ISIS looks to Afghanistan to expand in Kashmir
New Delhi: The Islamic State has sent a message to its handlers and cadres located in Afghanistan to take part in the Kashmir battle.
Your fight will first be against the Hurriyat Conference and then the Indian forces, a message posted on a pro-ISIS handle directed at its men in Afghanistan read. The message ends with, Al Wala Wal Bara- You must love and hate for Allah’s sake.
The ISIS has not now, but since 2014 been trying to take part in the Kashmir battle. However it realised that the Kashmir battle was more about independence rather than ideology. The ISIS had all along been trying to push its ideology into Kashmir, which also included the establishment of a Caliphate.
It may be recalled that the ISIS had even drawn out a map in 2014 of the Global Islamic Council which included the states of Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir in it.
In the past few months, if one followed the ISIS in Kashmir closely, it became clear that it had moved away from its ideological approach. It has not been pushing its ideology and neither is speaking loud about the Caliphate. It has repeatedly targeted the Hurriyat Conference and has said that they sell dreams to the youth, but never do anything in reality.
The first signs of a major change in approach came in the form of Zakir Musa. He was part of the Hizbul Mujahideen under Burhan Wani. He however moved away from the outfit with a scathing attack on the Hizbul leadership. He questioned the ways adopted by the outfit.
He also had the choicest of abuses for the Hurriyat leadership as well in which he spoke about how the youth are being lured into a cause that the group never fulfilled for decades.
Musa has been sending across contradictory signals regarding his allegiance. He preaches what the ISIS says, but operates under a banner which is said to be close to the Al-Qaeda. Intelligence Bureau officials say that if one goes by his recent remarks, then it is clear that he is following the ISIS.
The ISIS also recently announced that one of its men from Hyderabad had been killed in Kashmir. This was an interesting development as it is now becoming clear that the international group wants to rope in cadres pan India into its fold to fight the Kashmir battle.
Security analysts and Union Home Ministry officials say that the ISIS has sensed that there is a major vacuum that has been caused by the Hurriyat. This is leading the ISIS to take up political issues and also lure the youth into its fold. An IB report with the Home Ministry also says that many Indians who had left for Afghanistan are likely to be pushed into the Valley.
The IB report warns that if the ISIS is successful, then India would have the headache of a space battle in Kashmir. The ISIS will look to take on both the Hurriyat and Hizbul Mujahideen, following which it would direct its attacks on the Indian Army and forces.