Canada in total denial on terror attack – Madhav Nalapat

Parliament Hilll following a shooting incident in Ottawa, October 22, 2014.

Prof M.D. Nalapat“Terrorists do not simply come out of nowhere, but are nurtured by support groups having the same purpose. However, try telling this to Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, whose men are insistent that the shooter in the 23 October incident was another of those singletons, coming as if from nowhere. In fact, the terrorist would have had a support network, which identified him, indoctrinated him and motivated him into carrying out his act.” – Prof Madhav Nalapat

Taj Mahal HotelAfter the 26/11 attackers came ashore in Mumbai and caused havoc for three days in the city, damaging India’s reputation as a country skilled in counter-terrorism, the Manmohan Singh government at first declined to name the ISI as being behind the outrage, and claimed that there was no local involvement in the attacks. This was in the face of information that the Chabad House had been reconnoitred by local associates of the Al Qaeda groups patronised by the Pakistan army, and that an informer had even managed to worm his way into the confidence of the young Jewish couple, Rivka and Gavriel Holzberg, who were murdered by the 26/11 killers. As Amartya Sen has constantly reminded the world, ours is a talkative society, and had the government listened to voices other than the “usual sources” relied upon by intelligence agencies, they may have come across traces of the way in which a very few inhabitants of the city were visiting Chabad House, ostensibly to discuss the finer points of inter-faith dialogue with the idealistic young couple staying in the centre with their child, Moshe, who fortunately escaped the murderers of his parents in a miracle made possible by his Indian nanny. No effort was made by the local police to investigate those who visited Chabad House or to check the internet surfing and meeting habits of such individuals to determine whether they could have been informers for the 26/11 killers. Any local connection would have reflected poorly on the city police; hence that agency was diligent in placing the entire blame on the Pakistani teams, who had come ashore that day, an official view which still persists.

Stephen HarperThe “Lone Wolf” theory of terror attacks has been in vogue across the globe, but in all except a very small number of cases, this is about as credible as Pervez Musharraf‘s assertion that Abdul Qadeer Khan ran a nuke bazaar on his own, without the involvement of the Pakistan army and other sections of that country’s establishment. It is another matter that the US continues to protect Islamabad, by not making public information on the A.Q. Khan network that is in its possession, or indeed any except the barest details of the trove of materiel found in Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad. Terrorists do not simply come out of nowhere, but are nurtured by support groups having the same purpose. However, try telling this to Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, whose men are insistent that the shooter in the 23 October incident was another of those singletons, coming as if from nowhere. In fact, the terrorist would have had a support network, which identified him, indoctrinated him and motivated him into carrying out his act. That another so-called “Lone Wolf” killed a military officer a short while earlier by running over him seems to have been ignored as a clue pointing to a wider conspiracy. Television channels claim that each such deed is sans any orders from recognised terror organisations, but in saying so, they forget that key organisations have publicly called for sympathisers to carry out such terror attacks. In all probability, the still-concealed support network of the Canadian shooter may be the recipient not simply of appreciation but of much more as a consequence of their motivating another psychotic young person into committing a terrorist act, and each group or individual in contact with the shooter needs to be monitored for sudden inflows or suspicious calls, if the domestic and international support group which nurtured this killer is to be exposed rather than denied.

Jihadi with AK 47 and KoranWhen ISIS declared its “caliphate”, this columnist wrote that the intention was to acquire (a wholly undeserved) legitimacy across the globe, particularly within the GCC, so that malcontents would join up and thereby (in their minds) redeem themselves or finally be part of a titanic endeavour. Such was the psychology which drew millions of Germans — not otherwise known for their lack of rationality — into signing up with Hitler, who promised the same level of hate and brutality which ISIS does. This is 1923 in the evolution of ISIS, and the world needs to avoid another occupation of the Rhineland, the stage when the Nazis became too strong to defeat without prodigious effort. The killer of 23 October is a strand in the cords which form ISIS, and to isolate this virus and destroy it, every possible strand needs to be located and dealt with, rather than allow the world to pretend, Stephen Harper style, that mass murderers within a cult (whether the Nazis or ISIS) do what they do independent of others. – The Sunday Guardian,  26 October 2014

» Prof M. D. Nalapat is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Karnataka State, India.

The closet Stephen Harper hid in during attack on Canadian Parliament

In this photo provided by Conservative MP Nina Grewal, members of Parliament barricade themselves in a meeting room on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, after shots were fired in the building. A gunman with a scarf over his face shot to death a Canadian soldier standing guard at the nation's war memorial Wednesday, then stormed Parliament in a hail of gunfire before he was killed by the usually ceremonial sergeant-at-arms, authorities and witnesses said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nina Grewal)

Islamist terrorist kills Canadian soldier

Al-Wahhab the mad mullah of Islamic terrorism and his Saudi patrons – Javed Anand

Javed Anand“Because of his extremism, al-Wahhab was driven out of Iraq and later had to flee the town of his birth, Uyainah. Then he found an ally and protector in Muhammad bin Saud, a small-time but politically ambitious local ruler from the Saudi clan in neighbouring Diriyah. In 1741, the two entered into a “win-win” relationship. Al-Wahhab bestowed religious legitimacy on Saud, who in turn would forcibly impose the former’s ultra-radical theology as the “only true” Islam on all Muslims.” – Javed Anand

Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-SheikhIn his Haj sermon on October 4 to the nearly two million Muslim pilgrims from across the globe assembled in Mecca, the Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, proclaimed that the killing of innocent human beings is the worst fitna (strife) and is strictly forbidden in Islam. Moving on from the general to the specific, he described the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the “enemy number one” of Islam and humanity.

Sounds good, but it’s hardly good enough. Along with some other Sunni-majority Muslim countries in the region, Saudi Arabia is now part of the US-led coalition ostensibly committed to “degrading” and “destroying” the very monster they had until recently collectively nurtured in Syria and Iraq. Given the long-standing, mutually legitimising relationship between the Saudi royal family and the country’s ulema, the Grand Mufti’s belated discovery of Islam’s message of peace and the denunciation of the ISIS was only to be expected.

Muhammad ibn Abd al-WahhabBut it does not address the uncomfortable question Muslims, including many from within the Arab world, are asking: How can those who are part of the problem be part of the solution? Who can deny that the Saudi royalty and clergy on one hand, and the ISIS on the other, are part of the same theo-genetic pool as they all draw inspiration from the same “Shaikhul Islam”, Muhammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab?

The story goes back to the 18th century. Al-Wahhab was born in a family of Muslim theologians in Uyainah, a small town in the Najd region of Arabia. He grew up into a manic monotheist determined to root out what to him were the illicit innovations, heretical and idolatrous practices that had crept into Muslim practice. He enunciated a version of Islam that was puritanical, rigid, inflexible, intolerant, violent.

Al-Wahhab had a simple solution for Muslims who did not subscribe to his militant theology: they should be killed, their daughters and wives enslaved, their property confiscated. “You will see much evil from my son Muhammad,” his own father, a recognised orthodox Sunni scholar, , is reported to have lamented shortly before his death.

Because of his extremism, al-Wahhab was driven out of Iraq and later had to flee the town of his birth, Uyainah. Then he found an ally and protector in Muhammad bin Saud, a small-time but politically ambitious local ruler from the Saudi clan in neighbouring Diriyah. In 1741, the two entered into a “win-win” relationship. Al-Wahhab bestowed religious legitimacy on Saud, who in turn would forcibly impose the former’s ultra-radical theology as the “only true” Islam on all Muslims.

The arrangement yielded rich political dividends; a local fiefdom grew into a state. By 1790, the fanatics had captured most of the Arabian Peninsula where Shias and Sufis were the worst victims. Muslims in the newly conquered areas were given an option: swear allegiance to Wahhabi Islam or face the sword. In 1801, the holy city of Karbala in Iraq was attacked, several thousand Shia Muslim men, women and children were butchered, many shrines, including that of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, were destroyed.

The holy cities of Mecca and Medina too were targeted, citizens terrorised, historic monuments and shrines razed to the ground. The terror campaign ended only in 1815, when on behalf of the Ottomans the Egyptians crushed the Saudi-Wahhabi forces. Three years later, the Ottomans destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Diriyah.

