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

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

Postby SSridhar » 15 Jun 2017 11:40

rhytha, well done. Let's meet when you come down this side.

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

Postby SSridhar » 15 Jun 2017 11:52

Musings on London Bridge - Mohammed Bazzi, The Hindu

I am posting this here to generally understand the IS, rather than anything specific with India or neighbourhood.

On the evening of June 3, three men unleashed terror in the heart of London, killing eight people and wounding dozens, in the third major terrorist attack in Britain in three months.

The assailants sped across London Bridge in a white van, ramming into pedestrians. They later emerged from the van with hunting knives and began stabbing people in Borough Market, a nearby nightspot. The attackers were quickly chased down and killed by British police.

On May 22, a suicide bomber attacked a concert arena in the city of Manchester, killing 22 people. Two months earlier, a driver mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, and tried to break into Parliament before being shot and killed by security forces.

The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for all of these attacks, and it now seems that the terrorist group will be quick to adopt nearly every attack on civilians, especially in the West. These claims of responsibility tend to be somewhat generic — they don’t show the IS’s involvement in the planning or execution of attacks — but they do help the group in its propaganda efforts.

A decentralised jihadism

These self-directed and “lone wolf” attacks are not an accident. They are the result of an organised, decade-old movement within Islamic jihadism to decentralise attacks and make them more diffuse. This trend predated the emergence of the IS — it can be traced back to al-Qaeda after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

While al-Qaeda was a hierarchical organisation, its leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy and eventual successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, realised that maintaining training camps and central control was not going to work after the group was forced out of its base in Afghanistan under U.S. bombing. Before the September 11 attacks, bin Laden had relied on recruits trained at Afghan camps, and many had personally pledged allegiance to him.

But even while in hiding, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri frequently addressed their supporters through dozens of videos, audiotapes and Internet statements. They encouraged new recruits to act autonomously under al-Qaeda’s banner, and they helped inspire hundreds of young men to carry out suicide or conventional bombings in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Spain, Britain and elsewhere.

After a large number of al-Qaeda’s leaders were killed, captured or forced to flee, one of bin Laden’s former bodyguards in Afghanistan described the group’s revamped operations to an Arabic newspaper. “Every element of al-Qaeda is self-activated,” he said. “Whoever finds a chance to attack simply goes ahead. The decision is theirs alone.”

The rapid rise of the IS

Today, the IS has expanded and perfected this concept of the “leaderless jihad.” And it is now wreaking havoc and spreading fear, both in the West and in West Asia.

The latest wave of attacks fits into a series of appeals by IS leaders for their supporters to carry out self-directed assaults that use any means necessary to kill civilians, especially in the West. As the group continues to face a U.S.-led bombing campaign against its strongholds in Syria and Iraq, it is losing the territory and fighters that make up the backbone of its self-declared caliphate. As a result, the IS is turning towards both centrally organised plots and individual attacks carried out by sympathisers to reassert its claim as the world’s leading jihadist movement.

One of the major inspirations for this strategy is Abu Musab al-Suri, a veteran jihadist ideologue and an al-Qaeda leader who worked with bin Laden and al-Zawahiri in the 1990s. After he became disillusioned with al-Qaeda’s leaders and direction following the September 11 attacks, Suri published a 1,600-page manifesto titled, “A Call to a Global Islamic Resistance”, on the Internet in 2005.

In the document, which is still widely shared in jihadist circles, Suri calls for a wave of “individual jihad” in which independent operatives — sometimes self-radicalised and other times assisted by recruiters on the Internet — would target Western civilians in an effort to sow chaos and terror. Suri described his jihadist philosophy as “no organizations, just principles”.

With a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, Suri was captured by Pakistan’s security services in late 2005. He was reportedly turned over to the Central Intelligence Agency and was then sent to his native Syria, where he was wanted by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. After the Syrian war began in 2011, there were reports that Suri was among hundreds of al-Qaeda and other militant operatives freed by the Assad regime. Many of those operatives went on to become leaders of IS and the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. But other reports, including statements by jihadist leaders, say that Suri is still being held by Assad’s regime.


Lone wolf as a strategy

Regardless of his status, Suri’s conception of the individual, or leaderless, jihad continues to resonate. In relying on lone wolf attacks by individuals who are self-radicalised and have only a tangential understanding of jihadist ideology — and, in some cases, are mentally disturbed — the IS is able to project a greater reach than it actually has.

In September 2014, Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, the leading IS spokesman, issued an audiotaped appeal that reflected Suri’s tactics. Adnani (who was killed two years later in a U.S. air strike in Syria) urged the group’s sympathisers to use whatever means at their disposal to attack American and French citizens, and virtually any other Western civilians. “If you are not able to find an IED [improvised explosive device] or a bullet, single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies,” he said. “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

For several years, the IS and al-Qaeda have been competing for funding, recruits and prestige. The two groups often disagree over tactics: to avoid a backlash similar to the one they faced during Iraq’s civil war, al-Qaeda’s leaders have urged their followers to avoid targeting Muslims. But IS leaders endorse the wholesale slaughter of civilians, including many Muslims that they regard as infidels, as epitomised by the spate of attacks on Muslim countries during Ramazan in recent years.

By mid-2014, the IS seized large chunks of Syria and Iraq. The group then proclaimed a caliphate in the territory under its control, and named its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as caliph and “leader of Muslims everywhere”.

Looking for real solutions

Over the past three years, the IS displaced al-Qaeda as the dominant force in international jihadism. Baghdadi’s group had been more successful in its strategy, which relies on capturing and holding territory. But after its recent losses in Iraq and Syria, the group has reverted to its roots as a jihadist insurgency, bent on large-scale attacks that instil fear but achieve few tangible gains.

In doing so, IS leaders realise that they are on the verge of losing their self-declared capitals in Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq. That means the group would squander the caliphate that has distinguished it from other jihadist movements, and helped it attract new recruits.

To combat this new and more complex range of threats posed by the IS and its sympathisers, governments in the West and throughout the world will need to do more than simply continue military strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. Deterring new attacks against civilians will require working towards political settlements in Syria and Iraq {What political settlement? This is an Islamist sectarian problem which has defied a settlement for over 1400 years}. It will also mean greater vigilance in monitoring clandestine networks set up by IS operatives — and adjusting to a new enemy that knows no limits.

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

Postby SSridhar » 15 Jun 2017 22:22

ISIS says it's captured bin Laden's Afghan hideout of Tora Bora; Taliban deny claim - AP, ToI
The Islamic State group said its fighters have captured Osama bin Laden's infamous Tora Bora mountain hideout in eastern Afghanistan but the Taliban on Thursday dismissed the claim, saying they were still in control of the cave complex that once housed the former al-Qaida leader.

Earlier, IS released an audio recording, saying its signature black flag was flying over the hulking mountain range. The message was broadcast on the militants' Radio Khilafat station in the Pashto language late on Wednesday.

It also said IS has taken over several districts and urged villagers who fled the fighting to return to their homes and stay indoors.

A Taliban spokesman denied IS was in control, claiming instead that the Taliban had pushed IS back from some territory the rival militants had taken in the area.


The Tora Bora mountains hide a warren of caves in which al-Qaeda militants led by bin Laden hid from U.S. coalition forces in 2001, after the Taliban fled Kabul and before he fled to neighboring Pakistan.

According to testimony from al-Qaeda captives in the U.S. prison at Guantamo Bay, Cuba, bin Laden fled from Tora Bora first to Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province, before crossing the border into Pakistan. He was killed in a 2011 raid by U.S. Navy SEALs on his hideout in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.

Pakistan complained the raid violated its sovereignty while bin Laden's presence _ barely a few miles from the Pakistani equivalent of America's West Point military academy _ reinforced allegations by those who accused Pakistan of harboring the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. Pakistan denies such charges, pointing to senior al-Qaida operatives it has turned over to the United States.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that Taliban fighters pushed back the Islamic State group from areas of Tora Bora that IS had earlier captured.

Mujahid claimed that more than 30 IS fighters were killed in battle. He also added that a U.S. airstrike on Taliban positions on Wednesday that killed 11 of its fighters had benefited the Islamic State group.

The remoteness of the area makes it impossible to independently verify the contradictory claims.

Afghan officials earlier said that fighting between IS and the Taliban, who had controlled Tora Bora, began on Tuesday but couldn't confirm its capture.

Afghan Defense Ministry's spokesman Daulat Waziri would not say whether IS was in complete control of Tora Bora. But he said Afghan forces engaged IS militants in the Chapahar district of eastern Nagarhar province, killing five and pushing them out of the area.

The province, which borders Pakistan, is the main foothold of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan. An affiliate of the IS, which is fighting in Syria and Iraq, emerged over the past two years and seized territory, mainly in Nangarhar.


The Afghan forces' offensive will continue toward Tora Bora, Waziri said on Thursday, adding that if the Afghans ``need air support from NATO, they are ready to help us.''

