Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Pakistan to remain on FATF ‘Greylist’

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Money laundering and terror financing

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to retain Pakistan on the “greylist” till the next review of its performance.

Practice question for mains:

Q.What is FATF? Discuss its role in combating global financial crimes and terror financing.

What is the FATF?

  • FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
  • It holds three Plenary meetings in the course of each of its 12-month rotating presidencies.
  • As of 2019, FATF consisted of 37 member jurisdictions.
  • India became an Observer at FATF in 2006. Since then, it had been working towards full-fledged membership. On June 25, 2010, India was taken in as the 34th country member of FATF.

What is the role of FATF?

  • The rise of the global economy and international trade has given rise to financial crimes such as money laundering.
  • The FATF makes recommendations for combating financial crime, reviews members’ policies and procedures, and seeks to increase acceptance of anti-money laundering regulations across the globe.
  • Because money launderers and others alter their techniques to avoid apprehension, the FATF updates its recommendations every few years.

What is the Black List and the Grey List?

  • Black List: The blacklist, now called the “Call for action” was the common shorthand description for the FATF list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
  • Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.

Consequences of being in the FATF grey list:

  • Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank, ADB
  • Problem in getting loans from IMF, World Bank, ADB and other countries
  • Reduction in international trade
  • International boycott

Pakistan and FATF

  • Pakistan, which continues to remain on the “grey list” of FATF, had earlier been given the deadline till the June to ensure compliance with the 27-point action plan against terror funding networks.
  • It has been under the FATF’s scanner since June 2018, when it was put on the Grey List for terror financing and money laundering risks.
  • FATF and its partners such as the Asia Pacific Group (APG) are reviewing Pakistan’s processes, systems, and weaknesses on the basis of a standard matrix for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UAPA

Mains level : UAPA

The Centre has designated 18 key operatives and leaders of extremists groups as individual terrorists under the recently-amended Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Try this question for mains:

Q.“Anti-terror laws should not be used as a tool to silence the critics of the government.” Discuss in context to the recent amendments to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

About UAPA

  • The UAPA is aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India
  • It is an upgrade on the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act TADA, which was allowed to lapse in 1995 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was repealed in 2004.
  • It was originally passed in 1967 under the then Congress government led by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • Till 2004, “unlawful” activities referred to actions related to secession and cession of territory. Following the 2004 amendment, “terrorist act” was added to the list of offences.

Recent amendments

  • The Centre had amended UAPA, 1967, in August 2019 to include the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.
  • Before this amendment, only organisations could be designated as terrorist outfits.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Security implications of Doha Accord for India

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Doha Accord

Mains level : Paper 3- Threat of terrorism

We have been spared of some unfortunate news of terrorist attacks in the recent past, however, it would be mistake to discount the threat posed by the terrorist organisations especially when we consider the backdrop of Doha Accord. The article deals with the threat of terrorism.

Declining support

  • Terrorist organisations like Taliban, al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) have been dormant during a pandemic.
  • This is partly explained by the fact that open terror attacks have been reducing, presumably because:
  • 1) Terror outfits lack resources.
  • 2) Because of temporary loss of support from those normally hostile to the non-Islamic world and tolerant Muslims.
  • However, given their past resilience, they continue to pose threats to modern society, especially to India and its neighbourhood.

But threat persists

  • These terrorist organisations continue to be attractive to misguided youth in India whose loyalties are extraterritorial.
  • Their numbers may not be formidable, but they can cause a ripple effect that cannot be underestimated.
  • Terrorist cells are probably engaged in the quiet process of collecting resources for future lethal assaults against India and other countries in the neighbourhood.
  • Once the pandemic eases, we may see a resurgence of terror.
  • The aggravation of poverty in developing nations due to COVID-19 could offer a fertile ground for recruitment.
  • The al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are carrying out their recruitment undiminished by the problems posed by the pandemic.
  • Only these two outfits have an impressive global reach backed by global ambitions.

What are the implications of Doha Accord?

  • The Doha Accord signed this year between the Taliban and the U.S., which has brought about an improved relationship between the two.
  • The U.S. has agreed to a near-total withdrawal of its troops in return for the Taliban’s promise to preserve peace in Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban and the al-Qaeda need each other in many areas.
  • Both are friendly towards Pakistan and could pose a problem or two to India in the near future.
  • Many recent raids by the National Investigation Agency point to an al-Qaeda network in India.
  • Once the situation gets better, the al-Qaeda, in cahoots with other aggressive Islamic outfits in and around Pakistan, is bound to escalate the offensive against India.
  • This is one factor that makes the al-Qaeda and other terror outfits still relevant to India’s security calculus.

Consider the question “What are the implications of Doha Acord for India’s security architecture?”

Conclusion

The threat posed by the changing geopolitical landscape is bound to increase in the coming days and hence India should prepare itself to tackle the challenge.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Pakistan likely to remain on FATF Greylist

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Money laundering and terror financing

Pakistan is unlikely to exit the Financial Action Task Force (FATF’s) greylist with this plenary session as well.

Practice question for mains:

Q.What is FATF? Discuss its role in combating global financial crimes and terror financing.

What is the FATF?

  • FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
  • It holds three Plenary meetings in the course of each of its 12-month rotating presidencies.

Why is Pakistan under its scanner?

  • Pakistan has been under the FATF’s scanner since June 2018, when it was put on the Grey List for terror financing and money laundering risks.
  • FATF and its partners such as the Asia Pacific Group (APG) are reviewing Pakistan’s processes, systems, and weaknesses on the basis of a standard matrix for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.
  • In June 2018, Pakistan gave a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime, and to address its strategic counter-terrorism financing-related deficiencies.
  • Pakistan and the FATF then agreed on the monitoring of 27 indicators under a 10-point action plan, with specific deadlines.
  • The understanding was that the successful implementation of the action plan, and its physical verification by the APG, would lead the FATF to move Pakistan out of the Grey List.
  • However, Islamabad managed to satisfy the global watchdog over just five of them.

B2BASICS

What are the Black List and Grey List of the FATF?

FATF has 2 types of lists;

1.  Black List

2. Grey List

1. Meaning of Black List: Only those countries are included in this list that FATF considers as uncooperative tax havens for terror funding. These countries are known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs). In other words; countries that are supporting terror funding and money laundering activities are placed in the Blacklist.

The FATF blacklist or OECD blacklist has been issued by the Financial Action Task Force since 2000 and lists countries which it judges to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terror funding.

The FATF updates the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.

grey list 2018

(This map shows the countries included in the Greylist)

2. Meaning of Grey List: Those countries which are not considered as the safe heaven for supporting terror funding and money laundering; included in this list. The inclusion in this list is not as severe as blacklisted.

Now Grey list is a warning given to the country that it might come in Black list (Just like a yellow card in a football match). If a country is unable to curb mushrooming of terror funding and money laundering; it is shifted from grey list to black list by the FATF.

 

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Back in news: Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Money laundering and terror financing

Ahead of the crucial FATF meetings in October, Indian agencies plan to highlight its inaction in the Pulwama, 26/11 Mumbai attack and Daniel Pearl murder cases.

Practice question for mains:

Q.What is FATF? Discuss its role in combating global financial crimes and terror financing.

What is the FATF?

  • FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
  • It holds three Plenary meetings in the course of each of its 12-month rotating presidencies.

Why is Pakistan under its scanner?

  • Pakistan has been under the FATF’s scanner since June 2018, when it was put on the Grey List for terror financing and money laundering risks.
  • FATF and its partners such as the Asia Pacific Group (APG) are reviewing Pakistan’s processes, systems, and weaknesses on the basis of a standard matrix for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.
  • In June 2018, Pakistan gave a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime, and to address its strategic counter-terrorism financing-related deficiencies.
  • Pakistan and the FATF then agreed on the monitoring of 27 indicators under a 10-point action plan, with specific deadlines.
  • The understanding was that the successful implementation of the action plan, and its physical verification by the APG, would lead the FATF to move Pakistan out of the Grey List.
  • However, Islamabad managed to satisfy the global watchdog over just five of them.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Money laundering and terror financing

Indian officials attended the virtual 32nd special Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) plenary meeting, under the aegis of the FATF.

Practice question for mains:

Q. What is FATF? Discuss its role in combating global financial crimes and terror financing.

What is the FATF?

  • FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
  • It holds three Plenary meetings in the course of each of its 12-month rotating presidencies.
  • As of 2019, FATF consisted of 37 member jurisdictions.
  • India became an Observer at FATF in 2006. Since then, it had been working towards full-fledged membership. On June 25, 2010, India was taken in as the 34th country member of FATF.

EAG of FATF

  • The EAG is a regional body comprising nine countries: India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus.
  • It is an associate member of the FATF.

What is the role of FATF?

  • The rise of the global economy and international trade has given rise to financial crimes such as money laundering.
  • The FATF makes recommendations for combating financial crime, reviews members’ policies and procedures, and seeks to increase acceptance of anti-money laundering regulations across the globe.
  • Because money launderers and others alter their techniques to avoid apprehension, the FATF updates its recommendations every few years.

What is the Black List and the Grey List?

  • Black List: The blacklist, now called the “Call for action” was the common shorthand description for the FATF list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
  • Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.

Consequences of being in the FATF grey list:

  • Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank, ADB
  • Problem in getting loans from IMF, World Bank, ADB and other countries
  • Reduction in international trade
  • International boycott

Pakistan and FATF

  • Pakistan, which continues to remain on the “grey list” of FATF, had earlier been given the deadline till the June to ensure compliance with the 27-point action plan against terror funding networks.
  • It has been under the FATF’s scanner since June 2018, when it was put on the Grey List for terror financing and money laundering risks.
  • FATF and its partners such as the Asia Pacific Group (APG) are reviewing Pakistan’s processes, systems, and weaknesses on the basis of a standard matrix for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

What is Antifa Movement?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Antifa

Mains level : Racial antagonism across the world

As massive protests following the death of a person in racial discrimination continued to rock the US, President Donald Trump has announced that the alleged far-left group Antifa would be designated as a terrorist organisation by his government.

One can expect a similar prelims question:

Q. The Antifa movement recently seen in news is an: Free trade movement/Anti-terror movement etc.

Why the US seeks to ban Antifa?

  • Trump has blamed for the protests that have convulsed cities across the US,
  • Antifa is considered the loosely affiliated group of far-left anti-fascist activists.

Antifa: The group

  • Antifa is an acronym for ‘Anti-Fascist’. It is not an organisation with a leader nor does it have a defined structure or membership roles.
  • Antifa has been around for several decades, though accounts vary on its exact beginnings.
  • The term dates the term as far back as Nazi Germany, describing the etymology of ‘Antifa’ as “borrowed from German Antifa, short for antifaschistische ‘anti-fascist’.
  • Rather, Antifa is more of a movement of activists whose followers share a philosophy and tactics.
  • They have made their presence known at protests, including the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

Its members

  • It is impossible to know how many people count themselves as members.
  • Its followers acknowledge that the movement is secretive, has no official leaders and is organised into autonomous local cells.
  • It is also only one in a constellation of activist movements that have come together in the past few years to oppose the far right.
  • Antifa members campaign against actions they view as authoritarian, homophobic, racist or xenophobic.

Activism over years

  • Antifa members typically dress in black and often wear a mask at their demonstrations, and follow far-left ideologies such as anti-capitalism.
  • The movement has been known to have a presence in the US in the 1980s.
  • It shot into prominence following the election of President Trump in 2016, with violence marking some of its protests and demonstrations.
  • Criticizing mainstream liberal politicians for not doing enough, Antifa members have often physically confronted their conservative opponents on the streets.
  • The group also participates in non-violent protests. Apart from public counter-protests, Antifa members run websites that track white extremist and ultra-right groups.

Criticisms

  • The movement has been widely criticised among the mainstream left and right.
  • Conservative publications and politicians routinely rail against supporters of Antifa, who they say are seeking to shut down peaceful expression of conservative views.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Terrorism and its ideologies

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 3- Terrorism and related issues

Pakistan is a unique country in the sense that it is both a victim and the perpetrator of terrorism. This article explains the situations which made Pakistan home to the terrorism. So, why some terrorist organisations turned against Pakistan? What are the ideologies followed by various terrorist organisation and how it makes a difference in their functioning? Read to know…

Terrorism paradox of Pakistan: Both Victim and perpetrator

  • This Terrorism paradox can be traced to the deliberate policy of the Pakistani state to create and foster terrorist groups in order to engage in low-intensity warfare with its neighbours.
  • Pakistan first operationalised this strategy in regard to Afghanistan in 1973.
  • And intensified it with the cooperation of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia after the Marxist coup of 1978 after which USSR entered Afghanistan.

