World View: AQAP Announces Support for Islamic State

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Violence flares on India/Pakistan border in Kashmir
  • Narendra Modi increases tensions in Jammu and Kashmir
  • AQAP announces support for Islamic State

Violence flares on India/Pakistan border in Kashmir

Two Indian soldiers and four militants were killed on Saturday when terrorists from the Pakistan side of the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) crossed the border into the Indian side and opened fire on India's Border Security Force (BSF). 

India is blaming Pakistan for the incident and claiming that Pakistani forces started firing across the border at Indian border posts in order to provide cover so that the militants could sneak across the border. 

Jammu and Kashmir were the epicenter of the 1947 war between Hindus and Muslims that followed the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent into Pakistan and India, one of the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century. Since then, there have been frequent battles and skirmishes along the Line of Control separating the region of J&K governed by Pakistan from the region governed by India. 

Terrorist activity reached a peak in the 1990s when the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) fought a full-scale jihad against India in J&K. LeT was funded by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, before the Pakistan government banned LeT in 2002. However, LeT was still responsible for the horrific '11/26' three-day, 60 hour terrorist attack in Mumbai in November 2008. That attack almost led to war between India and Pakistan, as India threatened to send its army to pursue LeT on Pakistani soil. War was avoided only by hard on-site negotiations by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. LeT continues to operate in J&K, and India believes that Pakistan's ISI continues to fund and support its activities. 

Violence in J&K has been reduced in recent years, but it's feared that tensions are rising again with the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister. Hindustan Times and BBC and Dawn (Pakistan)

Narendra Modi increases tensions in Jammu and Kashmir

Tensions and unrest have increased in J&K since the election of self-described Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi in May as prime minister. ("24-Aug-14 World View -- Narendra Modi and rise of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) in India"

Modi has called for the repeal of "Article 370" in India's constitution, which guarantees a special status for J&K and gives the province self-governance in many areas, excluding defense and foreign affairs. Article 370 was part of the agreement in 1947 that allowed India to control its part of J&K. Proponents of the repeal say that citizens of J&K should have exactly the same rights and obligations as every other citizen of India, while opponents say that if J&K loses its self-governance, then it will cause anti-government demonstrations. 

The India and Pakistan governments have held regular talks on the J&K problem, with a view to reducing the amount of violence. These talks were always pretty tense, but Modi canceled them completely last week when a Pakistani government official traveled to Kashmir to meet with the leaders of Hurriyet Conference, an activist group promoting the separation of J&K from India. According to Hurriyet leaders, the people of J&K should have the right to self-determination, and Pakistan is the only country that fully supports their cause.

Generational Dynamics predicts that Hindus and Muslims will re-fight the bloody war that followed Partition in 1947, and that Jammu and Kashmir will once again be a flash point. Kashmir Media and Times of India and Dawn (Pakistan)

AQAP announces support for Islamic State

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), headquartered in Yemen, has issued a statement of support for the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS): 

We announce solidarity with our Muslim brothers in Iraq against the crusade. Their blood and injuries are ours and we will surely support them. We assert to the Islamic Nation [all Muslims worldwide] that we stand by the side of our Muslim brothers in Iraq against the American and Iranian conspiracy and their agents of the apostate Gulf rulers.

A union between Islamic State and AQAP has been feared by analysts, because it would make the highly sophisticated bomb-making capabilities of AQAP available to Islamic State and to the thousands of young European and American men with clean passports who have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State. 

The AQAP statement provides some hard-learned lessons to the Islamic State terrorists: 

Based on our experience with drones, we advise our brothers in Iraq to be cautious about spies among them because they are a key factor in setting goals; be cautious about dealing with cell phones and internet networks; do not gather in large numbers or move in large convoys; spread in farms or hide under trees in the case of loud humming of warplanes; and dig sophisticated trenches because they reduce the impact of shelling.

However, this expression of brotherly love may run into serious political difficulties. AQAP is, as the name implies, a branch of al-Qaeda, and in fact is the leading branch of al-Qaeda these days. But Islamic State is NOT a branch of al-Qaeda, and has severed connections with al-Qaeda. This has split the AQAP leadership in Yemen between those who support and those who oppose a liaison with Islamic State. However, even with no formal relationship, there is already evidence that the two groups are sharing advice and providing training to each other. Yemen Times

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Jammu, Line of Control, Lashkar-e-Toiba, LeT, Inter-Services Intelligence, ISI, Narendra Modi, Hindu nationalism, Article 370, Partition, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL 
 

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