While the United States estimates there are about 800 IS fighters in Afghanistan, mostly restricted to Nangarhar, other estimates say their ranks also include thousands of battle-hardened Uzbek militants.

Last week Russia announced it was reinforcing two of its bases in Central Asia, in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, with its newest weapons because of fears of a ``spill-over of terrorist activities from Afghanistan'' by the Afghan IS affiliate.

``The (IS) group's strategy to establish an Islamic caliphate poses a threat not only to Afghanistan but also to the neighboring countries,'' Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

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

Postby SSridhar » 16 Jun 2017 07:27

US designates principal recruiter of Islamic State in India a global terrorist - ToI
In a major achievement for India, the US department of state on Thursday designated the chief and principal recruiter of Islamic State in India, Mohammad Shafi Armar, who also goes by his online name as Yousuf-al Hindi, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).

Armar is responsible for forming several ISIS affiliated groups in India in the last three years including Junood al Khalifa e Hind (JKH), in which more than 50 Indian youngsters were recruited.

Shafi has reportedly become an important ally of IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and deputies in establishing the outfit in India. The US move not only verifies the identity and existence of the elusive ISIS India head but also clears rumours about his death in Syria. This also indicates that the report of his proximity with IS chief Abu Bakr al Baghdadi could well be true.

NIA, during a countrywide crackdown last year, had arrested around 23 recruits of JKH, who had owed allegiance to the IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi on the directions of Armar. India had approached US and UN to designate Shafi Armar as a "global terrorist".

The department of state has said that it had designated Mohammad Shafi Armar, Oussama Ahmad Atar and Mohammed Isa Yousif Saqar Al Binali as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals, or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

It is suspected that Shafi was in touch with at least 600-700 Indian youngsters on closed Facebook groups and messaging platforms like Trillion, Surespot, WhatsApp and Skype over the past few years.

He even arranged funds - through transfers and hawala transactions - for IS recruits here. He sent some Rs 6 lakh to the module of Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh, whom Shafi made the 'amir' of IS in India while keeping the larger 'head' designation with himself.

He is yet to be traced and is said to be operating from Afghanistan or Syria.

27-year-old Shafi, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka, had taken over outfit's India franchise after his brother Sultan Armar's death in March 2015 in a US drone strike in Syria.


However, their identity and association with the ISIS was not confirmed until the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal who confirmed their links with the Islamic State.

Listed on the Interpol website, Shafi had recently formed JKH by dismantling the Ansar-ul-Tauhid (AuT). AuT was born out of Indian Mujahideen (IM) after Shafi and Sultan developed differences with Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, the Pakistan-based chiefs of IM, over misuse of funds received for terror activities.

AuT had pledged loyalty to IS and Shafi conducted talentscouting from his Syrian base.


"Mohammad Shafi Armar is a leader and head recruiter in India for the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group, Islamic State.

He has cultivated a group of dozens of ISIS sympathizers who are involved in terrorist activities across India, such as plotting attacks, procuring weapons, and identifying locations for terrorist training camps," said a statement in the United States state department website.

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

Postby SSridhar » 16 Jun 2017 15:13

Russia's military says may have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - Reuters, ToI
Russia's Defence Ministry said on Friday it was checking information that a Russian air strike near the Syrian city of Raqqa may have killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in late May.

The air strike was launched after the Russian forces in Syria received intelligence that a meeting of Islamic State leaders was being planned, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

"On May 28, after drones were used to confirm the information on the place and time of the meeting of IS leaders, between 00:35 and 00:45, Russian air forces launched a strike on the command point where the leaders were located," the statement said.

"According to the information which is now being checked via various channels, also present at the meeting was Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was eliminated as a result of the strike," the ministry said.


The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State said it could not confirm the Russian report that Baghdadi may have been killed.

The strike is believed to have killed several other senior leaders of the group, as well as around 30 field commanders and up to 300 of their personal guards, the Russian defence ministry statement said.

The IS leaders had gathered at the command centre, in a southern suburb of Raqqa, to discuss possible routes for the militants' retreat from the city, the statement said.

The United States was informed in advance about the place and time of the strike, the Russian military said.


Islamic State fighters are close to defeat in the twin capitals of the group's territory, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

Russian forces support the Syrian government which is fighting against Islamic State mainly from the west, while a US.-led coalition supports Iraqi government forces fighting against Islamic State from the east.

The last public video footage of Baghdadi shows him dressed in black clerical robes declaring his caliphate from the pulpit of Mosul's medieval Grand al-Nuri mosque back in 2014.

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

Postby SSridhar » 20 Jun 2017 09:33

Keralite ‘IS man’ killed in Afghanistan - IANS, The Hindu
A Kerala resident who is said to have gone to Afghanistan to join the Islamic State terror group was reportedly killed, an intelligence official said on Monday.

The news about the death of Sajeer M. Abdullah and a picture of his body was received on the mobile phone of a man, whose relative is among the 21 Keralites who left their homes here [Kasargod, which is becoming another Bhatkal] to join the IS
, said the official of the Kerala police’s intelligence unit. However, there was no information about the time and cause of Abdullah’s death.

An intelligence official, who did not wish to be identified, said that the news and picture came to the same person who received reports about the death of three others of this group during the course of this year.

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

Postby SSridhar » 20 Jun 2017 10:47

Iran fires missiles at IS targets - AP, The Hindu
Iran says its ballistic missile strike targeting the Islamic State (IS) in Syria was not only a response to deadly attacks in Tehran, but a message to Saudi Arabia and the U.S..

The launch, which hit Syria’s eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday, appeared to be Iran’s first missile attack abroad in over 15 years and its first in the Syrian conflict.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it launched six Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from the western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan.

The missiles flew over Iraq before striking what the Guard called an IS command centre and suicide car bomb operation in Deir el-Zour, over 600 km away.


Syrian Opposition activist Omar Abu Laila, who is based in Germany but closely follows events in his native Deir el-Zour, said two Iranian missiles fell near and inside the eastern town of Mayadeen.

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

Postby SSridhar » 22 Jun 2017 13:14

ISIS supporters name Singapore as part of its East Asia territory - Straits Times
Singapore has been identified by supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group as part of its "East Asia wilayah" or state, a move that analysts say could embolden foreign fighters to carry out attacks here.

The Republic was among the countries or territories singled out on social media as part of the wilayah - a development flagged by senior analyst Jasminder Singh in a paper published by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies last week. The others are Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, southern Thailand, Myanmar and Japan.

"For foreign fighters coming into the region, this gives them an idea of what they will be in for, and what the targets are," Mr Singh told The Straits Times yesterday.

He had noticed "chatter on social media" this month singling out specific countries as part of the wilayah, which could be the first time this has been done.

Other security analysts say this could embolden self-radicalised individuals to carry out attacks here, if they are unable to travel to the Middle East to fight.

The development comes as the terrorism threat facing Singapore is at the highest level in recent years, and the country sees a steady trickle of self-radicalised individuals.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that two Singaporean auxiliary police officers were arrested for terrorism-related offences under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

One of them, Muhammad Khairul Mohamed, 24, was detained for planning to travel to Syria to fight against the Syrian government.

Last week, MHA also announced that infant care assistant Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, 22, was planning to travel to Syria with her child to become a "martyr's widow", fighting for ISIS.


Experts had warned last year that ISIS would want to create a wilayah, or state, in South-east Asia as it loses territory in the Middle East.

Dr Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, noted that the exact territorial boundaries of the wilayah in East Asia are unconfirmed, as ISIS has not made an official declaration.

But he added that it would probably include parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Dr Gunaratna said: "The growth of the ISIS threat in Singapore's immediate neighbourhood presents a threat to security and stability here."

In his paper, Mr Singh had discussed the security implications of the ongoing Marawi City siege in Mindanao, where Philippine forces are fighting to retake the city from ISIS-affiliated militants. The attacks there could "motivate other groups" in the region to carry out similar strikes in the region, he wrote.

Mr Remy Mahzam, associate research fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, said an indication of the boundaries of a future wilayah could prompt self- radicalised individuals who face difficulty in travelling to Syria to carry out attacks in the region instead.

This danger is especially relevant in the light of the recent ISA arrests of individuals planning to travel to Syria to fight, he said.

Associate Professor Antonio Rappa, who heads the Singapore University of Social Sciences' management and security studies programme, said Singapore should be more worried about attacks by "lone wolves and small groups of terrorists", who could enter the country from Malaysia or Indonesia.

He pointed out that developments in the region that catch media attention - such as the attacks in Marawi - would "increase the confidence level" of would-be terrorists.

An MHA spokesman told The Straits Times that security agencies are closely watching the situation in Marawi, as developments there could have "serious ramifications" for Singapore's safety and security.

She added that agencies are on the lookout for attempts by militants to use Singapore as a point of transit to go to Marawi and join the insurgency there.


"We will also deal firmly with any Singaporean who attempts to make his or her way to the conflict zones to join in the armed violence," said the spokesman.

