Definition of terrorism

Terrorism is the planned, organised and systematic use of violence i.e. intentional violence, generally against civilians, for political, religious or ideological purposes (prime purpose of creating overwhelming fear for coercive purposes) during peacetime or in the context of the war against non-combatants.

yet No consensus over the definitions worldwide due to to its relevance in different circumstances and ambiguities (as per international conventions)

Terrorist organisations:

Jaish-e-Mohammad : Masood Azhar (founder)

Released from India via hijacking od IC 814 (1999)

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed (co-founder)


  • literally "The Army of Muhammad", abbreviated as JeM) is a Pakistan-based Deobandi Jihadist group active in Kashmir. The group's primary motive is to separate Kashmir from India and merge it into Pakistan

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is said to have created Jaish-e-Mohammed by working with several Deobandi terrorists associated with Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. By the late 1990s, states Ahmed Rashid, the Pakistani military justified jihad in Kashmir as a legitimate part of its foreign policy.


  • Close relation with Taliban & Al-Qaeda
  • Mumbai Attack (2008)
  • Parliament Attack (2001) along with Lashkar-e-taiba pay back to Al-qaeda and Taliban for their help in releasing of Masood Azhar. As a result of this Pak Army was moved to Indian border from Afghanistan border, relieving Al-qaeda
  • Pathankot Air Base attack (2016)
  • Chinese government blocked a UN Security Council Sanctions Committee listing of Azhar as a terrorist, thwarting international efforts to disrupt the activities of his group


 Hizbul Mujahidden : Syed Salahuddin, Abdul Rahman Makki,

  • Party of Holy Warriors" or "Party of Mujahideen"), founded by Muhammad Ahsan Dar in September 1989, is a Kashmiri separatist group.
  • It is designated a terrorist organisation by India, the European Union and the United States, active in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.


 Lashkar-e-Taiba :  Azam Cheema, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed


literally Army of the Good, translated as Army of the Righteous, or Army of the Pure and alternatively spelled as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Lashkar-e-Toiba; Lashkar-i-Taiba; Lashkar-i-Tayyeba) is one of the largest and most active terrorist organizations in South Asia, operating mainly from Pakistan. It was founded in 1987 by Hafiz Saeed, Abdullah Azzam and Zafar Iqbal

  • Mumbai Attack (2008)
  • Parliament Attack (2001)


 Indian Mujahideen :  Abdul Subhan Qureshi, Yasin Bhatkal

  • Indian Mujahideen is a Terrorist Group formed on 2010 and founded by Abdul Subhan Qureshi.
  • The group had engaged in several terrorist attacks in India and had regional aspirations with the ultimate aim of creating an "Islamic caliphate" across South Asia.The group was banned by UK as it aimed at creating an Islamic State and implementing Sharia law in India, by use of indiscriminate violence.
  • 2008-Jaipur bombings, 
  • 2008- Ahmedabad serial blasts,
  • Batla House encounter.
  • 2010 Jama Masjid attack
  • 2010 Varanasi bombing
  • 2013 Bodh Gaya blasts


ISIS origin:

  • IS can trace its roots back to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian. In 2004, a year after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and formed al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
  • After Zarqawi’s death in 2006, AQI created an umbrella organisation, Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). 
  • ISI was weakened by the US troop and the creation of Sahwa (Awakening) councils by Sunni Arab tribesmen who rejected its brutality.
  • Baghdadi, a former US detainee, became leader in 2010 and began rebuilding ISI’s capabilities. 
  • IS also joined the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, setting up the al-Nusra Front.
  • In April 2013, Baghdadi announced the merger of IS   forces in Iraq and Syria and the creation of “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (Isis). 
  • In June 2014, Isis overran the northern city of Mosul, and then advanced southwards towards Baghdad, massacring its adversaries and threatening to eradicate the country’s many ethnic and religious minorities. 

Area under control:

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 8th November 2019

What does IS want?

  • The establishment of a “caliphate” – a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia, by God’s deputy on Earth, or caliph.
  • It has demanded that Muslims across the world swear allegiance to its leader – Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and migrate to territory under its control.
  • IS has also told other jihadist groups worldwide that they must accept its supreme authority.
  • The group justifies its attacks on Muslims and non-Muslims alike by drawing on extreme interpretations of Islamic texts.


