The Islamic State in Kerala: A primer

By Kabir Taneja and Mohammed Sinan Siyech ORF Occasional Paper, October 2019 With a Muslim population of over 200 million, the third largest in the world next only to Indonesia and Pakistan, India was thought of by analysts to be fertile ground for the recruitment of foreign fighters for the Islamic State (IS). The country, however, has proven such analysts wrong by having only a handful of pro-IS cases so far. Of these cases, the majority have come from the southern state of Kerala. This paper offers an explanation for…

Who are the new jihadis?

By Olivier Roy, theguardian.com April 13, 2017 There is something new about the jihadi terrorist violence of the past two decades. Both terrorism and jihad have existed for many years, and forms of “globalised” terror – in which highly symbolic locations or innocent civilians are targeted, with no regard for national borders – go back at least as far as the anarchist movement of the late 19th century. What is unprecedented is the way that terrorists now deliberately pursue their own deaths. Over the past 20 years – from Khaled…

Understanding the Indian foreign fighter lacuna

By Mohammed Sinan Siyech Observer Research foundation (ORF) Dated: January 31,2020 In the aftermath of the Islamic State declaring itself in July 2014, it managed to mobilize more than 30,000 people who travelled to its strongholds in Iraq and Syria. Yet, apart from approximately 100 people (divided into a few batches), scarcely any people travelled to join the Islamic State abroad too. Most of the people who did travel to the conflict zones were from the southern state of Kerala with a few more from states like Maharashtra. Motivations for these…