ISIS Makes Inroads In Jammu & Kashmir?

Reportedly, masked men surfaced in the sensitive old city and waved black flags and banners of ISIS and Al Qaeda with Kalima (the first basic fundamental of Islam) inscribed on them.

While UN is mulling over including the fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) to a list of war crimes suspects in Syria, security forces fighting militancy in India have a new worry at hand.

The flags and banners of ISIS and Al Qaeda have made their debut in the terror plagued Kashmir.

Yesterday, after offering Eid prayers at Eidgah, people started shouting anti-Israel and Pro-Palestine slogans to protest the Israeli aggression on Gaza. The call for 30 minute post-namaz protests was given by Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Reportedly, masked men surfaced in the sensitive old city and waved black flags and banners of ISIS and Al Qaeda with Kalima (the first basic fundamental of Islam) inscribed on them. Some men even used the flags as masks to hide their faces even as other men watched from the lanes and bylanes.

Though there are large numbers of foreign militants, mostly Pakistani, operating in Kashmir who work under the banner of Lashkar-e-Tioba, Jaish-e-Mohommad, Al Bader, Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen and others, the presence of either of the two pan-Islamic Jihadi organizations in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be verified.

It should be noted that in June this year Al Qaeda had released a video calling upon the Muslims in Kashmir to wage Jihad against Indian authorities. Entitled ‘War should continue, message to the Muslims of Kashmir’, the video features the statement of Al Qaeda commander Moulana Asim Umar threatening that the caravan (of heroic martyrs) was coming to “liberate Kashmir”.

Similarly, Ibrahim Awwad al-Badri, commander of the insurgent group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), had vowed war against several countries, including India, in a Ramzan speech released online late on July 1.

The reference to India, the first in an ISIS manifesto, had raised new concerns for the safety of the almost hundreds of its nationals trapped in Iraqi cities controlled by the Islamist group, which is battling the governments of Iraq and Syria.

A report in The Hindu had given the details of his speech: “The Ramzan speech by al-Badri — also known by the pseudonym Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — had called on believers to take up arms during the month of penitence, and “terrify the enemies of Allah and seek death in the places where you expect to find it, for the dunya (worldly life) will come to an end”.

“Muslims’ rights”, al-Badri states in his speech, “are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, Sham (the Levant), Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Ahvaz, Iran (by the rafidah (shia)), Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco, in the East and in the West” [all text as in original released by ISIS].

“Prisoners are moaning and crying for help”, al-Badri continues. “Orphans and widows are complaining of their plight. Women who have lost their children are weeping. Masajid (plural of masjid) are desecrated and sanctities are violated”.

Thus, he says, “the ummah of Islam is watching your jihad with eyes of hope, and indeed you have brothers in many parts of the world being inflicted with the worst kinds of torture”.

Earlier this week, ISIS had declared Mr. Badri the amir al-mumineen, or commander of the faithful, and declared him the leader of the Islamic caliphate it seeks to create.”

Over 20 Indians have joined ISIS which includes youth from Mumbai, Tamil Nadu and Karnataaka.

If at all the suspicion of ISIS making inroads in Kashmir becomes true, it will be very difficult for India to defend itself from the problem grappling the world right now.

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