By Senator Rehman Malik
I decided to write a book on Daesh to inform the world as to how it has emerged as being more dangerous and more lethal than Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Daesh’s presence in Afghanistan and rest of the region is an alarming threat for the whole world as the deadly terrorist group is replacing al-Qaeda and Taliban through a well-planned strategy. I was the one who first ever named Taliban as Zaliman for their brutalities against humanity. Daesh is worse than Taliban which is now trying to bring a new ideology as Daesh-ism which is anti–Islam.
I, as then interior minister had closely watched and followed the real motives of these terrorists and discovered the exact modus operandi of their moves and operations. I was keenly observing the behaviour of al-Qaeda and the emergence of Daesh starting from the ouster of Hosni Mubarak to developments of Arab Spring and violence in Libya to Syria and, also many other events which were happening across the world and in the meanwhile the rise of Daesh and its terroristic activities worldwide.
I kept chasing and reported activities of Daesh and discovered the first ever presence of Daesh in Daska – area of Sialkot and its further expansion to the Southern Punjab and finally its presence was reported in Kalar Syedan, near the capital. Omar Khalid Khorasani claimed to be the local representative of Daesh.
This was alarming situation of presence of Daesh in Pakistan and its expanding activities compelled me to write the book titled “Daesh-ISIS; A rising monster worldwide” which was launched on 17th July, 2019. I would like to share that the motivation behind the book was to put my experience in war against terrorism and to expose the deadly terrorist outfit – Daesh/ISIS for the information of the people and to give a wakeup call to the world leadership and international community to play its role in smashing this monster. I knew it was a dry and making entry into the affairs of this deadly organisation yet I decided to write with full facts for the information of a common man.
In the mid of 2014, in a press conference in Islamabad, I had stated that I have all the documentary evidence about the presence of Daesh in Pakistan and had warned the then government that instead of remaining in a state of denial, the government (then) should take serious actions and measures before Daesh spreads like Taliban and may push the country into another phase of terrorism. Despite of my repeated warnings, the government of the time was not prepared to accept it but I continued my chase and the country witnessed the terrorist actions in Pakistan claimed by Daesh. However, our security agencies have been playing great role in identifying the operator and smashing the handlers and blocking their entry on the borders.
Despite government’s continuous denial about the presence of Daesh/ISIS in the country, two major terrorist attacks happened in Quetta in 2016. First occurred in August killing 70 people and more than 100 were wounded, in second attack the terrorists carried out mass shooting at police cadets at training centre in Quetta killing 61 cadets while 160 were wounded. In 2017, 100 were killed in Sehwan Sharif suicide attack. An attack on a bus in Karachi in May 2015 that killed 46 people were the first major incident officially claimed by IS in Pakistan. In May 2017, Daesh targeted the ex- deputy chairman of Senate Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in a bomb attack in Mastung District. In August 2017, a suicide blast carried out by ISIS in Quetta killed 15 people including 8 Pak soldiers. In July 2018, Daesh carried out the deadliest attack in the history of Pakistan after APS attack in Mastung in which Siraj Raisani was about to address an election rally when a suicide bomber, carrying around 16–20 kg of explosive material in his vest, blew himself up among a crowd of more than 1000 people. Along with Raisani, the explosion killed 128 people. Two days after the attack, on 15 July 2018, the number of dead increased to 149, while 186 other people were injured. These all deadliest terrorist acts were claimed by Daesh/ISIS.
In July 2018, ISIS carried out a bomb blast outside a polling station during elections in Quetta’s Eastern Bypass area which resulted in killing of 31 people and over 35 were injured.
Apart from above attacks in Pakistan, the Daesh/ISIS so far has claimed 139 terrorist attacks across the world. Among those terrorist attacks since 2013, 19 in Iraq, 4 in Belgium, 4 in Australia, 5 in Canada, 7 in USA, 13 in France, 3 in Saudi Arabia, 2 in Libya, 1 in Denmark, 4 in Tunisia, 2 in Yemen, 10 in Turkey, 1 in Kuwait, 10 in Egypt, 2 in Russia, 1 in Lebanon and the recent Sri Lankan attacks, were carried out and claimed by Daesh/ISIS. Daesh/ISIS poses a whole new dynamic and a new paradigm of threats to Pakistan, Afghanistan and the whole world as so far it has proven its presence across the world in different shapes by carrying terrorist activities as explained earlier.
The West has already expressed the apprehensions that Daesh/ISIS does pose a severe threat to the West in the form of the hundreds of European and American fighters who have fought with the Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria and could return to their home countries to attack. In many videos the terrorists of Daesh were found speaking English with a British and Western accent.
Here are some statements quoted by Daesh leadership reflected in my book:
“Our battle today is one of attrition and stretching the enemy. They should know that jihad is ongoing until the Day of Judgment,” al-Baghdadi said.
“We believe it is really an attempt to divert attention from the core group’s heavy losses and to ensure that the franchise groups and grassroots supporters remain loyal to the Islamic State (Daesh) pole of the jihadist universe,”
“In the post 9/11 era, weaponised jihadist propaganda has helped transition us into a situation where we are primarily concerned with lone wolf, homegrown violent extremists as opposed to people trained abroad. ‘We call it open-source jihad, which allows people to train at home rather than going abroad to carry out jihad.”
“We branded jihad like Madison Avenue and understood what the world was going into, in regard to the emotional and less rational approach to life, particularly among the youth.”
I have highlighted as to how Daesh/ISIS is more lethal than al-Qaeda and Taliban in South Asia, Middle East and Europe even it will continue to be great threat to the China and this monster can push the whole world into another bloodiest phase of terrorism, if not smashed on time. I have interacted with many Iraqis and Libyans including Libyan former interior minister about the activities of Daesh and each of them confirmed the presence of Daesh in Libya and other parts of world. My research and personal interaction with different heads of states and other interior ministers enabled me to get the insight of the emergence and growth of Daesh and their worries. I have also indicated tactical operations of Daesh, its destruction and brutalities and its future designs in the book.
In view of my assessments about the fast growing Monster of Daesh, I have proposed following immediate counter measure suggested in my book:
1) There should be consolidated and collective effort to block the growth of Daesh with an international common counter-terrorism strategy duly discussed and formulated in the United Nations. 2) An immediate conference should be called by UNO to formulate a common counter-terrorism strategy, especially to control the rising of Daesh. 3) I appeal to the UNO to constitute a Fact-Finding Commission to investigate the growth and ongoing brutalities in the world and the Commission should submit its report within 3 months. 4) Daesh should be declared as deadly terrorist organisation by UN and stern actions against its sympathisers, financer and abettor should be taken mercilessly across the world. 5) The OIC should declare Daesh as anti-Islam organisation as it is bringing bad name to the religion by claiming to be an Islamic Organisation. 6) There should be an Inter-Faith Harmony Commission under the United Nations to enhance harmony among all faiths and religions.
(The writer is former interior minister of Pakistan, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Chairman of Think Tank “Global Eye”. He has been awarded Sitara -e -Shujaat, Nishan-e-Imtiaz. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik)