World View: AQAP Announces Support for Islamic State

World View: AQAP Announces Support for Islamic State

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 whenterrorists from the Pakistan side of the Line of Control (LoC) in thedisputed region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) crossed the border into theIndian side and opened fire on India’s Border Security Force (BSF). 

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

Jammu and Kashmir were the epicenter of the 1947 war between Hindusand Muslims that followed the partitioning of the Indiansubcontinent into Pakistan and India, one of the bloodiest wars of thetwentieth century. Since then, there have been frequent battles andskirmishes along the Line of Control separating the region of J&Kgoverned by Pakistan from the region governed by India. 

Terrorist activity reached a peak in the 1990s when the terroristgroup Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) fought a full-scale jihad against India inJ&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 andPakistan, as India threatened to send its army to pursue LeT onPakistani soil. War was avoided only by hard on-site negotiations byU.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. LeT continues to operate inJ&K, and India believes that Pakistan’s ISI continues to fund andsupport its activities. 

Violence in J&K has been reduced in recent years, but it’s feared thattensions are rising again with the election of Narendra Modi as primeminister. 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 ofself-described Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi in May as primeminister. (“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’sconstitution, which guarantees a special status for J&K and gives theprovince self-governance in many areas, excluding defense andforeign affairs. Article 370 was part of the agreement in 1947 thatallowed India to control its part of J&K. Proponents of the repealsay that citizens of J&K should have exactly the same rights andobligations as every other citizen of India, while opponents say thatif J&K loses its self-governance, then it will cause anti-governmentdemonstrations. 

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

Generational Dynamics predicts that Hindus and Muslims will re-fightthe bloody war that followed Partition in 1947, and that Jammu andKashmir 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, hasissued a statement of support for the Islamic State / of Iraq andSyria (IS or ISIS): 

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

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

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

Based on our experience with drones, we advise ourbrothers in Iraq to be cautious about spies among them becausethey are a key factor in setting goals; be cautious about dealingwith cell phones and internet networks; do not gather in largenumbers or move in large convoys; spread in farms or hide undertrees in the case of loud humming of warplanes; and digsophisticated trenches because they reduce the impact ofshelling.

However, this expression of brotherly love may run into seriouspolitical difficulties. AQAP is, as the name implies, a branch ofal-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 withal-Qaeda. This has split the AQAP leadership in Yemen between thosewho support and those who oppose a liaison with Islamic State. However, evenwith no formal relationship, there is already evidence that the twogroups 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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