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Terrorism: South Asian Scenario. Major General Muniruzzaman, ndc, psc (Retd.) President Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS). South Asia: An Introduction . The region is located at the strategically important area in world.

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terrorism south asian scenario

Terrorism: South Asian Scenario

Major General Muniruzzaman, ndc, psc (Retd.)


Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)

south asia an introduction
South Asia: An Introduction
  • The region is located at the strategically important area in world.
  • SA comprises of the sub-Himalayan countries and is surrounded (clockwise, from west to east) by Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, and Southeastern Asia.
  • It is home to over 1.50 billion people .
  • It is the home of two new nuclear weapon states .
  • .
( Contd.)
  • It has a history of protracted dispute, conflict and regional wars. It has close proximity to another nuclear power (China).
  • It has one of the fastest growing power and economy (India).
  • South Asia is one of the poorest and most misgoverned regions of the world after sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Enormous Diversity within South Asia .
    • Demography, Economy, Governance, Human Development,
    • Social Development and Poverty Incidence
geostrategic importance of south asia
Geostrategic Importance of South Asia

South Asia is a most complex, volatile and politically explosive region, the most enigmatic and baffling in the world

Lies between the sea routes of the Indian Ocean (Persian Gulf and the Asia-Pacific) and the land routes of Central Asia connecting Europe to the East

Large reservoir of natural and human resources

( Contd.)

Prime destination for finance capital, a lucrative market for trade and a source of cheap raw material.

Sits at the confluence of the richest sources of oil, gas.

The transit point for most of the resources and manufactures that crisscross the world.

Was the base for infamous “Great Game” in the 19th century.

United States Base at Diego Garcia, just south of Maldives.

geostrategic importance of south asia contd
Geostrategic Importance of South Asia (contd.)
  • Indo-US strategic partnership
  • Concept of “Chindia”
  • Emergence of India as Regional Power with global pretensions
  • Nuclearization of South Asia
  • Potentiality of Nuclear/Conventional Conflicts

South Asia in the frontline of the energy resource regions (Central Asia, Persian Gulf).

Demographic pattern-currently comprising one fourth of the world’s population.

Two Nuclear club members are in South Asia.

Geographical contiguity with would be super power, China

“Indian Ocean Rim”.

terrorism and south asia
Terrorism and South Asia
  • Global terrorism center of gravity shifts to South Asia.
  • South Asia now epicenter of terrorism.
  • “The arc of instability”.
  • Islamist militancy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
  • Maoist insurgency in India and Nepal.
  • The “Red Corridor”.
  • FATA.
  • Hindu radicalism.
  • LTTE in Sri Lanka.

Mumbai attack

November 2008


common factors
Common Factors

Terrorism is caused by poverty and exploitation

Terrorist enemies are at once civil and military, state and non-state, territorial and non-territorial’ (Beck, The Cosmopolitan Vision (Polity) 2006: 152)

Regional tensions and non-resolution of core disputes

Hegemonic policies

Threatening sovereignty of smaller countries

Growth of nuclear arsenal and induction of new weapons.

  • Terrorists identified themselves with ‘the cellular world of global terror rather than the isolating world of national minorities’
    • Terrorists morphed ‘from one kind of minority – weak, disempowered, disenfranchised and angry – to another kind of minority – cellular, globalized, transnational, armed, and dangerous’ Appadurai, A (2006: 113) Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger (Duke University Press)
areas of concern
Areas of Concern
  • The Diaspora Connection
  • Self-Radicalization
  • Tactical Devolution
  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan
  • South Asia Emerging

as the Global Epicentre of


  • Female radicalization
  • Migrant worker connection
  • Confused/Dual identity
trends in terrorism
Trends in terrorism

Terrorism and insurgency


Suicide terrorism

Speed of learning

Media developments

Economic targeting

Mass casualty attacks and weapons of mass destruction

strategic trends
Strategic Trends

Al – Qaeda in a strategic Cul de Sac yet posing a credible threat to global security.

An incomplete ideological battle compounding the problem.

Lack of effective trans-national cooperation creating an advantageous situation for the terrorist organisations.

The deepening problem in the global south: need to address core issues.

