US DECLARES AN ISIS OPERATIVE FROM INDIA A GLOBAL TERRORIST

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Mohammad Shafi Armar, an ISIS operative and recruiter of Indian origin, has been declared global terrorist by the US State Department.

“Mohammad Shafi Armar is a leader and head recruiter in India for the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group, ISIS. He has cultivated a group of dozens of ISIS sympathizers who are involved in terrorist activities across India, such as plotting attacks, procuring weapons, and identifying locations for terrorist training camps,” the US State Department release said.

Shafi Armar is from Bhatkal, Karnataka. He is considered close to ISIS chief Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi and has recruited at least 30 Indians to join the ISIS and is said to be in touch with over 700.

He became ISIS’ main recruiter for India after his elder brother Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar, who was heading ISIS in India, was killed in March 2015. Their names cropped up during interrogation of Yasin Bhatkal who was arrested from Nepal border in 2013.

Intelligence sources say he was planning to establish ISIS units in each Indian state and had started Junud AlKhalifa-e-Hind as ISIS’ India wing for this purpose.

According to intelligence sources, before joining ISIS, Shafi Armar was member of banned outfit Indian Mujahideen and had fled to Pakistan in 2009 along with top leadership of the group.

There were reports last year that Shafi Armar was killed in US air strike but he was later confirmed alive. Shafi Armar has made Syria his base and uses social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp to contract and recruit potential ISIS terrorists.

©SantoshChaubey

EUROPE IS SHUTTING ITS DOORS ON MIGRANTS, NUMBERS PROVE THAT

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations’ migration agency, has said in its latest release* that the number of migrants and refugees that entered Europe by sea routes has seen a drastic reduction this year. Data compiled till June 11 says 73,189 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 whereas the corresponding figure for January-June 11 was 211434, almost three times.

Deepening anti-migrant and refugee sentiments in the wake of terror attacks in many European countries and the US can be attributed to this drastic reduction second year in a row.

Britain has seen three terror attacks in last four months, in March, May and June in which dozens of people lost their lives. There have been two major terror attacks in France and one in Sweden in 2017.

The series of terror attacks in Europe that began with Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015 has continued unabated in France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and other European countries. Same is the story of the US where San Bernardino attack in 2015 left 14 dead, Orlando nightclub terror attack in 2016 left 49 dead and other bombings, stabbing and vehicle attacks left many injured. And the sad truth is migrants and refugees and their dependents have been found involved in most of them.

Something that is reflecting in the drastically reduced number of refugees and migrants. 2015 was a crisis year when over a million refugees from civil war ravaged countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. According to the European Union (EU) claims, 2015 saw 1,321,560 asylum claims.

The rush of migrants and refugees in 2015, said to the biggest wave of human crisis since the Second World War, created a pressure on many European countries, especially the smaller and economically weaker ones. Though the hostile signs were visible quite early with countries like Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Czech Republic showing strong reservations, the European Commission settled down with a plan to distribute and relocate refugees among the European countries and set September 2017 as deadline keeping in line with the European spirit. But, so far, only 21000 asylum seekers have been relocated even if the EU is threatening legal action against the erring countries.

But coupled with terror incidents being attributed to migrants and refugees and thus a rising hostility, 2016 saw a steep decline with 364000 people seeking asylum in Europe in 2016. Many European countries erected fences to prevent migrants. The Balkan route was closed down. The EU made a deal with Turkey to monitor and block the Aegean Sea route, the main route taken by asylum seekers to reach Europe via Greece. Turkey that happened to be the gateway for Syrian migrants to entry in Europe sealed its border with Syria. Brexit in the UK in 2016 saw emergence of Theresa May, who is blamed by her rivals to have ‘poisonous propaganda about immigrants’.

2017, it seems going to bring it further down. The first six months of the year has just over 70000 asylum seekers in Europe by sea route and by this rate, we can say the number is not going to be more than 150000 and can even be substantially lower than this, given the surge of recent terror attacks in Europe by Islamic militants.

