By Walid Shoebat
So what is the scoop in South Asia and who were behind these gunmen who stormed a restaurant popular with expatriates in the diplomatic quarter of the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka today? Security officials in Bangladesh denied a report by ISIS that 24 people were dead in the assault.
The media is telling us that ISIS is behind the attack. After all, ISIS English-language magazine Dabiq carried an interview earlier this month with their purported leader in Bangladesh, Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif, who claimed that the country had become its base of operations in South Asia.
In 2013 alone 84 bloggers in Bangladesh have been serially hacked to death in their homes by Islamists with no links to ISIS. Now they are telling us the terrorists are ISIS. So what is the truth?
Perhaps a brief history on how all this started and why this is so dangerous will clear the runway for people to understand how bad things are. The overwhelming majority of South Asian Muslims practiced several variations of Sufi Islam. After the decline of the worst persecutor of Hindus, the Muslim Mughal Empire, in the eighteenth century and with the rise and introduction of British rule, religious tolerance was applied by Muslim rulers who still presided over South Asian kingdoms where the majority of their subjects were Hindus.
But like in the Middle East, instead of outlawing Islam, the Muslim scholars and muftis enjoyed a position of relative prestige. Jihadi movements in South Asia have grown out of these Islamic revivalist movements and has been used by countries like Pakistan to bolster its national identity against India and to stage anti-Soviet Jihad in Afghanistan. The Jamaat-e-Islami (founded by Abul Ala Maududi 1903-1979) grew as well which was similar to the Arab Muslim Brotherhood operating for decades as a political party, a social welfare organization, a pan-Islamic network sponsoring Jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir. They were recipient of major funds from Saudi Arabia which later sprouted the Wahhabi groups in South Asia including Bangladesh.
It was truly the struggle between the two superpowers, the U.S. and Russia in Afghanistan that opened the pandora’s box of the only willing body to carry out a struggle by support from the U.S against the Russians in Afghanistan and it was these Islamists who were willing participants to do America’s bidding.
It was from these several jihadi groups which emerged over the last two decades in Pakistan and Kashmir that spread into parts of India and Bangladesh.
SO IS THE TERROR ATTACK IN BANGLADESH FROM ISIS?
Ever notice how these days that whatever Islamists do, the media waits for ISIS to take credit and the media approves and believes them? ISIS plays a game, it watches any attack by lone-wolves and the media plays along to accept the claims. The Orlando attacks for example cannot directly be linked to ISIS except that the terrorist praised ISIS. In other words, many of these grassroots followers of Jamaat-e-Islami, Taliban in Bangladesh and the whole of South Asia and others (even lone wolves in the U.S.) have either pledged allegiance to ISIS or are praising ISIS giving it credit without any real links.
How about the San Bernardino attack? It was from Bangladesh that we have Rafia Sultana Farook, the mother of the San Bernardino terrorists and her connections with the Jamaat-e-Islami created by Abu A’la Maududi, in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. This in fact is the same connections that Hillary’s aid, Huma Abedin’s parents (also from Pakistan) was involved with this movement which we documented extensively.
Shoebat.com has even warned about the rise of terrorism in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and predicted the outcome in a report “There Is A War Between ISIS And The Taliban. ISIS Is Winning And Is Quickly Advancing Into Nuclear Pakistan And Troubled Afghanistan“. In the report, and contrary to analysts predictions that a showdown between ISIS and Taliban was imminent, we wrote:
Some western media says that the Taliban declared war on ISIS, after the Afghan Taliban fearing ISIS popularity, had branded ISIS’ self-declared caliphate as “illegitimate” and refused to declare allegiance to its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Fact is, it was ISIS that declared war on the Taliban and is expanding into Afghanistan and Pakistan in lightening speed.
And a month later in August 2015, we warned:
ISIS even anointed a former Taliban leader, known as Hafiz Saeed Khan (aka Mulla Saeed Orakzai), as their new overload in southern Asia and the sub-continent called ISIS Khorasan, an offshoot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s militant group which now spans Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh, as well as some parts of Central Asia. The installation of Saeed, a former Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), automatically makes him one of the most powerful warlords in the Middle East. All this adds to the Black Flags prophecy from Khorasan. Westerners need to take heed to these very serious developments which we predict they will not until its too late.
It was only on November 2015 that the media began to realize ISIS was steeped in Bangladesh.
But the truth is “The bottom line is Bangladesh has plenty of local, (often unaffiliated), militants and radicals happy to stage attacks in ISIS’s name,” said Michael Kugelman, South Asia associate at The Wilson Centre in Washington D.C., using an acronym commonly used for Islamic State. In Bangladesh we have two main groups, Ansar-al-Islam (which pledges allegiance to al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent “AQIS)”) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (which pledges allegiance to ISIS). We also have Shaykh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif, the self-styled amir of ISIS in Bangladesh, is radicalising and recruiting prospective jihadis in India, Pakistan and Myanmar. ISIS is cooperating with Wilayat Khurasan, an offshoot in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Khurasan has links with the Pakistani Jihadis which is a major concern.
But the problem is not only in Bangladesh. The presence of ISIS is now 100% confirmed by the Pakistani government as well and they have allegiance of Taliban groups that is truly a disturbing news and is likely to have serious consequences for a country like Pakistan that is already in turmoil due to incompetent governance, economic crises and political tension. However, this is not the sole reason behind ISIS desire to start operations in Pakistan. There are multiple encouraging points that brought ISIS to the country that is already in turmoil. Large parts of Pakistan, Baluchistan and FATA are at the age of bifurcations. ISIS support to the freedom fighters of Baluchistan and jihadis of FATA will accelerate the freeing process of these provinces which will eventually become basis for ISIS in the region.