Preferred asymmetric tool.

changes in tactics
Changes in Tactics
  • Bomb Blasts Increasingly Being Replaced by Operations involving Small Arms e.g. Mumbai CST Attack 26/11/2009
  • New Innovations in Training and Organisation
  • Rotating leadership
  • Organisational identity change
terrorist tactics based on 25 303 terrorist events 1968 2004
Terrorist Tactics, based on 25,303 terrorist events, 1968-2004

Source: p.49.Kenneth T. Bogen and Edwin D. Jones. Risks of Mortality and Morbidity from Worldwide Terrorism: 1968-2004. Risk Analysis Vol. 26, No.1, 2006.

changes in tactics cont d
Changes in Tactics (Cont’d)

Small groups and sleeper cells increasingly gaining prominence.

The lone wolf making a comeback?

Decentralised organisational structure – The case of JMB

New innovations in training: The use of Char areas for training

An evolving crime – Terror nexus

the emerging threat scenarios
The Emerging Threat Scenarios

The looming threat to critical infrastructure: Rawalpindi water supply

The threat from internet radicalisation

Fighting the flow of money: The challenge from terrorist financing

JMB financing – bona fide investments

The question of nuclear security

Terrorist or insurgent – where to draw the line??

Possibility of WMD terrorism

the emerging threat scenarios cont d
The Emerging Threat Scenarios (Cont’d)

The deepening threat of radicalisation across societies.

The increasing threat from extremist groups in the context of South Asia e.g. HizbutTahrir.

The problem of integration in an increasingly globalising world.

The rise of the radical elements across different societies: The mainstream becoming smaller??

who are the terrorists
Who are the Terrorists?
  • Al-Qaeda
    • Militant, international Islamic organization focused on removing all western influence from Muslim countries and fighting a global “Jihad”
who are the terrorists23
Who are the Terrorists?
  • Taliban
    • Violent fundamentalist group from Afghanistan; focused on implementing Sharia law in Afghanistan and Pakistan
who are the terrorists24
Who are the Terrorists?
  • Separatist Movements
    • Punjab (Sikh), Kashmir, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland; all have tried to gain autonomy at one point.
why does this matter to us
Why does this matter to us?
  • Terrorism threatens the stability of the region; big consequences if these countries fall.
  • India and Pakistan are both nuclear nations; weapons could fall into terrorist hands.
  • Many of these organizations are international (e.g. Al-Qaeda)
  • Operation Enduring Freedom – US led military action in Afghanistan
international front for jihad against the jews and crusaders
International Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders

“The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies─civilians and military─is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.”

Fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden & Ayman al-Zawahiri


Key Drivers of Radicalisation, according to Global Futures Forum

  • Mass communication and propaganda
  • Western responses to radicalisation
  • Governance in target countries
  • Western dominance (both real and perceived)
  • State-to-state tensions

Global Futures Forum. Radical Worlds of 2020. Imagining the Futures of Radicalisation. The Hague, 12-14 December 2007, pp. 54.

  • Religion (and its relationship to politics)
  • Government responsiveness (civil society)
  • Immigration and demographics
  • “Us- vs. -Them” identity politics
  • New ideologies
  • Resources (scarcities, conflicts over ~)
  • Violence (associated with extremism)

Global Futures Forum. Radical Worlds of 2020. Imagining the Futures of Radicalisation. The Hague, 12-14 December 2007, pp. 54.

radicalisation a strategic challenge
Radicalisation: A strategic challenge
  • Terrorism is a tactic, it does not operate in a vacuum.
  • The continuum starts with radicalisation
  • Myriad reasons not one single factor
  • A growing problem across the South Asian region.
  • The Afghan jihad
  • The role of the media in countering radicalisation
countering radicalisation cont d
Countering Radicalisation (Cont’d)

The importance of the theologian.

Fighting ideology with ideology.

Countering the religious arguments.

Understanding the importance and the centrality of the religious debate.

The incorporation of the religious clerics into the sphere of counter terrorism in various countries.

the situation of afganistan background
The situation of Afganistan ( Background)

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, as a result of military operations by the US-led multinational forces. Al Qaeda and leaders of Taliban fled to the border regions and into Pakistan.

In Afghanistan, security operations by ISAF established by a UN Security Council resolution have been successful to a certain extent and the international community has been supporting nation-building.


peace dividends have not reached every corner of the country and some people support the insurgents for economic and other causes.

