UAE newspaper reports ISIL infiltrates Deobandi militant networks in Pakistan

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Thursday, 26 February 2015

Notorious Salafi/Wahhabi takfiri terrorist outfit DAISH or ISIL’s South Asia chapter is spreading from north-western Pakistan into Balochistan province, rapidly establishing a network of allied-Deobandi takfiris’ cells to feed off widespread anger there toward the central government.


The extremist takfiri group announced last month the formation of ISIL Khorasan and quickly formed a military alliance with other allied-Deobandi militant groups such as ASWJ/Sipah-e-Sahaba/LeJ, Taliban and their affiliates in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Khorasan is a historic geographical term used by militants to describe an area that includes parts of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and India.

Mufti Hassan Swati, the chapter’s deputy governor for Pakistan, told American broadcaster NBC News on January 31 that the group’s objective was to establish its headquarters in Balochistan, the vast, largely lawless province that borders Iran.

Some 60,000 paramilitary troops, led by Pakistani army officers, have been deployed in Balochistan to fight a mix of ethnic Baloch rebels and takfiri extremist militants.

In a series of interviews in Karachi near the border of Balochistan, influential members of that shadow community said the ISIL cells had plugged into a decade-old logistics network shared by takfiri militants and criminals that enables them to smuggle people and weapons into Balochistan from Afghanistan, Iran and the north-western tribal areas of Pakistan.

Through a retired Afghan Taliban commander, The National was introduced to the head of an ISIL Khorasan cell in the Makran coastal district of Balochistan.
The ISIL cell leader, a middle-aged ethnic Baloch from Makran, introduced himself as “Rahim”, and said he had previously fought in Afghanistan for the Taliban.
His profile was typical of the kind of recruit ISIL is seeking in Balochistan, militants there said.
The group is seeking to attract veteran Pakistani militants whose association with Saudi Wahhabi/Salafi Al Qaeda and the allied-Deobandi Afghan Taliban dates back to the mid-1990s, before those groups were declared terrorist by the international community.

Having initially fought Indian security forces in the disputed state of Kashmir, these experienced Pakistani takfiri militants trained alongside takfiri Al Qaeda Arab operatives at takfiri Taliban camps.

Their relationship with Al Qaeda members, as well as their shared ideology and hatred for Shiites, have made them primary recruitment targets.

“This kind of jihadi has become addicted to the thrill of the kill. That makes them ideal ISIL recruitment material,” said the retired Afghan Taliban commander.
Such militants are split between groups which have been fighting exclusively in Afghanistan, including Jaish-i-Mohammed and Harakatul Mujahideen, and sectarian terrorist organisations active in Pakistan, such as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Jundullah (in fact Jund-ush-Shaitan).

Having accessed the shared Balochistan-based network, ISIL Khorasan cells are quietly working to cause splits within those groups, starting with militants most susceptible to its promises of monetary and logistical support, the sources said.
ISIL Khorasan has sweetened the pot, they said, by telling militant faction leaders they were free to claim credit, under their existing identities, for any terrorist activities carried out on their own initiative or on the orders of the ISIL Khorasan leadership.

It has already implemented that strategy in the north-western tribal areas, where in January, it formed a military alliance with TTP and two other Pakistani militant factions against military forces advancing into the Khyber tribal area.
“ISIL isn’t looking for a quick propaganda hit. It is working on a long-term strategy, the stated aim of which is the establishment of a parallel state in Pakistan,” a Harakatul Mujahideen fund-raiser said.

Sources in Balochistan’s shadow community said ISIL was concurrently infiltrating operatives into legitimate political and religious organisations to establish its own network of intelligence gathering, recruitment and logistics support.
They said ISIL had already placed operatives in the Tableeghi Jama’at, a peaceable orthodox Sunni (in fact Deobandi) group of preachers and proselytisers active across Pakistan, and well represented throughout the civil service and military.

Similarly, it is also trying to infiltrate secular Baloch nationalist political parties represented in Pakistan’s federal parliament and the Balochistan provincial assembly, the sources said. However, it is unlikely to make any serious inroads into Baloch nationalist groups, observers said. (Shiite News disagreed with this observation because of factual reality vice versa).

“Separatists might make technical alliances with ISIL, but I doubt they would be able to infiltrate them because they are deeply secular,” said Amir Zia, editor-in-chief of a new English daily that will be launched this year by the Karachi-based BOL News. Amir Zia had been in Balochistan on a job for quite some time in the past.

ISIL Khorasan is unlikely to become a major threat in Balochistan in the near future, because it is only seeking to play a peripheral role at present, the sources said. Instead, it is positioning itself as a rallying point for anti-state groups as their organisational strength is further diminished by the Pakistani government.

“In the past, the military has allowed certain militant groups to operate, but now it’s clear the state machinery is not going to allow ISIL the space to become an immediate threat,” Mr Zia said.

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