US names Babbar Khalsa among separatist movements that pose risk to its interests
The US has named Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa among the separatist movements that pose a risk to American interests overseas by conducting assassinations and bombings against major economic, political and social targets.
Babbar Khalsa International seeks, through violent means, to establish its own independent state in India and is responsible for significant terrorist attacks in India and elsewhere that have claimed the lives of innocent civilians, according to the Trump administration’s new National Strategy for Counterterrorism unveiled by the White House on Thursday.
The direct reference to Babbar Khalsa, an international terrorist organisation and banned by several countries including the US, Canada and India assumes significance because its minuscule support base in North America. In recent months, the Indian government is believed to have raised with the Trump administration the issue of separatist Sikhs using United States as a platform to gain global traction.
In its strategy paper, the White House said there is a broad range of revolutionary, nationalist, and separatist movements overseas whose use of violence and intent to destabilise societies often puts American lives at risk.
“Such groups may avoid or deprioritise targeting United States interests for now to avoid detracting from their core goals but frequently conduct assassinations and bombings against major economic, political, and social targets, heightening the risk to United States personnel and interests overseas,” the strategy said.
Among others, the White House said the Nordic Resistance Movement is a prominent transnational, self-described nationalist-socialist organization with anti-Western views that has conducted violent attacks against Muslims, left-wing groups, and others.
The group has demonstrated against United States Government actions it perceives are supportive of Israel and has the potential to extend its targeting to United States interests, it said. “Similarly, the neo-Nazi National Action Group, a terrorist organisation that was banned by the United Kingdom in 2016 for its promotion of violence against politicians and minorities, operates mainly in the United Kingdom but has engaged with like-minded groups in the United States, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, and Poland — expanding the potential influence of its violent ideology,” the strategy said.