With increased power of the Taliban forces, the security situation has deteriorated in recent years without considerable improvement of people’s living standards.

challenges in afghanistan
Challenges in Afghanistan
  • Crushing OBL and al-Qaeda, and hard-core Taliban seems imperative for US security; stabilizing Afghanistan, growing its own security forces and building out its government capacity are critical to those goals.
  • Revised COIN strategy is good in theory, Petraeus is real leader, US combat forces are superb, but how much will it take, can Afghanistan unite, and will US public stay the course?
  • Pakistan’s commitment and capacity to rebuilding Afghanistan and defeating the Taliban are huge question marks, as are Iran’s in a lesser way
afghanistan anti government forces taliban
Afghanistan: anti-government forces: Taliban
  • Pakistan origin during anti-Soviet war
  • US and Pakistani intelligence role in creation
  • Pakistani military interest in maintaining Afghan unrest
  • Ethnically- and class-inflected Sunni Islamism
    • Pashtun ethnic dominance
  • Regional variations
  • Not a single united body, or equivalent to pre-invasion government
  • Mullah Omar, leader (at least in south)
  • Overlaps with Taliban in Pakistan but not identical
afghanistan anti government forces militia leaders warlords
Afghanistan: anti-government forces: Militia leaders/“warlords”
  • Regional/clan/tribal-based patron-client relationships
    • Fusion of “feudal”/pre-modern relations and “modern” social and political relationships
  • Haqqani Network
    • JalauddinHaqqani
      • Claimed responsibility for Kabul bombing this week
  • Hezb-e IslamiGulbuddun
    • GulbuddinHekmatyar
      • Former PM
      • Deeply opposed to foreign intervention
  • “Warlords” on both sides
  • Shifting loyalties and finances
  • central to current presidential elections
afghanistan anti government forces al qaeda
Afghanistan: anti-government forces: Al Qaeda
  • Saudi- Egyptian-originated Sunni Salafi international militia group
  • November 2001 invasion immediately destroyed training camps, displaced AQ activists to Pakistan, reduced AQ capacity, increased tensions with hosts
  • key leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri still at large, presumably in Pakistan
  • Core AQ international combat reach doubtful; limited Afghanistan combat role
  • Effective “franchising” of AQ through loose international networks continues
    • Differentiation and development of loosely related networks
    • Mega-terrorism threat continues
  • Taliban distancing themselves
Terrorist Incidents in Afghanistan in 2005 and 2006 according to US National Counter Terrorism Centre

Source: US National Counter Terrorism Centre as quoted in US Department of State. Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism. Washington, DC, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, 21 March 2007, p.3; available at www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82739.htm, consulted on 04/05/2007

current challenges
Current challenges
  • To reverse the momentum on the ground in Afghanistan.
  • The safe haven that the Taliban and al-Qaeda and other jihadists have built in Pakistan has to be closed down

Afghanistan: The new regional political play ground (e.g. entry of India)

Drug-terror nexus: drug traffickingsource of terrorist funding(e.g. opium trafficking in Afghanistan)


Taliban by back

Private militias

pakistan the core issue
Pakistan- The Core Issue
  • Pakistan is under international pressure linked to the influx of Afghan refugee
  • Pakistan under complex challenge because of geographic location
  • FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Area)
  • Decentralization of Taliban
  • Growing radicalisation

Politics of terror

Regional politics and Indo –Pak rivalry

Foreign fighters and Taliban

International linkages of terrorist groups

Invisible foreign hands?

Complex identity toned between Islamic and ethnic identity

Complex relationship with the US and the west


Renewed strategic partnership with US and frontline role in the global war against terrorism elevate dangers to sensitive materials

Ground Realities of Pakistan

  • The geo-political environment and maintenance of strategic stability present other challenges

“No one else’s bomb is called Hindu, Jewish, Christian, capitalist, or communist, yet somehow our bomb becomes “Islamic”, as if that makes it illegitimate. The idea is illogical and essentially racist. This is an example of how Muslims continually feel unjustly singled out and alienated”

President Pervez Musharraf’’s Memoir, “In the Line of Fire”

pakistan s response
Pakistan’s response
  • A bold and courageous operation in FATA by Pakistan Army.
  • Close cooperation with ISAF (International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan)
  • A stated policy of Counter terrorism
  • CBM efforts with India specially after Mumbai incident.
  • Fighting the Afghan local refugee extremists

Terrorism and Pakistan

Islamabad Marriott Bombing: September 20, 2008


marriott hotel bombing
Marriott Hotel Bombing


  • No group claimed of responsibility for the attack, although most link the attack to al-Qaeda or Pakistani Taliban.
  • Pakistani Taliban denied involvement in the bombing.
( Contd.)