Ibn SaudA century later, as the Ottoman Empire collapsed in the midst of World War I, the Saudi-Wahhabi coalition led by Abd-al Aziz (Ibn Saud) made a dramatic comeback, capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 with Abd al-Aziz as its reigning monarch. (It’s the only country in the world that is named after a single clan). The astute king realised that the 20th century world was very different from the 18th one (when the first Saudi state was founded). Recognising the need to woo the new world powers, the US and UK, he redefined Wahhabism. The “new” Wahhabism would retain its arid, puritanical, ultra-orthodox, rigid, intolerant, “true Islam” strain. But it would abandon its earlier Jacobin-like reign of terror and mutate instead into an ideology of Islamist supremacism.

Ibn Saud’s “revisionism” brought him into headlong confrontation with the purists who were crushed with brute force. Those willing to see the light were co-opted into the new doctrine.

In due course, with the discovery of oil, the Saudi rulers switched to the use of soft power in a bid to “Wahhabise” Islam. In recent decades, it has poured billions of petro-dollars into Muslim quarters across the globe (India included), seeking to destroy the reality of a diverse faith and replacing it with a single intolerant, supremacist creed.

For millions of Muslims across the world, the seemingly benign Saudi Wahhabism is bad enough. But for those who still remember and revere its theological founder, Muhammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab, it is not good enough. Among the latter is the ISIS and its numerous followers, not only in Iraq and Syria but in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and elsewhere too.

Abul A'la MaududiThis takes us back to where this column began. The ISIS is not a foreign object that can be purged through a simple surgery. It’s a cancerous growth within the theo-genetic make-up of Wahhabi doctrine. In its savagery and brutality, the ISIS is only acting strictly in accordance with the teachings and practice of al-Wahhab who enjoyed the active political support of the founder of the first Saudi state.

To effectively counter the ISIS and sundry other violent Islamist outfits, Saudi Arabia and Muslims elsewhere must question the three modern-day ideologues of political Islam: al-Wahhab (Arabia), Syed Qutb (Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt), Abul A’la Maududi (Jamaat-e-Islami, Indian subcontinent). One way or another, the world-view of Muslims still hallucinating about khilafat (caliphate), shariat (Islamic law), jihad and shahadat (martyrdom) can be traced back to one or the other of these worthies.

When you have a problem tree in the orchard, chopping branches won’t help. Get to the roots of the problem. – Deccan Chronicle, 15 October 2014

» Javed Anand is the General Secretary of Muslims for Secular Democracy. He is not a friend of Hindus or Hindutva but he writes a good history of Wahhabi Islam not found elsewhere.

ISIS flags and stone throwing in Kashmir

ISIS in Kashmir

When politicians praise Islam, Muslims had better run for cover – Koenraad Elst

Dr. Koenraad Elst“Islamic State commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a doctor of Islamic Studies. … Al-Baghdadi can win hands down in any dispute before an Islamic court. Everything IS has become notorious for, from kidnappings and rapes through slave-takings to executions of dissidents and unbelievers, has been prefigured in Mohammed’s own conduct. The new caliph knows that the cornerstone of Islamic law, recognized by every single Islamic jurist or judge, is the Prophet’s precedent behaviour.” – Dr Koenraad Elst

George Bush Islamophilia

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has launched the term “Islamophobia”, which was immediately adopted by the US, the EU, academic bodies like the American Academy of Religion, and then the media and the chattering classes in the West, in India and elsewhere. Its users translate it as “hatred of Islam” but it really means “fear of Islam”. It treats warnings against the threat Islam poses to rival convictions as well as to freedom and democracy as a psychic disease on a par with claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) or arachnophobia (fear of spiders). It is an excellent way to poison the debate by declaring your enemies insane. In reply, we will coin the term “Islamophilia”. Being more generous and open-minded than our opponents, we have not chosen a psychiatric term to designate them. Like francophilia, “love of everything French”, it is merely a descriptive term: love of Islam. We consider this love irrational, but do not include an intrinsic irrationality in the term chosen. Someone who whitewashes Islam or shields it from criticism is an “Islamophile”.

When George Bush spoke to the American people after the bomb attacks of 11 September 2001, he told them to assemble in their churches, their synagogues and their mosques. He made it a point to emphasize that the Muslim Americans too were part of the nation. The revenge invasion of Afghanistan that he was planning, would merely be a “war on terror”, not a war on Islam. Meanwhile, American politicians fell over each other to be seen visiting mosques or celebrating Iftar parties. No, this was not a war on Islam, even though American and British soldiers were killing Muslims in Afghanistan and later in Iraq by the thousands. Every next bombing in or invasion of Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya, Mali and again Iraq would be accompanied by vows of: “Islam is the religion of peace”, “Islamic State (of Iraq and al-Sham) is not the true Islam”, nay, “IS are monsters, not Muslims”. George Bush, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy, François Hollande, all the killers of Muslim civilians (say, Afghan wedding parties) and of fighters for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadiorganizations explicitly invoking Islam, have praised Islam to the skies and refrained from criticizing Islam or giving any quarter to critics of Islam. When a Western politician starts praising Islam, Muslims had better seek shelter.

One of the striking things about these Islamophile leaders is their breath-taking pretentiousness. Whereas IS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a doctor of Islamic Studies, Islamophiles like Cameron with his pompous “monsters, not Muslims” statement are simply zeroes in Islamic theology and law. Al-Baghdadi can win hands down in any dispute before an Islamic court. Everything IS has become notorious for, from kidnappings and rapes through slave-takings to executions of dissidents and unbelievers, has been prefigured in Mohammed’s own conduct. The new caliph knows that the cornerstone of Islamic law, recognized by every single Islamic jurisconsult or judge, is the Prophet’s precedent behaviour. What Cameron is saying, effectively comes down to asserting that “Mohammed was non-Muslim”, or even: “Mohammed was a monster”. Mind you, I have not said it, but the British Prime Minister has implied it.

Indian MediaMedia bias

The media, in their vast majority committed to shielding Islam from criticism, will connect the dots in a simplistic and thoroughly wrong manner. They report on the frequent killings of Muslims by Western soldiers and drones, and on the other they promote and highlight the thoroughly false notion of Islamophobia, so they pontificate that “Islamophobia has caused increasing international violence against Muslims”. On the contrary, Islamophilia is the professed conviction of the leaders who kill Muslims. By contrast, critics of Islam like Raimundus Lullus, Voltaire, the late Sita Ram Goel, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, including ex-Muslims like the late Anwar Sheikh, Taslima Nasrin, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan, have never harmed a single Muslim. Even mass-murderer Anders Breivik, the darling and lonely trump card of the Islamophiles, strengthens our case: while not actively an Islam critic, he was at least a quoter of Islam critics (though he reckoned his own act would be used by the Islamophiles to discredit them by association, which he considered good as he wanted to eliminate the “illusion” of reasonable and democratic methods in favour of the violent option) and the killer of 77 people, but he had spurned the easy option of throwing a bomb into a full mosque and instead  pointed his machine gun at juvenile multiculturalists of the Norwegian Labour Party. So, even his grisly case confirms that Islam critics don’t kill Muslims while Islamophiles do.

This applies even to India: Jawaharlal Nehru presided over the state that was forced to wage war with Pakistan over Kashmir in 1947-8, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Behari Vajpayee faced down Pakistani invasion in 1965 c.q. 1999, and Indira Gandhi waged the Bangladesh war in 1971, killing many Pakistani Muslims in the process; yet none of them can be quoted as ever criticizing Islam, while some if not all of them have actually praised Islam. For none of the Western or Indian leaders concerned, it can credibly be argued that they didn’t mean what they said in favour of Islam. All of them had to operate in and were groomed by a climate of Islamophilia. Both the so-called “secularists” in India and the multiculturalists in the West combat and criminalize any sign of Islam criticism. Even the “Hindu nationalist” party BJP, to which Vajpayee belonged has never criticized Islam. Those numerous secularists who allege that the BJP hates Islam are welcome to quote a statement of that tendency from the BJP party paper; I at least have never seen one.

Every single medium considers itself an objective vantage-point from which to evaluate all the other media. So, they all say that “the media” except themselves are anti-Islamic and spread a negative view of Islam. This is another make-believe: the media is not anti-Islamic by any means, they shield Islam from criticism as much as they can and they impose on all inconvenient facts about Islamic movements the best possible spin. Yet it is true that nonetheless, the media do spread a negative view of Islam in spite of themselves, viz. in their raw reporting. What impact does a newspaper editorial in praise of Islam have, when the next page reports on kidnappings and forced conversions by Boko Haram or slave-takings and beheadings by the Caliphate? The public knows by now that “haram” and “caliphate” are Islamic terms. It can read for itself that the first thing Boko Haram did with the kidnapped girls was to forcibly convert them to Islam; clearly they are not “monsters without religion”. So the negative influence of the media on the public’s perception of Islam is not due to media bias, on the contrary, it is only due to reality peeping through in the news reports.  

