The Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament, the other day that he had to disclose that 36 Sri Lankans had left Sri Lanka to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) the most powerful Islamic terrorist organization in the world. A government probe has unearthed substantive evidence that Muslim extremists are in Sri Lanka.
Muslim teachers of Islamic fundamentalism had held meetings in several leading Muslim areas. Those attending the classes had been brainwashed and encouraged to sign an agreement to support the cause of ISIS. Al-Qaida followed the same procedure to lure Sri Lankan Muslims.
Prevention of Terrorism Act
Making a statement in Parliament on what the government has found, Minister Rajapkshe pledged to implement the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) if the need arises, despite international pressure to scrap the Act. He also said several intelligence servicemen who had conducted operations in Sri Lanka had found four families whose members are fighting alongside ISIS terrorists. He said members of influential families in the Sri Lankan Muslim community have joined the ISIS.
The investigators have now found that Muslim fundamentalists are visiting the country on tourist visas to teach in international schools in Beruwela, Kalmunai, and Kurunegala. Muslim teachers propagate extremist ideologies and spoil the minds of children.
According to Minister Rajapakshe there are four main chapters known as Thawheed Jamath, Jamathe Islam, Thatilique Jamath and Sunna Athival Jamath. They fight among themselves. There have been 15 serious incidents so far, but the minister pledged that the government will not let the situation go out of control. Action would be taken to halt the spread of domestic ideological conflicts in the country.
When Minister Rajapakshe revealed all the information, parliamentarians listened to him with rapt attention. The minister further said fundamentalists are using websites to promote racial hatred. It would result in the destruction of ethnic harmony and lawlessness. “The international community could say what it pleases. Yet, we will not let another bloodbath in the country. We are prepared to implement certain provisions of the PTA which have hitherto remained dormant. Those laws are severe if implemented,” he said. The minister also charged that some of the Lanka E-news posts were derogatory of members of the legal fraternity.
After Minister Rajapakshe’s speech on the ISIS and its connections in Sri Lanka, more investigators have joined to probe the matter, sources said.
Origin of ISIS
What is ISIS? Where did it come from? When did it originate?
The ISIS had its beginnings when one third of Iraq came under the control of Al-Qaida…
…movement which was a broad-based militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden in the late 1980’s. The Al-Qaeda movement tried to take over western Iraq between 2003 -2006. Sunni rebel groups including the Nusrat Front had strong contacts with Al-Qaeda. The United States supported the Nusrat Front early during the Syrian civil war as well. The US also supplied arms to Syrian rebels. The Nusrat Front received arms and much-needed funds from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The ISIS was in the forefront when the civil war started in Syria.
Cartoon from internet
According to Middle Eastern political analysts, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 started when a 36-year-old Jordanian, called “The Stranger” appeared in Iraq with his arms, ammunition and a dream. “The Stranger” later became to be known as Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi who had come there with an adventurous dream of starting a war that would unite the Sunni Muslims in the Middle East. A large number of foreign fighters, all Sunni Muslims, had come to Iraq to join “The Stranger”.
Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi rapidly launched a series of bloody suicide bombings and horrible executions which targeted Americans, Shia Muslims and others who he saw as an obstacle to his dreams of a Sunni Muslim world. His dream world had been Syria, Iraq and Persian Gulf, but it didn’t last long after several executions and extortions. Eventually “The Stranger” was killed in a US air strike in 2006.
Meanwhile, those in the Al-Zayaris group especially thousands of foreign volunteers joined the Al-Queda group. They supported the Sunni Muslim philosophy. They poured into Syria with the cry of Jihad. They had arms, ammunition and money. The Sunni revolutionaries also came to Syria and Iraq. The US intelligence sources maintain that it led to the third generation of Al-Qaeda activists with “The Stranger’s” influence.
The Iraqi security forces found it difficult to stop the Al-Queda movement. The rebels who had come to Iraq In 2006 called themselves the new Al-Qaeda movement. Later it came to be known as the ISIS.
The newly emerged ISIS had 5, 000 “freedom fighters” working for it, but some political analysts maintain that the number of recruits was more than the quoted figure. For instance, almost all the youngsters in their twenties dedicated to form a Sunni Muslim world supported the ISIS. Originally, they were followers of “The Stranger.” Today ISIS controls a vast area in Syria and Iraq.
Terrorists recruited by the ISIS are all below 30 years and the majority of them had attended the classes of Sunni Muslim priests. They had been given a rigorous training in the use of arms and ammunition. Some analysts say that the young recruits are being trained by experienced,Black and White trainers who impart the special training in sophisticated weapons.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi better known as Abu Dua joined the ISIS movement after he had been released from a terrorist camp in Iraq by the Obama administration. Dua had been a very dangerous terrorist.
Transnational terrorist organisation
The ISIS has repeatedly demonstrated that it is much more than a transnational terrorist organisation. It is an entity with sophisticated command control propaganda and logistical capabilities. ISIS has proven its ability to take and hold strategically critical areas at the heart of the Middle East.
Those who have studied the existence of the ISIS say it is a product of genocide. It is the illegitimate child born out of pure hate and fear which resulted in killing more than 200, 000 Syrians and displacing millions more. The rise of the ISIS is the main reason for such a disaster.
Facing Assad’s army and intelligence services, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iraqis Shia Islamist Militants, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Syria initially had only protesters. The protesters gradually became disenchanted and disillusioned. The peaceful protesters became radicalised and militant. The result was the birth of the ISIS.
Shia Islamist axis
The Shia Islamist axis had used chemical weapons, artillery and barrel bombs to preserve its crescent of influence. Syria’s Sunni Arab revolutionaries in turn, with international assistance refused to get help from Al-Qaeda which they called “The Devil”.
With its fiercely loyal army of transnational Jihadists Al-Qaeda once again gained a foothold in the Middle East. Fuelled by hate and fear, images of dismembered children and women suffering from the effects of chemical weapons, disaffected youth from the world rushed to Syria to face the new volatile situation.
Next to Syria its neighbour Iraq started having its own problems. Nouri al-Maliki started waging his own battle to consolidate power in Iraq.
Maliki was accepted by White House to form a government in Iraq. After he came back from White House, Maliki wanted his political opponent Sunni rival arrested. When Maliki had planned to get him arrested with American support, the Sunni leader escaped and joined the ISIS.
Maliki went on to get rid of all his rivals including the Finance Minister.
There was unrest in the ISIS controlled provinces. However, ISIS is today the most powerful Muslims group. Although it was very much active in the Middle East today it has spread its tentacles in the Asian region. The attack in Bangladesh is a case in point.
To what group Sri Lankan extremists belong or whether they are even recognised by Al-Qaeda or ISIS is not known. The ISIS consists of purely Sunni Muslims. During the World War II Ceylonese were recruited to fight Italians. Still they were trained to peel potatoes. We wonder whether those who went to join the ISIS are doing the same thing!