No indication that Marriott received any warning of attack.

In addition, senior al-Qaeda leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who claimed the June Danish Embassy bombing in Islamabad, threatened additional attacks against western interests in Pakistan in a video timed to the recent anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

apprehension about the security of pakistan s nuclear assets and threat of terrorism
Apprehension about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets and threat of terrorism

Terrorists’ acquisition of nuclear weapons or sabotage thereof, dirty bombs, RDDs, and radiation hazards caused by sabotage/attack on a nuclear facility or a transport vehicle.

strategy needed in pakistan
Strategy needed in Pakistan

Revitalizing existing multilateral mechanism, regimes and treaties for their contribution to prevent terrorist activities.

the afghanistan pakistan complex
The Afghanistan-Pakistan complex

Now a two-country war: Afghanistan, spilling over into Pakistan

The principal source of the global crisis of Terrorism.

2009 was a year of escalating violence and widening disorder across the Af-Pak region.

The ‘surge’ of US troops in Afghanistan in 2010 and the uncertain tactical gains in Marjah notwithstanding, there is little reason to believe that the troubling fundamentals of the region are going to experience any significant change.

  • Afghanistan and Pakistan both ethnically mixed
  • Structure/border legacies of colonial formation as nation-states
  • key Pashtun ethnic group cross-border relations: hence “Pashtunistan”
    • Largest single group in Afghanistan; southern and eastern concentrations
    • Dominant in western border provinces of Pakistan
  • Emerging US perception of a cross-border war against Pashtunistan: hence “Af-Pak War”
  • What next in the post withdrawal period of US forces.
  • Resurgent Taliban.
  • It’s the time in Taliban framework.
overview terrorism in india
Overview: Terrorism in India

Nation building process marked by religious fundamentalism, ethnic tensions and economic disparities.

Continuing militancy /insurgency in Kashmir and North –Eastern States.

Rising Maoist/ Naxal influence across central India and linkages with Nepal.

trends in terrorism in india
Trends in terrorism in India

Homegrown terrorists

mixed with foreign connections

Lots of the groups rally around Kashmir issue

The looming threat from Maoist terrorism

The rise of Hindu fundamentalism.

The regional nexus of terrorism

major conflicts and terrorist groups operating in india
Major conflicts and terrorist groups operating in India

State: Jammu & Kashmir

Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure)Jaish-e-Mohammed (Army of the Prophet)Hizb-ul-Mujahiddeen (Party of Holy Warriors)Harkat-ul-Mujahiddeen (Movement of Holy Warriors)Al Badr (The Full Moon)Harkat-ul-JehadIslami (Movement of the Islamic Jehad)


North East India

State: Assam

ULFA: United Liberation Front of AsamNDFB: National Democratic Front of BorolandUPDF: United Peoples Democratic FrontBLT: Bodo Liberation Tigers


State: Nagaland

NSCN-IM: National Socialist Council of Nagalim- Isak- MuivahNSCM-K: National Socialist Council of Nagalim- Khaplang

State: Manipur

UNLF: United National Liberation Front

PLA: People’s Liberation Army

PREPAK: People’s Revolutionary Party of KangleipakNSCN-IM: National Socialist Council of Nagalim- Isak- Muivah


State: Tripura

NLFT: National Liberation Front of ATTF: All Tripura Tiger Force

State: Meghalaya

HNLC: Hynniewtrep National liberation Council ANVC: Achik National Volunteer Council


Left Wing Extremism

State: Bihar

People’s War Group [Communist Party of India, Marxist-Lennist (People’s War)] Maoist Communist CentreRanvirSena (Anti-Left Wing caste army of landlords)

State: Jharkhand

People’s War Group [Communist Party of India, Marxist-Lennist (People’s War)]Maoist Communist Centre


State: Orissa

People’s War Group [Communist Party of India, Marxist-Lennist (People’s War)]

State: Chattisgarh

People’s War Group [Communist Party of India, Marxist-Lennist (People’s War)]Maoist Communist Centre

Andhra Pradesh

People’s War Group (PWG)Communist Party of India – Marxist Lennist (Janasakhti) [Janasakhti: People’s Power]

current situation
Current situation

Naxalites do not belong to any religion or community. They are mainly Dalits, Adivasis or other marginalised sections of society totally indoctrinated by the teachings of Mao and Marx.

