Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh said that radicalization of populace, particularly youth, is another trend and one of the most challenging problems being faced the world over. Addressing the Fourth Counter Terrorism Conference on “Changing Contours of Global Terror” in Gurugram, Haryana on March 14, Rajnath Singh said several countries in the world have identified this problem and have taken measures to check and control the process of radicalization and I am happy to state that India has timely busted some modules that were planning to orchestrate terrorist attacks on her soil.
He said that terrorism, indeed, has become a global phenomenon posing major threat to international peace, security and stability. Access to advance technology, including cyberspace, sophisticated communications, global funding and military grade weapons has given such groups enormous strength. It is no wonder; therefore, that terrorism constitutes one of the principal challenges at the global, regional and national levels and has become a key factor in national security planning.
Rajnath Singh continued, “In the recent few years, perception of ‘Global Terrorism’ has undergone a massive makeover with the rise of violent armed terror groups especially in the Middle East, South Asia and African continent. This phenomenon could be attributed to the diminishing control in the terror space of the Al-Qaeda leadership, which just a decade ago was the face of terrorism. The shift of AQ Network from the Middle East to South Asia is a phenomenon, which is of serious concern to India.”
The Boko-Haram-IS alliance primarily seeks to enhance the idea of global jihad with an aggressive brand of terror and footprint of Caliphate into Africa, through innovative measures. The new face of global terrorism can be most vividly seen in the dramatic change and growth in its infrastructure. Singh said: “Access to advanced technology including cyber-space, internet, electronic mail, etc. has provided terrorist groups with a global communication system. It has also provided such groups with an immensely destructive tool which can be potentially crippling for technology based economies.”
We have kept a keen watch on the growth of ISIS and their ways of using social media as a key tool for ideological indoctrination, recruitment and networking by targeting young generation and intellectual Muslims. The potential threat posed by IS are large scale radicalization of Muslim youth throughout the world, rise in “Lone-Wolf” and terror attacks by returnee foreign fighters to their home countries. The terror attacks in Australia and France are telling examples of such threat, said the Home Minister.
The ongoing propaganda by IS has significantly altered jihadi discourse in India, which so far was rooted in grievances against the Indian state/society. I am, however, happy that Indian social fabric has not been affected by the emergence of Islamic State and I am sure this will not have any further impact in our country. The events of September 11, 2001 marked a watershed in the march of International action against global terrorism. India has consistently taken steps to intensify and strengthen international co-operation through a variety of means. Terrorism, in all forms, including, Left Wing Extremism, Insurgency, etc., poses a challenge on national sovereignty of India and it already faces a serious challenge due to relentless efforts of Pak sponsored anti India Islamist groups like LeT, JeM, HUJI and HM.
India has taken steps for setting up of Joint Working Groups (JWGs) on counter-terrorism/security matters with key countries, Rajnath Singh said.
Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar was also present on the occasion.