Prophet MuhammadCasus belli

The Islamophile leaders do not just happen to kill Muslims, both fighters and civilians (“collateral damage”), they do so specifically for Islamophile reasons. According to US Foreign Secretary John Kerry, one of the reasons for sending bomber airplanes to Iraq to fight IS, is to eliminate the “distortion of Islam”. In reality, the Islamic State is giving a truthful picture of what Islamic doctrine stands for. It emulates the Prophet’s behaviour, a model for all Muslims. Not just the “fanatics” but all deliberate Muslims sanctify the Prophet as the “perfect man”. So, no distortion there. Yet, Islamophiles propagate the notion that “IS is not the true Islam”. They like to drown the fish by claiming that there are many schools of Islam; but none can show us an Islamic school where it is taught that “Mohammed was wrong”.

Publicity-conscious Muslims have even tried to support them by issuing a statement condemning IS. Here at last was proof from the horse’s mouth that the real Islam is a religion of peace after all; or is something wrong with this idyllic picture? Caliph al-Baghdadi will have no trouble repudiating this statement in a court of Islamic law nor in the court of reason. For instance, among the reasons cited why IS does not live up to the standards of real Islam, is its practice of slavery. But it is easy to show that Mohammed took and sold slaves, and that Mohammed took a captive Jewish woman into his harem after massacring her male family members. IS’s practice of enslaving non-Muslims, selling them or using them for sexual gratification is nothing but an emulation of Mohammed’s model behaviour, by definition valid in Islamic law. What the Muslim spokesmen are saying, or at least what they want the silly Islamophiles to believe, is that Mohammed himself was a bad Muslim, a “monster”. The abolition of slavery was imposed from outside on the Muslim world, principally by Britain, and was not abolished in the Arabic heartland of Islam until 1962. The peculiar institution was only reluctantly done away with in Muslim society, and the Caliphate is merely reviving an institution intrinsic to Islam – as the authors of this statement fully well know. But they have no second thoughts about fooling the non-Muslim Islamophile, especially because these are only eager to be duped.

David CameronThe situation now is that pious Muslims (not “monsters” but pious Muslims) are being killed by the bombers of Islamophile President Barack Obama and his equally Islamophile allies. Thus, Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem, who sent six bomber aircraft to Iraq, also parroted the line that “IS terrorists have nothing to do with Islam”: the same combination of Islamophilia by conviction with Muslim-killing in reality. Also among the victims are the Yezidi women being used as sex slaves, the Assyrians and Yezidis who formally converted to Islam to save their lives, as well as numerous cases of the fabled “moderate Muslim” among the civilians of the region. Islamophiles have a lot of blood on their hands.

» Dr Koenraad Elst studied at the KU Leuven, obtaining MA degrees in Sinology, Indology and Philosophy. After a research stay at Benares Hindu University he did original fieldwork for a doctorate on Hindu nationalism. He blogs at

Pakistan’s jihadist military is bankrolled by the US government – Tufail Ahmad

Tufail Ahmad“Indian intellectual thought refrains from taking positions on global issues. … Indian diplomacy is cultivated to be intellectually timid, to hide behind non-alignment and lacks a conception of India’s place in the world. … In any India-US dialogue, America’s Pakistan policy must be on the agenda.” – Tufail Ahmad

Nawaz Sharif and Barack ObamaDays before prime minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in Washington last week, the US announced its decision to give 160 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) vehicles worth $198 million to Pakistan. According to a statement, the sale “will contribute to the foreign policy” of the US. The decision is part of a larger US plan to hand over military hardware from Afghanistan to Pakistan army. It also reveals the deceptive American argument that selling F-16s and other war-fighting weapons to Pakistan is meant to fight militants. Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador and an astute thought leader of South Asia, has described this American thinking as delusional.

India should call this bluff for the following reason: the US foreign policy hampers India’s interests and its efforts to shape South Asia. Diplomacy is relevant when and where it matters the most. The move to sell the MRAPs is timed with Modi’s Washington visit. India must openly debate the US relationship with Pakistan. Also, the Indian media needs to sharpen its focus on how the US’s Pakistan policy undermines India in its neighbourhood. The US counter-terror policy on Afghanistan has been flawed throughout by overlooking the Pakistani role, except for when George W Bush ordered the CIA to stop sharing intelligence with Islamabad in 2008 and develop a parallel network of human intelligence in the Pakistani tribal region.

Bush’s move followed the realisation that the Pakistani military’s ISI was protecting jihadists in Waziristan despite actionable intelligence. Soon after its creation in 1947, Pakistan began a policy of using jihadists from the Pashtun-dominated north-west region to advance its external policies. The north-west region had been a hotbed of jihadists from the colonial times. In 1947-48, the newly created Pakistan used jihadists to invade Jammu & Kashmir and Balochistan. The use of jihadists continued through all wars against India and in peace time, as well as against its own people in Bangladesh. Its use of jihadists in the Kargil war was comprehensive.

Nawaz Sharif & Rizwan AkhtarIn Pakistan, the final arbiter of its foreign policy, especially with regards to Afghanistan, the US and India, is the ISI, which views itself as the ideological guardian of the Islamic state. In theory, the ISI chief reports to the civilian government, but in practice he answers only to the army chief. The ISI is known for birthing, nurturing and shepherding jihadist groups to advance Pakistan’s foreign policy objectives. Ideologically, the only difference between the ISI and al-Qaeda is this: both stand for the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate, while the ISI nurtures the objective that Pakistan, being the first state created singularly for Islam, will be the leader of that caliphate.

In military strategy, generals do not write an exit plan before war; at least they don’t announce to the enemy when they intend to wrap up the war. However, president Barack Obama’s advance announcement to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2014-end activated the ISI strategists to think beyond 2014. As the US exit from Afghanistan approaches, the ISI’s policy of using jihadist outfits after 2014 is beginning to emerge. There are also clear evidences that al-Qaeda is indeed a branch of the Pakistani military.

Consider three points: one, advancing essentially the ISI’s post-2014 strategy, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced the establishment of “Al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent”—a terror unit that is succeeding in recruiting Indian Muslims; two, Asmatullah Muawiya, the chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab, recently announced that he would abandon fighting, but contrary to the media’s interpretations his decision means that he will fight in Afghanistan and against Indian interests Ashokawhile ceasing attacks “within” Pakistan; three, reports indicate that the Punjabi Taliban will now assist the Haqqani Network, the ISI’s long arm destabilising Afghanistan.

Perhaps rooted in Ashoka’s renunciation of violence, Indian intellectual thought refrains from taking positions on global issues. In 2011, India abstained from a vote on a UN resolution that permitted a no-fly zone over Libya. In July, to gain equivalence on the multilateral track, India voted against Israel—in favour of a UN resolution that avoided mentioning the jihadist group, Hamas. India doesn’t have courage to train some Iraqi policemen, if not to send troops for the fear that Indian expatriate workers could be affected, as advised by Indian diplomats influenced by Damascus. Indian diplomacy is cultivated to be intellectually timid, to hide behind non-alignment and lacks a conception of India’s place in the world.

In the 4th Century BC, Kautilya offered, reminds Henry Kissinger in his new book World Order, “a vision of how to establish and guard a state while neutralising, subverting, and (when opportune conditions have been established) conquering its neighbours”. Now, military generals who mock some of the Indian state’s Kautilyan practices become ministers. It is also doubtful if India would have intervened in East Pakistan but—as Kissinger notes—for “the protection of a freshly signed Soviet defense treaty”. A few years ago, strategists in Delhi called for Nonalignment 2.0, which anchors Indian thought in the Soviet era. In 2012, writing about Nonalignment 2.0, then air vice marshal Arjun Subramaniam happened to observe: being “restrained is a demonstration of the ‘idea of India’”. India’s restraint is a diplomatic mental block.

