Islamic State casually announces establishment of new Wilāyat Hind in India

Published By ITCT News Desk On : May 11, 2019
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In a statement released by Islamic State for the Friday morning clashes in India-controlled Jammu Kashmir that killed IS commander Abu Nader al-Kashmiri aka Ishfaq Sofi casually announced Wilāyat Hind in India, which is the first such use of this term since the establishment of the terror group in Middle East.

Islamic State statement for the 10th May clashes in India-controlled Kashmir

Previously, Islamic State referred to its franchise in Jammu Kashmir as ‘Islamic State in Jammu Kashmir’ or ISJK, but for the first time IS appears to have casually announced a province in India dubbed Wilāyat Hind.

This casual announcement by IS is in line with casual announcements of new Wilāyats since its territorial losses in late 2017. In April 2019, IS also casually revealed the name of a new branch in Central Africa following a single attack in DR Congo. Similarly, in the recent new video of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the terror group’s chief was seen reading a file titled Wilāyat Turkiye (Turkey Province), which was also the first time the term was seen in use by IS.

On early morning Friday, 10th May, Indian security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Shopian area of Jammu Kashmir following heavy exchange of firing with suspected militants. During the operation, Indian security forces killed IS commander Abu Nader al-Kashmiri in Amishpora area of Shopian. He was originally a resident of Sopore area in Kashmir.

Photo of Abu Nader al-Kashmiri

An old photo of Abu Nader al-Kashmiri from 2018

Another photo of Abu Nader al-Kashmiri from Kashmir

Images from the encounter site showed heavy presence of Indian security forces.

Following the IS statement late Friday on the clashes, pro-IS Moata News Agency issued its own release highlighting the announcement of Wilāyat Hind in India.

 

Release by pro-IS Moata News Agency

 

Pro-IS Urdu media wing, Nida-e-Haq, which is believed to be close to Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), released a poster celebrating the announcement of Wilāyat Hind.

Poster released by ISKP affiliated Nida-e-Haq Media

 

Images and footage from the funeral of Abu Nader al-Kashmiri showed IS flags and a large presence of Kashmiris who showed up to participate in funeral prayers.

Image from the funeral of Abu Nader al-Kashmiri

On late Friday following the casual announcement of Wilāyat Hind, pro-IS groups on Telegram also spread a 30 minute speech by Abdur Rahman Nadwi Al Hindi, chief of Indian jihadi group Ansar al-Tawheed Fi Bilad al-Hind (Supporters of Monotheism in India), in which he announces pledge of allegiance (also called ‘bayah’ in Arabic by IS supporters) to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi along with his group. In the video, several militants can be seen joining the pledge of allegiance.

Video was produced by al-Isabah Media, official media wing of Ansar al-Tawheed Fi Bilad al-Hind (Supporters of Monotheism in India)

 

ITCT Newsdesk talked to ITCT Deputy Director and Head of South Asia desk Faran Jeffery about the announcement of Wilāyat Hind: “This announcement of a province in India is worrying. Previously, Islamic State’s operations in Jammu Kashmir were attributed to Islamic State in Jammu Kashmir or ISJK, which in turn fell under the command of Wilāyat Khurāsān or Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), the IS franchise which was established to cover Afghanistan, Pakistan and nearby areas. But now all operations in Jammu Kashmir as well as in mainland India will fall under Wilāyat Hind. This also means that IS has likely already appointed an emir and commanders for this new province. So far IS operations in India-controlled Kashmir have been pretty insignificant and so it is yet to be seen if there is any change in IS operations following this casual announcement of Wilāyat Hind. But what we can say for sure is that following the loss of territory in Middle East, IS is looking to expand its presence in other areas around the world, especially in South Asia and Africa. How significant is this expansion is yet to be seen.”

UPDATE – 11th May:

Islamic State groups released a new poster eulogizing Abu Nader al-Kashmiri.

Poster released by IS groups

 

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