To title ISIS as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or to say that it has weakened in the Levant is a myth and the name will soon get a facelift. ISIS does not have to reside solely in Iraq and Syria alone. It is all across the Muslim world magnetizing a litany of major terrorist organizations to give the Bay’at (allegiance) and join under ISIS, such as Jund al-Khilafah (Soldiers of the Caliphate, In North Africa), Ansar al-Shariah (Libya), portions of the Taliban (Pakistan), The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (Pakistan’s North Waziristan), Al-Tawhid Battalion (Pakistan, Afghanistan), many from Al-Nusra (Lebanon) and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen), Ansar al-Tawhid in the Land of Hind (India), Anṣār Bayt al-Maqdis (Sinai) and Jund al-Khilafah (Egypt).
Therefore we must not view that we have an ISIS problem but an Islam and a caliphate problem.
So here’s the scoop. Understand that the truth is between the lines. In Istanbul, the attackers were 22 people from Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. ISIS previously jumped on the bandwagon to claim responsibility for the 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando yet it remained silent on the murder of 41 people in Istanbul.
ISIS forces wants Ankara to believe that the possibility was Turkey’s enemy, the Kurds as responsible and by that Turkey ratchets up its escalation against ISIS enemy #1, the Kurds in northern Syria. ISIS and Turkey has a similar agenda. One (ISIS) wants a mini-Caliphate to grow by using grassroots and Wahhabism while Turkey wants a grand caliphate to grow by using its NATO and military might and its moderate Sufi version of Islam. Two different approaches to the same goal. But what we must understand is that a caliphate is the natural hegemony the Muslim world understands and supports which will ultimately make Turkey the victor.
The reason that there is no effort to destroy Jihadist movements is that each political figure from ISIS, Turkey to the U.S., uses the situation for a political advantage. CIA Director John Brennan says the attack in Istanbul “certainly bears the hallmarks of ISIL’s depravity,” however, and he would “be surprised if Daesh [ISIS] is not trying to carry out that kind of attack in the United States”.
This propaganda supports U.S. government agenda in the Middle East to ratchet up its struggle with the other superpower, Russia. The truth is that what sprouted the Islamist agenda is the struggle between the U.S. and Russia over Afghanistan. All what the U.S. had to do is to let Russia have Afghanistan and we will not see all these problems today.
Nothing ever changed and in fact politics love ISIS. When it comes to the Orlando massacre, its browny points for the LGBT. When it comes to Erdogan, its the need to combat ISIS that NATO has to comply with Turkey’s demands. When it comes to even Japan, ISIS serves Shinzo Abe’s agenda to militarize Japan. When it comes to the Kurds, their state needs to be established since they are persecuted by ISIS.
ISIS as it turns out is the best thing for agenda driven policies since sliced bread.
But such attitude of “do little about ISIS” has major consequences. First of all it is not only ISIS that is the problem. It was from the Ansar’s ranks (AQIS) that former army major Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque, who went into hiding after he plotted to overthrow the government in 2011. Military officers switch sides to join Jihadi groups.
And if you think the situation in Iraq and Syria is being resolved soon think again, it is spreading to South Asia. Today 98% of Pakistanis support Jihad and they have no problems with all the blood and gore that ISIS does.
ISIS (and its other affiliates) are now camped in south Asia. The black standard of the Islamic State has been popping up all over from urban slums to Taliban strongholds, the ISIS logo and name have appeared in graffiti, posters and pamphlets and a cluster of militant commanders in Pakistan declared their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the caliph of the Islamic State as ISIS presence there increases by the day.
But the one trillion dollar question is will the world leaders secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of Jihadis? It doesn’t look like it and the prospects of ISIS gaining nuclear bombs are very likely as the news from Pakistan reveals. To ensure that no nuclear weapons falls into the hands of Jihadis, there is only one option, that the US takes control of Pakistan’s nukes and disarms Pakistan as the West should have disarmed Muslim nations from Islam. But is this scenario even feasible? Hardly. Only Christ will do this.
The problem in the West is that its comparing the ISIS problem with its previous predecessor Al-Qaeda so the western news consumers are not paying as much attention to how fast the Islamic State is moving and it’s not wasting time like al-Qaida did before and its moving in lightening speed.
ISIS is moving quick. Commanders from ISIS are currently in Baluchistan gaining allegiance of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Baloch freedom movement. This happened just a few weeks after a group of TTP under Maulana Fazlullah, voiced support for the terror group and swore allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It was not only Maulana Fazlullah who teamed up with ISIS, the local group called Jamaatul Ahrar, also declared its support for ISIS. Jamaatul Ahrar’s leader, Ehsanullah Ehsan, was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We respect them. If they ask us for help, we will look into it and decide.” According to the Daily Mail, the spokesperson of TTP and six senior figures have declared loyalty to ISIS.
“The message they’re trying to convey is they are brutal to their enemies, and they are righteous in their cause,” says Karl Kaltenthaler, an expert on the rise of Islamic extremism and professor at the University of Akron. “If you mess with them, you’re going to pay a high price, and they will stop at nothing to achieve the triumph of their vision for Islam.”
And while this goes on, there is little time left and the situation for Christians in Pakistan will be dire for Rescue Christians to move as fast as possible to rescue enslaved Christians. One can imagine when ISIS rules regions in north Pakistan, Christian persecution will be unlike anything we have ever seen.