Obama & Modi on the National Mall in WashingtonOn September 21, The Washington Post warned that Pakistan “is advancing toward a sea-based missile capability and expanding its interest in tactical nuclear warheads”. A nation that cannot make train engines produces cruise missiles and nuclear bombs. It is time the US is told: Pakistani’s jihadist military is bankrolled by American money. The Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan was orchestrated to have the blocked US funds cleared to Pakistan army. The sale of MRAPs appears small but it reveals the US diplomatic mindset that consistently undermines India, a point Indian diplomats are yet to comprehend. If the US expects India to be a natural ally, New Delhi must realise that blunt-talking and brinkmanship are established tenets of international diplomacy. In any India-US dialogue, America’s Pakistan policy must be on the agenda. – The New Indian Express, 29 September 2014

» Tufail Ahmad is director of South Asia Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington DC. Email:


Pakistan Navy Submarine

Khorasan Hadith: The dubious prophecy that inspires Muslim terrorists – Michael Crowley

Khorasan Hadith

Michael Crowley“The prophecy—attributed to the Prophet Muhammad but which many experts call of dubious origin—imagines a Muslim army emerging from the Khorasan region and conquering the Middle East, including Jerusalem, under their black flags. This great victory, Soufan writes, amounts to ‘the Islamic version of Armageddon.'” – Michael Crowley 

Abu Jandal  (Nasser al-Bahri)It was six days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and with dark smoke still rising from lower Manhattan, Ali Soufan was face-to-face with the most senior al-Qaeda leader in American custody.

Soufan, an FBI counterterrorism agent, was inside a Yemen prison, interrogating a captured al-Qaeda operative named Abu Jandal, a former bodyguard and confidante to Osama bin Laden.

He continued with a grin: “The hadith says … ‘If you see the black banners coming from Khurasan, join that army, even if you have to crawl over ice; no power will be able to stop them.’”

Soufan recognized this Islamic saying immediately, and interrupted Abu Jandal to complete it: “And they will finally reach Baitul Maqdis [Jerusalem], where they will erect their flags,” he said.

The grin was gone. “‘You know the hadith?” Abu Jandal asked with surprise. “Do you really work for the FBI?’”

Abu Jandal had failed to appreciate that knowing the Khorasan hadith was part of the job of an Islamic terrorism expert like Soufan. As the former FBI agent explains in his 2013 book The Black Banners, the hadith of Khorasan — sometimes also spelled Khurasan — is fundamental to radical Islamist ideology. A prophecy describing a Muslim army from Central Asia storming across the Middle East and into Jerusalem has long inspired violent jihadists.

Muhsin al-FadhliThe hadith of Khorasan is newly relevant thanks to the disclosure by U.S. officials of a terrorist group by that name operating in Syria. The Khorasan Group was a surprise target of American air strikes in Syria on Monday night mostly aimed at the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

While America obsessed over ISIS in recent weeks, Khorasan remained unknown to the public until this month. President Obama had never publicly mentioned its name before Tuesday morning. But U.S. officials say they have tracked the group for two years.

Khorasan, they explain, consists of about two dozen members of al-Qaeda’s core leadership. Previously based in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, the men recently relocated to Syria. Unlike al-Qaeda operatives who fight the Syrian regime under the name of al-Nusra Front, the members of Khorasan reportedly took advantage of the country’s lawlessness exclusively to plot terrorist attacks against the West. (Officials are trying to confirm whether the group’s leader, Muhsin al-Fadhli, was killed in Monday night’s strikes.)

Even as Americans try to understand this new threat, many terrorism analysts are skeptical of the moniker. They question whether Khorasan truly constitutes an independent group, or simply a clique within al-Qaeda.

“I’d certainly never heard of this group while working at the agency,” says Aki Peritz, a CIA counterterrorism analyst until 2009 and co-author of Find, Fix, Finish. Peritz wonders if the group is meaningfully different from bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. “If senior members from a company’s headquarters go work in a branch office, are they still part of the main office or a superempowered part of the branch?” Peritz says. “It’s not like al-Qaeda operatives carry business cards.”

Peritz isn’t alone in his skepticism. “We used the term [Khorasan] inside the government, we don’t know where it came from,” Robert Ford, who served until this spring as Obama’s ambassador to Syria, told al-Jazeera on Wednesday. “All I know is that they don’t call themselves that.” Two U.S. intelligence officials did not respond to requests for comment on the name’s origins.

Amid that confusion, however, it’s clear that the word Khorasan sheds important light on the grandiose, even apocalyptic vision that drives many Sunni radicals to terrorism.

Khorasan (later called Parthia)The word itself refers to a historic region centered around modern Afghanistan and which spills into Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It was once an important part of the pre-Ottoman Islamic caliphate.

The prophecy cited by Abu Jandal — attributed to the Prophet Muhammad but which many experts call of dubious origin — imagines a Muslim army emerging from the region and conquering the Middle East, including Jerusalem, under their black flags. This great victory, Soufan writes, amounts to “the Islamic version of Armageddon.”

Soufan says many of the al-Qaeda operatives he has interviewed believed they were helping to fulfill the Khorasan prophecy.

Bin Laden was well aware of Khorasan. As former State Department counterterrorrism official Daniel Benjamin notes in the new issue of TIME, the founder of al-Qaeda announced from Afghanistan in 1996 that he had found “a safe base … in the high Hindu Kush mountains in Khorasan.” Bin Laden may have chosen al-Qaeda’s black flag as an homage to mythical black banner. The ISIS flag is also mostly black.

Several videos are available online telling the story the black-flag Islamic army. One of them, titled The Emergence of Prophecy: The Black Flags of Khorasan, was part of a YouTube playlist created by the slain 2013 Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The 13-minute video, which depicts the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a sign of the prophecy’s fruition, summons Muslims to join the battle.

It is still available online. – Time, 25 September 2014

Black banners of ISIS

Arab money funding terrorism since the 1980s – Taki

Royal Palace, Riyadh

Taki Theodoracopulos“In cahoots with the Saudis and the Kuwaitis, the Qatari ruling family allowed various so-called private businessmen to raise money for jihad. Saudi money funnelled through Islamic charities has been funding terrorism since the 1980s. Ditto the Kuwaitis. These private fund-raisers are an obvious charade. It’s the Kuwaiti, Saudi and Qatari ruling family’s money that ends up in terrorist hands. It’s called protection money. ” – Taki

Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-SabahNext time you read about an auctioneer’s gavel coming down on a $150 million painting bought by some flunkey representing the ruling family of Qatar, don’t ooh or aah, but think of those monsters in Iraq and Syria who have their children pose on video while holding up the severed heads of innocents. And no, it’s not a stretch — without Qatar’s gold Islamic State would not exist, not even in the movies.

Let me put it another way: had Calvin Coolidge or Herbert Hoover given White House dinners for Al Capone, the outcry would have been heard all the way down to Patagonia. Yet, as reported in these here pages by Charles Moore, not only did the head of the family lunch with the Queen at Windsor, a cousin and his mother also lunched the next day at Windsor and caused a stir because they were not included in the Queen’s carriage. They sponsored Ascot this year, and Elizabeth Anson was their PR person. She burst into tears after failing to include them in the lead carriage. All I can say is shame on Ascot, more shame on Anson, and eternal shame on the stuffed shirts who forced the Queen to break bread with these characters.

Saudi King Abdullah with Dick Cheney & George H.W. BushThey say Brits will do anything for money, but the rest of the Western world is just as bad. Just look at how a tiny Gulf nation of 250,000 goatherds managed to land the World Cup in 2022. To call the bribes Qatar must have paid to Fifa delegates colossal would be an understatement. But forget the 50-degree-Celsius heat and that football is unplayable in that hellhole, the scandal of modern-day slavery as practised by the Qataris is a far bigger depravity, overlooked by the West. In fact, calling foreign workers indentured servants is a euphemism; they are modern-day slaves. Foreign workers do not enjoy a minimum wage in Qatar, nor do they have any rights. They are not allowed to change jobs, however feudal the conditions, get a driving licence, rent a room or open a checking account unless they have their employer’s permission. Thousands have died while working in appalling conditions (hundreds of Nepalese alone), which provoked an investigation by the Norway-based Global Network for Rights and Development, which sent a researcher and a photographer. Last week the Qatari government confirmed that the two have been arrested and are in prison. So much for European influence in that sweaty hellhole.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al ThaniIn their craven search for money, Europeans have sold everything to these ghastly goatherds but their mother, because the Qatari gang is obviously not interested in the latter. Nothing is sacred, everything’s for sale. Qatar owns a share in Sainsbury’s, owns Harrods outright, owns a large share of Heathrow airport, large stretches of real estate in Knightsbridge and in the City it wanted to buy Claridge’s, has bought the French football team PSG and owns a share in Germany’s Volkswagen. Last but not least is the Al Jazeera TV network, one that poses as an unaligned network but in reality works for the gang called Thani.

