The two Islamic State style terror acts in J&K
New Delhi, Feb 16: The gruesome suicide attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir was probably the second Islamic State (IS) style act in the state within a month.
A suicide bomber, identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, affiliated to Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) rammed explosive laden van into two buses of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying some 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Jammu-Srinagar Highway near Pulwama.
Before being killed, Dar claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel.
CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar has said that a new dimension is added to terrorist activity in Kashmir as an explosive-laden vehicle was used to target a convoy for the first time in the Pulwama terror attack.
However, Pulwamas suicide bomber was the second one in the history of Kashmiri terrorism.
Almost two decades ago, a suicide bomber, also affiliated to JeM, had exploded his explosive laden car outside the main gate of the Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar.
Though the JeM has taken responsibility of Pulwama attack, but the planners seem to be driven by the Islamic State style.
The IS has used thousands of suicide bombers who used explosive laden cars and trucks against security forces in Iraq.
First it was reported that Dar's Scorpio van was laden with RDX, but reports now indicate his van was a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in which a very fine quality of urea ammonium nitrate, which is commonly used in stone quarries in Kashmir, was used.
After Dar executed his task, the JeM released his pre-recorded video message. Again, this step bears resemblance to the Islamic State.
The IS used to release pre-recorded video messages of suicide bombers.
For example, the Islamic State released a posthumous statement from Saudi suicide bomber who struck Kuwait mosque and killed 17 people in 2015.
Before Pulwama attack, an incident also happened in Kashmir that had footprints of the Islamic State.
On February 1, the Jammu and Kashmir police recovered body of a 25-year-old woman from Dragad area of Shopian district, who was shot dead at point blank range by unidentified terrorists.
Victim Ishrat Muneer was a resident of Dangerpora in Pulwama district. She was reportedly killed on the suspicion of being an informer of the security forces. Strategically, the terrorists also made a video of her killing and circulated it on social media.
The woman in the short video clip can be seen pleading for mercy with folded hands but the gunman shoots her twice.
Killers of Muneer also must have been inspired by the Islamic State's psychological tactic of filming the killing.
The IS is known for releasing videos of death punishment to hostages and informers to send warnings.
These two incidents give an idea about the new strategy of the terror masterminds sitting in Pakistan.
Chances are high that after the success of Pulwama attack they will lure others terrorists in Kashmir to become suicide bombers and use car bombs or VBIEDs to kill many before being killed.
The strategy behind the killing of Muneer could be an attempt to send a message to those Kashmiri girls who allegedly led security forces to those terrorists who had sexually exploited them.
For example, it is said that security forces managed to eliminate top terrorists like Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana, and another top-ranked Lashkar terrorist Abdullah Uni due to their involvement with women.
Interestingly, Pulwama suicide bomber Dar in his pre-recorded video message also warned Kashmiri young boys against falling in love.