In late December 2021, Bangladeshi counter-terrorism agencies warned about the possible resurgence of Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh (AIB), which also functions as an official wing of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and staunchly supports the Afghan Taliban’s Islamic Emirate. According to these agencies, AIB has been recruiting and training in the hinterlands of Bangladesh.
In early May 2020, the Bangladeshi police counter-terrorism unit arrested 17 members of the banned terrorist group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in Dhaka. At the time of the arrest, the JMB operatives planned to join Imam Mahdi, the spiritual redeemer of Islam, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
After a period of relative dormancy, India’s restive Kashmir region has been struck by violence again, witnessing an increase in the targeted killings of civilians. In October alone, there were 45 deaths, including 13 civilians and 12 security force personnel. With the killing of a well-known pharmacist, Makhanlal Bindroo, and street vendor, Virender Paswan, in Srinagar on October 5, militants from newly emerging factions have triggered a new cycle of violence.
More than a month after Taliban forces stormed Afghanistan, the self-proclaimed Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan (IEA) has yet to gain international political recognition. All eyes are on the primary stakeholder countries behind the Doha Accord of February 29, 2020, which paved the way for the Taliban’s ultimate victory.
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan is over, after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul. Except for the ongoing resistance from National Resistance Front (NRF) in Panjshir valley and sporadic violence from Islamic State’s Khorasan branch, Afghanistan has witnessed relative calm since then. However, the law and order situation continues to remain grim.
The threat of the intentional or deliberate use of disease pathogens or biological agents emanating from both rogue state actors and violent non-state actors (NSAs) remains a major concern for national and international security. By violent non-state actors, we generally mean armed insurgent groups, criminal syndicates, apocalyptic religious cults and jihadi terrorist groups and individuals.
On August 26, a prominent jihadist ideologue affiliated with al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mufti Abu Zar al-Burmi (hereafter Abu Zar), issued a congratulatory statement praising the Taliban for reestablishing Islamic rule in Afghanistan. While he vehemently criticized Islamic State (IS) for its hasty and brutal method of establishing the caliphate, he complimented the Taliban for its battlefield prowess, strict adherence to religious principles, and dedication to Islamic Sharia.
In July 2021, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), the Al Qaeda linked Kashmir jihadist group, came to the limelight when several suspected militant members were arrested in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP). This was a significant breakthrough as, for the first time, suspected AGH operatives were arrested beyond their usual operating ground, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Interrogations have found that detained militants planned to carry out suicide bombings in different parts of the state. The police had identified them as Shakeel, Mohammad Mustakeem, Mohammad Moid, Minhaz Ahmed and Maseeruddin.
Seven people including six Assam police personnel were killed by the Mizoram police firing on July 26, 2021, during an armed standoff at the Assam-Mizoram borders. The situation remained tense but came under control after the Union Government deployed two companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) along with the disputed areas on the Assam-Mizoram border.