Links with Nepalese Maoists, ULFA, and LTTE for training and modern weapons.

Maoist incidents account for over 60% of the violence: killings, kidnappings, extortion, abduction, IED blasts and destruction of property.

Growth of Naxalite movement due the exploitation and oppression of Dalits, Adivasis and other landless people by feudal agrarian system with strong interface of caste and class.

new forms of terrorism in india
New forms of Terrorism in India


RDDs (Radiological dispersal devices).

Threats to India’s nuclear installations.

Threats to India’s maritime assets (offshore oil platforms, attractive commercial targets).


Nuclear terrorism??

the mumbai attack
The Mumbai Attack
  • On November 26th-29th 2008, Mumbai, India’s greatest commercial capital, came under siege by ten terrorists.
  • Ten coordinated attacks, each conducted in populous areas of Mumbai, killed at least 173 people and left 308 injured.

The symbol of Lashkar-e-Taiba

  • Presently, the terrorists are suspected to have originated from Pakistan
    • Terrorist organization: Lashkar-e-Taiba
    • Currently being denied by Pakistani officials
  • Terrorists’ motives seem to be partly related to Kashmir
    • Lashkar-e-Taiba operates several training camps in Kashmir, and regularly carries out offensives against Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
possible future scenarios
Possible Future Scenarios
  • Maoist will expand
  • Possibility of Maoist groups to link up with the other terrorist groups
  • The unrest of Kashmir might aggregate
  • The homegrown terrorism will expand(e.g. Deccan Mujahideen)

The possibilities are that the Situation would be roughly the same as today.

Maoist threat may assume gigantic proportions and pose a grave threat to the security of Indian Union.

Maoists might be marginalized and discredited.

steps required for india
Steps required for India
  • Strengthening of intelligence machinery at the Centre and in States
  • Need for greater focus on activities of terrorist outfits, naxals, criminal & communal elements
  • Enhanced physical security and better access control systems through latest technology at vital installations, and public places such as airports, trains, railway stations, crowded markets and important religious places.
sri lanka after the liberation tigers of tamil ltte
Sri Lanka after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil (LTTE)
  • The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has been comprehensively defeated.
  • An end of a relentless 33-year long conflict, and 26 years of full scale civil war.
  • On May 20, 2009, the Sri Lanka Army officially declared the end of Eelam War .

The top leadership of the LTTE, including its chief VellupillaiPrabhakaran, intelligence chief Pottu Amman and Sea Tigers chief, Soosai, were dead

Defeated remnants of the armed cadres surrendered or sought obscurity among the thousands of the Tamil displaced in refugee camps

The Diaspora leadership squabbled over succession, eventually to publicly renounce the option of violence

significant focus of ltte
Significant focus of LTTE

LTTE had biggest money machine

Controlled a territory which became a state within a state

LTTE taught suicidal bombing

Had three dimensional capacity



Gender dimension of


Child soldier in terrorism

Media and terrorism

post war challenges
Post war challenges

Economic destruction which is to be reconstructed

Emotional trauma

Ruined hopes and shattered dreams.

Rehabilitate the Tamils.

More than 2,50,000 internally displace persons, who are to be fed and attended to

apprehension about future
Apprehension about future

Little possibility of a immediate resurgence of terrorist violence in the foreseeable future but beyond short term cannot be ruled out.

The enduring tragedy of Sri Lanka is that the opportunities of a hard won peace are quickly being frittered away in a blind, polarizing and fractious politics.

They won the war but missing the peace

Solution has to be political not military.


