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Trump admin’s first terror report: IS ‘most potent threat to global security’

The report noted that IS has specifically threatened India in propaganda messages, adding that New Delhi has raised concern over the internet being used to “recruit and radicalise, and foment inter-religious tensions”.

world Updated: Jul 20, 2017 22:09 IST
Kartikeya Ramanathan
Kartikeya Ramanathan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Donald Trump administration,state department’s 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism,Islamic State
The state department report noted that attacks by Islamic State increased last year, despite an overall drop in the number of terror strikes worldwide.(Reuters File)

The Donald Trump administration, in its first worldwide assessment of terrorism, has described the Islamic State and its affiliates as the “most potent threat to global security”, adding that attacks by the group increased last year, even there was an overall drop in the number of terror strikes worldwide.

The state department’s 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism, released on Wednesday, said that Islamic State committed numerous atrocities against people of different ethnicities and faiths living in areas under the group’s control, naming Yezidis, Christians, Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds as some of the communities that have suffered under the group’s ruling.

As far as India is concerned, the report noted that the Islamic State has specifically threatened the country in propaganda messages and despite New Delhi not joining a Washington-led coalition against the group, “it has publicly recognised the serious threat ISIS poses to global security and affirmed efforts to degrade and defeat this threat”, using another acronym for the group.

It also said that the Indian government is taking the IS threat seriously, adding that it has arrested 68 supporters of the terror group and has raised concern over social media and the internet being used to “recruit, radicalise, and foment inter-religious tensions”, especially by Islamic State.

The report also detailed the physical and sexual abuses faced by women and children at the hands of members of the Islamic State.

“In 2015 and 2016, ISIS abducted, systematically raped, and abused thousands of women and children, some as young as eight years of age. Women and children were sold and enslaved, distributed to ISIS fighters as spoils of war, forced into marriage and domestic servitude, or subjected to physical and sexual abuse,” the report said.

“ISIS established ‘markets’ where women and children were sold with price tags attached and has published a list of rules on how to treat female slaves once captured,” it said.

The report said that the US and its allies, by countering and curtailing the use of internet for “terrorist purposes”, were responsible for content posted by the Islamic State declining by 75% between 2015 and 2016, while IS-related traffic on Twitter declined by 45% between 2014 and 2016.

The state department recognised that IS was able to radicalise people in different countries by various means. According to its report, volunteers from Sunni states in the Middle East joined the group to “defend” Syrians against President Bashar al-Assad and his “Shia backers in Iran”. In parts of Africa, the group’s ideology “resonated among those with direct experience of official corruption and abusive security-service tactics”.

In what is perhaps a quite sectarian remark, the report also states that Islamic State’s call for a caliphate resonated in the West with “members of predominantly Muslim immigrant communities, converts to Islam, and others searching for identity and purpose”.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 19:00 IST