Soviet withdrawal and rise in insurgency in Kashmir

  • The Soviet withdrawal in 1989 left the Pakistani military with a large surplus of Islamist fighters that it had trained and armed.
  • Islamabad decided to use this “asset” to intensify the insurgency in the Kashmir Valley.

Radicalisation of Pakistani population

  • The decade-long Afghan “jihad” in Afghanistan had also radicalised a substantial segment of the Pakistani population.
  • Radicalisation was intense in the North-West Frontier Province and Punjab.
  • Sectarian divisions were also on the rise not only between Sunnis and Shias but also among various Sunni sects.
  • The division was intense between two Sunni sects-the puritanical Deobandis and the more syncretic and Sufi-oriented Barelvis.
  • In the process, a number of homegrown terrorist groups emerged that the Pakistan Army co-opted for its use in Kashmir and the rest of India.
  • But, it soon became clear that Pakistan had created a set of Frankenstein’s monsters some of whom turned against their creator.
  • The Musharraf government, under American pressure, decided to collaborate with the latter in the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
  • This resulted in some of the terrorist organisation turning against Pakistan.

Monsters who don’t spare even its creator

  • The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has ideological affinity with the Afghan Taliban.
  • The TTP and its affiliates have fought pitched battles with the Pakistan Army in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and parts of the NWFP.
  • Also, the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has not hesitated to launch terrorist attacks on targets within Pakistan as well, especially against the Shias and Sufi shrines.

Did all terrorist organisation turn against Pakistan?

  • No!
  • Consider the case of ‘loyalist’ LeT.
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), is a classic example of a “loyalist” terrorist organisation that has played by the rules set by the Pakistani military.
  • It only launches attacks on targets outside Pakistan, primarily in India.
  • As the evidence in the case of the Mumbai carnage of 2008 clearly indicates LeT operations are coordinated with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
  • ISI provides it with intelligence and logistical support in addition to identifying specific targets.
  • This is why the LeT and its front organisations have continued to receive the military’s patronage and unstinting support.
  • Consequently, its leader, Hafiz Saeed, was until recently provided protection by the Pakistani state.

Ideological differences

  • Both the LeT and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) have been engaged in attacks on Indian targets identified by Pakistan’s ISI.
  • The difference between LeT and JeM lies in the fact that while the LeT is more pragmatic and less ideological.
  • The JeM is highly ideological and sectarian.
  • JeM draws its ideological inspiration from a very extreme form of Deobandi puritanism.
  • That extreme form considers all those who do not believe in its philosophy beyond the pale of Islam.
  • For many JeM diehards, these include not only Shias and Barelvis but also the Pakistani state and the Pakistani military.
  • LeT on the other hand does not consider Muslims of different theological orientations as non-believers and therefore legitimate targets of attack.
  • This relatively “liberal” interpretation is related to the fact that LeT draws its ideological inspiration from the sect called the Ahl-e-Hadis, which composes only a small proportion of Pakistan’s Muslim population and cannot afford to engage in sectarian conflict.
  • Moreover, it draws its membership from different Muslim sects including the Sufi-oriented Barelvis and the puritanical Deobandis.
  • Both these factors drive LeT toward greater tolerance in sectarian terms and to eschew intra-Islamic theological battles.
  • Its primary goals are political; above all, driving India out of Kashmir.
  • This jells well with the objectives of the Pakistani military and makes LeT and Hafiz Saeed, favourites of the Pakistani establishment.

Consider the question asked by UPSC in 2017-“The scourge of terrorism is a grave challenge to national security. What solution do you suggest to curb this growing menace? What are the major sources of terrorist funding?

Conclusion

The fact that using terrorist outfits for state objectives is a highly risky business whose blowback cannot be predicted and can have very negative consequences for the stability of the state itself.

 

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

The Resistance Front (TRF)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UAPA

Mains level : ‘The Resistance Front’

 

(Image Source: The Economic Times)

 

A newly floated outfit, the Resistance Front, has come under the scanner of enforcement agencies for its suspected links with the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

This is a very significant development with respect to India’s concern against terrorism. Terrorism and the terror outfits are increasingly becoming more institutionalized and ‘the Resistance Front’ is an another move towards it.

‘The Resistance Front’

  • TRF, which is owning up terror attacks in Kashmir these days, is an offshoot of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and is also associated with other terror outfits such as Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed.
  • Various reports claim that after the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K, Pakistan decided to increase the terror activities in the Valley.
  • However, facing international pressure and to protect itself from being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan decided to launch a new terror group with a new identity.
  • Various Indian security agencies operating in Kashmir feel that the ‘TRF’ was formed due to the pressure on Pakistan from the FATF to cut down on the funding of the terrorist groups.

A new strategy justifying terrorism

  • The word ‘resistance’ has been used by Pakistan and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to put in place a new strategy for supporting terrorism against India.
  • Pakistan’s plan is to rebrand the terrorists operating under the umbrella of JeM, LeT and Hizbul as “non-religious” rebellion.
  • Pakistan wants to project Kashmiri terrorism as a resistance movement by Kashmiris. So far Hizbul and LeT have come under TRF’s umbrella.

Must read:

Explained: Amendments to the UAPA


Back2Basics: What is the FATF?

  • FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.
  • It holds three Plenary meetings in the course of each of its 12-month rotating presidencies.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2019

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Need for a global consensus on Terrorism

A report compiled by NITI Aayog has questioned the methodology adopted by an Australian based institute to rank India as the seventh-worst terrorism affected country.

Despite of being a global threat, there is yet no consensus on the definition of terrorism. Despite the considerable discussion, the formation of a comprehensive convention against international terrorism by the United Nations has always been impeded by the lack of consensus on a definition.

Global Terrorism Index (GTI)

  • GTI is a report published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
  • The index provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism since 2000.
  • It produces a composite score in order to provide an ordinal ranking of countries on the impact of terrorism.
  • It is an attempt to systematically rank the nations of the world according to terrorist activity.
  • The index combines a number of factors associated with terrorist attacks to build an explicit picture of the impact of terrorism, illustrating trends, and providing a data series for analysis by researchers and policymakers.

Its database

  • The GTI is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
  • The GTD is collected and collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.
  • It has codified over 190,000 cases of terrorism.
  • The GTI covers 163 countries, covering 99.7% of the world’s population.

India’s ranking

  • India has moved to the seventh position from the previous years eighth in the annual Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2019.
  • India has ranked ahead of conflict-ridden countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Palestine and Lebanon.

