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Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed injured in ISIS-led bomb blast

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed injured in ISIS-led bomb blast


  • GS 3 || Security || Internal Security Threats ||Terrorism

Why in news?

  • Speaker of the Maldives parliament and former president Mohamed Nasheed was in a “critical condition after he sustained multiple injuries in a targeted explosion in an act of terror.


  • The Maldives suffers from regular political turmoil.
  • Nasheed rose to become the Maldives’ first democratically elected leader in 2008 in the country’s first multi-party elections after 30 years of autocratic rule.
  • Also, he is a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience after being sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2015 on terrorism charges slammed as politically motivated by civil rights groups.
  • The Maldives government has cracked down on extremism and preaching is highly regulated and violent attacks have been rare. However, a dozen foreign tourists were wounded by a bomb blast in Male in 2007.
  • While the Islamic State claimed a boat arson attack in 2020, there is little evidence the group has a presence in the archipelago.

What is ISIS?

  • ISIS is a proto-state terrorist network that can be traced back to a group called al-Qaeda in Iraq, which was started by a Jordanian terrorist named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and arose in response to the S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  • The So-called Islamic State burst onto the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
  • Mass killings-It has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions, and beheadings.

Goals of ISIS

  • Establishment of Supreme authority- IS has told other jihadist organizations around the world that they must submit to its Several offshoots of the competing al-Qaeda network have also done so.
    • IS wants to remove obstacles to God’s rule on Earth and protect the Muslim faith, or umma, against infidels and apostates and has accepted the possibility of a confrontation with the US-led alliance.
  • Establishment of Islamic Law-In June 2014, the group formally declared the establishment of a “caliphate” – a state governed by Islamic law, or Sharia, by God’s deputy on Earth, or caliph.
    • IS has started enforcing Sharia law in the towns it has taken charge of. At school, boys and girls must be separated; in public, women must wear the niqab or full veil.

Expansion of ISIS

  • Middle east as the hub-The Islamic State, which comprises radical Islamist extremists from the Levant to North Africa and the Caucasus, is likely to grow in the Middle East and “project force globally” with few countries willing to fight back.
  • Internationally Recognised-The Islamic State gained international attention in June 2014 when it took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest region, and proclaimed a caliphate encompassing Iraq and Syria.
    • Its de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria, but it has branches and backers all over the world, including in the United States.
  • Various oil pipelines and refineries have been covered by IS.
  • ISIS plans to take over large parts of the world, including almost the entire Indian subcontinent, by the next five years.

India and ISIS

  • The ISIS can become the fulcrum of terrorism against India, thereby focusing the combined energy of different groups under its umbrella.
  • Support from Pakistan-It can be supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), thereby providing it a well-established intelligence and logistic network, in a symbiotic relationship.
  • Recently, the Islamic State has seized large swaths of land in Afghanistan, and they are now attempting to establish a foothold in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • The danger of Islamic state is virtually knocking at our borders.

Why Indians did not fall prey to lures?

  • There have been some cases of young Muslims getting radicalised in India, but at the moment it does not seem a large-scale threat.
  • Pluralistic culture of India
    • India was born a multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-denominational society that embraces that diversity.”
    • The rejection of extremist doctrine and action by Indian Muslims results from India’s unique syncretic traditions that have fostered an extraordinarily pluralistic culture.
  • No much support from Indian muslims
  • India, the world’s second largest Muslim population, India’s share of pro-ISIS individuals is minuscule because :
    • The Indian muslimschlors have always condemned the “corrupt interpretations” of scripture used by Islamic State and other “extremist violent groups.” The more this case is made in mosques and madrassas in India and beyond, the better.
    • As Indian Islam is syncretic in nature, it is extremely difficult for groups such as the IS to become popular among Muslims, as it did in parts of Iraq and Syria.

World combating ISIS

  • Take advantage of the Islamic State’s internal flaws: The West and its allies should take advantage of the Islamic State’s internal flaws.
    • To undermine the jihadist group from within, they must face the obstacles it faces.
  • Move beyond air strikes: Military action against the Islamic State must extend beyond the skies. It
    • Ground operations by Syrian and Iraqi military groups that cooperate with the US should also be included in an international alliance
  • Support the moderate opposition in Syria: The West and its allies must reinforce the organizational and logistical capabilities of the moderate opposition in Syria.
    • The Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army, the only moderate opposition coalition, has governance capabilities.
    • In Syria, this group is battling both the Islamic State and the dictatorship.
  • Establish an Iraqi national guard: A multi-sectarian, the multiethnic force will help restore the Sunni Community confidence in state institutions and widen local participation in the fight against the Islamic State.
  • Engaging with Turkey: Turkey should allow the international coalition’s aircraft to use Turkish bases, which would better enable them to reach targets inside Syria.
  • Find a political solution to the Syrian conflict: The West and its allies should begin talks about a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
    • Since the Islamic State cannot be defeated without one, a resolution has been reached in Syria.

Do the forces really eliminated ISIS completely?

  • ISIS after AL-Baghdadi
    • There are strong chances of ISIS’s influence getting reduced after Baghdadi’s death.
    • On the contrary, ground realities also show that the roots and tentacles of ISIS have spread to the remotest and most distant places on the subcontinent as far as southeast Asian nations like the Philippines, Myanmar, etc.
    • The caliphate may be weakened after Baghdadi but he created a resilient bureaucratic organization that could withstand the loss of leaders.
  • Certainly down but not a fall
    • The liberation of Baghouz or the demise of the territorial caliphate, on the other hand, does not necessarily imply that the Islamic State has been vanquished.
  • Presence of sleeper cells
    • It has formed sleeper cells, especially in Syria and Iraq, that have continued to carry out terror attacks even though IS’s territory has shrunk.
    • The presence of sleeper cells, on the other hand, might not be enough for terror groups to gain ground.
  • Unstable Politics in West Asia:An uncertain internal security situation, according to experience in West Asia, greatly contributes to the growth of terrorism.
  • Withdrawal of the US from Syria: The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria may throw the region into chaos again, which would suit the ISIS fighters.

Way forward

  • It is necessary for countries fighting terrorism to learn more closely from their differences, rather than try to generalize from experience.
  • United Nations must become the global Centre to fight global terrorism. For such, the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism must be agreed upon based ona common definition of terrorism.
  • Intelligence sharing between countries needs to be strengthened and countries currently not affected by global terrorism need to take the threat seriously.
  • India should provide intelligent co-operation as it is a war against global terrorism.


  • The root of the problem should be tackled by way of countering ISIS ideology and killing terrorism rather than a targeted approach to killing the terrorist.

Mains model question

  • Critically analyze the present status of ISIS operations and its ability to lure youths from across the world including India.