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

Postby Karthik S » 23 Jun 2017 18:10

Times of India‏Verified account @timesofindia
#JUSTIN | Special Investigation Team in Hyderabad arrest an alleged ISIS sympathiser Subramanyam alias Omer


:lol:

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

Postby SSridhar » 23 Jun 2017 20:41

Just to add to the above post by Karthik S,

IS sympathiser held in Hyderabad - PTI
An sympathiser of the terror outifit Islamic State, who allegedly wanted to carry out subversive activities in the country, was on Friday arrested here by the city police.

According to the police, Konakalla Subramanyam alias Omer (22) was in touch with other IS sympathisers through social media.

“On receipt of credible information, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) apprehended Omer and found in his possession one mobile phone, which contained incriminating conversation with ISIS sympathisers,” a release issued by Hyderabad Police said.

Based on a complaint filed by SIT Inspector K Syamala Rao, Omer was booked on charges of sedition, criminal conspiracy and under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, it said.

His interrogation revealed he had embraced Islam in 2014.{Such recent converts are usually larger threats}

Later, he visited Gujarat and trained in religious rituals and scriptures. He also visited Srinagar and other places in Tamil Nadu and Mumbai {Parts of TN have become a den for the Islamist jihadi terrorists like parts of Kerala or Karnataka}, the police said.

He allegedly chatted with ISIS sympathisers through Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram and was in regular touch with Abu Qahafa Al-Hindi, a Mumbai-based ISIS sympathiser.

“Omer wanted to carry out subversive activities in the country at the instigation of Abu Qahafa Al-Hindi. The accused is being remanded in judicial custody,” the police added.

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

Postby SSridhar » 26 Jun 2017 19:09

IS planned attacks in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana? - The Hindu
The IS has planned to create bloodshed in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with the help of Konakalla Subramanyam alias Omer, intelligence sleuths have said.

Omer, who was arrested by the Hyderabad police a couple of days ago, contacted many IS sympathisers through social media sites and planned subversive activities.

“Had the police not arrested the terrorist sympathiser, he would have begun his operations soon,” a police officer opined.

The Counter Intelligence and the State and Central Intelligence officers are trying to find out whether Omer was in touch with the banned students and terrorist groups and any other anti-social elements in Andhra Pradesh.

Modus operandi


“The IS will initially use the sympathisers for carrying out subversive activities and brand them as their supporters. Later, the sympathisers have no choice but to follow the instructions of the group,” a Counter Intelligence officer said.

But it was not correct that Subramanyam had embraced Islam without the knowledge of the family members. He argued with his parents supporting Islam several times before leaving for Hyderabad, the officer said.

“We are trying to find out the financial sources of Omer and his family members, his contacts in the State particularly in Machilipatnam, Tadepalligudem, Nuzvid, Rajahmundry and other places where some terrorist groups were active a few years ago,” an intelligence official told The Hindu.

“We were shocked with the arrest of Omer alias Subramanyam. He is maintaining a distance with his family but visited AP several times in the last two years. There might be a strong reason for his visits,” said the police
.

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

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jun 2017 13:56

Kerala: Operation Pigeon ‘saves’ 350 youths from ISIS - ToI
KOCHI: Days after news of the massive IS recruitment drive from north Kerala's villages in mid-2016 shocked the state, Kerala police launched a silent but strategic de-radicalisation drive named Operation Pigeon aimed at preventing a repeat of a Padanne-like situation.

What started as a focussed drive in "certain areas'' in Kasaragod district, spread across the state with various agencies mining social media to prepare a list of "vulnerable Malayali youth''. The tally at the end of initial online recce came to 350.

All districts except Pathanamthitta reported footprints of recruiters who had "made more than preliminary contacts with them''. The state intelligence sleuths formed a special task force with personnel from NIA and IB. "Kannur district topped with 118 names followed by Malappuram (89) and Kasaragod (66),'' a top source told TOI. While Kozhikode had 25 youth with ``deep interest'', Palakkad reported 16. ``It was single digit for the rest. And there was not even one girl in this list of 350,'' he said.

A common factor binding all 350 youth, apart from their rigid religious routine, was their education background. "All are in the twenties. Many are pursuing engineering and medicine. We can't say even one of them was an illiterate,'' DGP B S Mohammed Yasin, head of state intelligence, said while confirming the campaign.

The special team touched base with community elders and parents of these youth as a first step. "The response was very positive. But for their support, we wouldn't have been possible to roll out this campaign,'' he said. The police organised individual and collective counselling sessions for the youth. The sessions were handled by specially-trained personnel from NIA and IB, sources said.

Operation Pigeon's first phase saw a majority of the youth realising that "the route was not as easy as they were made to believe''. But about 30 youngsters were firm in their commitment. We continue to engage them ``without ruffling any feelings'', sources said.

The best part of the campaign, a senior officer said, was that not even one mosque committee or a single parent protested against police's frequent visits.

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

Postby SSridhar » 02 Jul 2017 08:41

‘5 from Kerala fighting for IS killed in Syria’ - Prashanth M, ToI
Intelligence agencies have found out that at least five Malayalis from Kerala's Malabar region have been killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria in the past four months. With this the number of Malayalis killed in the IS stronghold has risen to 10.

Information on the death of Sibi from Kanjikkode in Palakkad reached his relatives two days ago. Further details of Sibi, who was working in Bahrain, is not immediately available. It is suspected that he had links with Yahya alias Esa, who left to join the IS in July last year.

Another person killed in Aleppo in Syria is Muhadis, hailing from Vandoor in Malappuram district. His family was shifted to Vaniyambalam around five years ago. Sources told TOI that his brother Manaf, who was working in Bahrain, came to Malappuram one month ago to tell the family about the death of Muhadis. It is suspected that he was killed in the military operations in Aleppo in last February.

Local residents in Vaniyambalam do not know much about Muhadis and his family. "He appeared to be very silent and well-mannered. We didn't know about his terror links or any other organizational links," said a person from the locality.

A person hailing from Chalad in Kannur is also suspected to be killed in Syria. Two more people, one from Vadakara in Kozhikode district and another from Kondotty in Malappuram district, are also believed to have been killed in Syria. All these people are branded as 'Bahrain group' in the police circles.

Hafisudeen, Murshid and Yahya from Padne in Kasaragod district and Shajeer Mangalassery Abdulla have been killed in Nangarhar in Afghanistan in the last two months. Abu Thahir from Palakkad, who joined the Jabahat al-Nusra, an ally of the IS, was killed in Syria last month.

Sources said that the group which joined the IS in Syria, unlike the 21-member group in Afghanistan, were the frontline soldiers of the terror organization. "The Syrian group was engaged in actual fighting while the group in Afghanistan was helping the jihadis in various capacities. The members of the Afghan group got killed in the surprise attack by the US forces," they said.

The Afghan group is mainly engaged in propagating the IS ideology among the potential recruits among Malayalis through social media. Abdul Rasheed, a member of Afghan group, had released around 30 audio clips from the strongholds through 'Message to Kerala', a WhatsApp group created by him.

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

Postby Karthik S » 02 Jul 2017 14:00

Islamic State beheads 10 Taliban militants in Afghanistan's Jawzjan province


http://www.firstpost.com/world/islamic- ... 67161.html

WTH??

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

Postby SSridhar » 05 Jul 2017 09:12

Suspected IS sympathiser held [in Chennai] - The Hindu
The Rajasthan police arrested a suspected Islamic State (IS) sympathiser here [Chennai] on Tuesday.

Sleuths of Rajasthan's Special Operations Group zeroed in on the hideout of Haroon Rasheed (36) in Mannadi and apprehended him on charges of organising funds and manpower for the banned terror outfit.

It may be recalled that the Rajasthan police arrested another suspected IS sympathiser, Iqbal of Mylapore, in February last.

According to police sources, Rasheed, a resident of Sowcarpet, had allegedly transferred money to an agent in Mumbai, who was handling funds for IS in India.

Preliminary inquiries revealed that the suspect was running a CD shop in Burma Bazaar here.

Investigators suspect that Rasheed, along with Iqbal and the Mumbai agent, was also involved in a gold smuggling racket.

The suspect was produced before a city court and taken to Rajasthan, sources added.

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

Postby SSridhar » 11 Jul 2017 20:09

IS confirms leader al-Baghdadi is dead - IANS, Economic Times
The Islamic State militant group has declared that its supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died, the media reported on Tuesday.

The extremist group said it will soon announce a successor to Baghdadi.

"Daesh organisation (IS) circulated a brief statement through its media in the (IS-held) town of Tal Afar in the west of Mosul, confirming the killing of its leader al-Baghdadi without giving further details,"
Xinhua news agency cited Iraqi news agency al-Sumaria News as saying.

"Daesh called on the (IS) militants to continue their steadfastness in the redoubts of the caliphate and not being dragged behind the sedition," the report said.

The report came a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared Mosul liberated from the IS after nearly nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq.

