"India Faces Up to Growing Islamic State Threat" (Terrorism Monitor)
Read India and the looming ISIS threat. "India Faces Up to Growing Islamic State Threat" (Author: Animesh Roul, SSPC, New Delhi)
Despite the Islamic State’s sporadic successes in recruiting some Indian Muslims, much remains unclear about the group’s activities in the country, particularly in comparison to other neighboring countries like Pakistan, the Maldives or even Bangladesh. However, India is very much within the operational ambition of the Islamic State for at least three reasons: the relative proximity of the Islamic State’s most active South Asia branch (Wilayat Khurasan), which is centered around Afghanistan and Pakistan and gaining strength day by day; its links with home-grown/indigenous Indian Mujahideen members; and, last but not least, the Islamic State’s powerful social media channels that proved to the most enticing medium for aspiring jihadi volunteers. Irrespective of the government’s recent endeavors, including its novel effort to build a counter-narrative against the jihadist ideologies, and, most importantly, in contrast to the popular belief about India’s composite culture and liberal minority Muslim populations, India clearly remains vulnerable towards the Islamic State brand of transnational jihadism.
Animesh Roul is the Executive Director of Research at the New Delhi-based Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (SSPC).