Emergence of right wing and far right in many European countries and governments hostile to migrants and refugees have further exacerbated the crisis. France’s far right politician Marine Le Pen has emerged as the main political opposition in the country with 34 per cent vote where far right was almost non-existent in France some years ago. She is a strong critic of immigration. Germany’s right wing termed asylum seekers ‘compost’. British PM Theresa May is also not interested in refugees welfare. And to cap all of them, US President Donald Trump is a strong anti-immigration voice and has been trying hard to stop migrants and refugees entering from the US. And he is a vocal supporter of Theresa May and Marine Le Pen.

©SantoshChaubey

WHY DO ISLAMIC TERRORISTS ATTACK TARGETS IN WESTERN COUNTRIES?

When it can’t produce any effective outcome for their so-called, misplaced cause of spreading Jihad other than those localized aftermaths that only strengthen the resolve to fight back! Because terrorists want their fiefdoms.

It is sad but true that almost of the Muslim world is ruled by autocrats, despots and monarchs. There are very few democracies like Malaysia and Indonesia that can be said to have consistent pattern of democracy in recent times otherwise it is like Pakistan that, though claims to be a democracy, is ruled by its military.

The so-called regimes and rulers want to keep their constituencies intact, so as to exercise their power, even if their constituents (people) want to run away.

That is exactly the mindset of the terror warlords. And with terror groups like Al Qaeda, Taliban and Islamic State going transnational, the terrorist chieftains of these outfits have started dreaming about territories controlled by them where they can run amok. Though it cannot be compared to the rise of the Arab nation states where it was clans and tribes initially, which even used to fight among themselves and the global oil politics gave their rule legitimacy, the terror groups, too, are free to envision a future for them, where, they too, will be treated like the nation states, if they, too, come to control an asset like oil.

In order to do so, they need territories and they need people. Controlling territories will give the terror outfits access to resources and controlling people will give them the much needed sense of being powerful and ultimately the leverage to get sanction in case geopolitical changes throw opportunities, like it has happened with many military rulers in the Muslim world or like it happened with Taliban in Afghanistan. The Islamic State just tried to do it. Emboldened and going transnational, these terror groups may well think of snatching regimes from existing monarchs, despots and autocrats.

For that they need to keep the fight within. They need to push those western countries out of their way. And they need to restrict people leaving the territories they are eyeing. In the prevailing geopolitical circumstances, when the US says it will limit its intervention in the global affairs, draws roadmaps to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq and refuses to send troops in Syria, the terror groups see an opportunity. They see prospects of an independent territory under their control as the Islamic State or Boko Haram think, without bothering much for global policing, or they go for active collusion with existing regimes like many Islamic terror groups including Al Qaeda, Taliban and the Haqqani Faction.

But the more worrying development is their success to limit the movement of people. The incessant terror attacks in many European countries and the revival of the anti-terror discourse in the public psyche in the US with recent attack have effectively blocked the people movement from terror and civil war ravaged Muslim countries to European countries and the US. The UN Migration Agency in its report released today said the number of migrants and refugees trying to enter Europe has drastically come down this year, to almost one-fourth of what it was in the first six months of 2016. European countries and the US are clamping down on migrants and refugees, driven by the hostile public sentiments after spate of terror attacks.

©SantoshChaubey

KABUL BOMB BLAST: AFGHANISTAN BLAMES HAQQANI NETWORK AND PAKISTAN’S ISI FOR ATTACK

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

Afghanistan has blamed Pakistan for this morning’s deadly blast in Kabul that killed 80 and injured over 300. Tolo News has tweeted quoting Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) that the blast was carried out by the Haqqani Network with direct help of the ISI. No terror group has taken the responsibility so far while Taliban has denied any role in the attack. Taliban, in fact, strongly condemned the terror incident.

The Haqqani Network is an Afghan insurgent terror outfit based in Pakistan’s Waziristan and has carried out many high-profile attacks on US forces, high ranking Afghan officials and foreigners in Afghanistan. The network has ties with Taliban and Al Qaeda and the US considers it a major threat to Afghanistan’s stability.

A report in Pakistan’s The Express Tribune also corroborated the news break quoting Dawa Khan Meenpal, deputy spokesperson of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who told the US Government’s Afghan initiative Radio Azadi that “investigation was underway but the initial evidence suggested the attack was planned by the Haqqani Network with the help of foreign circles in Pakistan”. News agency AFP also confirmed that NDS has blamed the Haqqani Network and Pakistan’s ISI for the attack.

