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

HOW GENERAL ZIA-UL-HAQ CREATED AL-QAEDA

According to this video clip from a Pakistani news channel, General Zia-Ul-Haq, Pakistan’s military ruler from 1977 to 1988, chose a group of 100-200 mercenaries from group of prisoners in Saudi Arabia who had been given death sentence by beheading to start its offensive against Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

Now Saudi Arabia follows the concept of Islam where blood money can rid you of gallows. Someone who has been awarded death sentence, if he pays monetary compensation as agreed by the victim(s), his life is spared. This practice is widely misused, especially by the wealthy.

General Zia chose such prisoners making it clear to them that General Zia now owned them and they had been given a lease of life to work it in the service of Allah. And the task was to wage war against the USSR’s invasion and rule in Afghanistan. That was the beginning of era of Mujahideens in Afghanistan that still haunt the world.

After the Afghan war ended in 1988, these mujahideens organized themselves in different groups giving rise to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda in 1988 and Taliban in 1994, the beginning of the modern terrorism warfare in the world that has spread across the continents now. And according to history, something that this video clip also talks about, its seeds were sown by General Zia-Ul-Haq.

HOW GENERAL ZIA-UL-HAQ CREATED AL-QAEDA

©SantoshChaubey

QUESTIONS THAT COME TO THE FORE ON THE US STAND ON PAKISTAN HANDLING TERROR IN ITS BACKYARD

THE QUESTIONS

1. The United States had agreed to extend for one year the aid to Pakistan to fight terrorism on the condition that it would stop differentiating between good and bad terror. And the country’s most powerful person, the Army chief of Pakistan Raheel Sharif had extended this promise during his US visit. Yet, many big terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, directly implicated in heinous terror acts in India, are roaming free and are even ‘respectable’ citizens there. We saw the Pakistani government’s attitude that allowed bail to Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, main handler of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, on technical grounds. This is when the US has put a bounty of US$ 10 million on Hafiz Saeed. This is when Masood Azhar, lodged in an Indian jail, was ‘exchanged’ in a hijacking incident. Isn’t Pakistan taking Uncle Sam for a ride?

2. There is no reason for the world community, for us, to think that the US is not aware of it. But apart from putting a reward and occasional back channel assurances, we don’t see any aggressive posturing by the US. Should we go by the explanation that when the US lawmakers demanded Pakistan to stop differentiating between ‘good and bad terror’, it was meant only in the context of Taliban and the AfPak theatre?

3. But can this narrow view of policymaking on terrorism serve the purpose of the US as well as of the Pakistan?

4. Also, can Pakistan ever be trusted to take on the terrorist networks operating to further its agenda in Afghanistan, especially the Haqqani network and the resurgent Taliban factions of Afghanistan that are eyeing greener pastures after the complete withdrawal of the internal coalition forces?

5. Pakistan has been vocally active on India’s role in Afghanistan and its perennial anti-India instance has been one of the major reasons for actively supporting the Afghanistan Taliban. Is this not a naïve thinking of the US policymakers that Pakistan will be able to overcome this anti-India psychosis to help the international forces wipe out the factors that it feels will help in bolstering its position in the internal matters of Afghanistan in the near future?

6. Is the terror discourse in the context of Pakistan is going to be ‘all Taliban and all terrorists active in Afghanistan are bad’ but ‘good terror Vs bad terror’ is also valid, to sustain and maintain the proxy war against India?

7. Hillary Clinton, the then US Secretary of State, had warned Pakistan sternly on its doublespeak on terrorism. Hillary’s blunt message delivered in Islamabad in October 2011 was: “It’s like that old story. You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” That was three years ago yet Pakistan kept a blind eye and is still doing the same, harbouring many snakes while trying to crush only a few. Pakistan just had one of its worst human tragedies with TTP attack on the Army school in Peshawar killing over 130 children. What else will it take for Pakistan to realize what Hillary so clearly warned then, the reality that Pakistan deliberately ignores to realize?

8. Can India expect a positive change in the US attitude on this ‘good terror Vs bad terror discourse in the Indian context’ after the recent improvements in India-US ties with Narendra Modi as the Indian Prime Minister? India and the US have warmed up to each other in real terms with Modi’s successful US visit in September and Barack Obama’s upcoming India visit in January next. What is remarkably positive change for the India-US ties this time is, that the US President is not extending his visit to Pakistan, something that has been a routine in the past.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

QUESTIONS ON ANTI-INDIA RANTS AND THREAT PERCEPTION FOR INDIA IN AFTERMATH OF PESHAWAR SCHOOL ATTACK, EVEN IF #INDIAWITHPAKISTAN TRENDS

THE QUESTIONS

1. #IndiaWithPakistan, solidarity in the aftermath of a crisis like the Peshawar Army School attack is the only human response expected. But beyond that, what can be the possible implications of this attack for India?