  • ISIS is the world’s wealthiest militant group. 
  • Wealthy private donors and Islamic charities in the Middle East keen to oust Syria’s President Assad.
  • Self-funding.
  • The US Treasury estimates that in 2014 IS may have earned as much as several million dollars per week, or $100m in total, from the sale of crude oil and refined products to local middlemen, who in turn smuggled them in Turkey and Iran, or sold them to the Syrian government.

ISIS and Sharia Law

  • ISIS rule spread quickly throughout Iraq and Syria. The group focused on creating an Islamic state and implementing sharia law—a strict religious code based on traditional Islamic rules and practices.
  • In 2014, ISIS took control of Falluja, Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq, and declared itself a caliphate, which is a political and religious territory ruled by a leader known as a caliph.
  • ISIS fighters attacked a northern town in Iraq that was home to the Yazidis, a minority religious group, in August 2014. They killed hundreds of people, sold women into slavery, forced religious conversions and caused tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee from their homes.
  • The attack sparked international media coverage and brought attention to the brutal tactics employed by ISIS. Also in 2014, al Qaeda broke ties with ISIS, formally rejecting the group and disavowing their activities.

One Group, Many Names:

ISIL: This acronym stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” The Levant is a broad geographical region that includes Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Jordan. 

IS: The shortened “IS” simply means “Islamic State.” In 2014, the militant group announced they were officially calling themselves IS because their goals for an Islamic state reached beyond the areas identified in other titles.

Daesh: Many Middle Eastern and European governments have used this Arabic acronym for “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham,” which translates to “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” to address the group. However, ISIS doesn’t approve of the name, and in 2014, threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone who called them Daesh in public.

India and ISIS:

  • The Paris terror attacks by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)in 2015  have quite naturally fueled concerns about the threat posed by this group to India. 
  • The concerns deepen given the backdrop that India has been the target of various terror outfits in different geographies for nearly thirty years. 
  • A recent report by the Global Terrorism Index 2018 (GTI) ranked India 7th out of 162 nations most affected by terrorism in 2018.
  • First, in mid 2014, Daeesh ISIS showed its interest in the Indian sub-continent when it issued a map depicting the western part of the India to be a part of the Islamic State of Khorasan.
  • Second, Mehdi Biswas, a resident of Bengaluru was arrested in December 2014 on account of evangelising for the Islamic State through his twitter account @Shamiwitness. 
  • Third and most recently, an assessment by security agencies revealed that there are close to 23 Indians fighting with the terror group in Syria and Iraq
  • At the same time, we have also witnessed widespread opposition to the ISIS ideology and barbarity. For instance, the Maulana of Jama Masjid in Bengaluru and several other clerics have repeatedly issued alerts to the Muslim community to be wary of the ISIS.

India’s concerns:

  • India becoming a recruiting ground for ISIS to conduct its operations in India and elsewhere in the world. 
  • The threat perception for this level is medium to high. 
  • The reason being that India has more than 350 million people who are connected to the internet and it is likely that some of them will fall prey to ISIS’ ingenious ways of luring Muslim youths through their online propaganda.
  • The biggest threat that ISIS poses to India is that it will act as a totem for local Indian terror outfits. Such groups would want to claim association with ISIS regardless of whether they agree or know about the ISIS ideology. 
  • The biggest threat to India’s national security still comes from the jihadi elements of the Pakistani military-jihadi complex.

Way forward:

  • It would be appropriate to keep a close watch and monitor developments.
  • Tackling the challenge of local Indian terror outfits seeking an ISIS badge would essentially require India to eradicate the discontent amongst Muslims in India
  • Dismantling the  military-jihadi complex in Pakistan and putting an end to majoritarianism back home will ensure that foreign terror outfits, whether Pakistani or Arabs, will find it difficult to challenge the idea of India.

Present Scenario:

President Donald Trump declared that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead after a US military raid in northwest Syria over. The President said a US special operations forces mission went after the ISIS leader and there were no US deaths during the operation. The death of Baghdadi marks the culmination of a years-long hunt to find one of the most wanted terrorists in the world and the man who declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

  • The death of its “Caliph” is certainly a blow to the terrorist group. But the IS is ideologically stronger to survive the fall of its leader, and the geopolitical conditions that led to the rise of the group remain more or less intact

Last modified: Sunday, 10 November 2019, 7:49 AM