NIA on Friday said that Shiek was arrested based on the facts revealed thus far, regarding his pro-IS activities.
He is aged 38 years and is a resident of South Ukkadam locality in Coimbatore. Scrutiny of the documents from his house shows that he is also associated with proscribed terrorist organisation Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

While Shiek will be produced before the special court, Azarudheen was sent to judicial custody on Thursday. NIA expects to get their police remand early next week.

NIA sources said while the nearly 10-member module was following and sharing radical content attributed to Hashim on social media, it was not really close to executing any terror attack. NIA will be sending the computer resources seized during Wednesday's raids for forensic examination, which will help it trace any links with similar IS-inspired elements in Sri Lanka, including those connected with Easter Sunday attacks.

The module - comprising around 10 men from Coimbatore who were well known to one another -is suspected to have propagated IS ideology on social media with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youth for executing terror attacks in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

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

Postby SSridhar » 18 Jun 2019 08:55

‘IS sympathisers planned suicide bombings at places of worship’ - Wilson Thomas, The Hindu
The three suspected Islamic State (IS) sympathisers arrested by the Coimbatore city police last week were allegedly planning to turn suicide bombers and target churches, temples and public places in Coimbatore, according to an FIR registered in connection with the case.

The FIR alleged that the trio had discussed launching attacks using trucks, possibly inspired by similar attacks in 2016 carried out by IS in Nice in France and in Berlin in Germany, and eliminating ‘kafirs’ (non-believers) using knives.

It also alleged that the accused — Mohammed Hussain, 25, from Ukkadam, A. Shajahan, 25, from Anbu Nagar and Sheik Safiullah, 36, from Karumbukkadai — had plans to kill personnel involved in intelligence-gathering operations. They wanted to execute such attacks “to show their might and teach others a lesson”.

The FIR said an informer had alerted the Podanur police on June 12 about the alleged IS-inspired activities of the accused. The informer had claimed that the men had praised the bombings carried out by the National Thowheed Jamath in Sri Lanka and the ‘martyrdom’ of the suicide bombers.


The FIR said the informer told the police that the trio had sourced photos and pamphlets on such attacks from foreign contacts and had been planning to sacrifice their lives by carrying out attacks in Coimbatore in the name of IS.

Following this, the police kept tabs on the activities of Hussain, Shajahan and Safiullah and found that they had been praising the terror attacks in Sri Lanka among themselves and their circle of friends. The police, the FIR claimed, found that the suspects were watching and sharing videos of jihad launched by IS against the governments in Syria and Iraq. They also translated literature related to various topics, including ‘Khawarij’, a name associated with IS fighters, into Tamil.

“Their words and actions were found to be that of religious fundamentalists. They had decided to instil fear and terror in the minds of people in the religiously volatile Coimbatore by killing those who were against jihadi ideologies and some intelligence officials. They had planned to infringe on the religious harmony in Coimbatore,” the FIR said.

The accused are currently in judicial custody.

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

Postby SSridhar » 20 Jun 2019 13:27

T.N. on high alert following intelligence on terror module - The Hindu
Heightened security arrangements are in place across Tamil Nadu, particularly in the western districts, following intelligence inputs from a central agency on a terror module planning to target vital installations in South India.

Police sources said a three-member cell named ‘Abu Alqital’ was formed to target upscale restaurants, places of worship, shopping malls and vital installations. The suspects, believed to be Islamic State (IS) operatives
, were active on internet-enabled voice calls and messaging platforms.

The agency noted increased cyber activity in the name of IS by way of content being posted in various cyber groups, warning of imminent terror attacks in India. These groups witnessed a steady increase in membership following the dissemination of such information, police sources told The Hindu on Wednesday.

While no specific target or location was mentioned, posts made in closed online groups spoke of the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicles and small arms to carry out attacks. Considering the affiliation of the groups with organisations like the IS, the agency said crowded markets, places of religious congregation, tourist spots and other iconic places were among the likely targets.

