Of late, countries in South and Central Asia are finding themselves increasingly under the grip of the threat of transnational terrorism in its various manifestations. This is primarily due to (1) the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and formation of Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS), (2) the involvement of South and Central Asian militants in the Middle East unrests, particularly in Iraq and Syria, (3) the entrenched linkages between South and Central Asian fighters dating back to the 1980s, and (4) weaknesses in the domestic counter-terrorism policies of respective countries. The articles in this issue provide overviews of the terrorist threats confronting India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Central Asian region.
Pallavi Ade looks at the preparedness of India’s security agencies in dealing with lone wolf terrorist incidents within the country, particularly when such attacks are increasing worldwide. Ade recommends that India needs to revamp its intelligence infrastructure and to put in place soft counterterrorism measures such as terrorist rehabilitation and community engagement programmes, as bulwarks against the spread of extremist ideology.
Vikram Rajakumar examines the terrorist threat in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and argues that specific linguistic, cultural and geographical factors have thus far served to safeguard Muslims in Tamil Nadu from the influence of transnational jihadist ideology.
Iftekharul Bashar highlights the increased threat of militancy in Bangladesh with local militant outfits linking up with ISIS and AQIS. Bashar recommends a more pro-active and holistic counter-terrorism posture by the Bangladesh government to counter the threat effectively.
Sara Mahmood argues that as a strategy, decapitation efforts by the U.S. and Pakistan have not been effective in neutralising groups like Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Mahmood recommends that kinetic means need to be supplemented by soft approaches to win the hearts and minds of the involved communities to prevent terrorist and extremist groups from radicalising and recruiting.
Hekmatullah Azamy makes an assessment of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’s (IMU) pledge of support to ISIS and its impact on the Afghan Taliban, given the rivalry between the Taliban and ISIS and the fact that, since its formation, IMU has always benefited from the Taliban’s support.
Nodirbek Soliev examines the increasing involvement of Central Asian militants operating in both the Afghanistan-Pakistan and Middle East conflict theatres, and assesses its implication for the countries in Central Asia.
Central Asia / Commentaries / Conflict and Stability / South Asia / Terrorism Studies
Last updated on 26/08/2016