General John F. Campbell, then Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, had said in his testimony before the US’ House Armed Services Committee in February 2016 that “Haqqani Network remains the most capable threat to the U.S. and Coalition forces”. Campbell’s assessment said the Haqqani Network was behind “planning and executing most high profile attacks in Kabul”. Pakistan’s continued patronage to the network has been testing the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan and the US has warned Pakistan to act to dismantle the Haqqani Network or it will act alone to eliminate it.

The Haqqani Network’s most high profile attacks include April 2008 Hamid Karzai assassination attempt, December 2009 CIA’s Camp Chapman attack killing seven US agents, September 10, 2011 truck bomb explosion in Afghanistan’s Wardak province that killed five Afghans and injured 77 US soldiers, September 12, 2011 attack on the US Embassy and NATO bases in Kabul, plot to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai again in October 2011 and series of suicide attacks on the Afghan parliament and western embassies in Kabul’s diplomatic enclave.

Just days into Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the deadly explosion in Kabul this morning killed 80 in one of the worst terror strikes in the war-torn South Asian country. Bomb concealed in a water-tanker exploded near Germany Embassy in Kabul around 9 AM local time in the highly fortified diplomatic enclave of Kabul that houses many embassies and the presidential palace of Afghanistan. The blast happened on a busy street with shops, supermarkets and office during peak morning hours with rush of office going people, shoppers and students and was so massive that many embassies, including Germany, Pakistan, Turkey, France, Japan, Bulgaria and UAE have reported damages. Some officials of German and Pakistani embassies have got injured and the Germany has closed its embassy in Kabul till further notice.

TERRORIST VIOLENCE DURING RAMADAN

The Kabul blast today is the first big terror attack during the holy month of Ramadan and if we see it in the context of the terror attacks during last year’s Ramadan, it may just be the beginning. Muslim holy month of Ramadan usually sees a spurt in terror strikes by Islamic terrorists and going by the reports, Ramadan in 2016 was the bloodiest ever with Islamic State claiming to kill and injured 5200 during the month long fasting period. In terror attacks spread over many countries, i.e., Bangladesh, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq, hundreds of people lost their lives during Ramadan last year.

©SantoshChaubey

MANCHESTER SUICIDE BOMBER SALMAN ABEDI WAS SON OF LIBYAN REFUGEES

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

The 22-year old Manchester suicide bomber has been identified as Salman Abedi. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, his parents were Libyan refugees who migrated to the UK to escape the Muammar Gaddafi regime. Abedi was born in 1994 and was second among four children of his parent, three sons and a daughter, who is 18 now. His father Ramadan Abedi is a security office. According to a CBS News report, the British authorities knew about Abedi before the attack and the police is now trying to find out if Abedi was a lone wolf terrorist or a part of some wider network.

According to Jomana’s Facebook profile, the family is from Tripoli though she was born in Manchester. She has another Facebook profile, she graduated from the Whalley Range High School and works at the Didsbury Mosque. Her Facebook profile also says that she visited Tunisia in 2010. But apart from these basic details, her both profiles available publicly don’t tell much about her family. Also, the latest Facebook post that she has dates back November 24, 2016.

The Telegraph report says that the whole family, barring two elder sons, returned to Libya. According to the report, Jomana grew up in an area which was in news in 2015 after two aspiring medical students fled Manchester to join the ISIS. Known as terror twins, the twin sisters Zahra and Salma Halane, even tried to push their whole family to join the ISIS. Their cousin, Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Farah, 20, was jailed last year for managing communications of the ISIS fighters active in Britain.

And when we see Facebook activity of Jomana, Abedi’s sister, with no posts after November 2016 and the reports that her whole family returned to Libya recently, we cannot rule out the radical influence on the family, something that would have pushed Abedi to commit this heinous act yesterday. There would be questions on this line that why the whole family moved to Libya that is intense grip of civil war and why two elder sons stayed back and one of them has been identified as the suicide bomber of yesterday’s terror attack.

The terror strike on Monday, claimed by the ISIS, was the worst terror attack in Britain since the 2005 London bombings. The attack yesterday by a suicide bomber, who has now been identified as Salman Abedi, at a concert of Ariana Grande, American actress and singer, left at least 22 people dead and around 60 injured. In the 2005 bombings, Islamic terrorists have targeted London’s transport system killing 52 people and injuring hundreds.