LTTE’s financial empire exists which have not been dismantled

Tamil Diaspora

Incomplete political reconcliation

Issues of human rights violation

glimpses of bangladesh
Glimpses of Bangladesh

Muslim Majority South Asian State

nature of terrorist threats in bangladesh
Nature of Terrorist threats in Bangladesh
  • Religious militancy (Islamic extremism).
  • Violent radicalization
  • Leftist movement.
  • Terrorism in the form of political violence.
  • Ethnic insurgency (in the CHT).
  • Maoist threats.
existing militant terrorist groups in bangladesh
Existing militant/ terrorist groups in Bangladesh
  • 29 listed Islamic organizations for suspected involvement in militancy.
  • Government so far banned four militant organizations:
    • JMB,
    • Huji-B,
    • Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB)
    • Shahadat-e al Hikma.
  • Focus only on outlawed JMB and Huji-B.
  • List includes Bangladesh chapter of international organization Hizbut-Tahrir Bangladesh.
transnational linkages
Transnational Linkages

HUJI’s suspected international connections.

Case of FazlurRahman.


Revival of JMB

International Terrorists search for a sanctuary.

The Growing International Linkages


the nexus between terrorism and transnational crime
The Nexus between Terrorism and Transnational Crime

Terrorists engage in organized crime activity to support themselves financially

Organized crime groups and terrorists often operate on network structures and these structures sometimes intersect, terrorists can hide themselves among transnational criminal organizations

Both organized crime group and terrorists operate in areas with little governmental controls, weak enforcement of laws and open borders


Both organized criminals and terrorists corrupt local officials to achieve their objectives

Organized crime groups and terrorists often use similar means to communicate–exploiting modern technology

Organized crime and terrorists launder their money, often using the same methods and often the same operators to move their funds

terrorist group al qaeda to reconfigure itself
Terrorist group (al-Qaeda )to Reconfigure Itself

Now: “Movement of Movements”

Late-1990s: Monolithic Structure

  • Centrally controlled organization
  • Strategic assaults executed by inner core of jihadist activists
  • Nebulous, segmented, and polycentric organization
  • Tactically oriented strikes done by affiliated cells (individuals) and when opportunity arises
based on changes we postulate four al qaeda trends for the future
Based on Changes, We Postulate Foural-Qaeda Trends for the Future

Now: “Movement of Movements”

Future Trends

Continuing interest in hard targets but increased focus on soft, civilian-centric venues

Ongoing emphasis on economic attacks

Continued reliance on suicide strikes

Desire to use CBRN weapons but little abilityto execute large-scale conventional attacks

  • Nebulous, segmented, and polycentric organization
  • Tactically oriented strikes done by affiliated cells (individuals) and when opportunity arises
timeline of post 9 11 major attacks
Timeline of Post 9/11 Major Attacks
  • Oct 2001: Kashmir, India assembly attacked by militants.
  • Dec 2001: militants attacked Indian Parliament in New Delhi
  • May 2002 – Karachi, Pakistan; 14 dead, 20+ injured
  • Jun 2002: attack against the US Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Aug 2003: simultaneous bomb blasts in Mumbai, India.
  • Dec 2003: two assassination attempts on President Musharraf in Pakistan
  • Aug. 2005 – Bangladesh, 400 bombs in 30 min.; 2 dead, 138 injured.

Jul 2006 – Mumbai trains; 209 dead, 700+ injured

Feb. 2007 – Delhi Express; 68 dead, 50 injured

Oct. 2007 – Karachi, Pakistan; 136 dead, 387 injured

Dec. 2007 – Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 24 dead, 46 injured

Sep. 2008 – Islamabad, Pakistan; 54 dead, 266 injured

Dec. 2008 – Mumbai, India; 173 dead, 327 injured

challenges in the next five years
Challenges in the next five years

Decentralization of Threat

New Threat Configuration

Dominance of Al Qaeda

Globalization of Threat

Changing Profile

Rise of Asian Terrorism


Rise of Homegrown Terrorism

Threat Migration

Threat Escalation

Threat Diversification


The geography and demography of terrorism will change.

The Middle Eastern and Asian groups will dominate the international landscape of terrorism.

With the developments in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, the specter of Asian terrorism will rise.

Al Qaeda working together with TTP will provide training for both Muslims and Muslim groups on the Afghan Pakistan border.

Global Jihad groups will co-opt local and tribal groups creating safe havens and sanctuaries from Tribal Pakistan.

While Middle Eastern threat groups will continue to pose a threat, there will be a comparable threat stemming from Asian groups.

The area of FATA will be critically watched.

the way ahead
The Way Ahead

Need to address radicalisation and extremism at a national and international level.

