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Editorial & Analyses

Kashmir killings: Is it an indication of IS resurgence!

The Hawk
June6/ 2022

Chandan Sharma*

Are we sitting on terror bomb and waiting to happen something bigger? The recent killing, mostly targeted, although discussed in the details during the high level meeting on last Friday in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by top brass of government and security officials including Home Minister, National Security Advisor, Army Chief, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha and several other top security officials. Reports say that restructure of the security forces in the state is obvious considering the sudden surge in the killings and upcoming Amarnath pilgrimage. Moreover, it is interesting to see that the US releases report on religious freedom on the same day criticising status of religious freedom in the country. It may be another co-incident that Tehrik-e-Taliban, the outlawed Pakistani Taliban announces indefinite ceasefire with the Pakistan’s government a day ahead of meeting. Although, India has strongly criticised the US report and said that it is biased but the

situation in Kashmir certainly speaks a lot about it after the recent spurt in the killings of Hindus in the valley. But what is being ignored consistently, apprehension of resurgence of IS in Asia. The

long span of pandemic outbreak and the unprecedented outbreak of conflict in the Eurasian region did not leave much scope for discussion about terror or IS. Several sympathisers of IS has been arrested earlier in the country and in the sub- continent. But the recent report about the rise of IS in the East Asian region is certainly a matter of concern. The report says that several East Asian nations including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand too are facing the situation due to the rise of the IS. According to the report, published in The Diplomat, “Not much was known about the Islamic State’s new leader for its so-called East Asia province, which encompasses Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and, according to a terrorism monitor, also Thailand. The Diplomat has recently learned the background and source of radicalization of the leader, best known by his nom de guerre Abu Zacharia, the chief of an IS-supporting terror outfit in the the southern Philippines known as the Maute group.”

“On March 2, 2022, the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced that Abu Zacharia, whose real name is Jer Mimbantas, is the new Southeast Asian emir of the Islamic State. He is also known as Faharudin Hadji Satar”, the report says. Then-Southeast Asian emir of the Islamic State, Isnilon Hapilon, who was also a leader of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group (ASG), and a Maute group leader, Omar Maute, were the siege leaders. They were killed during a historic ambush toward the end of the siege in October 2017. The online magazine also says quoting an Indonesian government-affiliated terrorism researcher, Ulta Levenia Nababan, that Abu Zacharia was a nephew of the late Alim Abdul Aziz Mimbantas, the vice chairman for military affairs of the Moro Islamic

Liberation Front (MILF), a former insurgent group that is now friendly with the Philippine government.

Now those are aware of the ultra radical IS know well that it does not take much time to spread in the region. As Kashmir is still a vulnerable place for such terror activities. The recent killings must be investigated in the light of these developments apart from other security concerns as well as security threats from neighbourhood. And, East Asia is not far away; especially when ‘budding ground of terror’ Pakistan is our neighbour.—The Hawk Features

*Chandan Sharma has been visiting faculty with Delhi University and writes on various global issues.