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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

This is why no one expected ISIS attack in Sri Lanka

This is why no one expected ISIS attack in Sri Lanka - rictasblog

The Easter Sunday assaults in Sri Lanka dazed many, and not just in light of the fact that they denoted the most exceedingly awful viciousness in the nation in 10 years. Or then again on the grounds that the fear based oppressors focused on Christians and remote sightseers, two gatherings that, generally, were saved amid Sri Lanka's three many years of common war. Or then again in light of the fact that the assaults were composed, with explosives going off in three urban areas. On Monday, Sri Lankan authorities accused National Thowheed Jamaath, a little-realized neighborhood Islamist gathering, for the Sunday butchery. Specialists said the gathering most likely had universal help. At that point, on Tuesday, the Islamic State — which is otherwise called ISIS — asserted credit. Also, this, as well, was an astonishment. Sri Lanka did not have a background marked by Islamist fanaticism; on the off chance that anything, it is the country's Muslim minority that has confronted provocation from the Buddhist lion's share lately. “Sri Lanka’s Muslim community had no history of violence against other groups and was widely seen as moderate and restrained, even in the face of violent attacks by radical Buddhist groups,” Alan Keenan, senior analyst for Sri Lanka at the International Crisis Group, wrote in an email. What's more, Sri Lanka, with respect to its neighbors, did not have a substantial number of outside warriors leave the nation to join the Islamic State. “I’d say if you looked around the region” to assess where nations ranked on terrorism threats, Sri Lanka “would probably fall toward the bottom, largely under the radar,” Colin Clarke, senior research fellow at the Soufan Center, told The Washington Post. “It hadn’t really been on anyone’s radar.” Partially, that is a direct result of Sri Lanka's specific history. The common war pursued between the state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers, a nonconformist gathering that needed a Tamil country, was battled about ethnic, not religious, strains. “The legacy of civil war and insurgency [is] really important when you look at why security forces in Sri Lanka … may have overlooked the threat,” Clarke said. “When you fight a group like the Tamil Tigers for 30 years — the most sophisticated terrorist organization we’ve ever seen before, and I’d include the Islamic State in that — when you fight that kind of a group for 30 years, there’s a residual effect, there’s a lag effect. Ten years later, you’re still pretty much focused on that threat.” Indeed, even in a locale as unpredictable as South Asia, Sri Lanka's association with Islamist fanaticism has been moderately feeble. As indicated by a 2017 Soufan Center report, 75 contenders from India, more than 650 from Pakistan and 32 from Sri Lanka joined the Islamic State in the years after the beginning of the Syrian clash. “We don’t really know how many left and how many returned,” Clarke stated, yet the number is unquestionably not as amazing as that from, state, Pakistan. It isn't even as stunning as that from Maldives. There are approximately 22 million individuals in Sri Lanka and around 440,000 in Maldives — in any case, per a 2015 Soufan Center report, there were 200 Islamist State contenders from the Maldives. "There were worries by diplomats and Muslim leaders I spoke to about Muslims from other countries — [especially] the Maldives — who were thought to have connections with ISIS and were living in Sri Lanka — but they were not thought to pose any threat to Sri Lankans,” Keenan wrote. “This may change as more digging is done, but as someone who repeatedly asked Muslim leaders and government officials and diplomats the past 4 years about any ISIS threat and was told it was watched closely but there were no major risks seen, I think almost everyone is surprised to learn of the connections there appear to have been — though they also appear to be quite recent,” he added. Which Islamic State was really associated with Sunday's destruction presently can't seem to be resolved. In any case, a few specialists state it isn't incomprehensible that Sri Lanka should end up enduring an onslaught, given the fanatic systems working in South Asia. “There’s been a pretty active group of jihadists in South Asia. … Almost every country in the region has been hit by Islamic attacks — India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh,” said Seth Jones, director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The reality here is that South Asia remains a primary battlefield for jihadist networks. In that sense, Sri Lanka should not come as a surprise per se,” Jones said. “The networks are pretty fluid across the region,” he added, pointing to a recent CSIS report that illustrates how hard South Asia has been hit by Islamist terrorism. “It makes sense from a regional point of view in some ways,” John Watts, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told The Post. “There are little pockets of this sort of religious extremist violence across South and Southeast Asia.” “It’s one of those things where it makes sense retrospectively.”

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