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

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2017 08:00

IS to the fore in the funeral in J&K

Hizbul renegade forbids pro-Pak slogans at funeral of slain terrorists - ToI
Kashmiri youth claiming to be followers of "deposed" Hizbul Mujahideen chief Zakir Musa told people on Wednesday that they stood for the Islamic State terror outfit and forbade them from draping the bodies of three terrorists killed in encounters in Pakistani flags. The three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were gunned down by security forces in Radbugh village of central Kashmir's Budgam district on Tuesday night.

These armed youth also prohibited the crowds from shouting pro-azadi and pro-Pakistan slogans; significantly, the people complied with their directives while coming out in large numbers for the burials. Mohammad Omar, a photo journalist covering the funeral of slain Sajjad Ahmad Gilkar in downtown Srinagar, said the youth proclaimed that they subscribed to the views of Zakir Musa, who preaches Caliphate (or Islamist rule), and whose video last month threatening Hurriyat separatists with death sent shock waves across the Valley.


All the three terrorists were from central Kashmir. While Sajjad Ahmad Gilkar was from Malarata in downtown Srinagar, Javid Sheikh, was from Beerwah Churpora and Aaquib Gul from Goripura in Rawalpora. Gul had gone underground just 15 days ago to join Hizb, police said.

Based on specific intelligence inputs about the presence of militants, security forces earlier cordoned Radbugh village on Tuesday evening. All the three terrorists hiding in the house were killed "outside the house after they came out and tried to break the cordon", police said. The operation was conducted by the Army and SOG of Jammu & Kashmir Police without causing any collateral damage.

Police said no civilians came out to help the militants to escape from the area. However, authorities on Wednesday imposed restrictions in several parts of the old city to prevent protests.

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

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2017 11:48

Man held for ‘bid’ to join Islamic State - The Hindu
A 32-year-old man was arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell for trying to cross over the Turkey border to get to Syria allegedly to join the Islamic State (IS). He was deported from Turkey and reached Indira Gandhi International Airport on July 1 from where he was arrested.

According to the police, Shahjahan V.K., a resident of Kannur, had gone to Malaysia in February 2016 and later to Turkey in June the same year along with his wife and children.

“He tried to cross over to Syria but was sent back to India on the same suspicion in February 2017,”
said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha.

An official in the security establishment said that he was examined when he returned to India; so his moves were being monitored by the security agencies.

Fake passport

The accused then allegedly got a fake passport made in Chennai in the name of Mohammed Ismail Mohideen and went to Turkey again within a month in March, this time alone.

“He again tried to cross over but this time, his fake identity was caught and he was deported,” said Mr Kushwaha.

The police claimed to have arrested the man who had helped him get a fake passport from Tamil Nadu.
The man is a resident of Chennai, said the officer.

As the police had been monitoring Shahjahan, his description was shared with several security agencies which helped them identify that Mohammad Ismail was in fact Shahjahan.

Radicalisation

The police said that he had been radicalised by a man in Kerala who’s suspected to have links in the Islamic State.

The police refused to reveal the details of the man for investigation purposes.


“The accused will be examined by the National Investigation Agency,” said the official in the security establishment.

The police have his phone in their possession in order to gather evidence and other information of his links with people with similar motive.

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

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2017 14:55

India expands counter terror coop with Philippines in ongoing fight against ISIS - Dipanjan Roy Chaudhry, Economic Times
India has expanded its anti-terror and de-radicalisation partnership with the Philippines, which is battling a three-week siege by Islamic State-affiliated militants in the city of Marawi, about 800 km south of capital Manila.

As part of the move, the BJP-led government has rushed a financial assistance of $500,000 (about Rs 3.2 crore) for rehabilitation of Marawi citizens, who are mainly Muslims. India is currently conducting cyber security training with a special emphasis on de-radicalisation for the Philippine security personnel.

The support was extended after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj spoke with her Philippines counterpart Alan Peter Cayetano over the phone last Thursday.

India’s assistance is part of the Narendra Modi-led government’s ‘Act East’ policy
and comes at a time when the Philippines is getting ready to host India-Asean foreign ministers meeting in Manila in August, which will mark the 25th anniversary of India-Asean relations. This will be followed by the annual India-ASEAN summit and the East Asia summit in November, where combating terror is expected to figure high on the agenda.

The Philippines is the only Southeast Asian nation where IS has established an overt presence.


While India and the Philippines have a joint working group on counter-terrorism that meets regularly, the current situation in Marawi, where 80 soldiers have been killed over the past three weeks, warranted closer security coordination between Delhi and Manila, people familiar with the matter indicated.

India is also expanding its counter-terror partnership with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, which are on the radar of global terror groups, including IS, informed one of the persons quoted above. India is hosting an international de-radicalisation conference later this year where a separate session will be devoted to the Asean region.

The Marawi siege began on May 23 when the Philippines security forces launched an offensive to capture Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the IS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf group. The US, which is an old ally of the Philippines, China and Russia have also expressed solidarity with Manila. Similar support has been extended by Australia and Canada.

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

Postby SSridhar » 14 Jul 2017 18:57

SSridhar wrote:Man held for ‘bid’ to join Islamic State - The Hindu
. . . . The accused then allegedly got a fake passport made in Chennai in the name of Mohammed Ismail Mohideen and went to Turkey again . . . .

IS man’s arrest exposes fake passport racket - M.Sathish, New Indian Express
CHENNAI: A city-based travel agent has been arrested by the Delhi Special Cell police for running a fake passport racket. Sources said the arrest was made based on a tip-off provided by an ISIS sympathiser, who was recently deported from Turkey.

Shahjahan Velluva Kandy, 32, a native of Kerala, was recently arrested by Delhi police soon after he was deported back to India.

Shajahan was alleged to be on his way to Syria to join the banned Islamic State.

His passport, which was found to have been obtained using fake documents, had a Chintadripet address - the locality from which the city police arrested in the last two days a police head constable and a postman for colluding in a fake passport racket.

Based on the information given by Shajahan, Delhi police landed here about a week ago and had been looking for travel agents who helped Shajahan get the fake passport.

The sleuths on Wednesday narrowed down on M Mohammed Musthaffa, 26, at his native Adirampattinam village in Thanjavur district. “He had been running the Well-go travels at Moore Street at Mannady in Chennai for the last four years. He had supplied fake passport to Shahjahan for `1.5 lakh. He had managed to get a passport in the name of Mohammed Ismail Mohideen and as though he was residing at Chintadripet,” said a police source.

Shahjahan’s passport was detected as fake only after his flight left for Turkey. Indian officials alerted their counterparts in Turkey and he was immediately sent back to India.

As Delhi police started investigating how Shahjahan got his passport, they traced that it was Musthaffa who helped him get it. A team headed by sub-inspector Amith Kumar was camping in the city to nab him. “We found that he had gone to his native Thanjavur for his wedding.

We reached his native on July 8 and kept a close watch on him. After the wedding on Tuesday, the next day he was arrested from his native,” said an officer in the intelligence wing who assisted the Delhi team.

Musthaffa was brought to Chennai on Thursday afternoon by the Delhi team where a detailed inquiry was conducted.

Based on the statement of Musthaffa, police are on the look out for one Safiq in the case and probing if any other ISIS sympathiser had obtained fake passports from Musthaffa.

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

Postby SSridhar » 15 Jul 2017 08:24

The series of incidents in Tamilnadu show that there is significant support for Islamist extremism in the State. The Tamil political leaders keep chanting the mantra that TN is an oasis of peace. This is false.

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

Postby Karthik S » 15 Jul 2017 12:35

The tamil linguistic identity that saw religious polarization didn't occur as much as in rest of India has faded away.

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

Postby Sachin » 15 Jul 2017 20:10

SSridhar wrote:The series of incidents in Tamilnadu show that there is significant support for Islamist extremism in the State. The Tamil political leaders keep chanting the mantra that TN is an oasis of peace. This is false.

Both TN & KL seems to have a strong undercurrent of Islamic terrorism for quite some time. The man who spent jail time in pretty much all the three states (KL,TN & now KA); Abdul Nasser Mahdani's antics may give the time line for the same. It was in mid 1990s when Mahdani started having a large fan following. I personally have met lots of young Muslims who were in awe of him. The areas from where these men came, are still on the police watch list. Then came the Coimbatore blasts, and we were made aware of out fits like Al Umma. Mahdani did seem to have been a contact point with all these outfits, which until then were totally behind curtains. At the same time where some bomb blasts in Karnataka towns in front of some churches. Hindu organisations were said to be involved, but later it was clearly proven that it was Jehadi outfits who did this.

But in TN & KL the modus operandi seems to be not making trouble in their own mother states. Exceptions are there; killing Hindu out fit activists in TN, and attacking people who speak against Islam in KL. But these folks really do not want to start mass rioting in these states. Kerala also seems to be in a simmering mode, with reports clearly giving a district wise breakup of folks who have joined ISIS on a district wise basis. And when this happens KL government (CPI(M) led) have decided to prosecute the state's former DGP who using government released statistics expressed concern on certain communities just increasing their population :roll:.