The need to fashion an adequate strategy to fight the ideological battle.

Understanding what makes a terrorist group tick – the importance of research.


Counter terrorism is not a the task of the governments alone.

Need to engage the youth.

The role of the theologians.

Media playing a more proactive role.

Importance of building social resilience against terrorism.

A carefully calibrated multi pronged counter terrorism strategy.

High time for regional engagement.

counter terrorism in south asia
Counter Terrorism in South Asia

SAARC has adopted several conventions.

    • SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism (signed by all member states and came into force in 1988)
    • Additional Protocol to the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism(2002)
  • Bilateral CT agreements.
  • National CT measures and regulations.
what specific measures can saarc take
What specific measures can SAARC take
  • Sharing intelligence/ information
  • Enact a consolidated strategy to counter the financing of terrorism to ensure transparency in the transaction of money
  • Build an effective regional terrorism cell
  • Clear understanding of one country’s conflict situation and not to interfere in the conflict directly or indirectly.
what specific measures can saarc take contd
What specific measures can SAARC take (Contd.)
  • Regional law enforcement coordination.
  • Regional capacity building training.
  • Political Climate.
  • Counter new/ emerging threats.
  • Enact regional money laundering act
what specific measures can south asia take contd
What specific measures can South Asia take (Contd.)
  • Regional Counter Terrorism framework.
  • Coordination among regional law enforcement agencies.
  • Regional capacity building training.
  • Political Climate.
  • Counter new/ emerging threats.
  • Enacting regional money laundering act.
  • National and regional Strategic Communication Plan.
  • Joint exercises.
lessons for this region
Lessons for This Region

Understanding and acknowledging the need and acuteness of the problem

Taking lessons from the various experiences.

Studying the existing criminal rehab models and adopting best practices.

Understanding the terrorist motivations: what makes a terrorist?

Adoption of best practice models of rehab and community engagement


The Ideological Battle and the Centrality of the Religious Debate

Arresting a Terrorist is Only Half the Job, Reforming the Individual is the More Crucial One

No One Size Fits All Approach

Operating within Resource Constraints

The Importance of a Merger Between Law Enforcement and the Community

Countering Radicalisation – Looking at the Bigger Picture

cont d

The religious clerics as an important component – The important role to be played by Islamic Foundation

Countering radicalisation needs to be a critical component of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy

Opportunity for cooperation among states in terms of Counter Radiclisation and terrorist rehabilitation


Addressing the root and not just the tactic

Problem of terrorism often linked to governance deficit

Identity and integration will be significant

Think globally act locally

Primary response is political and primarily non-kinetic

law enforcement response policy
Law Enforcement Response & Policy
  • There are a number of ways a democracy can respond to terrorism, ranging from making concessions to military intervention.
  • Concessions are only likely when there is moral substance to the terrorist cause, or when such concessions are reasonable.
  • Military intervention may be used when the terrorist threat is too big for civilian authorities to handle.
  • The principle of international law obliges countries to either extradite terrorists to the country where their crimes were committed or to punish them themselves.

Factors Facilitating Future Terrorism, according to BrynarLia (2005)

  • Resilience and longevity of the international jihadist networks
  • Unipolarexclusionist and interventionist world order
  • Weak transitional states
  • Non-state actors in global politics
  • Globalisation of organized crime
  • Middle East oil dependence
  • Migration and ethnic heterogenisation of Western societies
  • Growing information interconnectedness
  • Proliferation of deadly technologies
  • Out-of-area spill-over from ongoing armed conflicts

Source:Brynjar Lia. Globalisation and the Future of Terrorism. Patterns and Predictions. London, Routledge, 2005, pp. 187-188.

future trends and contingencies
Future Trends and Contingencies
  • Interminable insurgency in Afghanistan and Pashtun tribal areas in Pakistan (quagmire?)
  • Nuclear terrorism threat – shouldn’t discount
  • Engage local partners to limit Islamist radicals, extremism and terrorism (AFPAK)
  • Nuclear terrorism rising probability (contingency plans)

Militant Islam continues to spread and gain power

Advanced communication technologies are changing the way terrorists work and live

what to do
What to do

Strengthen institutional capacity for crisis management and consequence management.

For regional stability India and Pakistan should evolve a strategic restraint regime covering both nuclear and conventional forces.

thank you
Thank You

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)