The Islamic State terror group has claimed to have established a new 'province' in India, the first of its kind announcement that came after militants and security forces clashed in Kashmir on May 10.
The Arabic name of the new branch is 'Wilayah of Hind' (India Province), the dreaded terror outfit, (also known as ISIS and ISIL). This claim by the Amaq News Agency of the IS has been rejected by a senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer.
Ms. Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intel Group that tracks Islamic extremists, said: 'ISIS declares its new 'Hind Province' while claiming clashes with Indian forces in Amshipora'. 'Of course, the establishment of a ‘province’ in a region where it has nothing resembling actual governance is absurd, but it should not be written off,' she cautioned.
ISIS did not elaborate on the branch’s geographical remit as it announced its new branch in a low-key announcement.The announcement itself is seen as part of ISIS’ strategy to give the impression of strengthening its global affiliations following the losses in the Middle East, a strategy it has highlighted by ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the past.
The brief May 10 ISIS statement said that the Islamic State militants using machine guns had clashed with the Indian security forces in the village of Amshipora in Shopian district, killing or injuring a number of them.
The statement, however, did not mention when the clashes occurred.
News reports on May 10 said that one militant was killed in Shopian district.