2. It may be that to send the message to the Pakistan Army, the Taliban targeted an army school there, as they say, but what if the terror masterminds plan to do something like this in J&K or in other parts of India?

3. Indian Parliament was breached. Then we had 26/11 and many other such terror incidents. How disturbed and reactive should India be on this and how proactive it should act?

4. Hafiz Saeed, one of India’s most wanted, with a reward of US$ 10 million on his head by the United States, is a respectable Pakistani citizen. For his rallies the Pakistani government deploys special trains. He is also the mastermind of the attacks on Indian Parliament in 2001 and in Mumbai in 2008 and India believes is guilt is established beyond doubt, something that Pakistan never accepts. Again, Hafiz Saeed is spewing venom against India using this human tragedy saying India is behind it and he would avenge it. What if Hafiz Saeed tries to collaborate with Taliban to perpetrate some terror act of this scale in India?

5. Another 26/11 attack mastermind, Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, was given bail today and will walk free tomorrow. Wouldn’t it embolden the likes of Hafiz Saeed even more?

6. India was in mourning, with Pakistan, on the tragedy and Parvez Musharraf, the dictator who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 and who gave humanity the dangerous ‘good Taliban and bad Taliban’ discourse has toed the Saeed line of blaming India though in a sophisticated way. He says RAW, the Indian intelligence agency, is backing Maulana Fazlullah, the TTP commander, for such terror attacks in Pakistan in collusion with Afghanistan. Isn’t it preposterous even to think so given the fact that all the wars between India and Pakistan were initiated by Pakistan only, though it lost all? India is an economic power and an emerging global power and engaging in such acts only come back to you to harm more, Pakistan’s experience tells us.

7. Isn’t it disturbing, for Pakistan as well as for India, that no one from the mainstream Pakistani political leadership criticized or spoken against the rants of the likes of Pervez Musharraf and Hafiz Saeed?

8. Or a serious reaction by India by reading too much into the rants by the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Pervez Musharraf would be giving too much attention to them, beyond their worth, when Pakistan is reeling under the pain of one of worst man-made human tragedies possible? Likes of Hafiz Saeed are always out to hurt India. India is on alert and needs to be more alert, as always happens, after a terror strike of this scale in Pakistan.

9. Many Indian cities and vital installations are on high alert. Already, there is an increased threat perception as the day of US President Barack Obama’s India visit, around January 26, 2015, is coming near. How can this terror attack in Peshawar complicate things more for India?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

QUESTIONS ON PAKISTAN AND TERRORISM AFTER TERROR ATTACK ON PESHAWAR ARMY SCHOOL (1)

THE QUESTIONS

1. The heart goes out to them. Even the God of death would cry. In uniforms to in caskets, how can anyone on Earth justify killing innocent school students in the name of avenging atrocities on his lot?

2. Pakistan today saw its worst ever terror strike where around 150 people lost their lives, most of them being the students, as per the latest reports, in Taliban attack on Army Public School in Peshawar. The toll may go up with over 200 injured in hospitals facing blood shortage. But, the big question is, can we say will it remain the worst ever terror strike of the country?

3. From targeting girl schools and girls in schools, now schools and students, irrespective of the gender, is Pakistan staring at the next wave of terror where nothing would be spared, not even children, in settling scores with the government or in pushing the terror agenda further?

4. Pakistan is a fractured nation. Its political chaos, lost in its military juggernaut has made the country directionless. The perpetual disagreement among its controlling institutions failed to check insurgency in its restive provinces and now it has engulfed the whole country. What precipitated today, and we cannot say it ends here – isn’t it Pakistan’s own making?

5. Afghanistan President Mohammad Najibullah had warned Pakistan of Taliban’s grave dangers saying its flames would burn Pakistan. Soon Taliban swept Afghanistan and killed Najibullah in a public display of brutality. Pakistan created Taliban and now Taliban is trying to undo an already chaotic Pakistan. Isn’t it?