©SantoshChaubey

‘WHY DID NAWAZ SHARIF EVEN GO TO RIYADH?’: PAKISTAN HUMILIATED AT US-ARAB-ISLAMIC SUMMIT

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Mortified – that is the word used by The Nation, a major Pakistani newspaper, on how Pakistani delegation, led by its prime minister Nawaz Sharif, looked like at the just concluded US-Arab-Islamic Summit in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.

According to the story in The News, ‘something has gone terribly wrong as the Summit didn’t mention Pakistan’s role against global terrorism and its prime minister Nawaz Sharif was not given chance to put forth the country’s point of view’ whereas Pakistan has lost over 70,000 civilians and 6000 security forces personnel in terrorism related violence.

The article that defines Pakistan as a ‘frontline state’ and the ‘sole Muslim nuclear power’ rakes up the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and says such a treatment becomes more pinching when you find that US President Donald Trump mentioned India in the list of terror victims but ignored Pakistan that “is trying to convince the world of New Delhi’s role in fanning terror through spy-terrorist Kalbhushan Jadhav’s case at International Court of Justice”.

The article summed up the mood at the summit, “The popular sentiment among the majority of Pakistani media delegation was that of a total humiliation”.

Pakistan’s treatment at the summit has started making headlines in the country with opposition parties targeting Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has taken on Nawaz Sharif for letting Pakistan and other Muslim communities down with his ineffective presence at the global forum. We can feel the heat of the royal snub that Pakistan was given in Khan’s words, “The most important thing is that he [Trump] did not even mention Pakistan, the country that fought America’s war and lost 70,000 people”.

A release by Pakistan’s Foreign Office informs us that Nawaz Sharif did interact with “Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, President Donald Trump and other leaders from the Arab and Islamic countries”, but if we go by the words of Imran Khan, Sharif wasn’t even invited to speak, “Nawaz Sharif had practiced 6 hours for his speech at the Riyadh Summit but he wasn’t even invited to speak. Why did Nawaz Sharif even go to Riyadh?”, a Samaa TV report said.

And how can media and politicians in Pakistan forget about their Kashmir rant, something that defines the agenda of the country, its overzealous media and narrow-vision politicians, back home or at global, multi-lateral forums.

So, being comfortably unmindful of Pakistan sponsored terror in Jammu & Kashmir and in India, that has taken over 45,000 lives in the state of Jammu & Kashmir alone, The Nation’s article writes that “terming India a victim of terrorism was a deeply painful insult to innocent, unarmed Kashmiris who are fighting for their just cause of liberating their land from the oppressive India and facing worst kind of state terrorism at the hands of its armed forces”.

Imran Khan, while blaming Sharif for disgracing Pakistan at the summit, said that “Nawaz Sharif should have talked about the plight of Kashmiris and Palestinians” and went on to criticise Donald Trump for praising India and for ignoring (Pakistan labelled) “the atrocities being committed by India against the Kashmiris”.

While the geopolitical reality is, every successive US government, including the present one of Donald Trump, sees Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and squarely blames Pakistan for promoting terror in India. On May 11, in its ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community’ report, the US Government blamed Pakistan for deteriorating India-Pakistan ties and batted for India’s growing intolerance over Pakistan’s state-sponsored terrorism. And in April, Gen HR McMaster, the US National Security Advisor, who was in Pakistan, bluntly told Pakistan to stop using terror as state policy.

©SantoshChaubey

NAWAZ SHARIF AND DONALD TRUMP TO MEET NEXT WEEK? AND IF THEY DO, WILL IT HELP PAKISTAN?

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

According to a Dawn News report, Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif may meet US President Donald Trump next week during the US, Arab and Islamist Summit in Saudi Arabia. The news report that quotes sources from the Pak Foreign Office, said the related modalities are still being worked out. If it goes ahead, as being planned, this will be the first face-to-face meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Donald Trump after the telephone conversation between the two leaders on November 30, 2016.

The US-Arab-Islamic is scheduled to be held on May 20-21 in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. The Islamic alliance was formed to fight terrorism and is led by Saudi Arabia. It will be Donald Trump’s first major interaction with major Muslim leaders of the world.

