ISIS in India: What we need to learn from the Brussels attack

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New Delhi, March 24: India has to learn a lesson from the Brussels attack in which 31 persons were killed and over 270 were injured.

The National Investigation Agency which is probing a case relating to the formation of a ISIS cell in India will have to look closely at the manner in which the ISIS functions in different countries.

brussels terror attack

What the ISIS does is set up a network of cells. For instance in Europe, the cells comprise European fighters. For strikes in the Arab nations, the cells would comprise persons of that nationality.

It is obvious that in the case of India and the rest of Asia, a network of cells comprising men of Asian origin is being set up.

Why does the ISIS set up a network of cells?

The ISIS when it comes to attacks outside of Syria and Iraq functions almost on auto mode. It insists that persons of that particular region set up a cell and function on their own.

The fact of the matter is that these cells are free to undertake any operation that they like and would not even have to consult with Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi on the same.

Most of these fighters who go to Iraq or Syria and train return to their home country to set up a cell. They pick persons from the region and induct them into the cells. In Europe alone there are at least 290 battle ready operatives who form part of these cells.

The idea is to ensure that locals are part of the cell as they tend to know the terrain better than a foreign fighter. These operatives also tend to get away as they are locals. The scanner on the entry of foreigners is always high and the tendency of getting caught is more.

Moreover with foreign fighters, the jurisdiction will need to be explained and this would not only be time consuming but also risky.

The Indian scenario:

In the Indian context the problem could worse in the days to come. The NIA had recently arrested nearly 23 persons alleged to be part of an ISIS cell in India.

What the NIA will need to find out is if this cell was connected with the other cells set up in the rest of Asia. The focus will have to be particularly higher in countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan where similar cells exist.

The NIA has so far not found anything concrete which would suggest that the Indian cell had been networked. Indian Intelligence Bureau officials had warned that the problem for India will come from Bangladesh. The ISIS has made sufficient inroads in that country.

The proximity to West Bengal and the North Eastern states is another added worry. These cells in Bangladesh will try and network with those in West Bengal or the other North Eastern states. If this takes place, it would be extremely worrisome.

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