The Hindu Editorial (The IS shadow) 26 April 2019
The IS shadow: On Sri Lanka Easter bombings
The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 250 people have raised concerns about the Islamic State’s expansion into the South Asian region. The group, which controlled huge swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, is now practically on the run. The ‘Caliphate’ that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi established across the Iraq-Syria border has been destroyed. But the Sri Lanka bombings, which happened a month after the U.S. and Kurdish rebels in Syria declared victory over the IS after liberating the last slice of territory it was holding, confirm that the destruction of the physical Caliphate doesn’t end the threat the group poses. From early 2015, when it started losing territories, the IS started shifting its strategy from expanding territorially to expanding insurgency and terror. And South Asia has been one of its key targets. In Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan, the IS set up a wilayat (province) from where it controlled its South Asia operations, mainly recruitment of young men from the region. Over the last few years, the IS has carried out dozens of attacks in Afghanistan, mostly targeting the Shia-Hazara minority. In Pakistan, the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistan Taliban with IS links, carried out several terror attacks, including the 2016 Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore targeting Christians. In Bangladesh, the IS claimed the July 2016 Holey Artisan Bakery attack. In India, it hasn’t carried out any attack but has found dozens of recruits.
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Early reports suggest that two of the suspects involved in the Sri Lanka attacks had travelled to Iraq and Syria. This is a set pattern in IS-directed attacks and poses a major security challenge to several countries. The IS had recruited thousands of youth from South Asian nations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. Some of them joined the wilayat in Nangarhar and others travelled to Iraq and Syria. Now that the Caliphate has been destroyed, thousands of trained militants are left without a place to hide. Many have retreated to pockets on the Iraq-Syria border or to the deserts in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. Several others returned to their own home countries, as in the case in Sri Lanka. The second challenge is that the IS still controls some territory in Afghanistan. The U.S. had declared two years ago that defeating the IS in Afghanistan was one of its main policy goals, but it hasn’t made much progress on the ground. An equally formidable challenge is to counter the ideological narrative of the IS. The old wisdom that lack of education and poverty breed terrorism doesn’t hold good in the case of the IS. Among the Sri Lankan bombers were some from one of the country’s wealthiest families. Most of those who traveled to Afghanistan’s IS territories from Kerala were from upper-middle-class families. It is the ideology of puritanical Salafi-jihadism that continues to attract the young, disaffected people. Any counter-terror strategy should have a counter-narrative to the IS worldview, besides the security measures, for it to be effective.
The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Wordlist
1) Liberating (Verb ) = Give Freedom, ( मुक्ति )
Synonyms = Detach, Free.
Antonyms = Harm, Hold.
2) INSURGENCY (Noun) = Rebellion, ( विद्रोह )
Synonyms = Revolt, Resurrection.
Antonyms = Social Peace, Social Order.
3) SPLINTER (Noun) = Fragment, ( फाँस )
Synonyms = Shatter, Sliver.
Antonyms = Fix, Combine.
4) FORMIDABLE (Adj) = Horrible, ( डरावना )
Synonyms = Terrifying, Imposing.
Antonyms = Calm, Trivial.
5) IDEOLOGICAL (Adj) = Conceptual, ( वैचारिक )
Synonyms = Mental, Utopian.
Antonyms = Concrete,
6) DISAFFECTED (Adj) = Rebellious, ( असंतुष्ट )
Synonyms = Discontented, Antagonistic.
Antonyms = Happy, Pleased.
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Daily Gk Tonic From The Hindu Editorial
- Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. Wikipedia
Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Trending
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
Prime minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe
President: Maithripala Sirisena
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