So far so bad, but it gets much worse. In cahoots with the Saudis and the Kuwaitis, the Qatari ruling family allowed various so-called private businessmen to raise money for jihad. Saudi money funnelled through Islamic charities has been funding terrorism since the 1980s. Ditto the Kuwaitis. These private fund-raisers are an obvious charade. It’s the Kuwaiti, Saudi and Qatari ruling family’s money that ends up in terrorist hands. It’s called protection money. All three ruling ‘monarchies’ are basically illegitimate, and their power derives not from the people but from their oil and gas wealth and their ability to bribe Uncle Sam and other Western powers to keep them as heads.

Taliban office in QatarThe three desert satrapies had a falling out after the military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Saudis stuck with Sisi, the Qataris and Kuwaitis stuck with the Brotherhood. Qatar allowed the Taleban to open an office, and openly finances the bloodthirsty Islamic State. No matter how bloodthirsty and extreme the IS murderers became, Qatar chose to keep on paying and will do so unless the US Marines land and force the head towel to Guantanamo, where he belongs.

Saddam HusseinHow have we come to this? Big oil had a lot to do with the First Gulf War. Saddam was our friend and ally yet we chased him out of Kuwait, which was sort of a province of Iraq when it was still Mesopotamia. The Israeli lobby ‘ordered’ the Second Gulf War — no ifs or buts about it — and Israel is enjoying the slaughter going on in Syria and Iraq almost as much as it enjoyed crushing Gaza. (Only 6 per cent of Israelis were against the invasion and subsequent killing of innocent people.)

What is to be done? That’s an easy one, but it will never happen until money goes out of style. Reading the riot act to Qatar, the Saudis and the Kuwaitis is an exercise in futility. If I were Obama — and he’s been a very good president in resisting the Israeli lobby that has been at him to carpet-bomb Iran — I’d overthrow the Qataris ‘pour encourager les autres’. But don’t hold your breath. See you at Ascot next year. – The Spectator, 20 September 2014

» Taki Theodoracopulos is a Greek-born journalist and writer who lives variously in New York City, London and Switzerland. He is a social columnist and publishes his own magazine here.

Emir's Palace, Doha, Qatar

See also

  1. Hundreds of migrant workers dying in Qatar
  2. Qatar confirms arrest of UK rights workers
  3. Shockingly awful living conditions of construction workers in Qatar

The rise and rise of jihad in Tamil Nadu – B. R. Haran

Syed Abdul Rehman Umari, Saddam Hussein, Abdul Nowshad, Rehmatullah Ali, Abdul Rasheed and Mohammed Azharuddin

B. R. Haran“Since eighties, several Hindu leaders and activists … have lost their lives in terror acts perpetrated by Jihadis. The state government cannot afford to be in a denial mode any more. The central intelligence agencies have been repeatedly feeding the state government with several inputs, which are not taken seriously by the state. … Fortunately, the change of guard at the center and a very efficient NSA in place is expected to improve the intelligence gathering, planning and execution of anti-terror activities to a great extent. But … Tamil Nadu has been alternatively ruled by DMK and AIADMK, which have been compromising the state’s security by pandering to the Islamic fundamentalist organizations. This has allowed the rise of Jihad in alarming proportions.” – B.R. Haran

Sword of Jihad & MayhemOn Wednesday the 13th of August, six people by name Syed Abdul Rehman Umari, Saddam Hussein, Abdul Nowshad, Rehmatullah Ali, Abdul Rasheed and Mohammed Azharuddin were arrested by Coimbatore city police in front of a Mosque in the posh RS Puram area, for plotting to kill Arjun Sampath, President of Hindu Makkal Katchi (Hindu People Party) and Mookambikai Mani, a fire brand speaker of Hindu Munnani (Hindu Front). These extremists were arrested based on the tip off given by other extremists arrested earlier for the cold-blooded murder of Hindu Munnani’s Chennai South President Suresh Kumar on 18th June.

Four extremists by name Muhajir, Raja Mohammed, Shah king and Jabbar were arrested on Tuesday the 12th from a place called Mannurpet near Chennai. Just seven days earlier, on 7th August, the Chennai city police apprehended Abdul Hakeem of Vaniyambadi in Vellore District and Abu Tahir of Padi in Chennai at Chennai Metro Bus Terminal for their involvement in the murder of Suresh Kumar. A day before, on 6th August, a special team from Chennai city police, in a joint operation with Bangalore City police picked up Mohammed Shamemm alias Abdul Shameem, Syed Ali Nawaz belonging to Kanyakumari. The next day they arrested Mohammed Shamiullah and Sadiq Basha of Bangalore for harbouring the accused from Kanyakumari. In an earlier operation, a fortnight ago, the city police arrested Kaja Mohideen of Cuddalore, who was supposedly the mastermind behind the murderous assault on Suresh Kumar. In total, 14 people have been arrested for  and all of them belong to the banned outfit Al Umma. The interrogation of the arrested extremists has now revealed that the entire plot to kill Suresh Kumar was planned in Vaniyambadi, a predominantly Muslim area in Vellore district.

The Coimbatore arrests have also happened based on the tip off given by some of these arrested, particularly Kaja Mohideen. Out of the six arrested in Coimbatore, Abdul Rehman was found to be a former SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) member and the rest belong to PFI (Popular Front of India). Al though these extremists owe their allegiance to different organizations, they reportedly formed a new group in the name of ‘Wahabi-e-Islam’ exclusively for this jihadi operation of killing leaders and activists of Hindu organizations. In fact, forming new outfits is a strategy of Islamic extremists to keep jihad alive and kicking, as most of them belong to banned outfits like SIMI, Al Ummah and Jihad Committee.

As the name Wahabi-e-Islam indicates, Wahabism has come a long way in Tamil Nadu, particularly in the last twenty years. The very fact that the various Jihadi materials available in Tamil along with Urdu and Hindi is an evidence to show the growing support for worldwide jihad in Tamil Nadu. Youth from Tamil Nadu were the first to join jihad in Syria. Two college students from Chennai have reportedly traveled to Syria some three months back. Recently, 37-year-old Haja Fakrudeen, hailing from Cuddalore and an employee of a super market firm in Singapore, had left for Syria along with his wife and three children. He spoke to his father Usman Ali over phone to confirm that he was fighting jihad for ISIS. It is reported that he was trained by one Mohammed Maraicar who had settled in his native place Cuddalore after a long stint in Singapore. Fakrudeen had left for Syria in January itself and the two college students from Chennai were reportedly brainwashed and trained by him.

Tamil Muslim youth in ISIS t-shirts: Is this the future for India?Very recently three men (Abdul Rehman and Rilwan from Ramanathapuram and an Imam from Tiruppur by name Faizur Rehman) were arrested for ordering and promoting ISIS T-Shirts. A photograph of around 25 young men sporting the ISIS T-Shirts standing in front of the Big Mosque in Thondi in Ramanathapuram district, circulated widely in the internet, resulted in their arrest. However, they were later released on bail, as the prosecution failed to present a strong case against them. Abdul Rehman, a frequent traveler to Indoneisa, Malaysia and Singapore, had reportedly maintained a Facebook page in the name of Sangai Ridhuvan, wherein he had posted first the picture of 25 youth wearing ISIS T-Shirts, which went viral thereafter.

Various merchandises are available with messages ‘worldwide Jihad’ (Mujahideen around the world) and ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, etc. The Wahabism has slowly and steadily spread in the state and now it has come to a stage that, youth have developed a liking to spread the messages of terrorist organizations like ISIS and even enrolling themselves to join worldwide jihad. Meanwhile, an ISIS video clipping with Tamil subtitles garnering support from among the Tamil Muslims for establishing the Islamic Caliphate, was removed from You Tube, reportedly on the complaint made by central agencies. The video titled ‘Al Isabah Media Present Tamil Subtitled Video of Ghuraba the Chosen Few of Different Land’, carrying subtitles in Tamil, was a 11 minute homage to Abu Muslim, a Canada-born man, who had reportedly joined the ‘global war’ to protect Islam and ending with his death.