Why such ranking matters?

  • The positioning in the global indices impacted investments and other opportunities.
  • The purpose was to see which of the indices can be used to drive reforms or which of these would require some amount of engagement with the publishing agency to make the indices more relevant.

Issues with GTI

  • The GTD was based solely on “unclassified media articles, with more than 100 structured variables such as each attack’s location, tactics and weapons, perpetrators, casualties and consequences etc.
  • The large diversity in definitions of terrorism amongst countries, and the lack of a universally accepted definition of terrorism, leads to a great deal of ambiguity in calculating and understanding GTI reports.
  • IEP’s economic impact of terrorism model does not account for costs for countering violent extremism and long-term economic impacts on business activity, production and investment.
  • Indeed, the GTI 2019 report itself states that a great majority of property damage values from terrorist incidents are coded in the GTD as ‘unknown,’ resulting in 1 out 4 parameters scoring nil for most countries.
  • Similarly, the definition of mass shootings used in the GTI is limited to ‘indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed by the attacker,’ leaving out lone-wolf attacks.

Highly irrelevant data

  • The absence of a robust data collection and analysis methodology, and any engagement with Governments facing the scourge of terrorism, means that the GTI has low direct value for policymakers.
  • It cannot be used as an aid to understand and alleviate challenges to countries from domestic and cross border terrorism.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Conviction of Hafiz Saeed

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Terror funding

The Lashkar-e-Taiba founder (LeT) and Jamat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was convicted by a Pakistan court in two terror-financing cases and sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison concurrently.

Why such move?

  • With pressure from the international community building up, Pakistan has been trying to convince the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to prevent it getting blacklisted.
  • Saeed’s conviction is perhaps a reflection of Pakistan’s changing approach towards its treatment of terror groups, given the FATF’s actions and warnings.

Who is Hafiz Saeed?

  • Hafiz Saeed is the founder and leader of the fundamentalist terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is a group that follows an extreme interpretation of religious texts.
  • It was founded in 1990 and its goals include conducting jihad, preaching the true religion and training the new generation along true religious lines.
  • Some of its goals are aligned with that of Pakistan, including the liberation of Kashmir from India.

Why his conviction matters?

  • Saeed is also the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
  • Other attacks that LeT has been involved in include the 2001 shootout at Parliament House in New Delhi, and, most recently, the 2016 attack on the military headquarters in Uri.
  • In 2012, in order to support India in its attempt to extradite Saeed, the US State Department offered a bounty of up to $10 million for information that could lead to his arrest or conviction.
  • Moreover, the US Department of the Treasury has marked Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist since 2012.
  • ISI and the Pakistani government too help the LeT bring in funds, and it is believed to have fund-raising offices in Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and the Gulf region.

A shield against FATF actions

  • The FATF placed Pakistan in the grey list in July 2018 nonetheless.
  • Before Saeed’s arrest, the FATF had warned Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing. Pakistan feared being a part of FATF’s “Grey List”.
  • Significantly, if Pakistan did not follow up on FATF’s warnings, it could potentially be downgraded to the Black List, which would make things more difficult for the country.
  • FATF is de facto run by the US Treasury Department.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Terror funding

The global terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has asked Pakistan 150 more questions on the action it has taken against madrassas run as being undoubtedly the dreamland for major terror outfits of the world.

Pakistan and FATF

  • The FATF has kept Pakistan on the Grey List until February 2020.
  • In October, it had warned that Pakistan would be put on the Black List if it did not comply with the remaining 22 points in a list of 27 questions.
  • Pakistan is required to show effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all UN designated terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, JeM founder Masood Azhar etc.

What is the FATF?

  • FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
  • It holds three Plenary meetings in the course of each of its 12-month rotating presidencies.

Why is Pakistan under its scanner?

  • Pakistan has been under the FATF’s scanner since June 2018, when it was put on the Grey List for terror financing and money laundering risks.
  • FATF and its partners such as the Asia Pacific Group (APG) are reviewing Pakistan’s processes, systems, and weaknesses on the basis of a standard matrix for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.
  • In June 2018, Pakistan gave a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime, and to address its strategic counter-terrorism financing-related deficiencies.
  • Pakistan and the FATF then agreed on the monitoring of 27 indicators under a 10-point action plan, with specific deadlines.
  • The understanding was that the successful implementation of the action plan, and its physical verification by the APG, would lead the FATF to move Pakistan out of the Grey List.
  • However, Islamabad managed to satisfy the global watchdog over just five of them.

And what will happen now?

  • As of now, Pakistan must respond by January 8, 2020. And at the next FATF meeting in Beijing, Pakistan will have an opportunity to defend the points in the report.
  • Pakistan will likely ask for another relaxation of the deadline, probably up to June 2020, pleading that the February deadline is too tight for it to ensure compliance with the remaining 22 action plans.
  • If Pakistan is actually moved out of the Grey List, it will be placed on the Black List with Iran and North Korea.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

[op-ed snap] The screws tighten

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Terror funding

Context

  • Pakistan escaped for the moment from the black list of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that acts against terror financing in the world.

Implications of the event

  • It reinforces Delhi’s critics, who believe Pakistan can’t be “isolated” even if its army brazenly violates its international legal commitments on fighting terrorism.
  • Criticism arises from the fact that the government had mounted a sustained campaign in the last few years to apply the existing international norms against money laundering and terror financing on Pakistan.

FATF listing

  • It puts countries on notice and seeks time-bound compliance with a range of FATF benchmarks.
  • If countries fail to comply, they get on to a blacklist that calls on nations to take additional measures against financial transactions involving Pakistan’s jurisdiction.
  • At the moment, only two countries are on the blacklist — Iran and North Korea.

Pakistan and FATF

  • Pakistan was first put on the grey list in 2012 but got off it in 2015 when the FATF and its procedures caught India’s serious political interest.
  • The intense Indian effort resulted in Pakistan being put on the grey list again in 2018.
  • FATF acknowledged that Pakistan is in full compliance with only five of the 27 benchmarks Islamabad had to address.
  • The FATF has issued a stern warning to Pakistan that it could get to the black list if there was no progress by February 2020.

Limitations of FATF

  • There is no guarantee that Pakistan will pay the price four months down the road.
  • FATF is a multilateral mechanism where bilateral political considerations do impact on the outcomes. Pakistan can thank China, Turkey and Malaysia, whose support helped it escape the black list.
  • There is nothing to suggest that the Pakistan policies of the three countries might change any time soon.

