ISIS has 66 known Indian-origin fighters: US report on terrorism

 There are 66 known Indian-origin fighters on the rolls of global terrorist group Islamic State and the country’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has done a commendable job in ensuring that budding modules were detected and disrupted in time, said the US State Department’s annual report on terrorism.

Edit: Pak’s terror havens

Rise in attacks

34 ISIS-related cases examined by NIA in 2020

160 terrorists nabbed by it from Kerala, WB in Sept

10% rise in terror attacks, fatalities in 2020 against 2019

Online radicalisation

In 2020, there were reports of suspected cases of online terror radicalisation, particularly in South India, the report says

Pakistan connection

  • Groups targeting India, including LeT, operating from Pak
  • Pakistan failed to act against known terrorists such as JeM founder Masood Azhar

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in the 2020 Country Reports on Terrorism issued on Thursday, said India collaborated with the US on implementing the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2309. The resolution calls governments to meet their responsibility to keep citizens secure while travelling by air. The report said in 2020, there were multiple reports in the media and from the NIA of suspected cases of online terrorist radicalisation, particularly in southern Indian states.

In addition, India continued to face terror threat from Pakistan, which failed to take action against known terrorists such as JeM’s Masood Azhar and the 2008 Mumbai attack “project manager” Sajid Mir, both believed to be in Pakistan, it said.

Some madrasas in Pakistan continued to teach violent extremist doctrine, it said. The major groups targeting India were LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen, ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, it said.

The report conceded, “Pakistan took steps in 2020 to counter terror financing and restrain India-focused militant groups from conducting attacks. Pakistan convicted LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and other senior LeT leaders in terror funding cases.”

The US report was unstinting in its praise for the National Investigation Agency. “The NIA examined 34 cases related to ISIS and arrested 160 persons, including 10 alleged al-Qaeda operatives from Kerala and West Bengal, in September,” it noted. However, no foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) was repatriated to India during 2020.

The report faulted the Union Home Ministry for not having a national policy for countering violent extremism (CVE) as a result of which efforts in this direction were “uneven” and led by local police departments. Five states — Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh — have CVE policies.



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