On the 1st of May this year, Chennai woke up to hear the twin bomb blasts in Bangalore-Guwahati Express standing on Chennai Central Railway Station, in which, one young lady died and 14 other got injured. Just two days before the blast, on 29 April, a Sri Lankan National by name Mohammed Zakir Hussain was arrested by central agencies and state police on a joint operation. He was arrested based on the information given by Malaysian police, who had earlier arrested another Sri Lankan national by name Mohammed Hussain Mohammed Sulaiman. Mohammed Sulaiman had told the Malaysian police that he had been tasked to ferry two terrorists from Maldives to a South Indian coast to carry out terror strike at US Consulate in Chennai and Israeli Consulate in Bangalore. He had also given information about Zakir Hussain. Malaysian police had stumbled upon him, as Sulaiman was talking to ISI officers about plans to carry out terror strikes on the two consulates, when the Special Unit of Malaysian police was probing money laundering and human trafficking cases. Later, India secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Sulaiman after NIA took over the investigation.

While interrogating, Zakir Hussain revealed that he was working for Pakistan’s ISI and that he had been on an assignment of recruiting local youth for terrorist activities such as circulating fake currency and striking at possible targets in southern India. Based on his information, the Q Branch arrested two of his recruits from Mannadi area in Chennai. Zakir Hussain further confessed that, he was getting orders from Amir Zubair Siddique, Cousellor (Visa) at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo to gather vital information on installations such as US Consulate in Chennai and Israel Consulate in Bangalore, and that, he had sent photographs and maps accordingly. He had also named another Pakistani official by name Boss alias Shah involved in this clandestine operation. Zakir Hussain had been frequently in touch with the two officials and had visited Chennai half a dozen times within a span of one year in the guise of textile and pharma merchant. His track record also reveals that he had spent three years in Singapore prison for spying and had also been detained in Bangkok once.

The Pakistan High Commission official Amir Zubair Siddique is reported to be a secretly working for ISI. His shady works came into the limelight earlier also when another extremist by name Thamim Ansari of Adiramapattinam in Thanjavur was arrested in September 2012, when he attempted to leave for Trichy to catch a flight to Colombo. When he was apprehended, he had DVDs and CDs materials containing photographs and video of vital installations like Nagapattinam Port, Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington, Ooty and visuals of Army Para Gliding training and Army Signal Corps, in his possession. He had also named Pakistan High Commission as his employers.

In between Ansari’s case and Zakir Hussain’s case, there was a serious alert from Indian central agencies on Sri Lanka being a center of ISI activities. Exactly a year ago in August 2013, Central Intelligence Agencies had alerted Maharashtra Police that eight militants undergoing training in Pakistan based camps might attack targets in South India from Sri Lanka through sea route, entering via Tamil Nadu coast or Kerala coast. The agencies informed that the eight terrorists were likely to operate from Jaffna and their target could be Madurai or Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. It was also informed that the Sri Lankan agencies have arrested three suspected Pak Nationals on 2 February 2013, who confessed to have visited Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram on Sri Lankan Passports.

Now with the advent of BJP government, NIA has urged Kuala Lumpur to share the evidence against Mohamed Hussain Mohamed Sulaiman, under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), signed by the two countries in 2012. The BJP government is also in regular touch with Sri Lanka putting lot of pressure on it with regards to Colombo based ISI activities. This has forced Pakistan to quietly withdraw its High Commission official Amir Zubair Siddique from Sri Lanka.

The success of ISI and ISIS in attracting Tamil Muslims is a clear indication of the growth of extremism in Tamil Nadu. The Kerala connection has helped the launching of fundamentalist outfits like Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India in the state in addition to the already existing fundamentalist outfits such as Tamil Nadu Tauheed Jamath and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham. There are about 24 outfits said to be operating in the state and they come under one banner whenever situation warrants, as evidenced by their united protests against movies like Kamalhasan’s Vishwaroopam and Hollywood’s Innocence of Muslims.

The soft peddling by both the AIADMK and DMK governments and their vote bank politics and appeasement policies have helped the growth of Muslim extremism. Let us have a look at the chronology of terror activities since the formation of AIADMK government in 2011.

US Consulate, ChennaiFrom 2011 to 2014

28 October 2011: A pipe bomb was planted enroute BJP leader L.K. Advani’s yatra between Thirumangalam and Srivilliputhur. The investigation has been very slow and tardy.

25 June 2012: State Intelligence and local police busted a training camp secretly held by Muslims in Ramanathapuram. 30 youth from Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were detained and later let free. The name of the organization and the reasons for youths coming from far off places and the secret nature of the camp were kept secret by the police for reasons known only to them.

4 July 2012: Pugalendi, BJP functionary was murdered in Nagappattinam.

Between 14 and 18 September 2012, Muslim outfits mobilized thousands of people including women and children, and hit the arterial roads (Mount road and Cathedral Road) close to American Consulate, in the guise of protesting against the English movie Innocence of Muslims. The crowd indulged in violence and American Consulate was attacked, vehicles were stoned and police too were not spared. The entire stretch of Mount road was used as a place for Namaz and the violent protests went on continuously for four days. First time in the history of this country the American Consulate remained closed for four days. The AIADMK government did not take any action against the hooligans, but instead, found a scapegoat in the Chennai Commissioner of Police and transferred him to another position.

23 October 2012: Dr. Aravind Reddy, Secretary BJP Medical Wing was murdered in Vellore. Though initial arrests were made citing enmity due to Real Estate businesses, it has come out now that he was murdered by Jihadis.

26 October 2012: BJP National Executive Committee member H. Raja was attacked in Illayangudi, a Muslim dominated area.

6 November 2012: R.S.S Tiruppur District Secretary Anandan was assaulted in Mettupalayam near Coimbatore.

Between 19 and 22 December 2012, Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath issued handbills in Triplicane area with irreverent comments on Saint Ramalinga Vallalar. Members of the Hindu organisations lodged a complaint with the Zambazar police and the police booked a case against the complainant under non-bailable sections, while the accused Muslim was booked under bailable section after a gang of Muslims besieged the police station. A police officer justified this action by saying that if a Muslim is arrested they would mob the station in hundreds!

January 2013: Vishwaroopam, a Tamil movie produced by actor Kamal Haasan faced the ire of Islamists. Though the movie talked only about Taliban and their terror acts, 23 Islamic outfits again hit the streets and protested against the release of the film. In an act of appeasement, the government imposed a temporary ban. The chief minister even conceded through a special press meet that she couldn’t provide security to all cinema theatres. As a token of appreciation, Islamists welcomed her statement by pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs at some theatres in the state. No arrest was made in this regard too and again police remained silent presumably under the orders of the government.

19 March 2013: A BJP functionary by name Murugan was murdered in Paramakudi.

15 April 2013: Hindu Munnani functionary Manjunath was grievously attacked in Coonoor. Five TMMK cadres were arrested.

17 April 2013: Hindu Munnani functionaries Hariharan, Venkatraj and Jayakumar were attacked by Muslims while pasting posters condemning the attack on Manjunath in Coonoor. 10 TMMK cadres were arrested.

21 April 2013: Senior BJP leader M.R. Gandhi was attacked in Nagercoil

15 May 2013: In another act of appeasement, the government announced that Memorials for Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan would be constructed in memory of their fight against British. While history clearly depicts them as “foreign invaders” like the British, it is rather astonishing that the Tamil Nadu government treats them as “freedom fighters”.

May 2013: Seeman, president of a Tamil separatist outfit by name “Nam Thamizhar” brought Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik to Chennai for rendering a special address during a public meeting organized in Cuddalore in memory of LTTE’s defeat. He even approached the Chennai High Court and obtained permission for the event and until then the state government was not even aware of the visit of Yasin Malik. Waking up at the eleventh hour, the state government banned the public meeting. However, the event was held inside a marriage hall and Yasin Malik and Seeman addressed the gathering and they were allowed to escape. No case was registered against both of them despite their anti-national ranting. This is yet another case of government yielding to Islamic and Tamil separatists just for the sake of vote banks.