Positives

  • India’s effort has generated international pressure on Pakistan Army’s support to cross-border terrorism.
  • Sustaining the international mobilisation also turns harsh light on China who talks about opposing terrorism and improving ties with India but refuses to walk the talk.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Media coverage of terrorism

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Regulating role of social media against organized terrorism


  • In a conference of chiefs of Anti-Terrorism Squads, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval referred to former UK PM Margaret Thatcher on her remarks on role of media against terrorism.

Role of media in combating terrorism

  • Media is a very important organ to fight terrorism.
  • As Margaret Thatcher said, if terrorists take action and the media is quiet, the terrorism will end.
  • Terrorists terrorize people. If media does not write, nobody would come to know.

The context

  • In June 1985, militants affiliated with Hezbollah hijacked Trans World Airlines flight 847, taking more than 150 passengers hostage.
  • A US Navy diver was killed, and the hostages were released in batches in a prisoner exchange with Israel.
  • The hijacking got huge media coverage across the world.
  • On 15 July 1985, Thatcher spoke about the hijacking where she said that we must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.

What Margaret Thatcher said

  • In our societies we do not believe in constraining the media, still less in censorship.
  • The media should agree among themselves a voluntary code of conduct, a code under which they would not say or show anything which could assist the terrorists’ morale or their cause.
  • For newspapers and television, acts of terrorism inevitably make good copy and compelling viewing.
  • The hijacker and the terrorist thrive on publicity: without it, their activities and their influence are sharply curtailed.
  • There is a fearful progression, which the terrorists exploit to the full.
  • They see how acts of violence and horror dominate the newspaper columns and television screens of the free world.
  • They see how that coverage creates a natural wave of sympathy for the victims and pressure to end their plight no matter what the consequence. And the terrorists exploit it.
  • Violence and atrocity command attention. We must not play into their hands.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

[pib] Declaration of certain individuals as terrorists under new UAPA

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UAPA

Mains level : Impact of the proposed amendments

  • Invoking the recent amendments in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Central Government has decided to declare the following individuals as terrorists and add their names to Schedule 4 of the Act:
  1. Maulana Masood Azhar : chief, founder and key leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad
  2. Hafiz Muhammad: chief, founder and key leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamat-ud-Dawa
  3. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi: chief operation commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba and one of its founder members
  4. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar: runs an international underworld crime syndicate and is involved in perpetrating acts of terror

Additional Information

  • All of the above are involved in terrorist attacks in India, and have been designated as global terrorists under United Nations.
  • Earlier when terrorist organizations were banned, the individuals associated with it simply changed names and continued to carry out terrorist activities.

Back2Basics

Explained: Amendments to the UAPA

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

US Ban on Baloch Liberation Army

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Read the attached story

Background

  • The U.S. on July 2 designated the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) as a terror organisation.
  • The BLA, the armed wing of the Baloch movement, has carried out several violent attacks in Pakistan.
  • It has about 6,000 cadres spread across the Balochistan Province and in the bordering areas of Afghanistan.

The Baloch Freedom Movement

  • The BLA is an armed separatist group that targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan against the state atrocity.
  • In the seven decades of the Baloch movement, the BLA has survived the longest.
  • It is borne out of the tradition of armed militants who were earlier indirectly supported by the Marri, Bugti, Mengal and other clans or sardars.
  • The Baloch movement was influenced by the Soviet Union and radical Marxist ideology in the past and some of their leaders were trained by Moscow.
  • The BLA continues to draw from the same revolutionary spirit but has added that to the younger generation of fighters.

Why is ban imposed?

  • The BLA has often been accused of launching attacks on Pakistan’s military targets and on Chinese-built infrastructure.
  • The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is also passing through Balochistan.
  • In 2017, a group of labourers were targeted by Baloch militants. The attack that led to at least 15 deaths was widely condemned as it targeted labourers.

The ideology

  • BLA rebels claim that Pakistan has been exploiting the resources of the Province without giving the due share to the locals and the indigenous Baloch tribes.
  • In recent years, the BLA has emerged as a movement with a network of supporters in both urban and rural areas of Balochistan, and has created a space for itself away from the traditional hold of the sardars of tribes.
  • BLA rebels have claimed that they are aiming for both freedom from Pakistan and internal reform of the Baloch society.
  • They are opposed to the traditional sardar or Kawailey system at home.

Reason behind popularity

  • As a result of its non-traditional approach, BLA has become more popular among young and educated Balochis.
  • The Free Balochistan Movement and the Baloch Republican Party are led by scions of the Marri and Bugti clans.
  • Both the Marris and the Bugtis have suffered in the hands of the Pakistan military but do not espouse a direct military confrontation with the Pakistani state.
  • Observers say that the BLA has jolted not just the grip of Pakistan over Balochistan but also undermined the hold of the traditional tribal chiefs over the Baloch society.

India’s ties with Baloch rebels

  • It is established that BLA commanders, in the past, had sought medical treatment in India’s hospitals, often under disguise or with fake identity.
  • In one such case, a militant commander in charge of Khuzdar city was based in Delhi for at least six months in 2017 when he underwent extensive treatment for kidney-related ailments.
  • Pakistan has blamed India for supporting the Baloch rebels as many secessionist leaders in exile are trying to seek political asylum in India.
  • It is known that the Baloch sardars like the late Akbar Bugti and Ghaus Bukhsh Bizenjo maintained warm personal ties with various Indian political figures.
  • However, visits by militants are often under assumed identities unlike those by prominent well known leaders.

Implications of the ban

  • Pakistan is expected to make it difficult for commanders and module chiefs of the BLA to travel in the region.
  • The fighters are also likely to find fund-raising more difficult.
  • Baloch rebels, however, have indicated that they are planning to intensify the struggle against Pakistan as they remain “the most popular” militant organisation in Balochistan despite Pakistan military’s crackdown.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Global AML/CTF measures


  • Recently, Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
  • Saudi had received an invitation from the FATF at the beginning of 2015 to join as an “observer member”.

FATF: Often in news

  • There is absolute possibility that Pakistan could be on its blacklist by its next plenary summit.
  • India had been pushing for Pakistan to get on the FATF blacklist for its failure to take “credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures” against terrorist activities.
  • Getting on the FATF blacklist, which currently only has Iran and North Korea on it, could severely cripple and isolate a country financially, resulting in a downgraded credit rating and denying it loans and development assistance.

