Terrorism - Genesis, Evolution and Implications for India

Terrorism - Genesis, Evolution and Implications for India

Question: Terrorism is the biggest threat to the security of any nation in current times. Discuss the genesis and evolution of terrorism across the globe and its implications for India.

Terrorism: Genesis and Evolution

• Islamist terror network is a hydra headed phenomena; it extends across Asia and North Africa to India

• The core theology of terrorists worldwide is the Saudi thinker, Abdul Wahab’s teachings

• This has combined with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s Syed Qutub, differentiating it from 20th century terrorism which was characterised by Salafism

• Terrorism in the 21st century includes the formation of a radical Islamist breed

• During 2013, US embassies closed in West Asia due to terror threat from AQAP

• Cold war adversary Russia also faced terror attacks at Sochi

• Caucasian Caliphate came into being; multiple attacks across the world resulted

• There are currently many ethnic jihadi outfits with recent converts to Islam

• Newer terrorist groups such as the IS/Islamic State and Jabhat-al-Nusra in Iraq/Syria are more violent

• Even older outfits are reinventing themselves

• However, ideologies driving these terror groups is from the 18th century

• Different affiliates of parent groups are another common phenomenon; for example, al Qaeda now constitutes the following:

- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula/AQAP

- Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb/AQIM

- Boko Haram

- Al-Shabaab

• Distinctions between “infidels” and “believers” are no longer distinct for these groups

• LeT from Pakistan and Haqqani network from Afghanistan are potent terror threats for India

• Attacks from Pakistan to Australia, Europe and North Africa are now common

• IS has brought about a shift in the concept of terrorism by becoming a virtual state on its own; using the explosive situation in Iraq and Syria, the Caliphate has claimed Sana’a in Yemen as part of its territory; Islamic State of Khorasan includes parts of NW India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

• IS has money amounting to USD 5 billion in funding

• It is also seeking allegiance from other groups: Boko Haram has allied with it

• IS uses social media and internet to lure recruits

• Training women jihadis as part of the Trojan Horse project in the West is another way IS has expanded its numbers

• There are also many IS stay at home radicals and lone wolf attacks in cities

Implications for India

• India cannot ignore the growing threat of IS and allied terror groups

• Countries with smaller populations of educated Muslims have been afflicted

• Recent cases where Indian youth were involved in terror activities include Mehdi Biswas, Arif Majeed and Salman Moinuddin

• The Indian Mujahideen is using technology to outpace authorities

• Radical Islamist movement in India is part of uber Wahhabi Islam model

• New affiliates are forming from splinter groups of parent terror outfits

• India needs to be alert about the new forms of terrorism that are being spawned

Facts and Stats

• September 2013: Al Shabab killed 67 persons in a Nairobi shopping mall

• November 2014: Suicide bomber of Tehri-e-Taliban Pakistan killed 60 people on Wagah border

• December: TTP killed 140 persons including 132 children in Peshawar

• Mid December 2014: 3 persons died in an attack on a cafe in Sydney

• January 2015: Charlie Hebdo massacre of 12 persons; Boko Haram carried out massacre of 2,000 persons in Nigeria

• April 2015: In Kenya, Al Shabab killed 147 students at the Garisa University college campus

• Intense Shia-Sunni conflicts are also birthing militancy in parts of the world such as Yemen
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