After the loss of territorial control in Iraq and Syria, Islamic State’s global affiliates like al-Hind Province in India, Khorasan Province in Afghanistan and others will become increasingly important in upholding the terror outfit’s image, claims Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, on Tuesday.
Europol, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, that assists 27 European Union member states in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism, in its report ‘EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2021’ stated: “Following the loss of territorial control in Iraq and Syria, IS’s global affiliates will become increasingly important in upholding the image of the organisation’s continued success.”
Outside Syria and Iraq, IS affiliates asserted themselves in 2020 with varying degrees of activity in Afghanistan (IS Khorasan Province), Algeria (IS Algeria Province), Bangladesh (IS Bengal Province), Central and East Africa (IS Central Africa Province), Egypt (IS Sinai Province), Kashmir/India (IS al-Hind Province), southern Libya (IS Fezzan Province), Pakistan (IS Pakistan Province), the Philippines (IS East Asia Province), the Sahel region (IS West Africa Province) and Yemen (IS Yemen Province).
The report stated that IS Khorasan Province in Afghanistan exploited the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to discredit the latter.
The group carried out multiple attacks targeting civilians, journalists and diplomatic interests in 2020.
In particular, it continued to attack religious minorities.
“On March 6, for example, two IS members carried out an attack on a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of a Shia leader in Kabul, killing at least 30 people,” the report stated.
The report also stated that IS Khorasan carried out terror attack on March 25, 2020 on a Sikh temple in Kabul and took hostages, reportedly killed 25 people, in revenge for the oppression of Muslims in Kashmir.
The report, however, did not mention any terror activities of IS’ al-Hind Province in India.
Last year in October, India’s premier anti-terror investigating agency National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed that the Al-Hind module planned to establish ISIS Daishwilayah (province) inside the jungles of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala as recently as late 2019.
The revelation was made in a charge sheet filed by the agency in the court against 17 members of the module.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)