Govt bans offshoots of al-Qaeda, IS in anti-terror law

The ISIS-K is also known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat Khorasa. File photo

The government has banned the latest offshoots of al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) after finding that they are radicalising Indian youth for 'global jihad' and encouraging terror acts on Indian interests.

An official gazette notification was issued on Tuesday banning Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K), an Afghanistan-based affiliate of the IS, and Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The ISIS-K is also known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat Khorasan.

"The recruitment of youth from India by the said organisations and their radicalisation are a matter of serious concern for national security and international peace," the order said.

The AQIS has been identified for committing acts of terrorism in the neighbouring countries and promoting and encouraging terrorist acts on Indian interests in the Indian subcontinent. It has also been attempting radicalisation and recruitment of youth from India, it said.

On the ISIS-K, the order said it promotes and encourages terrorism in the Indian subcontinent and has been committing terrorist acts to "consolidate its position" by recruiting youth for "global jihad" and to achieve the objective of establishing its own "caliphate" by overthrowing democratically elected governments. It "considers India and the Indian interests as its targets and is engaged in activities of radicalising and recruiting Indian youth for terrorist activities," the notification said.

At present, there are 39 terrorist organisations listed in the first schedule of the UAPA, which provides the list of banned terrorist organisations.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), earlier this year, told a Parliamentary panel that the Islamic State and AQIS "have started" posing "new challenges" to the existing security environment.

Big challenge

"Radicalisation of youth by terror outfits through the misuse of Internet and social media, has emerged as a big challenge in recent times. The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies," the MHA note to the panel said.

According to the CIA, the AQIS aims to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Indian subcontinent and it targets primarily military and security personnel, especially in the states of Assam, Gujarat, and Jammu and Kashmir. It is present in large cities, including Delhi.

It said ISIS-K aims to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Its main areas of operation are primarily along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to stage attacks inside Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Govt bans offshoots of al-Qaeda, IS in anti-terror law

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