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

Postby SSridhar » 15 Jul 2017 21:19

Sachin, I completely agree.

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

Postby SSridhar » 16 Jul 2017 18:32

Meanwhile, in our neighbourhood, Singapore, which is considered a safe & peaceful city-state, is facing its own convulsions.

How ISIS' long reach has affected Singapore - Straits Times
In June 2014, some 800 militants under the command of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi overpowered several thousand Iraqi soldiers defending their country's second-largest city and captured it.

As they swept through Mosul's abandoned streets and seized control of key buildings and mosques, they demanded that local leaders swear allegiance to their self-styled Islamic State.

When the imam of the historic al-Nuri mosque, built in the 12th century refused, he was executed.

So were several other clerics.

On July 4, al-Baghdadi donned a black robe and turban in imitation of the caliphs who ruled Iraq in the Middle Ages, mounted the mosque's pulpit, proclaimed himself "Caliph Ibrahim", and called on Muslims to join him and "do jihad".

Caliph means a steward, and the early successors to Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century were called caliphs, serving a function as both political and religious leader.

But since then, Muslims around the world have always lived under various rulers - though a few believe they should be united under one caliph, an idea Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has popularised.

The 43-year-old al-Baghdadi, who was one of the leaders of the insurgency against United States forces in Iraq, called for doctors, engineers and judges to help develop the militants' version of a caliphate, a message that was spread rapidly on video and across radical websites.

By then, ISIS was ruling over some eight million people, in an area the size of Jordan or Austria, and its control of oil and other resources gave it leverage in supporting its "state".Mosul was the largest city it had captured, and followed the seizure of large parts of Syria as well as Iraq. ISIS effectively erased the border between Syria and Iraq that had been drawn - largely as a straight line - by British and French diplomats in 1916 to carve out former Ottoman lands for new colonial masters, an act that remains resented for splitting up families and tribes.

Thousands of men and women from across Asia, Europe and Africa would heed ISIS' call.

Some did not believe the reports of ISIS' reign of brutality - persecuting and killing Shi'ite Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, many becoming refugees.

Others saw what ISIS was doing as righting historical wrongs and restoring the purity of their faith.

Some were already in Syria where a civil war had raged for some years. Among them was Haja Fakkurudeen Usman Ali, 37, who had been a manager in a Singapore supermarket.

He and his childhood friend Gul Mohamed Maracachi Maraicar, also 37, had been radicalised by the plight of Muslims in the Syrian conflict, which began in 2011.

Both were from Cuddalore in India's Tamil Nadu state, and Haja became a Singapore citizen in 2008. Gul, a systems analyst in a multinational company, was a Singapore permanent resident.

On a visit to his parents' home in India in late 2013, Haja told his family about his plans to travel to Syria.

They tried to dissuade him but his mind had been made up, his father told India's Economic Times later.

In early 2014, Haja, his wife and their three young children made their way to Syria, where they are still thought to be.

After he left Singapore, a member of the public alerted the authorities, who found out that Gul, who was still here at that time, had abetted and assisted Haja in his radicalisation and his plans to take up arms. Gul was investigated, deported and banned from entering Singapore.


Others had been radicalised around the same time, as groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS posted videos on social media sites like YouTube to win recruits.

These included a 47-year-old Singaporean living in Malaysia, who went to Syria with her 37-year-old Malaysian husband, and her son and daughter from a previous marriage.

In September 2014, a group of over 120 prominent Muslim scholars wrote an open letter to ISIS stating how far its beliefs and practices had strayed from Islamic teachings and were a travesty.

It was not heeded.

Other militant groups have also distanced themselves from ISIS and its brutal tactics that include beheadings and burning captured victims alive.

Impact on Singapore

Extreme material online has radicalised a number of young people from South-east Asia, including Singapore, over the past decade.

Those detected here have been counselled by religious leaders and the authorities, with a hardened few detained.

But ISIS' slick propaganda videos in various languages have upped the ante. Some time in 2013, polytechnic student Arifil Azim Putra Norja'i started seeing radical videos online.

He grew to believe that it was a religious duty for him to fight in Syria, and surfed the Internet for information on travel routes there. He also looked up how to make improvised explosive devices.

Arifil decided that if he could not join ISIS in Syria, he would try to assassinate President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. If not, he would carry out attacks in public places using weapons such as knives. He tried to persuade several others to help him carry out these plans.

A person who noticed the stark changes in him alerted the authorities, and in April 2015, Arifil was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) - the first self-radicalised Singaporean who harboured intent to carry out violent attacks here.

As ISIS propaganda proliferates online, the rate at which Singaporeans are being radicalised has risen.

Between 2007 and 2014, five Singaporeans were detained under the ISA and six others placed on restriction orders (ROs) that limit their activity.

But in a little over two years since then, nine Singaporeans have been detained and another six have been put on ROs for supporting ISIS and planning to join the group.

Of these 15, four had yet to turn 20. Four were in their 20s and four in their 30s. (See other story on the various ways by which the Singaporeans were radicalised.)

Some 70 radicalised foreign nationals working here have also been investigated and deported, and other travellers planning to head to Syria or with ISIS links have been turned back at checkpoints.

As a US-led global coalition marshalled forces to counter ISIS physically as well as in cyberspace, Singapore began considering being a partner to the effort.

In October 2014, PM Lee told leaders at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan there was "no purely military solution to this problem, because the situation in Iraq and Syria is complex".

"But it is still necessary to contain and weaken ISIS," he added, noting that any terror attack would affect not just Singapore's security but also its social cohesion, and damage racial and religious harmony.

Soon after, the Singapore Armed Forces deployed a liaison officer to the US Central Command headquarters, and an intelligence planner and Imagery Analysis Team to the Combined Joint Task Force headquarters in Kuwait.

Singapore has also supported air-to-air refuelling operations for coalition aircraft with its KC-135R tanker, joining 70 other partners in the global coalition to defeat ISIS.


But it would take nearly three years before the coalition recaptured Mosul, where residents still remain fearful of ISIS returning.

Satellite states

Even as ISIS loses ground in Iraq and Syria, its affiliates have made inroads in northern Africa, Afghanistan and the southern Philippines, where militant leaders have taken an oath of loyalty to al-Baghdadi and set up wilayats, or provinces, of ISIS.

Security expert Ali Soufan, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who investigated Al-Qaeda, noted this "backup plan" is akin to how after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in the US, Al-Qaeda cultivated a network of affiliates in various parts of the world.

Foreign fighters have flocked to these regions, and returning foreign fighters - as well as others inspired by ISIS - have also launched bloody terror attacks across Europe.

With an estimated 40,000 foreign fighters having travelled to join ISIS over the past few years, international security officials are bracing themselves for a blowback should these radicalised individuals slip back into their countries.

At least 1,000 are from South-east Asia, and there have been reports that militants from other parts of the world have also travelled to the southern Philippines.

In the latest issue of its magazine Rumiyah, ISIS encourages supporters to migrate to Marawi in Mindanao if they cannot make their way to Iraq or Syria, a call that might entrench its grip in the region and see the insurgency there rage for years to come.

Singapore is also in the terror group's sights, having been flagged as a target, as have the capitals of Malaysia and Indonesia.

In 2014, extremist English-language magazine Resurgence cited the Phillips Channel - the narrowest part of the Singapore Strait - and Sembawang Naval Base in a piece on how attacks at sea could be planned.

In mid-2015, a social media post by ISIS cited Singapore as a member of the global anti-ISIS coalition that could be attacked.

And last year, the Indonesian authorities broke up a Batam cell that was talking about firing a rocket at Marina Bay Sands - and had been taking directions from Indonesian militant leaders in Syria.

The Singapore authorities also came to know of reliable information that foreign ISIS militants were considering an attack in Singapore in the first half of last year. Precautionary arrangements were made to shift and reschedule events, but the authorities have not publicly disclosed what they were.

An Arabic publication encouraging terrorists to strike Western interests also named the Singapore Exchange and a port as likely targets.

In its first Terrorism Threat Assessment Report issued last month, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the threat to Singapore remains at its highest in recent years.


ISIS' enduring appeal

ISIS may be fairly new, but the ideas it pushes for have deep-seated roots that date back to the 12th century when Mongol invasions of the Middle East drove some clerics to take a hardline approach to the occupiers and regard unjust rulers as legitimate targets of attack.

Although it remains firmly a minority view, this radical world view has persisted and historians note that throughout the centuries, a vocal minority in Muslim societies have, from time to time, agitated for a return to a pristine version of their faith where a hardline interpretation of Islamic law is applied.

This minority, radical view was resuscitated by the Jemaah Islamiah, whose leader Abu Bakar Bashir, now in prison, inspired followers - including in Malaysia and Singapore - to plot attacks in the early 2000s with the goal of turning South-east Asia into a caliphate.

Leading Islamic scholars have made it clear there is no obligation for Muslims to establish an "Islamic state", let alone live in a caliphate.