Implications for Pakistan

  • Any conditionality associated with Pakistan’s loan from the IMF would not automatically have a connection to the FATF outcomes, although the IMF could choose to link the two.
  • IMF is an observer organisation to the FATF and so have complete visibility into everything that occurs within the task force, including a very detailed understanding of what the Pakistani incompetence.
  • The decision to condition fund disbursement under an IMF programme based on structural benchmarks that might be associated with the FATF is purely an IMF decision.

Back2Basics

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

  • FATF is an inter-governmental body established by G7 in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdiction.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • The FATF has developed a series of Recommendations that are recognised as the international standard for combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • The FATF monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally.
  • The FATF’s decision-making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.

The Blacklist and Grey list

  • FATF maintains two different lists of countries: those that have deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and combating terror finance regimes.
  • But these countries could commit to an action plan to address these loopholes, and those that do not end up doing enough.
  • The country who commits and addresses the concerns is put into grey list otherwise blacklisted.
  • Once a country is blacklisted, FATF calls on other countries to apply enhanced due diligence and counter measures, increasing the cost of doing business with the country and in some cases severing it altogether.
  • As of now there are only two countries in the blacklist, Iran and North Korea — and seven on the grey list, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Yemen.

India and FATF

  • India became Observer at FATF in the year 2006.
  • FATF Plenary adopted the Mutual Evaluation Report on India on 24th June 2010 and on 25th June 2010 admitted India as 34th Country Member of FATF.
  • FATF membership is very important for India in its quest to become a major player in the International finance.
  • It will help India to build the capacity to fight terrorism and trace terrorist money and to successfully investigate and prosecute money laundering and terrorist financing offences.
  • India will benefit in securing a more transparent and stable financial system by ensuring that financial institutions are not vulnerable to infiltration or abuse by organized crime groups.
  • The FATF process will also help India in co-ordination of AML/CFT efforts at the international level.

With inputs from: https://dea.gov.in/pressrelease/indias-membership-financial-action-task-force

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Operation Sunshine-2

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Op Sunshine

Mains level : Counter terrorsism measures

Operation Sunshine-2

  • In a coordinated military operation conducted by the armies of India and Myanmar on their respective sides of the border, several camps of NE-based militant groups inside Myanmar territory were destroyed.
  • Called ‘Operation Sunshine-2’, the military action that took place between May 16 and June 8, is expected to give a debilitating jolt to insurgencies in the Northeastern states.
  • At least seven to eight camps of the NSCN-K, NDFB, ULFA(I), KLO and NEFT in Myanmar’s Sagaing Region were destroyed by the Myanmar Army in mortar firing.
  • Majority of these camps were in Hokayat, and were predominantly of the Naga rebel group, NSCN-K, which had abrogated its ceasefire with the Indian government in 2015.
  • The operation included blocks by two battalions of the Indian Army — along with Special Forces, Assam Rifles and infantry Ghataks — on the Indian side of the border.
  • This was a follow-up to ‘Operation Sunshine-1’ from February 22 to 26, when the Indian Army had acted against suspected Arakanese rebel camps inside Indian Territory.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

[op-ed snap] Taking stock of Islamic State 2.0

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : isis

Mains level : Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka suggest challenges for indian security.

CONTEXT

On Easter Sunday this year, April 21, Sri Lanka witnessed a series of coordinated bomb blasts, killing over 250 people. It was the heaviest toll in Sri Lanka in terms of lives lost since the civil war ended in 2009, thus ending a decade of peace.

Attack by IS

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself was to announce subsequently that the attacks in Sri Lanka were revenge for the fall of the Syrian town of Baghuz, the last IS-ruled village overrun by Syrian forces in March this year.

Reason for South Asia As a target

  •  South Asia today is a virtual cauldron of radical Islamist extremist activity. From Afghanistan through Pakistan to the Maldives to Bangladesh, radical Islamist extremism is an ever present reality.
  • Both India and Sri Lanka, however, prefer to believe that they are shielded from such tendencies, but this needs a relook.

 

Radicalisation of youth

  • In the case of Sri Lanka, it is by now evident that officials had turned a blind eye to the fact that areas such as Kattankudy and its environs in the northeast have become hotbeds of Wahabi-Salafi attitudes and practices.
  • Muslim youth here have been radicalised to such an extent that it should have set alarm bells ringing.
  • The advent of the IS occurred at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, at a time when a new breed of terrorists had emerged, inspired by the Egyptian, Sayyid Qutb, and the Palestinian, Abdullah Azzam.
  • Combining this with the practical theology of Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani made for a potent mixture.
  • In addition to this, the IS introduced the concept of a new Caliphate — especially al-Baghdadi’s vision of a Caliphate based on Islamic history.
  • This further ignited the imagination of Muslim youth across the globe and became a powerful magnet to attract volunteers to their cause.

Pivotal role of the Net

  •  It retains its ability to proselytise over the Internet, making a special virtue of ‘direct-to-home’ jihad.
  • In Sri Lanka, a close knit web of family relationships has ensured secrecy and prevented leakage of information, thereby opting for methods of old-time anarchists.

 Idea as the moving force

  • The real threat that the IS, however, poses is that it is able to convince the Muslim extremist fringe that their time has come.
  •  Radicalization, in any event, has less to do with numbers than with the intensity of beliefs. The struggle is not against presumed disparities or injustices meted out to Muslim minorities.
  • Rather, it reflects the quest for a new militant Islamist identity.

Lessons for India

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) during its investigations has since come across links connecting IS units in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with the NTJ in Sri Lanka. T
  • IS 2.0 is likely to nurture two types: the less informed rabid supporters and a band of highly radical ideologues who can entice Muslim youth to their cause.
  • The path to radicalisation of both segments is through the Internet.
  • Time spent alone online listening to propaganda can produce fanaticism of the most extreme variety.
  • It could promote a binary world view of a conflict between ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’, allowing radical Islamists to set the agenda.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

UNSC designates Masood Azhar as global terrorist

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UNSC 1267

Mains level : Blacklisting of Azhar and its implications for India

Context

  • Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was listed as a designated terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee.
  • It would mean a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze on Azhar.
  • The listing is a victory for India in a decade-old diplomatic battle waged primarily by it and supported by its friends at the UNSC.

Paradigm shift by China

  • Since China had blocked it four times at the UNSC Resolution 1267 Sanctions committee, US felt that this would put China in an awkward position.
  • It would have to publicly defend the veto — and, in effect, a terrorist.

