‘IS is not a lesser threat now’


The fall of the Islamic State (IS)-controlled territory does not mean it’s less of a threat today, as it has only gone on an expansion mode in Asia, said Rohan Gunaratna, a noted terrorism expert, speaking at the Synergia Conclave 2019 in the city on Friday.

“IS has declared provinces in the Philipines, Kashmir, Afghansitan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the past year. A month after the last territory it held fell, the Easter Bombings happened in Sri Lanka,” he observed.

He predicted IS would take up the reading down of Article 370 by the Indian government to gain new footprint in Kashmir. Till date, 120 Indians have been to Syria and Iraq to fight for the IS, he said.

However, Prabha Rao, former Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GOI, disagreed and said information with Indian agencies show state-sponsored terror from across the border was creating a fig leaf of IS in Kashmir and that was not really the case. She also said Indian agencies were of the opinion that Al Qaeda may emerge stronger as there was movement of IS fighters into Al Qaeda.

But Ms. Rao argued that Turkey Kurds standoff could have an adverse impact on the country as over 17,000 IS fighters jailed along the border may break out from these jails and this may lead to an influx of jihadi fighters into South Asia, borrowing tactics of the region to fight here.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 10:50:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/is-is-not-a-lesser-threat-now/article29739751.ece

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