‘Step up surveillance’


In view of the alerts and against the backdrop of the recent serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka which claimed the lives of over 250 people, the State intelligence has advised commissionerates and districts to sensitise their intelligence machinery, mount surveillance on extremists or their associates, particularly radicalised youth, and take adequate precautionary measures to avert any untoward incident. The contents of a publication in Tamil on IS ideology, Jihadi literature and other sensitive information were passed on to senior police officers across the State, sources said.

Coastal patrol

Superintendents of Police in coastal districts were told to strengthen patrolling along the eastern seaboard to prevent possible infiltration by suspects involved in the blasts and the violence that followed in Sri Lanka.

Pointing out that places of worship and sensitive books were damaged in clashes between Muslims and Sinhalese at Karungal district and other areas in the northwestern province in Sri Lanka, the agency said the youth affected by the violence could attempt to escape and gain entry into India by taking the sea route.

Police and coastal security agencies were directed to enhance surveillance along the coastal belt and keep tabs on the activities of suspicious persons, besides maintaining a close watch on the movement of boats to prevent illegal ferrying, sources added.

Puzhal visit

In a related development, sources in the National Investigation Agency said that their investigators visited the Puzhal central prison here to check the details of visitors who met Muslim fundamentalists lodged there in the last two years.

“We are trying to look at the profile of visitors to check if there is any link to the serial blasts in Sri Lanka and also the threat perception to vital targets in South India, particularly certain parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala,” a senior officer, who preferred not to be quoted, said.

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

Postby SSridhar » 21 Jun 2019 13:51

IS module leader brought to Coimbatore - The Hindu
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday brought Mohammed Azarudeen, a Facebook friend of Easter Sunday blasts mastermind Zahran Hashim, to Kuniyamuthur in Coimbatore as part of efforts to collect evidence for the probe into the IS-inspired Coimbatore module, which Azarudeen allegedly headed.

Azarudeen was brought to Shanthi Nagar near Kuniyamuthur where he showed the NIA sleuths the house of a 35-year-old man, to whom he had given a computer hard disk for repair. The disk was seized from Azarudeen when he, along with a second person was picked up by the NIA team in Coimbatore on June 12. The special court for NIA cases in Kochi granted custody of the two to the investigating team on Monday.

“Azarudeen told investigators that he had given the hard disk to the Shanthi Nagar resident, who is servicing computers and peripherals. The NIA team visited the house of the youth on Thursday to confirm whether he had serviced the storage device. He has given a statement in the affirmative in the presence of a Revenue Department official,” said a source.

Azarudeen, an employee of a travel agency in Coimbatore, and other five known members of the module were propagating IS ideologies on social media. .

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

Postby SSridhar » 22 Jun 2019 19:39

Terror module in Delhi, NCR: Suspects were planning to establish ISIS caliphate, NIA tells court - PTI
Ten suspects arrested in a case involving a terror module in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh's Amroha were planning to establish an ISIS caliphate in the country by resorting to large-scale attacks in and around the National Capital Region, the NIA on Friday told a Delhi court.

The agency made these claims in its charge sheet filed before additional sessions judge Ajay Kumar who listed the matter for consideration on July 4.
"They had named this module as 'Harkat-ul-Harb-E-Islam' (Movement for War of Islam). This group owed its allegiance to ISIS and wanted to establish an ISIS Caliphate in India by resorting to large scale terrorist attacks in and around National Capital Region. The group carried out reconnaissance of some such locations in and around NCR," the agency told the court.

The accused named by the NIA -- Mohd Suhail (30), a mufti in a seminary in Amroha, Anas Younus (21), Zubair Malik (22), Rashid Zafar Raq (24), Saqib (26), Absar (24), Said (29), Gufran (25), Faiz (25) and Naim (22) -- hailed from Jafrabad in Delhi and Amroha, Hapur and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
The charge sheet of over 5,000 pages was filed under sections of 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against government of India), 121A (punishment for offence under 121 IPC), 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against government of India) of IPC and under various sections of stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosives Substances Act and Arms Act.

