MW Weekly: ISKP Propaganda Targets India; US Special Forces Free Hostage in West Africa; Indonesian Soldiers Accused of Massacre; Assassination Attempt on VP of Argentina
ISKP Calls for Jihad Against India
On September 2, the Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) published issue 13 of its Voice of Khurasan magazine which featured an article scorning India and a separate profile of an Indian jihadist. As part of ISKP’s strategy of expanded regionalization and internationalization, India has become a higher priority enemy of the group, and recruitment efforts targeting Indian Muslims have been boosted.
The article, titled “A Message for the Oppressed Muslims in the Cow Worshippers’ State”, says there is a “genocide” occurring “under the nose of [the] UN”. ISKP says “Hindu fanatics” have subjected Muslims to “systematic oppression” for the last 75 years.
ISKP says it is up to individual Muslims to turn the situation around since actors such as “the tawaghit of Pakistan” do not intend to help their supposed coreligionists in Kashmir. Indian Muslims, they say, are the targets of “state-sponsored Hindu terrorism”. The author(s) warns that “our enemies are well prepared to destroy us” and that “they will not show us mercy”.
The solution, according to ISKP, is to “throw away the shackles of humiliation” and “return to your religion – i.e. jihad in the way of Allah.” ISKP says “the only way you will be able to reclaim your glory is to pledge your allegiance to our Khalifah and clean the historical land of Khilafah from the filths of idolatry and idolaters.”
US Special Forces Rescue American Nun from Captivity in West Africa
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, announced in a press conference on August 30 that US special forces of AFRICOM had rescued an 83-year-old American Catholic nun from unidentified gunmen in the Sahel. Sister Suellen Tennyson, of the Marianite congregation, was abducted from her bed in the middle of the night by armed men, who took her without her glasses or medication after vandalizing the nuns’ community in Yalgo parish and destroying a vehicle there in April of this year.
General Milley gave few details about the hostage rescue, and Tennyson was only identified later by her own organization as the subject of the rescue operation, who says she is in good health but “totally worn out”. According to the US State Department, Tennyson was actually rescued from a site just over the border in Niger.
It still has not been revealed whether Tennyson’s abductors had affiliations with any of the numerous militant groups in the Sahel, many of whom are loyal to either the Islamic State or Al Qaeda and have been participating in a jihadist insurgency in the region for years. We spoke with Militant Wire security analyst, Scott Morgan, about the region where Tennyson was abducted. Morgan suspects the involvement of jihadists: “Yalgo, the community from where she was taken, is about 100 km from the border with Mali. A major reason that I suspect Islamist militants is the proximity to the Sahel Reserve which overlaps the borders of both Mali and Burkina Faso. The Vatican says the kidnappers were unknown but [Tennyson] was taken to an area where JNIM is suspected of operating.” Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) is the official branch of Al Qaeda in Mali, and they operate broadly throughout West Africa.
Indonesian Soldiers Accused of Massacring West Papuans
Six “elite” soldiers of the Indonesian military have been accused of killing and mutilating four men in West Papua. All six soldiers are in custody and under investigation by the Indonesian government. The four ethnic Papuan victims were allegedly lured to a fake arms deal, where they reportedly sought to purchase a Kalashnikov-style battle rifle and another firearm for a rather staggering sum of $16,800 USD. It is thought that the four were shot and then mutilated by their killers. Their severed remains were discovered by locals in sacks weighed down by rocks and tossed into a river. Four of the sacks contained dismembered torsos, while yet another was filled with heads and limbs.
West Papua has been a province of Indonesia since a contentious 1969 UN-sponsored referendum on sovereignty, billed then as an “Act for Free Choice,” despite West Papua being a part of the larger island of New Guinea and its inhabitants ethnically distinct from the rest of Indonesia. Since then, the province has been beset by protests, separatist activism, and a small-scale insurgency. In July of this year, Papuan separatist militants killed 10 men from elsewhere in Indonesia, described vocationally as “traders,” and they wounded two others.
Spokesman of the armed indigenous separatist group, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), Sebby Sambom, called on the Indonesian government to prosecute and sentence the soldiers accused of this week’s massacre to the death penalty. Our Southeast Asia analyst, Uday, interviewed Sebby Sambom for Militant Wire, earlier this month. Below is Sambom’s recent statement on the August 29 killings:
On August 30th, the TPNPB killed an Indonesian worker in Intan Jaya, Papua. They have vowed further retaliation for the recent murder and mutilation of four Papuans.
Argentine Man Attempts to Assassinate Vice President
A video emerged on social media on the evening of September 2nd of a 35-year-old would-be assassin waving a handgun in the face of Argentina’s vice president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and pulling the trigger to the sound of a benign click, rather than a gunshot. The vice president is seen ducking her head in a delayed reaction as the man waives the pistol in her face before being subdued by the crowd around her. The weapon was loaded with five rounds but failed to fire. The attempt on the vice president’s life comes as Kirchner faces serious charges of corruption. She leads a left-wing populist faction of the Justicialist Party, the Kirchnerismos, named for her late husband and former president, Néstor Kirchner.
The suspect, Fernando Andrés Sabag Montiel, was born in Brazil but has an Argentine mother and has been a resident of Argentina since 1993. No motive has been established for the attack, but an Argentine man claiming to be a friend of the alleged attacker suggested the gunman had been preparing for the assassination and personally expressed some regret at his friend’s failure. Interestingly, the would-be assassin had an Iron Cross and a Sonnenrad tattoo, both symbols associated with modern neo-Nazi movements. According to his social media activity, he took an interest in literature and themes that intersect with the far-right, though other acquaintances described him as insecure and not very political.
Conflict Photos of the Week