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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Islamic State Hind Province’s Kashmir Campaign and Pan-Indian Capabilities

When Islamic State (IS) announced an Indian-based ‘province’ (wilayah) on May 10, 2019, IS effectively consolidated previously fragmented pro-IS jihadist entities under the IS Hind (IS-H) province banner. IS aimed to increase its recruitment and operational success in embattled Kashmir, which has a long tradition of Islamist militancy. However, IS also launched a propaganda campaign to have a broader pan-Indian impact. [1]

IS-H sought to unite diverse pro-IS Indian groups and individuals under its purview, including those from Kashmir to Kerala as well as those fighting alongside IS-Khorasan (IS-K) province in Afghanistan (indiatimes.com, October 4, 2016). All IS-inspired groups or units, including initial groups such as Ansaru Khilafa (Supporters of the Caliphate) in Jammu and Kashmir and Jundul Khilafa (Army of the Caliphate), eventually became subsumed under IS-H. IS-H’s opaque organizational structure notwithstanding, the organization was dominated by Kashmiri jihadists and has struggled to extend its influence throughout India.

This article explores the emergence and consolidation of IS-H and how Kashmir remains Indian jihadism’s epicenter both in terms of IS’ media and armed campaigns in the country.

Read more at The Jamestown Foundation

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