Yet, followers of ISIS believe it is their duty to ensure their vision of God's law is imposed, and any government that does not do so is illegitimate and should be toppled.

The call to set up a caliphate found little support but the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 changed things. That year, Ayatollah Khomeini's triumphant return to Iran had sparked a revolution as the country began its shift to a Shi'ite theocracy. Separately, a group of home-grown Saudi militants led by a charismatic preacher seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca. They declared a new era and called for an overthrow of the Saudi government.

The rebellion was quelled, but the authorities pledged to promote a puritan version of Islam, or Wahhabism. Occupied Afghanistan provided an outlet for young men to turn their energies to an aggressor.

Thousands of fighters would flock there, among them a young Osama bin Laden. They picked up know-how and hardline ideology that would last long after the Soviet pull-out and after the 9/11 attack in the US that killed nearly 3,000, and would lead to the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The process set in motion a chain of terror attacks around the world, from the Bali bombings to attacks in Casablanca, Madrid, Mumbai and London, among other cities.

A series of missteps by the US in Iraq and by the country's new rulers fed an insurgency that militant groups capitalised on, and that saw ISIS emerge as the strongest - and most savage - among them.

The ongoing conflict - and reports of atrocities against civilians - fed the extremist narrative that their faith was being targeted, and that they ought to be engaged in an us-versus-them struggle to the end.

It was a narrative that many young men - and women - bought into, and continue to believe in.

ISIS has proven adept at spawning and directing attacks around the world, and has told its followers that "citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State" can be killed.

In words that inspired recent attacks in Britain, France and elsewhere, ISIS spokesman Abu Musa al-Adnani outlined what dozens have tried to plan or carry out in recent months: "Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him."

As Mr Soufan noted, even if ISIS is defeated in Syria and Iraq, its appeal persists and "it looks likely to lead a long and vicious afterlife".

Countering the threat The security authorities around the world have stepped up their guard and tried to secure their borders to detect fighters returning from, and heading to, conflict zones.

Aviation security has also been heightened. In late 2015, ISIS downed a Russian plane over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing over 200 passengers.

But observers note that hardening physical security can only do so much. Key to countering the appeal of groups like ISIS is to refute and chip away at its claims to legitimacy and prevent people being swayed by its radical ideology.

In Singapore, the Religious Rehabilitation Group of scholars, who counsel terror detainees and radicalised persons, have put out material warning of the fallacy of ISIS' beliefs. The group also runs a hotline for those with queries on religious issues.

This month, a network of Islamic scholars and youth groups was set up to help counsel youth and prevent them from falling for extremism.

Singapore has been fortunate to have avoided an attack so far. But officials have also pointed out that the global situation today means it is no longer a matter of whether, but when, an attack will happen.

The biggest fear is that an attack would dent the country's racial and religious harmony. If tension and distrust between Muslims and others grows, this would play into ISIS' narrative of a world irrevocably divided between "us" and "them".

Countering such an outcome is partly why the SGSecure movement was launched last year to raise awareness of the threat.

And in recent weeks, constituencies across the island have been holding emergency preparedness days to educate residents on how to respond in an attack, and stepping up activities to build trust among people of various races and faiths.

Singapore may have to accept the risk and potential damage an attack poses to persons and property.

But just as many people in Manchester, London and other targets of recent attacks have shown, Singapore should never let an attack damage society and harmony.

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

Postby SSridhar » 17 Jul 2017 06:40

39 abducted Indians may be in IS jail - The Hindu
Iraq has informed that 39 Indians abducted three years ago by the Islamic State (IS) are probably imprisoned by the outfit in the city of Badush, near Mosul.

In her first briefing after the liberation of Mosul from the IS, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday informed the family members of the missing nationals, that the latest information was provided by a high-level official of Iraq and more information about them would be known when her Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim Al Jaafari, visits India on July 24.

“The day Iraq PM declared Mosul as liberated from IS, I asked [Minister of State] V.K. Singhji to go to Erbil. Sources in Iraq told him that the missing Indians are most probably in a jail in Badush where fighting is still going on,” Ms. Swaraj told the families.

Explaining the Minister’s comments, Gurpinder Kaur, leader of the delegation of the 39 families, told The Hindu that the government believed that the latest information was reliable as it was shared by high-level officials with General (Retd.) V.K. Singh, who returned from Iraq after visiting various spots.

“We were briefed, that Iraqi national security adviser had told General V.K. Singh about the possibility that the men are imprisoned in Badush,” Ms. Kaur said.

In her briefing, Ms. Swaraj said an authoritative official had informed General Singh that the Indians were deployed on a hospital construction site and then shifted to a farm. They were then taken to a jail in Badush, near western Mosul, where fighting between the IS and Iraqi forces is going on.

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

Postby SSridhar » 17 Jul 2017 14:22

Tackling the ISIS threat - Edit, DT
The Pakistani military has launched a new operation {Khyber-4} to counter Islamic State (IS), which according to the DG ISPR, is gaining a presence close to Afghan border. The newly launched operation has been described by the military as a part of the ongoing operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, but the fact that a new plan of action had to be formed to deal with IS means the army is now seeing the global terror group as a real threat which might affect the progress of Radd-ul-Fasaad and Zarb-e-Azb. The number of IS-claimed attacks has significantly increased in the Balochistan province during the past few months. Moreover there are young people from various cities of Pakistan being recruited by the terrorist group to fight in Syria. Not too long ago, pro-IS graffiti was spotted in parts of Pakistan and a number of local terror groups pledged allegiance to IS. IS-linked terror groups of a local origin, such as Jamat-al-Ahrar, have retained the ability carry out large scale terror attacks even after Operation Zarb-e-Azb. All of this suggests that tackling the global terror group and preventing it from establishing a foothold in the country will be a challenge for Pakistani authorities.

While the military has announced it would act against the terror group, the civilian government is yet to come up with a plan to tackle the growing influence of IS. A de-radicalisation plan {How can the government have a de-radicalization plan against IS alone but continuing its radicalization project of seven decades otherwise? On what basis can it make this distinction? That's the dilemma. Won't the mard-e-momin become impotent if de-radicalized?} is needed immediately and the civilian government will have to take the lead in this regard. The military’s action against militants will not gain complete success as long as the mindset that supports them continues to thrive in the country. The relative lack of enthusiasm from the civilian government in the fight against militancy and the failure to implement the National Action Plan (NAP) are among the reasons why horrific terror attacks continue to take place in the country. The government has so far been unable to provide a counter-narrative to that of Islamic fundamaentalist terrorists.

For the foreseeable future, it seems, Pakistan and its people must be prepared for more horror at the hands of the nihilistic men and women drawn to groups such as IS.

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

Postby SSridhar » 17 Jul 2017 14:32

New Khyber Operation - Editorial, Dawn
WITH the launch of Operation Khyber-4, the military will attempt to address a long-standing problem that has evolved in an unexpected way more recently. A fourth iteration of the same exercise may give the impression of unfinished counter-insurgency operations, but the Rajgal Valley, in the Tirah region of Khyber Agency, is a roughly 250-square kilometre impenetrable zone. Earlier Khyber operations had given security forces the control of peaks surrounding the valley and from there, when militant activity was detected, it was possible to use artillery or even aerial firepower. On the other side of the border, across from Rajgal Valley, lies the militancy-infested eastern Afghanistan, with familiar names such as Tora Bora and Achin. Anti-Pakistan militant groups, such as the Mangal Bagh network Lashkar-i-Islam, had found sanctuary in eastern Afghanistan and crossed over into Pakistan through Rajgal Valley for terrorist operations here.

What appears to have changed is that the militancy dynamic in eastern Afghanistan has shifted in favour of the militant Islamic State group; it has elevated the danger that Pakistan faces through the Rajgal Valley route. So now the military has freed up forces to take the fight to militants inside the valley and, eventually, set up posts along the border from where future militant movements can be interdicted. It will be a tough fight and Pakistan’s brave soldiers will incur losses. Their sacrifices for the long-term security of the country are the backbone of the nation’s resolve. It remains to be seen if the Afghan government will be able to provide some support to the Pakistani effort. What is needed is a hammer-and-anvil approach that leaves the militants no space to escape or operate. Pakistan has acted sensibly by informing the Afghan government in advance of the operation, and bilateral relations are not as openly rancorous as they were until recently. Perhaps there will be space for some trust-building joint efforts along the border.

There remains a fundamental reason for Pakistan and Afghanistan to cooperate in this latest phase of a long war against militancy. The Afghan security forces, assisted by American firepower and a smattering of ground forces, have inflicted significant blows on the fledgling IS network in Afghanistan. IS is a serious threat to Pakistan too, hence the latest operation in Khyber. The new US administration, which is expected to unveil a new, so-called South Asia strategy soon, has made fighting IS the centrepiece of its security policy. Surely, all sides can find a way to cooperate in the circumstances.