7 June 2013: Marriage Hall belonging to Suryaprakash of BJP was attacked by a Muslim gang using petrol bombs.

1 July 2013: State Secretary of Hindu Munnani Vellaiyappan was murdered in broad day light in Vellore.

6 July 2013: Muslims assembled in thousands and went on a rally without permission to the Secretariat violating the ban order, demanding enhancement of reservation from 3.5% to 7.5%., exemption for Muslims from Tamilnadu Marriage Registration Act 2009 and release of Muslim prisoners who served more than 10 years in jail. The city came to a standstill for a few hours and even though the police stalled their march and dispersed them, no legal action was taken against them.

19 July 2013: BJP state general secretary auditor Ramesh was murdered in Salem.

22 July 2013: Rahamathullaah from Dindukal belonging to SDPI was detained by the police for videographing the bandh in Nagapattinam. He was let off after three days.

23 July 2013: Two sympathisers namely Meenakshi Sundaram and Veeramanikandan, who participated in protest, organised to condemn auditor Ramesh’s murder in Ramana-thapuram, were attacked by Muslims

The two successive murders of Vellaiyappan and auditor Ramesh within a span of 18 days outraged the people of Tamil Nadu. Even the people’s anger couldn’t move the AIADMK government from its deep slumber. However, the massive turn out of not less than 2 lac people attending Narendra Modi’s Trichy congregation in September 2013, gave a huge jolt to Jayalalitha’s government, as the state intelligence informed her of the impending loss of Hindu votes. This made her to act and the police made the first arrest by apprehending Police Fakrudheen, who had come to Chennai on a mission of striking terror during the Thirumala Thiruppathi Thirukudai (Thiruppathi Umbrella Procession) festival which draws 6 lakh to 10 lakh people every year. The arrest of Police Fakrudheen led to another swift joint operation by the state police with Andhra police, leading to the capture of Bilal Malik and Banna Ismail in Pudhur on TN-Andhra border. Their interrogation revealed that they were the main culprits in almost all the murders and assaults. With the arrest of these three men, the government and the police became a sort of complacent leading to a slump in intelligence gathering.

The lack of intelligence and security efforts, despite the arrest of Zakir Hussain on 29 April, resulted in twin blasts inside a coach of Bangalore-Guwahati Express in Central Station on 1 May. Even after that, the government was in a denial mode. Terrorists struck again on 18 June brutally killing Hindu Front leader Suresh Kumar.

So, in a span of three years of AIADMK government, 6 Hindu leaders were murdered and a dozen others were assaulted apart from incidences of Islamic aggression on the streets.

Students Islamic Movement of India now called Indian MujahideenThe background

Alternative Dravidian governments since 1967, committed to minority appeasement, have failed to realize that pandering to minorities breeds extremism and separatism and that “indoctrinated” elements are working against the nation. The fundamentalists have increased and jihadi “sleeper cells” have come up in several parts of the state.

There has been a surge in the growth of Jihadi elements in Tamil Nadu in the last two decades. When a countrywide ban was enforced on SIMI, the Tamil Nadu unit took the avatars of “Al Umma” and “Jihad Committee” and Al Umma made its first major strike at the RSS HQs in Chennai in November 1993, killing 11 swayamsevaks.

The Jihad Committee, which has been regularly indulging in communal riots in the state, got disintegrated when its leader Palani Baba was murdered. Thereafter the TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham) was launched in 1995. It was founded by Hyder Ali, a SIMI activist and former associate of Palani Baba in the Jihad Committee, who left Al Umma after a tiff with its president Basha.

When Al Umma was banned for the Coimbatore blasts in February 1998, it changed colour as “Manitha Neethi Pasarai” (MNP). Thus, neither the banning of SIMI and Al Umma, nor disintegration of the Jihad Committee, reduced Islamic fundamentalism in the state. In fact, it started growing in different avatars with the support of Dravidian parties, which go to any extent for the sake of vote banks.

From 1991 to 2001

There is a general feeling outside the state that Tamil Nadu is normally peaceful and that terror attacks are confined to the RSS HQs attack of 1993 and the Coimbatore blasts of 1998. The reality is that between 1993 and 1998 there have been several terror attacks and even after 1998, the attacks continued. When the RSS HQ in Chennai was attacked in the year 1993, in which 11 persons died, Jayalalitha’s AIADMK was in office for the first term (1991-96). That was the time when Islamic fundamentalism started to rise in Tamil Nadu. Let us look at some of the events happened during that period:

05-09-1991: Sivakumar, Hindu Munnani official, Coimbatore, murdered just near his residence.

98 August 1993: RSS HQs attacked in Chennai killing 11 persons and injuring 7 others.

18 March 1994: Elderly Muslim, Kottai Ameer, murdered by Jihadis (Al Umma leader Basha’s son Siddique Ali, Mohammed Muthu, Mohammed Sabi and Shahul Hameed), as he opposed their terrorist activities.

15-04-1995: Rajendran of BJP Coimbatore unit murdered.

04-07-1995: Wife of a Dalit-Hindu activist died in a blast in Nagore

31-12-1995: Karthikeyan, Hindu Munnani worker, murdered at Mettupalayam near Coimbatore.

The growth of Islamic fundamentalism was apparent during the DMK regime between 1996 and 2001, as evidenced by the following events:

1996: Coimbatore jailer Boopalan murdered by Jagubar Sadiq alias Sadiq alias ‘Tailor’ Raja alias ‘Valarntha’ Raja and his associate Jihadis.

18 May 1996: Blast in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple; TMMK leader Naina Mohammed and Sait Saheb, Raja Hussain and Fakrudin (cadres) arrested.

31-01-1997: Auto driver Ragupathi, murdered at Selvapuram in Coimbatore.

03-02-1997: Retired Teacher Krishnaswamy, murdered at Marakadai in Coimbatore.

6 June 1997: Bomb attack on Doordarshan Kendra’s Thanjavur office.

01-09-1997: Mahendran, Arunachalam and Rajini Ramesh, murdered in different places in Coimbatore.

02-09-1997: Trikmara Ram, Murthi, Murugan and Kannan, murdered.

20-11-1997: Traffic constable Selvaraj murdered on the spot as he attempted to book Jihadis in a traffic violation case.

Scores of Hindus and Muslims died in riots following protests by police after Selvaraj murder.

On 6 December 1997 bombs exploded in Coimbatore-bound Cheran Express, Madurai-bound Pandiyan Express and Allepey Express.

On 9 December 1997, a cycle bomb exploded in Coimbatore suburb killing three women; Sultan Nazar and Abdul Quayum arrested.

On 10 January 1998, a bomb exploded on Anna Flyover in the heart of Chennai city.

As a culmination of events, on Feb. 14, 1998, 60 died and more than 200 injured in a serial bomb blast perpetrated by Islamic terrorist organization Al Umma.

With the advent of BJP led NDA government in May 1998 and since DMK was also a part of that government, terrorism subsided in the state. Terrorists went into hiding and lied low for a few years.

From 2001 to 2011

Though the law and order was comparatively better during AIADMK rule between 2001 and 2006, clandestine operations continued and sustained fundamentalism. Two incidents happened during this period.

On 28 March 2002, RSS pracharak Murugesan was murdered by Jihadis in front of his home in Kuniyamuthur near Kovai, and on 21 June 2005, R. Kalidas, state vice president, Hindu Makkal Katci, was murdered in Madurai by Jihadis.

After enjoying power and ministerial positions in the BJP led NDA government for 4 years, Karunanidhi made a calculated move of getting out of NDA and joined hands with the Congress for the 2004 parliamentary elections. PMK and MDMK also followed suit. AIADMK, which was in power in the state aligned with BJP and drew a blank in the elections. All the 39 seats, along with the sole Pondicherry (Union Territory) seat, went to Congress-DMK-PMK-MDMK alliance.

As the BJP lost the 2004 elections, the Jihadis increased their clandestine operations and they also got emboldened by the DMK led alliance’s victory in the 2006 Assembly Elections.

Half a dozen cadres of Al Umma were suddenly released from Palayamkottai prison in May 2006, within days of the DMK government taking charge. With the release of these fundamentalists from various prisons, Muslim pockets have begun to be Talibanised.

On 22 July 2006 five MNP (Manitha Neethi Pasarai) cadres were arrested in Coimbatore on charges of plotting serial bomb blasts similar to the 1998 blasts. The five were acquitted on 9 February 2008 on grounds of being arrested on false charges!