6. Isn’t it the high time, the wakeup call for Pakistan to look at and treat terror as ‘terror’, not differentiating it in categories like ‘good terror’ or ‘bad terror’ or ‘good Taliban’ or ‘bad Taliban’?

7. What Pakistan has become today – a country infested with terror, by its own doings. Doesn’t it once again prove the established dangers of ‘state sponsored terror’ as a policy tool?

8. After the attack today, Pakistan has vowed to hit back and its military launched air strikes in North Waziristan, based on actionable intelligence. But given the scale of Taliban attack today and another blast in Peshawar in the evening, what would be Pakistan’s backup plans to thwart any further big attack?

9. Is Pakistan equipped to gauge and thwart suicidal terror attacks of this scale on large social institutions and gatherings? Its political institutions have been in disarray and are week. Its military is engaged in fighting on many unnecessary fronts, including Pakistan military sponsored terror export in India, Afghanistan and other South Asian countries. The flares are reaching even to China and Iran. 

10. Is it still foolhardy to expect if Pakistan’s military and political establishments would be forced to think on their long cherished patronage of the terror apparatus in their country after this barbaric Monday?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

13TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11: TERRORISM IS NOW MORE ORGANIZED, SPONSORED AND BLOODTHIRSTY

It is the 13th anniversary of 9/11, a terror attack 13 years ago that still symbolizes how audacious and incisively painful terrorism can be.

And after 13 years of the attack, a series of multiples assaults on the concept of ‘America’, the only superpower of the world in 2001, on September 11, the threat of terrorism has grown more organized, sponsored and bloodthirsty.

The war theaters were not so many in the world back in 2001. The global geopolitical theaters were acting and moving in the routine of a post Cold War world.

It was more or less in routine, except the elements propagated by the two superpowers to further their interests in different parts of the worlds – in different regimes – the so-called fighters against intruders, the Mujahidin, the rebels, and the dictators – all trained, armed and propped up by these two superpowers and their allies – in the post Cold War world, many of these elements were left aimless – when they were still armed and were looking for the next target to hit.

It was more or less in routine, except the ‘now free’ elements were seeing more and more of their upcoming action-zones from a religious spectacle.

It was more or less in routine, except the many so-called allies of both the sides were without the ‘active’ patronage now and the dictators in many of them started taking decisions independently, something that they had never done when they were allied either to this or that camp of the Cold War world.

It was more or less in routine, except that the only superpower of the world then, the US, had no challenging threat, and thus had the greater ease to reread and reinterpret its bilateral, multilateral and geopolitical concerns and it did err in reading and rewriting some of the equations.

All these not-so-routine events after the Cold War were the shaping elements of what we know today as Islamic Terrorism. A religion never teaches to fight; still religions were used as the organizational principles.

And all these not-so-routine events after the Cold War culminated in 9/11.

But, as we see today, that culmination was just the beginning. Yes, being the only true superpower, the US has been successful in averting any other big terror attack on its soil, but the world has grown more terror-prone, more insecure, with many more civil wars, with many more war-theaters now.

Afghanistan is still unstable with the Taliban threatening a comeback as the international forces are pulling out. For records, the Taliban were forced out in 2001 but they were never out. Together with Pakistan, the region is one of the most fertile grounds for terrorism.

Iraq could never recover from the 2003 invasion and in spite of the international forces and a government supported with it, the effort was never sufficient to give Iraq what was promised when Saddam Hussain was declared a demon.

Libya is the similar sorry story. Sad to say, but it looked more peaceful and organized under a dictator than now. No global power looks concerned about Yemen and Bahrain. After experiments supported by the international pressure, Egypt is again back to the military rule effectively. Then there are spreading wings of Islamic Terror in countries like Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia.

And the list is not exhaustive. Terrorism today or more aptly to say terrorism in the name of religion, with organized groups, has a far greater reach today and unstable governments and ethnic wars in many of these war-theater countries have allowed the terror groups to grow stronger than or parallel to many of the governments, like in Nigeria, like in Somalia, like in Libya, like in Syria and like in Iraq.

And with the mess in Syria and Iraq now, again a situational outcome of the selfish geopolitical concerns and some pathetically indecisive moments of the global powers that opposed a dictator but didn’t do anything to support the rebels except showing them mirage and thus pushing them to the warzone, the terror threat is reaching above the warning levels with emergence of probably the deadliest and most powerful of the organized terror groups yet, the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

US President Barack Obama has vowed today to destroy the ISIS and extend the theaters of operations beyond Iraq, to Syria, after ISIS openly challenged the US might by killing two of the captive US citizens.

