COUNTER-TERRORISM PERSPECTIVES (CTP) deals with Armed Insurgencies, Islamist Violence, Jihad and Radicalisation issues and other forms of Asymmetric Conflicts and policy responses in South Asia and beyond.
The fatal attack on former President and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed on May 6 once again reflected the deep penetration of ISIS in the Maldivian society, especially amongst the youth and certain political groups opposing liberal democracy. ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the attack on Nasheed, who was targeted for his strong views against growing radicalism in the Island country. The terrorist attack on a high profile leader in a crowded public place also reflects intelligence failure despite the police having prior information about the attack.
Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, while addressing a day-long meeting of Chief Ministers, including six of the Naxalite affected states, on April 13, 2006, observed: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.”On January 21, 2021, Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane said that 'left-wing extremism' is one of the biggest challenges before the Indian state. It seems, in the last 14 years, there has not been any phenomenal shift in the position of the LWE in India’s list of nat
On May 6, Maldives’ Speaker of Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed was seriously injured in an assassination attempt outside his home in the capital, Male. The improvised explosive device (IED) blast also wounded members of his security team and bystanders, including a foreign national. Although jihadists elements remain the primary suspect for the attempt on Nasheed’s life, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In late 2020, French authorities detained Saif Rahman (a.k.a. Totan) a 24-year-old Bangladeshi national, who was attempting to travel to Islamic State (IS)-controlled territory in Syria. During his interrogation, the French authorities uncovered his extremist beliefs and intention to join IS in the Middle East.
Two years ago, on April 21, 2019, eight suicide bombers affiliated with the Islamic State (IS)-linked local jihadist groups National Towheed Jamaat (NTJ) and Jammiyat-ul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) carried out deadly terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, targeting luxury hotels and Catholic churches. The synchronized attacks on that fateful Easter Sunday killed or injured over 750 people.
The Neo-Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB), which was responsible for the deadly July 2016 Holey Artisan Bakery terrorist attack in Dhaka claimed by Islamic State (IS), has effectively nurtured and nourished a strong network of female jihadists in the country (refworld.org, November 15, 2016). These women members have proven to be a largely unseen, but potent force behind the group’s resilience.
In early January 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that three foreign nationals – Muhammed Naufar (also, Naufar Moulavi), Muhammed Riskan and Ahamed Milhan – had been charged with conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State (IS), a designated foreign terrorist organization that claimed responsibility for the deadly April 2019 Easter Sunday violence in Sri Lanka (U.S. Department of Justice, January 8).
Although the so-called Islamic State (IS) Caliphate crumbled and disintegrated in the Middle East, the group’s most potent branch, the IS-Khorasan Province (IS-KP) remains resilient. It continues to display its violent presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, fiercely withstanding the unremitting onslaughts from government and rival Taliban forces. The group demonstratively retains the ability to carry out gruesome attacks at will in the capital Kabul and its traditional strongholds in Eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.
When Islamic State (IS) announced an Indian-based ‘province’ (wilayah) on May 10, 2019, IS effectively consolidated previously fragmented pro-IS jihadist entities under the IS Hind (IS-H) province banner. IS aimed to increase its recruitment and operational success in embattled Kashmir, which has a long tradition of Islamist militancy. However, IS also launched a propaganda campaign to have a broader pan-Indian impact.