The agency said that the investigation in the case was still on, and it may file supplementary charge sheet.

The NIA had registered the case on December 20, 2018 on allegation that the accused has formed an ISIS module with others to commit terror activities and the module is amassing weapons and explosives.

The group had carried out reconnaissance of some such locations in and around NCR, the agency said.

"Investigation has established that Suhail and other co-accused persons entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage a violent jihad against government of India by use of weapons and explosives to establish an ISIS caliphate in India.

"The module was being guided by three ISIS handlers based abroad. The module made extensive use of encrypted social media applications/chat platforms. These have been recovered from their mobile phones," the agency said.

It had conducted searches at 17 locations on December 26 last year in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, where 12 pistols, 163 assorted ammunition, one improvised missile launcher, 98 mobile phones, 25 kg of explosive chemicals, hardware/electronic materials including 120 alarm clocks to make IEDs, and incriminating books/material were seized from the premises of the accused.

Forensic reports on the seized chemicals and IED making material affirmed that these were sufficient to manufacture sophisticated IEDs, it said.
"The group wanted to manufacture IED, to be detonated by remote controlled devices, of more than 100 metre range. A large quantity of e-books, messages in encrypted chats and detailed manuals issued by ISIS and affiliated terror entities for training in bomb making, IED making and methods to inflict mass casualties have been recovered from the seized mobile phones," the agency said.

It added that mastermind of the group, Suhail, was also giving sermons to radicalise other members of the module wherein he exhorted them to offer themselves for the violent jihad against infidels in India.

"Two of the accused persons also recorded rehearsal video of their resolve to fight violent jihad that was to be published after their suicide attacks. The mobile phones of accused persons contain high amount of ISIS propaganda material.

"These include execution videos, violent jihadi anthems, videos/audio proclaiming solidarity with Kashmiri terrorists, audio messages by an ISIS handler, and radicalisation sermons of Maulana Masood Azhar (chief of Jaish-e-Muhammad), Abdus Sami Qasmi (another accused in an NIA ISIS related case), and Asim Umar (alleged chief of al Qaida in Indian subcontinent)," the agency said.

One of the accused, Faiz, arrested in April, had arranged weapons and had even gone to Tral, Rajouri and Bandipora last year to "learn" weapons training from militants, the agency had said.

In December, the NIA along with police of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi carried out searches in Amroha, Delhi and other parts of the country.

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

Postby SSridhar » 25 Jun 2019 20:53

Four members of ISIS-affiliate terror outfit arrested in Kolkata - PTI
Kolkata Police on June 25 said it has arrested four members of an ISIS-affiliated terror outfit from two places in the city.

Acting on a tip-off, officers of the Special Task Force (STF) arrested the four operatives of the ‘Neo-Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh’ (JMB), an Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate, police said.

The group comprises three Bangladeshi nationals and an Indian hailing from West Bengal’s Birbhum district
, a senior Kolkata Police officer said.

While two were held from Sealdah area on June 24, their interrogation led to the arrest of two others near Howrah Railway Station on June 25 morning, he said.

“The three Bangladeshis were residing in India for quite sometime in a bid to escape arrest in their country. They were here to recruit under the ISIS banner,” the officer said.

The Indian national was helping the three others in recruitment and collection of funds, police said.

“A mobile phone having photos, videos, jihadi literature were seized from them,” the senior officer said, adding initial probe has revealed that all the four were actively propagating their agenda on social media.

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

Postby Peregrine » 13 Jul 2019 22:23

NIA busts Tamil Nadu-based terror module planning attacks - Bharti Jain

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday busted a Tamil Nadu-based outfit planning terrorist attacks in the country with the intention of establishing Islamic rule, and as part of the crackdown raided the houses of three of its members based in Chennai city and Nagapattinam district.