Donald Trump is known to have tough stand on Pakistan even if Pakistan chose to highlight the November 30 telephonic conversation between the two leaders, an act that was widely mocked with global media describing it with terms like “Trumpiest Phone Call” because of Pakistan’s eagerness to play it up.

In Past, Trump has described Pakistan with terms like ‘Pakistan is not our friend’ and “when it will apologize for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden” and apart the November 30 phone call, he hasn’t endorsed or publicly contradicted his past views about Pakistan.

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. When our tremendous Navy SEALS took out Osama bin Laden, they did… (cont) http://deck.ly/~pOSbX
1:46 AM – 7 Dec 2011
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/144148110799675392?lang=en

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
“Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what (cont) http://tl.gd/fcuq8f
1:41 AM – 18 Jan 2012
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/159367254935470080?lang=en

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
When will Pakistan apologize to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden for 6 years?! Some “ally.”
1:52 AM – 6 Jul 2012
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/220976065231863809?lang=en

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
Pakistani intelligence had full knowledge that Bin Laden was living in Abbottabad. They were sheltering him.
12:20 AM – 10 Jul 2013
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/354673952389464064?lang=en

So when Pakistan released the readout of Sharif-Trump phone conversation, reflecting a bonhomie between the two leaders with lines like,

“President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office”,

..no one except Pakistan took it seriously.

In fact, the stand of the Trump administration on Pakistan says something else, away from the readout rhetoric that describes Pakistan as “fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people”, all in Trump’s words, as Pakistan claims.

On May 11, in its ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community’ report, the US Government blamed Pakistan for deteriorating India-Pakistan ties and batted for India’s growing intolerance over Pakistan’s stat-sponsored terrorism.

In April, Gen HR McMaster, the US National Security Advisor, who was in Pakistan, bluntly told Pakistan to stop using terror as state policy.

Also, while campaigning, Donald Trump had promised to get Pakistan act to free Dr. Shakil Afridi who was instrumental in finding Bin Laden, an act for which he has been languishing in jail. As the sixth anniversary of Bin Laden’s killing just passed on May 2 and as Trump is now in the White House, he may, in fact, put pressure on Sharif to free Afridi. And he can intervene if he wants to. In a tweet in March 2016, Trump had claimed that he “alone could solve the problem” after a terror attack targeting Christian women and children left 67 dead in Pakistan.

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead,400 injured. I alone can solve
2:07 AM – 28 Mar 2016
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/714189569793646597

©SantoshChaubey

TTP REFUTES ITS EX-SPOKESPERSON CLAIMS OF INDIA FUNDING TERROR IN PAKISTAN, TERMS IT PAKISTAN’S PROPAGANDA

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has refuted the Pakistani claims that India and Afghanistan fund the group and its various factions to perpetrate terror against Pakistan. According to an Associate Press report, TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khurasani, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is using a surrendered ex-TTP spokesperson to further its propaganda and drumbeat its agenda.

The ISI had released a video yesterday showing confession of ex-TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan where he claimed that he surrendered after finding that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were funding the TTP and its factions for terror activities in Pakistan.

Ehsan and many other disgruntled TTP commanders had split from the TTP and formed a splinter faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) in September 2014, headed by Maulana Qasim Khorasani. Ehsan has also claimed that the JuA chief got treatment in India after he was injured in a terror attack in Afghanistan.

The TTP has called his confessional video a bunch of lies, something that suit the Pakistani establishment. Let’s see what JuA comes up with.

Ehsan, who became the spokesperson of the breakaway faction in September 2014, had claimed that the JuA would work independently and would have no connections with the TTP headed by Mullah Fazlullah. According to Ehsan, the stated goal of the JuA was to implement Sharia globally and they began their campaign from Pakistan. Since its formation, the JuA has claimed responsibility of many deadly terror attacks in Pakistan including the Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore in 2016 that had killed over 70.

On April 17, the ISI had announced the unconditional surrender of Ehsanullah Ehsan. The Pakistani media has claimed that it is the most high profile surrender by a senior Taliban commander in Pakistan in years.

©SantoshChaubey

NAXAL VIOLENCE: BIGGEST KILLER OF OUR SECURITY FORCES

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit extended to reflect further developments.