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

Postby SSridhar » 19 Jul 2017 20:23

12 to 15 Indians fought alongside IS against Iraqi forces, says Ambassador - Kallol Bhattacherjee, The Hindu
At least 12 to 15 Indians recently fought alongside the Islamic State (IS) against Iraqi security forces, Iraqi envoy to India Fakhri H. Al Issa told journalists on Wednesday on the occasion of the commemoration of the victory of the Iraqi forces against the IS in the city of Mosul.

Some of the Indians who fought in Iraq might have returned home. “We know that at least 12 to 15 Indians were among the large number of foreign fighters who fought against our security forces during the ongoing operations in Iraq. Foreign fighters came from different parts of the world, including China, Japan, North and East Africa to fight in Iraq. We do not know what really happened subsequently to the Indians, but our information is that that (sic) is the total number of Indians in IS,” said Mr. Al Issa at the Embassy of Iraq.

Foreign fighters often were killed and many managed to escape. “We feel that some of the Indian fighters might have escaped and returned home in the way many foreign fighters returned home in Europe,” he said.

Plea for military support


Mr. Al Issa noted that India had offered humanitarian and military support in the campaign to free Mosul but the Iraqi government was taking time to consider the offer. He, however, added that Iraq needed military support and urged India to collaborate with Iraq to defeat the Islamic State. “Victory of Iraq in Mosul is a victory for India. A stable and strong Iraq will mean stable and strong India,” he said. 

India had offered also medical support and training to Iraqi security forces and the issues were under discussion. “This must have featured in talks when Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar visited our country recently,” he said.

Fate of kidnapped Indians unknown

Mr. Al-Issa said that despite the military victory of the Iraqi forces in Mosul, pockets of resistance still remain to be conquered and indicated that Iraq has no concrete idea about what happened to the 39 Indians who were kidnapped by the IS in Mosul in 2014.

“We really have no information about what really happened to them. The border between Iraq and Syria was open for long and it is possible that the captives might have been transferred to IS controlled areas in Syria,” he said, explaining that India should also consider conducting forensic tests of the mass graves that have been discovered in different parts of Iraq where the IS had dumped bodies of their victims.

Iraq is looking forward to normalisation following the end of the war, and sought help from India. For that, bilateral discussions would be held when Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari visits Delhi this weekend, he said.

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

Postby Falijee » 22 Jul 2017 01:11

IS supporters create Kashmir group to step up presence in India

t a time when the Islamic State is being squeezed out of its strongholds such as Mosul in Iraq, members and supporters of the group have stepped up efforts to gain a toehold in India by creating a group focussed on Jammu and Kashmir. The group – Ansarul Khilafah Jammu Kashmir – has an active channel on the encrypted messaging service Telegram that is used to disseminate the usual IS propaganda along with manuals for making weapons and planning and carrying out attacks.
In recent weeks, the channel has featured a call to Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel to defy their officers and direct their weapons at the “enemy of Muslims and Islam”. On July 5, the group put out detailed instructions on how IS supporters “on the ground in Kashmir” and “present at the clashes against the Enemies of Islam” could prepare for attacks.
On Monday, the group put out instructions in Hindi on how attacks could be carried out with large trucks, such as the ones in Nice, France and the German capital Berlin last year, along with potential targets.
ndian security officials insist the IS has no real presence in the Kashmir Valley and they also point to the fact that the group has not so far claimed responsibility for an attack anywhere in India. However, they acknowledge the group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has no dearth of sympathisers, including in Kashmir.
Amarnath Amarasingam, a senior research fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue who is one of the world’s leading experts in tracking the IS’ online activity, told Hindustan Times the terror group “definitely has an interest in South Asia, and is trying to plant a stronger hold there”.
There is a precedent of IS-linked terrorists in India forming a group named Ansarul Khilafah (soldiers of the caliphate). Last October, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted a group of six men from Kerala’s Kannur district who formed “Ansarul Khilafah Kerala” and were using Telegram to coordinate and plot IS-style attacks. The men, led by Manseed alias Omar al-Hindi, were reportedly radicalised online.
Other material shared with the aim of inspiring attacks was footage from high-profile terrorist assaults around the world, including CCTV footage from inside the Taj Hotel during the carnage in Mumbai in November 2008.
In another message posted on July 7, the group called on Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel to “distance yourselves from aiding Kuffar and their agents with Muslim names (CM etc and your officers)” and “declare your disobedience to the commands of the taghut (your leaders and officers)”.
Animesh Roul, executive director of Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict, a New Delhi-based think tank, said there were indications of several fringe groups in Kashmir that “subscribed to the caliphate and its ideals”. There was also the possibility, he said, of Pakistan trying to inject new groups into the Kashmir theatre in the name of IS. The hand of Pakistan, of course cannot be ruled out !

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

Postby SSridhar » 24 Jul 2017 15:29

‘Six Kerala men among Islamic State fighters in Syria’ - Vijaita Singh, The Hindu
At least six persons from Kerala are said to be fighting alongside the Islamic State (IS) in Syria since February, according to disclosures by a Kannur resident to the Delhi Police after he was deported from Turkey recently.

Shahjahan Velluva Kandy from Kannur in Kerala, who was arrested on July 1 at the Delhi airport on being deported, has identified at least six persons from in and around Kannur who were said to be in the IS-controlled territory.

From Dubai

Kandy told security agencies that the six men had crossed over to Syria while two others were deported.

He told interrogators that some of them were working in Dubai and had reached Turkey through Iran, from where they crossed over to Syria on foot. An official said they were interrogating Kandy further to know the exact point where the Kerala men crossed over to Syria
, adding there were many points along Turkey-Syria border to illegally cross over.

“All the men named by Kandy have been accounted for and we are investigating further. Some of them went from Dubai, where they were working, so their families were also not aware. Kandy was caught when a paying guest accommodation where he was living in Istanbul was raided by Turkish authorities,” a senior Home Ministry official told The Hindu . It is not clear if Kandy and others had the same handler, who was directing them online.

The Islamist organisation, which had captured large areas in Syria and Iraq to establish a ‘Caliphate,’ has been losing territory over the past few months as coalition forces reclaim the areas under their control. While Mosul in Iraq has been declared free of IS control, Syrian forces were closing in to recapture Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the terrorist outfit.

Escaped scrutiny

The official said the escape of the four persons to Syria when the hold of the Islamic State was shrinking, was a cause of concern as security agencies had till now no knowledge of this development.

Kandy managed to slip from the radar of security agencies even though he had been questioned by the authorities in February and was under “scrutiny.” Earlier, agencies had information about 30 Indians said to be fighting for IS since 2014.

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

Postby SSridhar » 25 Jul 2017 21:49

NIA arrests two with links to alleged IS suspect - New Indian Express
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday arrested two people with links to suspected Islamic State operative Saifullah, who was killed in a shootout with security forces in Lucknow in March this year, officials said.

The two, who were held from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, have been identified as Atif and Asif, an official said.

Atif was arrested on charges of providing weapons and ammunition to Saifullah while Asif was said to be a part of the module.

Both were linked to Saifullah, who was killed in an anti-terror operation in Lucknow early on March 8. Saifullah was shot dead by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad in Thakurganj area after a siege operation that went on for nearly 12 hours following a blast on the Bhopal-Ujjain train on March 7.

Saifullah was said to be a member of the ISIS Khorasan module.

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

Postby SSridhar » 29 Jul 2017 13:59

ISIS sympathiser gets five years in jail - The Hindu
The special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Shimla has sentenced ISIS sympathiser Abid Khan (23) to five years of rigorous imprisonment for engaging in anti-national activities. He was also slapped with a fine of Rs. 50,000.

Abid, a native of Bengaluru, was arrested by Kullu police in December 2016 from a church in Banjar, where he was staying as a missionary under the name of Paul C. Neo.

A probe had revealed that Abid was in touch with the terror outfit over the Internet and reportedly gave vital information to ISIS.

Interrogation

The NIA had filed a charge sheet against Abid on February 4, 2017. During interrogation, Abid confessed to his crimes and reportedly told authorities that he had planned to go to Syria.

Abid is currently lodged at Kanda jail and has requested the court to shift him to a jail in Karnataka, citing old age of his parents.

The court has not taken a decision on his request yet.

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

Postby SSridhar » 31 Jul 2017 14:14

Senior TTP commander Daud Khan ‘switches loyalty’ to Daesh - DAWN
Haji Daud Mehsud, a senior leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has declared allegiance to Daesh or the Islamic State that could be seen as a serious setback for the TTP and a boost for IS-Khorasan (IS-K) region just two weeks after the US airstrikes killed the IS-K leader Abu Sayed in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.

Daud, who belongs to Haibat Khel tribe in South Waziristan, has served as the Karachi TTP chief. Tribal journalists who are aware of the TTP affairs say he is the first senior Mehsud within the Taliban to join Daesh. He was one of the few trusted men of the TTP chief Hakeemullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in Miranshah in November 2013.