As per the case registered by NIA on July 9, the accused hailing from Chennai and Nagapattinam, and others "while being within and beyond India, had conspired and conducted consequent preparations to wage war against the Government of India by forming the terrorist gang Ansarulla". NIA said it had learnt that the accused persons --Syed Mohammed Bukhari, resident of Chennai; Hassan Ali Yunusmaricar, native of Nagapattinam; and Mohammed Yusuffudeen Harish Mohamed, also from Nagapattinam -- and their associates had collected funds and made preparations to carry out terrorist attacks in India, with the intention of establishing Islamic rule in India.

After it registered a case against them under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and IPC on July 9, NIA on Saturday carried out searches at the house and office of Syed Bukhari in Chennai city besides at the houses of Hassan Ali and Harish Mohammed in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. The three accused are being questioned by NIA and may be arrested soon.

During the searches, 9 mobiles, 15 SIM cards, 7 memory cards, 3 laptops, 5 hard discs, 6 pen drives, 2 tablets and 3 CDs/ DVDs besides documents including magazines, banners, notices, posters and books were seized by NIA.

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

Postby SSridhar » 20 Jul 2019 14:43

NIA searches houses of 6 T.N. men who allegedly raised funds for IS - The Hindu
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the alleged raising of funds for setting up Islamic State (IS) in India after the arrest and deportation of 14 Indians from the U.A.E., on Saturday launched searches at the houses of five of them who hailed from the district [Ramanathapuram].

After getting necessary logistical support from the district police and administration, sleuths of the agency launched simultaneous searches at the palatial houses of four accused in Kilakarai and one accused at Thanichiyam in coastal Valinokkam with the local police and revenue officials.

Five separate teams launched the searches at 6 a.m. at the houses of four accused — A. Rafi Ahamed, 55, J.M. Jafarullah Khan, 40, I.M. Sahul Hameed, 41, and U. Faisal Sherif, 44, — at East Street, Kilakarai. Only watchmen were present at the houses as the accused had been staying in the U.A.E. for long and had not visited the houses for almost two years, police sources said.

The searches, which lasted for about four hours, did not yield much, the sources said. The sleuths ended up seizing some school certificates, copies of driving licences and other ‘insignificant’ documents. Rafi Ahamed owned a palatial house with a swimming pool and had not visited the house for the past two years, the sources said, adding the other three accused were his relatives and were also wealthy.

In contrast, S. Farook, the fifth accused at Valinokkam, lived in a poor condition in a tiled roof house, the police said. Farook’s parents, wife, six-month-old baby and mentally deranged sister were living in the house. The NIA sleuths searched the house, accompanied by the local Village Administrative Officer. His father worked as a tea master in Erwadi after his elder brother got married and settled in Sitharkottai, police sources said.

A Deputy Superintendent of Police, NIA, supervised the search operations. The teams are likely to stay back and collect details of those who were in regular and close contacts with the accused and check their antecedents, the sources said. The NIA personnel met Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Superintendent of Police Omprakash Meena on Friday and secured logistical support.

In Madurai, a team of NIA sleuths searched the house of M. Mohamed Sheik Maitheen, 40, in Narimedu and that of his in-laws at Nelpettai in Madurai city on Saturday. Sources said that the sleuths questioned Maitheen’s mother and wife. Maitheen is one of the accused arrested in the Ansurallah case.

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

Postby SSridhar » 20 Jul 2019 16:16

Terror module crackdown: NIA conducts searches across Tamil Nadu - ToI
Less than a week after arresting two terror suspects from Nagapattinam district, and getting custody of 14 more deported from UAE, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) swooped on various locations across Tamil Nadu on Saturday.

Simultaneous searches are on in Chennai, Theni, Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Melapalayam near Tirunelveli. The searches gain significance as this is the first operation after a special court for bomb blast cases in Poonamallee sent all the 16 suspects into eight-day NIA custody.

In Chennai, a team was raiding ISIS suspect Thoufique Ahmed house at No.32, Davidson Street in Kothavalchavadi, Mannadi. Ahmed is among 14 suspects deported from UAE to New Delhi on July 15 for collecting funds and making preparations to carry out terror attacks in India.

