As early as 2014, after the fall of Mosul, maps of ISIS showing a desire to take over South Asia started to appear on social media. But how far has that borne fruit? Or has it always been more of an ill-conceived chimera?
One of the shortcomings of our understanding of ISIS in India-and indeed in South Asia-is that neither the media nor public discourse seems to know what ISIS itself is. The militant group has eclipsed Al Qaeda to become the most feared terror group in the West, and it continues to expand its influence, despite losing the territory it had captured. And yet, its shadow on South Asia has not been grasped quite as clearly. In The ISIS Peril, Kabir Taneja explores the psychology of South Asian jihadists through examples. From the Holey Bakery attack of 2016 in Bangladesh to Easter weekend 2019 in Sri Lanka, from the flag-waving in Kashmir to the Twitter accounts in Bangalore, from the young converts of Kerala to online recruitment by way of Facebook and Telegram. Based on detailed and rare primary sources, he uncovers the ideological underpinnings of the movement in South Asia, deconstructs its strengths and exposes its fault lines, and throughout maintains an intelligent, engaging and analytical narrative on the geopolitical consequences of ignoring the ISIS peril.
About the Author
Kabir Taneja is a researcher and writer based in New Delhi, India. He is currently an Associate Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). His work focuses on India's relations with the Middle East, specifically looking at the security dimensions raised by transnational jihadist groups. He has published widely including volumes, journals, monographs and research papers. His bylines and quotes appear regularly in national and international media. He currently lives in New Delhi, India.