From China to Turkey: The Uighurs in a Position of a New Asia’s Rising Force in the Global Jihad

12 January 2017; Siegfried O. Wolf

AFP PHOTO / HAIDAR HAMDANI (Photo credit should read HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

On New Year’s Eve, Istanbul had to witness another major terrorist incident. The gunman who attacked a popular night club in the Turkish Metropole and murdered 39 people and severely injured many more, most likely belonged to the Uighurs, a Muslim community residing in China.[1] This became evident for the Turkish authorities, especially after they arrested numerous suspicious Uighurs in the aftermath of the bloody assault. Being a NATO member and a significant partner in the US-led coalition fighting ISIS (particularly in Syria), Turkey is getting increasingly identified by international terrorists who represent the main target in their Global Jihad.[2] As such, the experience with terrorist attacks at the Bosporus is nothing new.[3] Continue reading “From China to Turkey: The Uighurs in a Position of a New Asia’s Rising Force in the Global Jihad”

Istanbul attack: Why China’s Uighurs are joining global jihadist groups

6 January 2017; by Siegfried O. Wolf

Exclusives interview with Deutsche Welle, conducted by Shamil Shams:

Turkish authorities have arrested a number of people of Uighur origin over the New Year’s Eve attack

The Turkish government has arrested several Uighur Muslims in connection with Istanbul’s nightclub attack. In a DW interview, analyst Siegfried O. Wolf explains why the Uighur issue has expanded beyond China’s borders.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said Thursday that the gunman who attacked Istanbul’s Reina nightclub during New Year’s celebrations is likely from China’s Muslim Uighur minority and was a “specially trained member of a (terror) cell.” Turkish authorities have also arrested a number of people of Uighur origin over the attack that killed 39 people. Continue reading “Istanbul attack: Why China’s Uighurs are joining global jihadist groups”

Double Standards? Understanding China’s Diplomatic Support for Pakistan’s Cross-Border Terrorists

6 January 2017; Siegfried O. Wolf

On December 30, 2016, China once again blocked India’\s attempt to get the United Nations (UN) to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. The move took place despite clear indications that the Pakistan-based JeM under the leadership of Azhar is responsible for several attacks on Indian soil, like the Parliament terror attack (2001) or the Pathankot airbase attack. In this context, it is remarkable that JeM has already been blacklisted by the 15 members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), but not the terrorist leader himself. Due to the persistent ‘technical holds’ enforced by China, Azhar did not get listed as a designated terrorist under the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh, the militant Islamic State/IS group) and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee’ of the UNSC. Continue reading “Double Standards? Understanding China’s Diplomatic Support for Pakistan’s Cross-Border Terrorists”

Pakistani and Afghan refugees fear backlash after Berlin attack

20 December 2016; Siegfried O. Wolf

The Berlin terrorism attack has raised concerns about violence against Germany’s asylum seekers. DW spoke to several refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan about their impression of the situation. On Monday night, a truck slammed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing at least 12 people and wounding 48. The suspected driver was detained near the scene while a passenger – reported to be a Polish national – was found dead in the truck. The attention for the first day of investigations, however, was focused on the origins of the suspect: Some news agencies are suggesting that the driver was a 23-year-old Pakistan refugee, who came to Germany last year. He could well be an Afghan or Afghan-Pakistani. By Tuesday evening, police had released the suspect due to insufficient evidence. Continue reading “Pakistani and Afghan refugees fear backlash after Berlin attack”

Heart of Asia participants slam Pakistan over terrorism

4 December 2016

Interview/Quotation with Deutsche Welle,  conducted by Shamil Shams:

Afghan President Ghani and Indian PM Modi have lashed out at Pakistan for its “lack of cooperation” in the fight against terrorism. Ghani also snubbed Islamabad’s 500-million-dollar aid at the Heart of Asia conference.

Continue reading “Heart of Asia participants slam Pakistan over terrorism”

Why are Afghan Shiites being targeted?

23 November 2016, by Siegfried O. Wolf

Interview/Quotation with Deutsche Welle, conducted by Masood Saifullah:

Afghanistan has seen a surge in terror attacks targeting the country’s minority Shiite community. Observers say the attacks are aimed at undercutting the government’s credibility and exacerbating the sectarian tensions.

Continue reading “Why are Afghan Shiites being targeted?”

Hindutva and Citizenship in India: Helping Refugees or Building Vote Banks?

25 July 2016

Image by Bharath Joshi

One of the most noteworthy developments in Indian politics is the occurrence of a phenomenon often described as Hindu-Nationalism or Hindutva-movement (Bhatt 2001; Jaffrelot 2007, 1996; Zavos 2000). The movement refers to efforts to undertake dramatic changes within the political culture of India. This attempted transformation of state and society, which manifested itself through ‘communal violence’ – clashes between different religious communities especially between Hindus and Muslims (Engineer 2003; 1987) and actions aimed at challenging constitutional provisions such as secularism in combination with increasingly radical socio-political demands, have posed a threat to the Indian model of consensus democracy and have sadly lived up to bleak forecasts (Basu et.al. 1993).

Continue reading “Hindutva and Citizenship in India: Helping Refugees or Building Vote Banks?”

It’s Not Only about Illegal Migration & International Law: The Uighur Conundrum

21 July 2016; by Siegfried O. Wolf

Image by mike.benedetti

There is much media attention on Thailand’s latest deportation of more than 100 Uighur back to China, which was officially confirmed on 9 July 2015. The asylum seekers which entered the South East Asian country illegally got subsequently detained by the Thai immigration authorities and held in custody for over a year. In order to find a solution, the Royal Thai government finally decided to hand them over to China ‘under the agreement that their safety is guaranteed according to humanitarian principles’. Nevertheless, Bangkok had to face immense criticism by the international community, especially through human rights organisations and the United Nations. UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, proclaimed he is considering the deportation of the Uighurs as ‘a flagrant violation of international law’. Additionally, in several countries such as Turkey and Germany, remarkable protests broke out not only to express solidarity with the Uighurs but also to formulate grievances about the manner in which deportation was carried out.

Continue reading “It’s Not Only about Illegal Migration & International Law: The Uighur Conundrum”

Bangladesh’s Counter-Terror Act: Need for a Political Solution

bd_terror-act

Increasing concerns about the rise of terrorist attacks 

The terrorist attack in Dhaka’s international and diplomatic enclave Gulshan at the beginning of this month, which left at least 21 victims of different nationalities dead, was followed within less than a week by a bomb attack during the largest Eid congregation (Eid-ul-Fitr the greatest festival of the Muslims) at Sholakia ground at Kishoreganj, killing at least four people and leaving several people injured. Once again, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility, at least directly for the attack in Gulshan. Regarding the Kishoreganj bombing, there are severe indications that it got inspired by IS since it seems to be in close relation with an IS propaganda video just released two days before. Nevertheless, the government officials are following the old rhetoric of continuing to deny the presence of foreign militant groups on the country’s soil.

Continue reading “Bangladesh’s Counter-Terror Act: Need for a Political Solution”

Escalating Jihadist Terror in Bangladesh – What Next?

7 Juli 2016; by Siegfried O. Wolf

After witnessing two dramatic terrorist attacks within one week, many people in Bangladesh are asking what happens next? Is the situation getting worse? Or will the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) be able to contain or even eradicate the threat of terrorism? Is terrorism homegrown or imported from outside by international Jihadist organisations? Even if the GoB has been criticized a lot for apparent inaction, last month it gave a major response, when Bangladesh’s security forces carried out a nationwide crackdown on radical Islamists in the country. Continue reading “Escalating Jihadist Terror in Bangladesh – What Next?”