In troubled Pakistan, sacred spaces such as Sufi shrines have increasingly been the target of bloody attacks by Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. The Taliban-Deobandi school of Islam perceives Sufi practices such as devotional whirling dances, the veneration of Sufi saints and other rituals as being un-Islamic and against the tenets of the religion. 

    The old arguments against the effectiveness of biological warfare still apply. The effects of novel organisms would still be delayed, unpredictable, and difficult to control. In military terms, any advance is almost certainly not a matter of the routine use of bio-technology. Whatever the fact, this double edged weapon still acts like a deterrent against any kind of conventional attack.

    • December 14, 2010

    The BioWeapons Monitor is an initiative of the BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP) to help monitor compliance with the international norm established primarily in the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). In particular, it aims to increase transparency of activities relevant to the BWC, which the current treaty regime does not do sufficiently.

  • CBW mag
    • June 28, 2008

    Even terrorists play pranks on WMD use these days! Late May 2008, a purported terrorist video caught media attention and some serious coverage. As per the reports, the Al Qaeda video message urged Islamic jihadists to use “biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to attack the West.” Experts suspecting the authenticity of the video message dismissed the threat as a prank and not ‘Qaedaesque’ enough to get scared.1

    The article analyses the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s threat of use of chemical weapons inside Pakistan. It looks at the recent such instance of possible low scale use of chemical agents and argues that the recent threat is more of tactical nature.

    • December 01, 2009

    Paper titled “Islamic terrorism in India: organizations, tentacles and networks” has been published in Klaus Lange (ed.), Security in South Asia: Conventional and Unconventional Studies & Comments, No. 9, December 2009, Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, Munich.

    This paper focuses on Islamic terrorism in India (overview), with particular attention to the major groups operating and perpetrating violence in the country and their operational and logistical linkages.

    Here is an excerpt:

    • August 08, 2008


    This paper explores the rising menace of Islamic extremism in South Asia while discussing key terrorist groups and networks and emerging terrorism trends.

    The Taliban resurgence in Pakistan’s lawless provinces and its unhindered march towards the heartland of the restive country is fueled by an ever increasing economic life-line. Unlike Afghanistan’s Taliban, which depends on the poppy trade for revenues, the robustness of the Pakistan Taliban’s financial strength depends on a variety of sources, ranging from the timber trade, precious stone mining and now, the imposition of a religious/protection tax collected from minority religious communities.

    Since the events of 9/11, transnational Islamic forces have consolidated more along religious lines with regional and local Islamic outfits to further the extremist cause worldwide. South Asia has been confronting the challenge of Islamic extremism for many years and in varied forms. Among the South Asian countries worst hit by Islamic extremism, India, with a Muslim minority population numbering over 140 million, has cradled a number of important transnational Islamic movements throughout history.

  • OD logo
    • July 08, 2007

    Alex P Schmid Animesh Roul James A. Goldston (5 July 2007)

    James A. Goldston, Executive Director, Open Society Justice Initiative

    Government responses to the challenge of terrorism since 9/11 have been plagued by three major problems.