In Tirunelveli, NIA is conducting a raid at two places related to Mohammed Ibrahim, who is one of the persons arrested by them last week. The search is going on at his mother's place and father-in-law's place at Melapalayam in Tirunelveli city. A four-member NIA team is conducting the raid, with more than 200 police personnel from Tirunelveli city police providing a security ring.

A team of 15 NIA personal are conducting searches at the houses of five persons at Keelakarai (4) and Valinokkam (1) in Ramanathapuram district from around 6.30am on Saturday amidst heavy police deployment by the Ramanathapuram district police. Five persons detained by the NIA last week are from this southern coastal district.

The houses of Rabi Ahamed, Faizal Sheriff, Mundhasir and Mohaideen Shahul Ahmed are being raided at Keelakarai Kizhakutheru, while the house of Farooq was searched at Valinokkam.

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

Postby SSridhar » 21 Jul 2019 09:17

NIA drops terror charges against four youth - Vijaita Singh, The Hindu
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has dropped terror charges against four men arrested last year for allegedly trying to establish an “Islamic State caliphate” by resorting to large-scale terrorist attacks in and around Delhi.

Mohammad Irshad, Raees Ahmad, Zaid Malik and Mohamamd Azam walked free earlier this month after spending over six months in jail.

A senior government official said the NIA found no evidence against them.


In a chargesheet filed against 10 others on July 21 in a special court at Patiala House in Delhi, the NIA said: “The group wanted to manufacture IEDs, to be detonated by remote controlled devices, of more than 100 metres range.” Two of the accused recorded videos that was to be broadcast after their suicide attacks, it said.

Irshad, a resident of Amroha in west Uttar Pradesh, is an autorickshaw driver. Ahmad, also a resident of Amroha, worked at a welding shop. At the time of their arrests, Malik was living at Jafrabad in east Delhi and Azam ran a medical store at Seelampur in east Delhi. The four were arrested in December 2018 with 10 others.

The NIA, in a press release issued on December 26 last year, said Irshad “was helping Mohammad Suhail (prime accused) in arranging a hideout for keeping the material for making IEDs and bombs.”

The agency accused Ahmad and his brother Saeed of “procuring huge quantity of explosive material/gunpowder (around 25 kg) for preparing IEDs and pipe bombs and were instrumental in fabricating a rocket launcher to carry out terrorist attacks.” About Azam, the agency said he “helped the mastermind in arranging weapons”.

Their counsel, M.S. Khan, told The Hindu, “The NIA said in court that sufficient evidence was not found against them but investigations will continue.” The accused against whom the chargesheet was filed are Mufti Mohd Suhail, 30, Anas Younus, 21, Zubair Malik, 22, Rashid Zafar Raq, 24, Md. Saqib, 26, Md. Absar Said, 24, Md. Gufran, 25, Md. Faiz, 25, and Naim Choudhary, 22.

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

Postby SSridhar » 31 Jul 2019 20:28

Kerala youth who joined Islamic State killed in US drone attack in Afghanistan - PTI
MALAPPURAM: A Kerala youth, suspected to have fled to Afghanistan in 2017 to join the Islamic State (IS), was killed in a US drone strike in that country, according to information received by his relatives here.

A WhatsApp message received by the family of Muhammed Muhasin on Tuesday said that the youth, a resident of Edapal, had become a "Shaheed" (martyr) 10 days ago.

Confirming the message received by the family, police said that the message had been forwarded to them by the relatives and investigations have begun.

In 2017, while he was a final year student in an Engineering college in Thrissur, Muhasin had left home saying he was going to Bengaluru.

Police, acting on a missing complaint from his relatives, had registered a case, conducted a probe and found that he had left for Dubai.

The Intelligence Bureau had also probed his disappearance.

According to the relatives, the IB had visited them and informed them that Muhasin had joined the Islamic State (IS).

With the report of his death coming in, police in Malappuram once again began the probe.

Two years ago, a missing man from Kasaragod in Kerala, who was suspected to have joined Islamic State, was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan.

Murshid Muhammed, a native of Padna in Kerala's Kasargod district, was killed in a drone attack in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.

