U.S. President Donald Trump said that the Islamic State (IS) group’s elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed, dying “like a dog” in a night raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria. Background:
- The raid was carried out with the cooperation of Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq.
- Baghdadi, an Iraqi native, was believed to be 48 years old.
- His death has been reported several times over the years but it is being claimed that there is no doubt this time, with a DNA field test confirming his identity.
- Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), its aim is to establish an “Islamic state based on Sharia law or Islamic Caliphate”.
- This so-called Islamic State burst onto the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
- Goals of IS: IS seeks to eradicate obstacles to restoring God's rule on Earth and to defend the Muslim community, or umma, against infidels and apostates.
- Earlier, IS controlled a swath of Iraq and Syria in a self-declared caliphate, brutally imposing a puritanical version of Islam and planning terror attacks. It took years of war before its final slice of territory in Syria was seized this March.
- The sectarian struggle (Shias, Sunnis and Kurds) is the main cause behind the unrest.
- The mostly Sunni dominated ISIS claims that the present Iraqi government put in place by the west (U.S) in Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussain (Sunni) has deprived the Sunni population of its rights.
- The group exploited a growing perception among many Sunnis that they were being persecuted by the Shia-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, starved of resources and excluded from a share of power.
These deprived Sunni groups formed militia which it called ISIS, later they added Syria and this group got funds and training from al-Qaeda. Islamic State’s influence in India
- India is home to more than 170 million Muslims, giving it the second-largest Muslim population in the world, behind Indonesia.
- India is a major target for ISIS and Al Qaeda because it has a very large Muslim Diaspora, regular conflicts with a Muslim country and experiences violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims on a regular basis.
- This provides for a very stable breeding ground for jihadist radicalization and recruitment.
- IS has vowed to convert India into Khurasan State and published the map of Khurasan as well.
- Khurasan is a historic name for a region that covers Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of India, and other surrounding countries.