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Beneath The Black Veil

Lekshmi P. B writes, ISIS is becoming more powerful than before. They have widened their links and connections all over the world. Threat does not come from an organisational pattern or from the so-called caliphate or Al-Baghdadi himself. But the ecosystem has also given access to ISIS to become powerful

ISIS is powerful terrorist group which had once control a large area over Middle East. The leader of ISIS Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was originally a part of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network. ISIS operations started with the U S invasions in 2003. Their main aim was to make Iraq as a Sunni Islamic regime.  Zarqawi died in U S airstrike in 2006 and Abu Ayyub al-Masri became the new leader. He renamed it as ISI (Islamic state of Iraq). After the death of Masri, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took the power.  After the civil war in Syria, the militant group gained the entire Syrian region and renamed it as ISIS which stands for Islamic state for Iraq and Syria. Their main aim was to implement Sharia law and to practice strict religious code based on Islamic traditions.

They attacked the community of Yazidis and killed hundreds of people and sold women into slavery. They forced them for religious conversions. The attack sparked worldwide and international media coverage brought attention to the brutal tactics of ISIS. In 2014 al-Qaeda broke the connections with ISIS and formally rejected the group and disavowing their activities.  ISIS gained the nefarious reputation for videotaping brutal killing and publishing them on online.

Sri Lankan investigators revealed that ISIS has connections with the suicide blasts that killed 250 people in churches and nearby hotels on Easter Sunday. In 2016 more than two dozens of Sri Lankans had joined IS. The authorities believed that Zahran Hashim, founder of NTJ which is a part of ISIS was the man behind the bloodshed Easter Sunday and he was one among the nine suicide bombers. The security is expected to stay tight for several more days because militants were expected to try strike during the Ramadan.

Along with this India and Bangladesh was also on high alert regarding the ISIS threat. The group has announced direct threat to carry out attack in India and Bangladesh. ISIS has appointed Abu Muhammad al-Bengali as the new leader in Bangladesh. IS has released a pro ISIS telegram application which says a “coming soon” and it shows a attack in Bangladesh and west Bengal. Local terrorist group JMB and Hizbut Tahrir have developed connections with is and authorities are on high alert. They have put up posters in different districts in west Bengal for asking the youths to join the terrorist organizations. Reports are showing the armed gangs, potentially linked to ISIS in Bangladesh.

ISIS is becoming more powerful than before. They have widened their links and connections all over the world. Threat does not come from an organisational pattern or from the so-called caliphate or Al-Baghdadi himself. But the ecosystem has also given access to ISIS to become powerful and to make global headline at the smallest incident.  Social media remains a main mediator of pro ISIS-activities. Building capacity to tackle these terrorist groups is still a challenge to India, South Asia and rest of the world collectively. It is no longer about ISIS new terrorist groups will replace it the future.

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