He was among the 21 people from the state, who reportedly went missing after travelling to the Middle East and were suspected to have joined the IS in Syria.

Earlier, another man T K Hafeesudeen, 24, also from Padna, was killed in a drone attack in Afghanistan.

So, the drones are doing a good job.

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

Postby SSridhar » 03 Aug 2019 12:15

SC jails Kerala woman for 7 years for IS links - ToI
The Supreme Court on Friday held a Kerala-based woman guilty of being associated with the so-called Islamic State and propagating ideologies of the terrorist organisation and sentenced her to seven years' imprisonment.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Indu Malhotra held that there is sufficient evidence to prove she was propagating the ideology of IS and advocating war against non-Muslims. It upheld the trial court and HC orders convicting her. But in doing so, it quashed the HC's order to award her three years in jail and upheld the trial court order of seven years.

Police got a complaint in 2016 that 14 people had left India to join IS. After investigation, Yasmeen Mohammad Zahid was arrested from Delhi's IGI Airport while attempting to travel to Afghanistan along with her child.

Her husband and others had already left India and joined IS in Afghanistan. An NIA court in Ernakulam sentenced her to rigorous imprisonment.

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

Postby SSridhar » 21 Aug 2019 07:22

Islamic State claims responsibility for bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63 - CBS News
The death toll from a late-night suicide bombing at a crowded wedding party in the Afghan capital rose to at least 63 on Sunday, including women and children, officials said. The local Islamic State (ISIS) group's affiliate claimed responsibility for what was the deadliest attack in Kabul this year.

Another 182 people were wounded in the Saturday night explosion, government spokesman Feroz Bashari said. Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi confirmed the casualty toll as families began to bury the dead. Some helped to dig graves with their bare hands.

Kabul residents were outraged as there appears to be no end to violence even as the U.S. and the Taliban say they are nearing a deal to end their 18-year conflict, America's longest war.

The bomber detonated his explosives near the stage where musicians were playing and "all the youths, children and all the people who were there were killed," said eyewitness Gul Mohammad.

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

Postby SSridhar » 21 Aug 2019 07:30

With Kabul wedding attack, Isis aims to erode Taliban supremacy - The Guardian
Even by the bloody standards of Afghanistan, it was a brutal attack: a suicide bomber at a wedding celebration, detonating his device as children danced and the happy couple completed their marriage rituals. In an instant more than 60 of the 1,000 guests were dead, hundreds injured.

Few events are so joyous and optimistic as a wedding. So why would a terrorist group – even one as brutal as Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility – want to attack one?

One reason is that Isis does not believe that restraint serves its purposes. As the atrocities that accompanied its expansion and rule in Iraq and Syria made clear, the group does not aim to win ordinary people’s loyalty but to rule through fear and a few select powerbrokers. Its explicit savagery is not a byproduct of broader strategy. It is the strategy.

But strategies – even those of groups like Isis – do not evolve in a vacuum.

There have been significant changes in the political situation in Afghanistan over recent months. In July, Donald Trump said “it’s ridiculous” that US troops were still in the country, and Washington is now close to a deal with the Taliban, the reactionary Islamist movement ousted from power by a US-led invasion in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The agreement would see the 14,000 remaining US forces in Afghanistan withdraw in return for a Taliban commitment to a ceasefire and a pledge not to support acts of international terrorism.

This latter concession may be less costly to the movement than some analysts think. The Taliban have always claimed their objectives are purely nationalist, and have not been directly linked to international attacks.

Separate negotiations are due to start between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan.

More or less simultaneously, Isis has been definitively expelled from all the territory it held in Iraq and Syria, though it still exerts significant influence over swaths of land and large numbers of people there. This has consequences wherever else the group has established a presence.

One is renewed ambition to establish territorial enclaves. In Islamic historical legal tradition, if you have no land you cannot be recognised as caliph and so alternative zones of potential expansion have become more important. The most propitious appear to be west Africa, the Sahel and Afghanistan.

