UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

ISIS threat to India : how should India respond? Arun, Asim Kumar


This thesis traces the evolution of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its present geopolitical extent and identifies the major trends and strategic directions. It examines the official pronouncements about its intentions regarding India and analyses the threat and proposes a policy prescription. Today’s terrorist organizations, including ISIS, publish online magazines and videos stating their policies, strategies and, tactics. These original voices were studied to understand them. The US invasion of Iraq (2003) and the subsequent failure in creating a “democratic government” acceptable to the powerful Sunni minority led to strife and sectarian violence. Radical Islamists and leftover elements of Saddam Hussain’s military got together and created large scale insurgency eventually leading to the declaration of a “Caliphate” calling out to all the Muslims in the world to accept it and join the effort to extend it. Less than 30 Indians as compared to a total of 25,000 are known to have migrated to ISIS area. Even with all its aberrations, India’s resilience as a syncretic and inclusive society renders hijrat (migration) an unattractive option. But coming together of radicalized youth into a small terror modules and striking nearer home is a real and probable threat. To protect itself, India should follow policies that integrate its Muslim community into the social mainstream. To prevent its people from getting radicalized through exposure to ISIS propaganda, the counter radicalization effort needs to be strengthened. The few persons who are known to have been radicalized but have not undertaken any kind of violence could be considered for softer deradicalization methods. By involving their family, friends and, community it is possible to bring these people back into normal domestic life. Attacks can still happen and the capability to deal with them must be enhanced by creating interdiction capabilities at the state and district levels. Finally, international terror requires measures across countries for which mechanisms for international cooperation must be created so that information, intelligence and, evidence flow seamlessly.

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