On 26 July 2006, Indian Express carried a report on MNP indulging in ‘conversion’ and conducting classes in the name of ‘Arivagam’ to brainwash new converts, especially scheduled castes, to train and recruit them to Jihadi squads. The MNP is reportedly active in places close to the Kerala border (Theni, Coimbatore, etc), so it can connect with Kerala-based NDF easily. Investigations of Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai blasts reveal that Kerala has been a permanent and safe haven and a training ground for Islamic terrorists who have been sent on Jihadi missions from Kerala to Kashmir.

In December 2006, TMMK attempted to construct a mosque close to Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple in Thenkasi town of Thirunelveli district. Hindu Munnani activists led by Kumar Pandian thwarted the attempt.

As a fall out, on December 17, 2006, TMMK cadres murdered Kumar Pandian.

Just a month earlier, on 17 February 2007, The New Indian Express, Chennai, reported: “The Q branch of the state police is now concerned about the formation of a new Islamic outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), a coordinated effort between three organisations – Karnataka For Dignity (KFD), Karnataka; Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), Tamil Nadu; and National Development Front (NDF), Kerala. The new organisation was launched on Friday (16th February 2007) in Bangalore, ‘to coordinate & strengthen grassroot level developmental activities throughout the country,’ followed by an ‘Empower India’ conference in the garden city. Though the organisation’s agenda has been well spelt out – democracy & social justice, the state police fear that the organisation had been set up to propagate hardliner ideology. A Q branch official had said, “What is worrying us is the fact that a majority of the leaders of this new front belonged to the now banned SIMI”. The decision to launch Popular Front of India (PFI) has been taken at a conference of KFD, MNP & NDF held on 22 November 2006 at Calicut. The leaders of PFI include K.M. Shareef, president of KFD, Gulam Muhammed, leader of MNP and Abdur Rahman Baqari of NDF and they have decided to confine their activities to South India’.

A close look at the choice of words in their nomenclatures tells us how cleverly they are getting into mainstream politics! Soft and gentle words like Dignity, National, Development, Manitham (Humanity), Neethi (Justice), Popular and Munnetram (Improvement or Progress), have replaced hardline words like Jihad and other Arabic or Urdu words. They claim to work for Democracy, Social Justice and Development!

On Republic Day in 2007, when the MNP took out a rally in Madurai, wall advertisements by the outfit carried the figure of the flag of the banned outfit JKLF.

With Talibanisation comes the oppression of women. A woman running a tea shop and another working in a local beedi factory were waylaid and murdered in broad daylight in Thirunelveli, for trivial reasons, in the name of religion. Indian Express (26 March 2007) reported, “The police spoke of Al Umma, the fundamentalist outfit which had become weak after the arrest of more than 100 of its members in the Coimbatore case, which under the DMK regime had been rejuvenated and was trying to enforce edicts on the Muslim community in the districts of south Tamil Nadu.”

On 1 August 2007, Justice Uthirapathy pronounced the verdict. Abdul Nassar Madhani was acquitted (for want of evidence), to the shock of blast victims, their families and all right thinking people. He was given a hero’s welcome in Thiruvananthapuram. Both the UDF and LDF vied for credit for his acquittal.

On 14 August 2007, three Hindu Munnani activists (all brothers of Kumar Pandian) murdered in Tenkasi by TMMK cadres; three TMMK cadres also lost their lives in the clash.

On 13 September 2007, Government of Tamil Nadu reserved seats for Muslims under BC quota, which is unconstitutional and it remains unchallenged.

On 24 January 2008, a special police team arrested Ravi Pandian (last brother of slain Hindu Munnani leader Kumar Pandian & three others), and two other Hindu youths, in connection with the RSS-office bomb blast in Tenkasi!

On 5 February 2008, Jawahirullah, president of TMMK posted an article welcoming the arrest of Hindu youth and praising TN police for the arrests on an Islamic website,

Nawab of Arcot Muhammed Abdul AliOn 7 March 2008, an exhibition that displayed portraits depicting the true history of Aurangazeb, created by French historian François Gautier was removed by police along with Tamilnadu Towheeth Jamath functionaries. Volunteers present in the stall including women were detained by the police. The Muslims on Thursday issued an ultimatum to the organisers to close down or they have to face the consequences after Friday Namaz, in which they succeeded. It is pertinent to note that the Prince of Arcot paid a visit to the venue and confronted the author of the exhibition Francois Gautier, who is French by origin.

Between June and July 2008, central intelligence agencies alerted Tamil Nadu of a possible terrorist attack on Hindu religious installations. State intelligence busted a terrorist module operating out of Mannadi in Chennai with ‘specific plans’. These plans were near-operational when the police cracked down. LeT trained jihadis Toufeeque and Abu Dahir, who were also leaders of this module, managed to escape. Tamil Nadu police foiled an Independence Day 2008 terror bid by arresting Abdul Gaffur, employed in Chennai and acting under instructions from one Ali Abdullah lodged in central prison at Puzhal near Chennai.

Erode district police raided 30 private godowns selling gelatin sticks and detonators meant for stone quarrying and blasting wells. Police said the detonators used in the Bangalore blasts (2008) could have been sourced from these godowns. Police also raided godowns in Bhavani, Uthukuli, Sathyam-angalam and Gobichettypalayam.

In April 2008, Tamil daily Dinamani reported that MNP was giving “military training” to around 1000 cadres (50 from each district) to conduct “freedom parade”’ on 15 August 2008 (Independence Day), as a show of “patriotism”! The outfit recruited more than 25,000 cadres in four years and military training was being imparted to 300 cadres from each district. Though the outfit claimed to be focusing on ‘human rights’ and ‘social service’, the daily reported that the Q branch police was closely watching its activities.

The “freedom parade” was conducted in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu and Idukki in Kerala. The then BJP government in Karnataka allowed the ‘freedom parade’ in Mangalore in 2008, but refused permission in 2009 for Mysore, a communally sensitive town. Popular Front of India’s website said that this practice has been going on since 2004.

While on one side these organisations ‘claim’ to be ‘patriotic’ and celebrate Independence Day, on the other side they create unrest and try to incite communal violence in the name of Babri anniversary. When they attempted to conduct protest demonstrations on 6 December 2008 (16th anniversary) in major cities and towns, more than 7000 activists were detained by the police.

On 21 December 2008, RSS parcharak Baskar was attacked in Dindugal. His legs were amputated.

Immediately after Mumbai attack in 2008 and close on the heels of a massive two-day rally by the Taliban after they took over the Swat Valley of Pakistan, either by plan or by sheer coincidence, fundamentalists took out a huge rally in a similar fashion in Calicut, Kerala. Though ignored by mainstream print and electronic media, the Tamil daily, Dinamalar, reported on 19 February 2009, that the Popular Front of India (PFI) organised a massive “national political conference” in Calicut from 13-15 February 2009. The conference was attended by members of PFI from 16 states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and Delhi.

The conference culminated with a massive rally and public meeting attended by over two lakh people. Just before the conference, the TMMK floated another outfit by name “Manithaneya Makkal Katchi” (Humane People Party) giving it a political colour. MMK also participated in the conference.

Half a dozen cadres of Al Umma were suddenly released from Palayamkottai prison in May 2006, within days of the DMK government taking charge. With the release of these fundamentalists from various prisons, Muslim pockets have begun to be Talibanised.

Modi & JayalalithaCenter-State coordination is the only solution

Since eighties, several Hindu leaders and activists apart from general public have lost their lives in terror acts perpetrated by Jihadis. The state government cannot afford to be in a denial mode any more. The central intelligence agencies have been repeatedly feeding the state government with several inputs, which are not taken seriously by the state. In the last 10 years, the UPA government at the center had diluted the fight against Jihad and focused more on concocting “Hindu terror”, which gave a lot of time leverage for Jihadi organizations across the country to regroup and revamp their activities. Fortunately, the change of guard at the centre and a very efficient NSA in place is expected to improve the intelligence gathering, planning and execution of anti-terror activities to a great extent. But unfortunately, Tamil Nadu has been alternatively ruled by DMK and AIADMK, which have been compromising the state’s security by pandering to the Islamic fundamentalist organizations. This has allowed the rise of Jihad in alarming proportions. Some of the fundamentalist organizations deserve to be banned altogether and some others have to be put in place. Unless the state government realizes and starts coordinated efforts with the center, the state would be in permanent peril, awaiting disaster and destruction, which are waiting to happen. – Uday India, 20 September 2014

» B.R. Haran is a senior journalist in Chennai



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