Another ghastly Naxal attack on our security forces has left 26 Central Reserve Police Force personnel (CRPF) killed. This is a developing news story and the toll may go up as 11 soldiers are critically ill and seven are missing. Details about the group of Naxals that killed are still sketchy. It is the worst Naxal attack on the CRPF since June 29, 2010, when a Maoist ambush had killed 26 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.

According to the eyewitness accounts of the injured soldiers, a group of around 300 Naxals, organized in different teams, ambushed a road opening party of the CRPF in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, that comes in the South Bastar region, among the worst Naxal affected areas. According to the injured soldiers, the group of 90 CRPF soldiers did respond to the indiscriminate firing by the terrorists, claiming to kill many of them but details are yet to come.

Left-wing extremism (LWE) or Maoist terrorism or Naxal violence, in fact, has been the biggest killer of our security forces if we go by the data of the past decade.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a data driven website on terrorism in South Asia, since 2004, 3912 security forces personnel have martyred in India in different theatres of conflict, in Jammu & Kashmir, in our North-Eastern part of the country and in the Naxal corridors of India.

The portal has maintained records of the Naxal violence since 2005 and according to the data available here, 1885 security forces personnel have lost their lives in Naxal attacks. The data on the site is updated till April 16 this year. So, today’s death toll makes it 1911 lives lost in the Left-wing extremism in India.

That casualty count is much higher than even the most debated theatre of conflict in India – Jammu & Kashmir. In the same period, since 2004, according to the SATP, 1369 security forces personnel lost their lives in Jammu & Kashmir, a significantly higher numbers, but much lower when we see it in comparison with the 1911 lives lost in the Maoist violence in the same period.

The North-East of India comprising seven sister states, i.e., Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura and Sikkim, is the third major theatre of conflict where the fatality rate of our forces is quite high. The SATP data since 2004 shows that till now, 609 soldiers have lost their lives in the North-East terrorist violence.

MAOISTS DEADLIEST IN INDIA

A 2016 report by the US Department of State found the outlawed CPI(Maoist) the deadliest terror outfit of India, joining the deadliest terror outfits of the world in terms of violence they perpetrate. Its violence was ranked fourth after the Taliban, the Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram. According to the report, the Maoist violence had killed 176 people in 2015 in 343 terror incidents.

©SantoshChaubey

MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS CAUGHT ON VIDEO: NO CASUALTIES, CLAIMS ISIS

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified to reflect the dateline developments.

The Islamic State (ISIS) was expected to deny any significant loss from the US bombing on its base in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on April 13. And a day later, when its denial came, it confirmed that.

According to reports in the western media, the ISIS denied any casualty in April 13’s MOAB attack on its base in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. AFP quoted the terse response of the ISIS that said, “Security source to Amaq agency denies any dead or wounded from yesterday’s American strike in Nangarhar using a GBU-43/B.” Amaq is self-styled news agency for the world’s deadliest terrorist group that operates through shady social media accounts.

On April 13, the United States had dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever on Afghanistan. One of the largest US military aircrafts, stationed in Afghanistan, dropped the 21,600 pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) that is also called the ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on tunnels believed to be used by the ISIS’s Khorasan module.

The reports emerging in the aftermath said over dozens of the ISIS fighters were killed in the attack. An official Afghan government put the count at 36 ISIS fighter. Later, the Afghan officials came out with a higher death toll, capping the number of ISIS fighters killed in the MOAB attack around 100.

OFFICIAL BOMBING VIDEO RELEASED BY THE US

In a video posted by US Central Command’s official Twitter handle, one can see the exact moment of impact and the huge cloud of smoke that rises following the explosion.

US President Donald Trump said he was very, very proud of the US military action in Afghanistan while commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, Gen John W Nicholson justified the uses of MOAB saying, “As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense. This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”

The GBU-43 is a GPS-guided munition that had never before been used in combat since its first test in 2003, when it produced a mushroom cloud visible from 20 miles (32 km) away.

The bomb’s destructive power, equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, pales in comparison with the relatively small atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War Two, which had blasts equivalent to between 15,000 and 20,000 tonnes of TNT.

©SantoshChaubey