Hakeemullah group had appointed Daud as the Karachi chief, where he had previously served in the Sindh Police Department, according to a TTP source.

A militant source said that Daud’s differences with another top leader Khan Said Sajna surfaced even when Hakeemullah was alive and he could have parted ways with the TTP as Sajna has rejoined the TTP and Daud was uncomfortable with Sajna.

Sources say Sajna is currently the TTP’s deputy chief, replacing Sheikh Khalid Haqqani. Splinter Mehsud factions had been involved in infighting after Hakeemullah’s death that had reportedly claimed the lives of dozens of militants.

Several militants, who are considered confidants of Daud, have confirmed to the tribal journalists that Daud has joined Daesh and that he has moved to the group’s controlled areas in Afghanistan along with his family. A militant leader told Daily Times the TTP leader has declared allegiance to Daesh; however, neither Daud, nor Daesh has confirmed the decision. He said the confirmation could come if Daud is given any responsibility.

Sources close to Daesh say militant groups have now adopted a policy to keep the identity of the newly appointed leaders over security concerns. They also try to give senior positions to those who are not well known to keep their identity secret in view of the killing of three Daesh chiefs in Afghanistan in US drone strikes in one year.

Abdul Haseeb Logari, successor of Hafiz Saeed Khan, was killed in a drone strike in Nangarhar in May, while Hafiz Saeed Khan was eliminated along with several top leaders in July last year also in Nangarhar. Saeed Khan, who belonged to Orakzai Agency, was the central council member of the TTP until he and several other commanders declared allegiance to Daesh in 2014.

Some Taliban leaders had opposed Daud appointment as the TTP’s Karachi chief because of his police background, but Hakeemullah had rejected objections. This had created differences between Hakeemullah and Waliur Rehman.

Daud was among the close confidants of Hakeemullah and would financially help some Taliban leaders that had made him popular among the Taliban in a short period, according to correspondents in the tribal areas. There had once been rumours about his death but they were false. Sources say Daesh had also invited other TTP members, especially militants linked to Hakeemullah faction, but it did not work. Some close friends of Daud did not support his decision but he ignored opposition to his decision, they said.

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

Postby SSridhar » 01 Aug 2017 13:16

Kerala youth who joined ISIS killed in Afghanistan: Reports - ToI
A 23-year-old man from the district [Kasargod], who was suspected to have joined the terror outfit Islamic State (IS) last year, was reportedly killed in an air strike in Afghanistan {The only airstrike that was reported was on July 11, 2017 in Kunar province at the supposed HQ of IS-K that killed the newly anointed Emir, Abu Sayed. Obviously, this cretin from Kasargod was at the same place too}.

Police today said his father had received a message through Telegram app two days ago informing him about the death of Marwan Ismail of Thrikkaripur in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.

They said the message was also sent to social activist BC Abdul Rahman on the same day.

The message purportedly sent by one Asfaq Majeed, one of the 21 youths from Kerala who allegedly went missing and joined the IS, did not provide more details about Marwan or the place where he was killed.


Marwan had been working as a physiotherapist in a gulf nation before joining the terror group last year, police said.

He was among the 21 persons from the state, who reportedly went missing after travelling to the Middle East last year and later joined the IS in Syria.

In April, Yahya, a native of Palakkad was allegedly killed in an air strike in Afghanistan.

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

Postby Sachin » 04 Aug 2017 11:45

Mean while in the paradise of the commies.. Kerala.
IS links: NIA takes Alappuzha native into custody..
Alappuzha/Coimbatore: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken three persons into custody for alleged links with terrorist organization Islamic State...

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

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2017 21:36

Islamic State behind Australians' foiled Etihad meat-mincer bomb plot - Reuters
An Australian man sent his unsuspecting brother to Sydney airport to catch an Etihad Airways flight carrying a home-made bomb disguised as a meat-mincer built at the direction of a senior Islamic State commander, police said on Friday.

Detailing one of Australia's “most sophisticated” militant plots, police said two men, who have been charged with terror-related offences, also planned to build a device to release poisonous gas in a public area.

[b]High-grade military explosives used to build the bomb were sent by air cargo from Turkey
as part of a plot “inspired and directed” by the militant Islamic State group, police Deputy Commissioner National Security Michael Phelan said.

The plot targeted an Etihad Airways flight on July 15 but the bomb never made it past airport security, he said.

“This is one of the most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil,” Phelan said.
[/b]
Police allege that one of the two men charged late on Thursday had been introduced to Islamic State by his brother, who they said was a senior member of the group in Syria.

Communication between the accused man and Islamic State began around April, police said. Under the instruction of the unidentified Islamic State commander, the men built a “fully functioning IED” (improvised explosive device).

One of the brothers was unaware that he was carrying a bomb, disguised as a commercial meat mincer, in his luggage, and tried to check it in at the airport, police said.

“We'll be alleging that the person who was to carry the IED on the plane had no idea they were going to be carrying an IED," Phelan said.

Such a device would work like a large grenade, exploding with enough force to blow a hole in an airplane, even if it went off in the cargo hold, said Professor Greg Barton, a security expert at Deakin University in Melbourne.

“I think the logic would be that you pack your explosives in and seal it up, and if someone does a quick physical inspection it just looks like what it is, a meat grinder, because it's not electrical or electronic, it's less likely to be suspicious.”

Police said there was “a little bit of conjecture” about what happened next, but it appeared one of the accused then left the airport, taking the luggage with him. The man's brother boarded the plane and has not since returned to Australia.

“I want to make it quite clear - it never got near screening. I don't want anyone to suggest that it ... penetrated airport security layers ... because it did not. It didn't go anywhere near it,” Phelan said.

Etihad said in a statement on Friday it had been working closely with the Australian investigation.

GAS PLOT ALSO UNCOVERED

Police arrested four men last weekend in raids across Sydney, Australia's biggest city. One man has been released, while another is still being held without charge under special counter-terror laws.

The two who have been charged are Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat, who each face two counts of planning a terrorist act. The charges carry a maximum punishment of life in prison.

The men did not apply for bail at a court hearing on Friday, a spokeswoman for New South Wales Courts said, and bail was formally denied. Their next scheduled court appearance is on Nov. 14.

Police also said they had uncovered the early stages of a plot to build an “improvised chemical dispersion device" designed to release hydrogen sulphide gas. Precursor chemicals and other components were found but the accused were “a long way” from making a functioning device.

Foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide, or “rotten egg gas", is deadly in high concentrations.

Police said “preliminary and hypothetical” discussions between the accused and Islamic State suggested a plan to deploy it in a crowded place, such as public transport.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally that has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, has been on heightened alert since 2014 for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East, or their supporters.

While there have been several “lone wolf” attacks, officials say 13 significant plots have been foiled in that time.

A gunman in a 2014 Sydney cafe siege boasted about links with Islamic State militants, although no direct ties with the group were established. The gunman and two other people were killed in the siege.

Since police revealed details of the scheme, security experts said it exposed weaknesses in air cargo screening, particularly in Turkey, where intelligence agencies have been weakened by a government purge in the wake of last year's failed coup.

“Islamic State is now positioned in Turkey such that it can send military-grade explosive via cargo flights out of Turkey around the world,” said Deakin University's Barton. “Now presumably Sydney is not a one-off and they are going to try this elsewhere and that's a level of risk that we hadn't thought of before.”
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Re: The Islamic State and the Indian Sub-Continent & its Neighbourhood

Postby Jarita » 04 Aug 2017 22:45

Read tweet stream
I have nothing to say as it will completely shut one down. What can we say?
https://twitter.com/jenanmoussa/status/ ... 3767319552

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

Postby SSridhar » 05 Aug 2017 21:09

NIA questions two more in TN over Islamic State module case - The Hindu
The National Investigation Agency (NIA),on Saturday, questioned two more persons from the city [Coimbatore], believed to be ‘close friends’ of the duo who were interrogated two days ago in connection with an Islamic State (IS) module busted in Kannur district last year.

A team of officials, led by a DSP from Kerala arrived here and took the youths to a police station for “questioning” them about the movement of their friends from Karumbukadai and Ukkadam in the city.

According to police sources, one youth is running a shop that sells second-hand books and the other a shoe outlet in the city. They would either be released after questioning or taken to Kochi, they said.

In the past few days, NIA has questioned “a few persons” from Coimbatore and Alappuzha in Kerala as part of its probe in connection with an Islamic State module busted in Kannur district last year.

The NIA sleuths had taken two persons from the city to Kochi two days ago for interrogation, after carrying out searches at their houses, following their alleged posts on the social media, supporting the activities of the IS.

A posse of police personnel has been deployed near the police station, since a large number of people had gathered during the searches carried out here two days ago.

Based on posts on some social media platforms, NIA officials have zeroed in on the duo, who allegedly posted content on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, supporting the activities of the IS.

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

Postby Sachin » 16 Aug 2017 15:56

x-posted from Internal Security thread..
Not a very good day for the Islamic terrorists


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