11 May, 2021

Next-Door Kamikaze

Urbane, motivated, net-savvy—the new, deadlier crop of militants is from the middle class

Next-Door Kamikaze
Call him the jehadi of the cyber age. The "new" terrorist in Kashmir is not just an AK-47-wielding school dropout. With terrorism and the weaponry it employs having changed, the present-day militant is well-educated and knows how to handle sophisticated equipment. He takes the security forces on the ground by surprise and manages to elude intelligence agencies with relative ease. This 'neo-militant' who has also spread his operations to other parts of the country is in the terror game for varied reasons: extremist ideology, avenging the injustices done to Indian Muslims or, occasionally, for the plain, simple lust for lucre.

Strategies, too, have changed. There is now an effort on the part of the militant groups to involve locals. While a few years ago the foreign mercenary lived in his hideout in the mountains and ventured out only to strike targets, today there is a conscious attempt to cultivate friends in the neighbourhood and indoctrinate those who are favourably inclined. Also, women are being trained to liaison for militant outfits. Take for example Mehmooda, a...

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