Image source: TOI

 

Speculating Chinese intentions

  • China’s decision appears to be a well-rounded exercise aimed at encouraging India to bond with Eurasia instead of the Indo-Pacific.
  • It has taken its “all weather” ally Pakistan on board before taking the decision.
  • China’s move followed Russia’s decision last month to honour Mr. Modi with ‘Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First,’ –Russia’s highest civilian award, in the midst of the election campaign.
  • Both China and Russia want New Delhi to consolidate its ties with Eurasia on Mr. Modi’s watch, rather than allow India to drift further in the direction of the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific strategy.
  • India is already a member of the Eurasia-centred Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Again a bliss for Pakistan

  • Beijing had decided to announce listing after the Belt and Road Forum (BRF), so as not to embarrass visiting Pakistan PM Imran Khan, who was guest at the conclave.
  • Pakistan may not be averse to Azhar’s designation, as it could help avoid being “blacklisted” by the FATF.
  • Otherwise it could advance Islamabad’s economic isolation.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Influence of Islamic State in India

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Combating terrorsim

Context

  • Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Sri Lanka that claimed 250 lives this Easter.
  • The threads of the attack are closely connected to India with one of the Lanka suicide bombers having stayed in India for a considerable time before the attack.
  • A coordinated attack of this scale so close to India’s shores has agencies worried.

What is the IS influence in India?

  • IS came on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies way back in 2013 when reports from Syria suggested that some Indians were fighting alongside the IS there.
  • It was still considered a problem of the Middle East by the agencies until in 2014, IS kidnapped 39 Indians in Iraq and executed them.
  • An IS map of the Khorasan Caliphate showed some of India’s states as its part.
  • Since then multiple Indians have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside IS and as many as 100 have been arrested by the agencies either on return from Syria or while preparing to join them.
  • Many have also been arrested for preparing to carry out an attack in India after being inspired by the IS.

India’s response

  • The Indian security establishment has approached the issue of IS influence with caution.
  • The approach is informed by the fact that despite a very large Muslim population, India has sent very few recruits to the IS.
  • It is clear that some of the youth eager to join IS are merely swayed by the IS online propaganda which has attracted a restive youth with video-game-like macabre videos.
  • That they may not be fully radicalized given their unblemished background has led agencies to take the counselling approach.
  • Only such people have been arrested who agencies believed were in the process of carrying out an attack or had made multiple attempts to go to Syria despite counselling.
  • This included Hyderabad youth Abdullah Basith who made three attempts to go to Syria and was apprehended each time. He was finally put under arrest under charges of terrorism on his third attempt.

Why is South India more vulnerable?

  • Even though it is North India which regularly sees communal clashes, it is southern states which have sent maximum recruits to IS.
  • According to agencies, almost 90% of all recruits who have gone to Syria are from the southern States.
  • A majority of those arrested by agencies while preparing to launch an attack are also from States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • Most recruits from Kerala who joined the Islamic State were either working in the Gulf or had come back from there with an already developed liking for IS’s extreme ideology.
  • States such as J&K, MP and UP in North India have also seen some IS influence on the youth.

Indians dint fall prey to lures

  • It should be stated that ISIS hasn’t received support from Indian Muslims.
  • For a country with the world’s second largest Muslim population, India’s share of pro-ISIS individuals is minuscule.

The real threats to India

  • None in fact, IS has largely focused on inspiring the youth to either migrate to Syria and Iraq or carry out attacks in India with their own resources (lone wolf attacks).
  • Most of the recruiters, such as banned outfits Indian Mujahideen operative Shafi Armar, too have been Indians.
  • Many Indians haven’t even had a handler and they have merely come together on their own to allegedly carry out attacks in the name of IS.
  • Most of these groups were made to arrange for explosives and arms on their own with members contributing from their pockets.

Way Forward

  • IS, although militarily now on the backfoot, is still – as the Sri Lankan attacks show – very much alive, with branches in 18 countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, and new forays into Bangladesh.
  • In any case, thanks to Pakistan, terrorism will always remain a threat to India.
  • IS needs no specific motivation to carry out such an attack. All other religions, and all those not subscribing to IS’s perverted vision of puritanical Islamic supremacy, are enemies.
  • A secular India is anathema for IS ideologues. That we are a democracy is also a red rag because the IS believes that ‘all religions that agree with democracy have to die’.
  • Thus, what happened in neighbouring Sri Lanka must act as a wake-up call for us.

With inputs from:

Economic Times

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CCIT

Mains level : Countering militancy and cross-border terrorism in India

  • In the wake of growing threats and acts of terrorism across the world, India and Bolivia have called for an early finalization of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).

Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism

  1. CCIT is a proposed treaty which intends to criminalize all forms of international terrorism and deny terrorists, their financiers and supporters access to funds, arms, and safe havens.
  2. The CCIT was proposed by India in 1996.
  3. CCIT provides a legal framework which makes it binding on all signatories to deny funds and safe havens to terrorist groups.
  4. The original draft that was tabled in 1996 included following major objectives:
  • To have a universal definition of terrorism that all 193-members of the UNGA will adopt into their own criminal law
  • To ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps
  • To prosecute all terrorists under special laws
  • To make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Government sets up group to monitor terror sympathizers

Note4Students

Mains Paper 3: Security| Linkages of organized crime with terrorism

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: TMG

Mains level: Militancy and cross-border terrorism in India


News

  • To take action against “hard core sympathizers among government employees, including teachers, who are providing covert or overt support” to terror-related activities, the MHA has formed a Terror Monitoring Group (TMG).

Terror Monitoring Group

  • In order to ensure synergized and concerted action against terror financing and other related activities in J&K, a multi-disciplinary monitoring group comprising eight members has been constituted.
  • The TMG has to take coordinated action in all registered cases that relate to terror financing and terror-related activities and bring them to a logical conclusion.

Composition

  • The TMG will be chaired by Additional DGP, CID of J&K Police, and include Inspector General of Police of J&K and Additional Director of IB, J&K, as members.
  • It will also have representatives from the CBI, NIA, CBDT and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.