Isis in Afghanistan has grown from a handful of disaffected Taliban mid-level commanders five years ago to as many as 3,000 fighters. These are mainly concentrated near the border with Pakistan.

Isis strategic thinking has been heavily influenced by the advice of key jihadi thinkers who argued a decade or more ago that extremists needed to foment civil war, discord and chaos. The resultant bloody anarchy would allow them to gain support and eventual power. This was one reason Isis in Iraq made savage assaults on Shia Muslims central to its worldview and strategy, aiming to prompt civil war there.


The victims of Sunday’s attack were from Afghanistan’s marginalised Hazara minority and Shia. The aim was slightly different though. A civil war is already under way, and there is no need to provoke a fresh one. Instead, the attack on the wedding underlined the inability of the Afghan government to protect its own citizens, prompting fear and anger and helping to ensure that any efforts to stabilise the country come to nothing. We can expect more attacks, as savage and shocking, if peace talks advance any further.

The attack also comes at a key turning point that could offer a strategic advantage to Isis, which has fought bitterly with the Taliban over recent years as the newcomers have challenged the authority and ideology of the older movement. Hundreds, thousands probably, have died in the war between the rival organisations.

If the Taliban stop fighting the US and the Afghan government, Isis will aim to take over the role of the main opposition force in the country, gathering to its banners all the malcontents and rejectionists any deal would inevitably create. They would also seek to attract the support of the Taliban’s erstwhile supporters, inside and outside Afghanistan.


High-profile, spectacular bombings that attract much media attention are a way of demonstrating their capabilities and determination, as well as showcasing its readiness to use appalling violence.

Even successful peace talks are unlikely to end Afghanistan’s long nightmare.

No group has claimed responsibility for the 10 bombings on Monday in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. More than 30 people were injured when blasts hit restaurants and public squares as the country marked the 100th anniversary of its independence.

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

Postby SSridhar » 30 Aug 2019 07:06

Hyderabad man dies in IS war, wife in Syria sends SOS - ToI
A Tolichowki-based engineer, whose family stayed in Saudi Arabia for several years, allegedly fought for the proscribed Islamic State (IS) and died in an aerial strike in Syria in early 2018. Now, his wife, also from Tolichowki, and their four children, reportedly at a rescue camp in the still war-torn area of Syria, want to return home, according to sources.

In 2015, the engineer, who used to work and reside in Saudi Arabia, took his wife and two children on a holiday first to Dubai, then Turkey and finally Syria. Sometime later, he sent an email to one of his relatives, informing them that he and his family were in Syria and he had joined the IS.
After that, there was no information about the family’s whereabouts. A few months ago, the 32-year-old woman called up her family at Tolichowki and informed them that her 35-year-old husband had died in an airstrike and she was at a rescue camp. The woman also wished to return home along with her four children, including two born to the couple in Syria.


The couple’s case would make this the second incident of a person from Telangana getting killed in Syria while fighting for IS. In the recent past, engineer Mohammed Haneef from Mancherial had perished in the war torn nation.

The case is not in our notice, says MEA

It is learnt that NIA or Telangana police’s Counter Intelligence Cell had probed the family members of the couple in Hyderabad and gathered information. TOI repeatedly contacted NIA officials for details of the case over the past few days but they chose not to respond.

Though the family is from Hyderabad and have Indian passports, they had been staying in Saudi Arabia for over two decades. After retirement, the parents of the couple returned to Hyderabad. “However, the couple continued to stay in Saudi Arabia and later went to Syria with their children. The woman, who rarely gets access to a telephone at the camp, made a distress call to her family in Hyderabad,” the source, privy to the happenings in the couple’s family in Hyderabad, told TOI.

When TOI contacted the Union external affairs ministry, an official said: “North-east area of the war-torn nation is still not in control of the Syrian government. A large number of people from different nationalities are at the camp in the north-east area. The United Nations is drawing up a list. From our side, we also want to know the details of Indians at the camp. At this point of time, the case of the Tolichowki woman is not in our notice.”


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