ISLAMIC STATE IN KHORASAN PROVINCE
What is in news : The four Indian women lodged in an Afghanistan prison, who accompanied their husbands to join the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), are unlikely to be allowed to return to India
What is the geographical expanse of ISKP:
- The geographical spread of ISKP, its selective and big attacks and its “near peaceful coexistence” with Taliban cannot be misread.
- The group has never gained much traction in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
- Except claiming a few big attacks in Kabul and Quetta, ISKP has not shown any keenness to expand its areas of influence.
- Post-Caliphate, no mass movement of regional foreign fighters back to the fold of ISKP has been reported.
Indians in ISKP:
- The Caliphate was gaining traction among foreign fighters globally.
- Subsequently, a group of Indians from Kerala, including women and children, had migrated to Afghanistan around 2016-17.
- Around 60-plus Indians were believed to be living in the territory controlled by ISKP in Nangarhar.
- In 2019, over 1,400 people with ISKP, including fighters and their families, surrendered before Afghan forces in Nangarhar.
- These included fighters from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.
- Some Indian women and children were in this group.
- With the surfacing of Mushin, it appears that a few more Indians may have joined ISKP.
What are the online entities:
- In recent times, online entities called the Islamic State Hind Province (ISHP) or Islamic State-Kashmir (IS-K) have surfaced.
- Their focus is on propaganda and recruitment of Indians, or of fighters from the region, for attacks on Indian interests.
- The activities of ISHP and IS-K are closely linked to ISKP.
- In March 2020, Delhi Police Special Cell arrested a Kashmiri couple being linked to ISHP/IS-K.
- This may have been an attempt to test the waters with Indians, driven by personal grievances, radicalised in the name of ISIS.