But even Obama knows it is not going to be that easy. ISIS may be much stronger but we need to remember it is still an Al Qaeda offshoot. And Al Qaeda didn’t die with Osama bin Laden in 2011. Laden had died much earlier, when he chose to live a solitary, hidden life. But the ideology lived and grew to engulf more regions of the Muslim world. Almost of the major terror groups today have their origins in Al Qaeda. Many others have affiliations and collaborations with it. And the vast swaths of the unstable Muslim world are fast becoming their sanctuary.

Terrorism is more organized, sponsored and bloodthirsty now, more than ever.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ISIS LED TERROR SURGE AND THE WORLD CUP HEAT: HUMANITY’S PARADOXES ON SWING

ISIS, Iraq Civil War and crisis, Ukraine crisis, Taliban spread, Al Qaeda resurgence and FIFA World Cup 2014 celebrations: Humanity’s paradoxes on swing with maximum display!!

Yes, it is.

Though the crisis hotbeds and the World Cup heat are two different and unrelated issues, the timing is the devil that pushes one to think on these lines, especially for someone who has much to do with the flow of news elements in the global media and thus come to know the developments mostly in the real time.

The information is always there, looking for you. There is bad information and good information. And there is information that is just given a pass. And there are elements that push you to think.

FIFA World Cup is an event having global fan base and is watched with rapt attention on TV broadcast across the world, even in the countries where Football is not a rage, like India.

And the biggest event on Earth is on. It is the time to celebrate its energy, motion and colours. And the fans are doing that.

But the fans in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ukraine are forced to face a different heat – the heat of terrorism – with mounting toll of civilian deaths – as the global powers keep on deliberating on options to check the spread of the militants affiliated to some of the most terrorizing outfits.

ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/ al-Sham/ the Levant) has taken over the large parts of Northern Iraq including cities of Mosul (Iraq’s second largest city) and Tal Afar. They had also taken Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown (just 150 Kms from Baghdad) but reports say the Iraqi forces have retaken it. As reported, ISIS militants have killed scores of civilians and captured soldiers while moving ahead in Iraq. The run of brutal executions have been shown to the world by the ISIS propaganda videos.

It is said the jihadist ISIS has taken over the Syrian rebellion fighting against the Syrian defense forces. The Al Qaeda offshoot, notorious for its brutality (something that made even the Al Qaeda to disown it, as it is routinely said), has trained combatants among its ranks and their run is spreading fast into the neighbouring Syria.

The following lines from a CBC News report explain the horror ISIS is:

You only have to look at the ruined towns northeast of the Syrian city of Aleppo to understand what happened in Iraq’s Mosul. The names of “martyred” fighters line the walls, alongside invocations to obey Sharia law, through miles of crumpled buildings, rubble and unexploded ammunition. “These people use different names, so if one is defeated the other can claim victory,” says Col. Mohamed Saleh of the Syrian army as he surveys the wreckage of a factory in which 27 of his soldiers were killed. “They call themselves ISIL, al-Nusrah Front, Deach, but they are all the same.” These very same jihadis — which the Syrian forces have been defeating — are now surging towards Baghdad, some of them, perhaps, the very same men who fought Bashar al-Assad’s regime in northern Syria.
(CBC News, June 16, 2014)

Taliban is on surge again in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Taliban factions are challenging the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments with increased terror strikes as we have seen recently. Karachi airport terror strikes or attack on Indian consulate in Herat are just the front line much reported acts. They follow a stream of bloodbath that goes deep. The threatening video and audio messages have increased in frequency, sounding more chilling and menacing.

In Ukraine, dozens of Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a separatist attack in the Eastern part of the country demanding secession from Ukraine. Though Russia denies – the mystery around ‘Russia sending tanks to aid Kremlin backed separatists’ remains (as the BBC reports). Yesterday, Russia cut off the Ukraine gas supply putting the nation even in more peril.

And amid all this, the World Cup soccer fever is catching up. Over half of the world’s population is projected to watch it unfolding over a month. The social media trends are rooting for it. And this sense of joy is real. Human psyche needs some free, relaxing moments and watching a challenging World Cup is a treat.

But this joy is clouded and eclipsed by the sudden spread of Humanity’s ruin in many parts of the world when your smartphone flashes the breaking news of a terror strike killing dozens while your favourite player is speeding ahead to score a beautiful goal!

Humanity’s paradoxes on full display!!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/