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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 5-Sep-2014
5-Sep-14 World View -- ISIS and al-Qaeda in a generational struggle for India

Web Log - September, 2014

5-Sep-14 World View -- ISIS and al-Qaeda in a generational struggle for India

China to increase harassment of U.S. surveillance planes

This morning's key headlines from

ISIS and Mideast realignment energize Islamic terrorism in India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during Mumbai's 26/11 terrorist attack in 2008
Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during Mumbai's 26/11 terrorist attack in 2008

In the past few days, we're discussed the Mideast realignment following the Gaza war and the effect of ISIS on the Mideast realignment. However, the meteoric rise of the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) is firing the excitement and imagination of young Muslim men around that world, giving ISIS an effect that goes well beyond the Mideast.

Islam has grown organically within India, unlike other countries, and has over centuries evolved elaborate cultures of accommodation with Hinduism and other faiths. India's last generational crisis wars -- the 1947 Partition war between Western India and Pakistan, and the 1971 crisis war between Eastern India and Bangladesh (East Pakistan) -- were both particularly bloody, and pitted Hindus against Muslims, leaving even the Muslim survivors living in India with little desire for more violence through terrorist attacks. What Islamic terrorism has occurred has mostly come from external sources, namely terrorist militias in Pakistan, often funded by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency.

But now two important developments, both attributable to the rise of ISIS, indicate that internal forms of Islamic terrorism are likely to increase in India.

First, ISIS is directly energizing Islamic terrorism in India. Estimates vary from several dozen to several hundred of the number of Indians that have gone to the Mideast and are suspected of having joined ISIS. A breakaway faction of the Indian Mujahiddeen has declared its intention to fly the ISIS flag over South Asia. And the formerly moderate India militia Jamaat-e-Islami recently issued a statement:

"It is very necessary to welcome the announcement of the establishment of Islamic Caliphate by the ISIS because Islamic caliphate is the aspiration of every Muslim and there has never been a disagreement on the issue among the Muslims in any period of history."

An unknown is what effect ISIS is having on the Pakistan, and ISI's funding of anti-India militias, particularly in Kashmir and Jammu. ISIS may energize ISI as well to increase funding to homegrown Indian jihadist groups like Indian Mujhideen, or to encourage these jihadist groups to enter the ISIS fold. South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP - India) and One India

ISIS and al-Qaeda have generational struggle, and the prize is India

The second new development attributable to ISIS is that al-Qaeda has apparently been energized to take a new look at establishing a branch in India.

The rise of ISIS has led to a generational split within the global jihadist community. When ISIS's young leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself a new "caliph," and demanded that the entire Muslim world bow down to him, the response has been sporadic. While young Muslims may be drawn to the thrill of decapitating Western journalists, older jihadists are tied by loyalty oaths to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and are even more repulsed by the ISIS's recent massacre of hundreds of Sunni tribesmen in Syria. Others simply question the religious legitimacy of al-Baghdadi's self-anointed caliphate.

So, some people see al-Zawahiri's new message as opportunistic, and others see it as desperate. His statement emerged in a video late on Wednesday:

"A new branch of al-Qaeda was established and is Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian subcontinent, seeking to raise the flag of jihad, return the Islamic rule, and empowering the Shariah of Allah across the Indian subcontinent. [It will defend the] vulnerable in the Indian subcontinent, in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, and Kashmir [and] your brothers in Qaedat al-Jihad did not forget you and that they are doing what they can to rescue you from injustice, oppression, persecution, and suffering.

This entity was not established today, but it is the fruit of a blessed effort for more than two years to gather the mujahideen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity to be with the main group, Qaedat al-Jihad, from the soldiers of the Islamic Emirate and its triumphant emir, Allah permitting, Emir of the Believers Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid.

It is an entity that was formed to promulgate the call of the reviving Imam Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on him, to call the Ummah to unite round the word of Tawhid (monotheism), to wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty, and to revive its Caliphate."

The leader of the new group, Umar, said in an audio recording released with the video, that Jews and Hindus, whom he referred to as "apostates of India", "will watch your destruction by your own eyes." Fighters will "storm your barricades with cars packed with gunpowder," Umar said, decrying what he called the region's "injustice toward Muslims."

Whether the old geezers at al-Qaeda can attract young Muslims in India is far from clear. The realignment of the Mideast goes far beyond the Mideast, and it seems likely that ISIS will be more successful in India than al-Qaeda will. Pune Mirror (India) and Foreign Policy

China to increase harassment of U.S. surveillance planes

As we recently reported, a Chinese jet fighter made several passes as close as 30 feet to a U.S. surveillance plane in international waters. The incident is reminiscent of an April 2001 encounter, when a Chinese F-8 interceptor crashed into a U.S. surveillance aircraft off the southern China coast. The Chinese aircraft crashed into the sea, and its crew was killed. The U.S. plane made an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island, and its 24 crew members were imprisoned for 10 days.

It's been assumed that these were the acts of rogue Chinese pilots, but now it appears that they were ordered from above, and that the harassment is likely to become even more aggressive and dangerous. According to China's Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong:

"We didn't give them enough pressure (before). A knife at the throat is the only deterrence. From now on, we must fly even closer to U.S. surveillance aircraft."

It's believed that China is trying to prevent the U.S. from learning anything about their submarine fleet. China is continuing to build submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles with a range of over 4,000 nautical miles, and already has 70 such submarines. China has been for years on an aggressive program to develop as much military capability as possible, including a variety of missiles with no other purpose than to target American cities, aircraft carriers, and military bases. The submarine fleet would permit China to launch simultaneous nuclear attacks on hundreds of cities across the United States. Reuters

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 5-Sep-14 World View -- ISIS and al-Qaeda in a generational struggle for India thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (5-Sep-2014) Permanent Link
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