Terms of reference

  • It will identify all key persons, including leaders of the organisation(s), who are involved in supporting terrorism in any form and take concerted action against them.
  • The TMG will investigate the networks of various channels being used to fund terror and terror activities and take coordinated action to stop flow of such funds.
  • The group will meet on a weekly basis and submit action-taken report regularly to the MHA.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

J&K draft of return policy for militants

Note4Students

Mains Paper 3: Security| Linkages of organized crime with terrorism

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Policy

Mains level: Militancy and cross-border terrorism in India


News

  • These are the key points of a new “reintegration policy” draft that is under the consideration of the government to encourage militants hailing from the state to give up arms.

Draft Reintegration Policy

  • J&K govt is considering a policy for return of youth from militancy.
  • The policy draft is presently at the pre-SAC stage.
  • It is subject to clearance by the State Home Department and the Chief Secretary.
  • The State Administrative Council (SAC) is the body governing J&K, which is under President’s rule, and is led by the Governor and includes his four advisors and a Chief Secretary.

Features of the Policy

  • The new initiative addresses the need for rehabilitation at a policy level through a two-pronged approach: reformative measures and opportunities of livelihood.
  • There is also provision for a monthly stipend of Rs 6,000 for a militant who surrenders with a view to “encourage him to join the mainstream”.
  • The initiative, however, will not cover militants found to have been involved in “heinous crimes”.

Why such move?

  • The Army after the deadly Pulwama attack has made it very that anyone who picks up the gun, will be executed unless he surrenders.
  • There is a very good surrender policy being initiated by the government so that they can join the mainstream.
  • It is essential for the government to demonstrate its will to reach out to alienated youth.
  • The successful implementation of a surrender policy is of utmost importance in J&K as there are a large number of surrendered or released militants (around 25,000).
  • The successful rehabilitation of one hardcore surrendered or released militant will motivate others to follow suit.

Way Forward

  • The proposed policy is essentially a revised version of earlier initiatives but with a renewed focus on socio-economic re-integration.
  • It will be a haste to expect miracles overnight.
  • It will take a lot of effort on the part of everyone to implement it successfully, especially the civil society and political establishment have a major role in motivating and bringing them back into the mainstream.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

[op-ed snap] A peace movement is needed

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies & politics of developed & developing countries on India’s interests

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Security situation in India and how to favor Peace over War


NEWS

CONTEXT

India and Pakistan must re-imagine the border as a fold of peace instead of as a threshold of hostilities.

Changing Meaning and perception of war and peace

  • Our sense of peace is desperately in need of myths and storytellers.
  • as we watch the Pulwama event and after, we sense peace has lost autonomy as a narrative.
  • Peace has been reduced to the lull between two acts of violence, an uneasy interlude.
  • Our sense of war reads peace passively as a cessation of hostilities. Peace is more holistic and comprehensive in a way our current narratives do not capture.
  • While war is anchored on the parochialism of concepts like border, security and nation state, peace has to dig deep into the unconscious of theology, philosophy and civilisation to literally create an alternative world view. India desperately needs a peace movement.

Loss of Gandhian Legacy

  • There is an irony to the Gandhian movement in India.
  • Satyagraha as an imagination has inspired exemplars abroad, including Václav Havel, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Merton and Desmond Tutu, but it has lost its passion and vigour in India.
  • Today the Gandhian movement has died out, while Gandhians still play a role in other battles of resistance, such as the Narmada,
  • Our ashrams are no longer pilgrimages of the imagination.
  • They need to be revived to counter the think tanks of war and a middle class which craves the machismo of militarism.

The relevance of Gandhian Ideas

  • What makes the dyingness of Gandhian ideas even more poignant is that violence and war have become technologically and strategically inventive, creating an acceptable normalcy around genocidal deaths.
  • As Gandhi pointed out, to be inventive, peace has to be both cognitive and ethical. It has to go beyond moral rhetoric and create experimental possibilities of peace, and it has to transform ethics into a political act that transforms the dullness of current democracy.
  • Second, peace has to be seen as a craft, a lived world of meaning, not as a technocratic exercise.
  • For example, food has become a source of violence both as production and consumption. One has to rethink the logic of food as part of the testament of peace. The start-ups for peace have to be more imaginative than the usual start-ups of technology.

Relevance In India Pakistan Peace process

  • Civil society must take a leaf out of Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s book and create a new vision of the soldiers of peace, the Khudai Khidmatgars.
  • Imagine peace groups working on both sides of the India-Pakistan border in a dialogue of peace.
  • Today we see people on the border as vulnerable. One needs to give them some sense of agency in creating counter-currents to war. Finally, one needs civilisational ideas on war, where a dialogue of religion creates an antidote to war.

Relevance For the survival of the nation

  • Waiting for peace is almost the everyday burden of women in war zones.
  • Normalcy is such a rare phenomenon in frontier areas where war and insurgency have become endemic.
  • Recently there was a demonstration of Naga students in Delhi. The group did not ask for rights or critique the brutality of the state. All they said was that they were tired of war, tired of waiting for peace. All they wanted was peace in their lifetime, which Indian democracy is duty bound to give.

Way Forward

  • India as a civilisation, a nation state and a democracy has a major resource to fall back on in the wisdom of our cultures and civilisations.
  • It is time India goes beyond the grammar of surgical strikes and reaches for its cultures of peace, pilgrimage and understanding.

Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

[pib] BOLD–QIT Project

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges & their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: BOLD-QIT  Project

Mains level: Ensuring border security


News

  • The MHA has inaugurated the project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) under CIBMS (Comprehensive Integrated Border Management system) on India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri District of Assam.

Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique

  • BOLD-QIT is the project to install technical systems under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), which enables BSF to equip Indo-Bangla borders with different kind of sensors in unfenced riverine area of Brahmaputra and its tributaries.
  • In Jan, 2018, IT Wing of BSF undertook the project BOLD-QIT.
  • The entire span of River Brahmaputra has been covered with data network generated by Microwave communication, OFC Cables, DMR Communication, day and night surveillance Cameras and intrusion detection system.
  • These modern gadgets provide feeds to BSF Control Rooms on the Border and enable BSF Quick Reaction Teams to thwart any possibility of Illegal Cross Border Crossing/ Crimes.
  • The implementation of this project will not only help BSF to curb all type of cross border crimes but also provide respite to the troops from round the clock human surveillance.

Why this move?

  • Border Security Force is responsible for safeguarding of 4,096 Km long International Border with Bangladesh.
  • At various places, it is not possible to erect Border Fence due to the geographical barriers.
  • The 61 Km of Border area where River Brahmaputra enters into Bangladesh is consisting of vast char lands and innumerable river channels thus making border guarding in this area, a daunting task especially during rainy season.
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