For at least 20 years, Salafi, pro-Jihad Deoband groups like Tablighi Jamaat, Tawheed Jamaath and the Taliban have been part of a global coalition of violent Islamic organizations.
However, these influential Deoband groups have somehow managed to escape the effective scrutiny of a majority of intel analysts and counter-terrorism specialists in the East, and in the West.
Escaped attention, that is, until now.
Sadly, it has taken a sequence of major Jihad attacks, such as the December 02, 2015 shootings in San Bernardino, California and the April 21, 2019 bombings in Sri Lanka, to push these major Deoband groups onto the counterterrorism radar screen (for a brief summary, see the Table below).
For example, as stated in the May 21, 2019 article entitled “Islamic State in Afghanistan Growing Bigger, More Dangerous”:
“The collapse of the Islamic State’s [IS] self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq is doing little to slow down the terror group’s branch in Afghanistan. Newly unclassified intelligence suggests IS-Khorasan, as the group is known, is growing both in numbers and ambition, now boasting as many as 5,000 fighters – nearly five times as many as estimates from last year – while turning its focus to bigger and more spectacular attacks.”
“Yet despite losing key leaders and suffering constant setbacks on the battlefield, IS-Khorasan found a way to maintain its numbers, successfully recruiting disgruntled Taliban fighters as well as jihadis from further afield [italics added by authors].”
In other words, IS-Khorasan is maintaining its numbers in Afghanistan by recruiting disgruntled fighters from the Taliban, which is a 100% pure Deoband group, while the “jihadis from further afield” mentioned above are being drawn from a nearly-endless supply of fighters linked to a kaleidoscope of Deoband groups operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, known collectively as Al-Qaeda of the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
Deoband Groups in Al-Qaeda and Now In AQIS
To understand how this happened, it is important to recognize that what is commonly known today as Al-Qaeda (AQ) was actually founded in February of 1998 by five well-known Islamic leaders. Originally called the World Islamic Front (aka the International Islamic Front), this global coalition also included at least 14 international pro-Jihad organizations, with at least seven from the Deoband branch of Islam.
These seven Deoband organizations include (in bold font) the 055 Brigade (aka the Shadow Army, composed of a mixture of mercenary Jihad fighters from the Middle East, Central Asia & Southeast Asia that were integrated into the Taliban from 1995-2001), the Islamic Jihad Group (Egypt), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Turkistan Islamic Movement (or Party), Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines (Jihadist pirates also known as the Islamic State in the Philippines), Chechen & North Caucasian Jihad Groups, Uyghur Jihad Groups (Xinjiang Province, Western China), Harkat-ul Mujahideen (Pakistan), Lashkar-E-Taiba (Pakistan), Sipah-e-Sahaba (Pakistan), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Afghanistan), Harkat-Ul-Jihad Al-Islami (Pakistan) and the Taliban, aka the Deobandi Taliban (Afghanistan).
Since September 11, 2001, the Religion of Peace website has compileeed a year-by-year list of more than 35,000 Jihad attacks around the world. A simple search query of their database, using keywords such as ‘Jamaat‘ or ‘Mujahideen,’ reveals that a variety of Deoband-linked groups have been involved in these violent attacks every year since 9/11, including 75 attacks by the Afghan Taliban during the month of Ramadan 2019, which killed more than 400 people and injured more than 500.
In addition, this Table lists major attacks (or plots) since 2002 that are directly linked to Deoband groups:
Lackawanna, NY September 11, 2002 Tablighi Jamaat Failed Material Support Plot
Portland, OR October 03, 2002 Tablighi Jamaat Failed Bombing Plot
London , England July 07, 2005 Tablighi Jamaat TATP (‘Mother of Satan’)
London, England August 10, 2006 Tablighi Jamaat Peroxide-Based Explosives
Glasgow, Scotland June 30, 2007 Tablighi Jamaat Petroleum & Natural Gas
Barcelona, Spain January 19, 2008 Tablighi Jamaat Failed Bombing Plot
Mumbai, India November 26, 2008 Lashkar-e-Taiba RDX (Nitramines)
Times Square, NY May 01, 2010 Pakistani Taliban Gunpowder, Propane & Urea
San Bernardino , CA December 02, 2015 Tablighi Jamaat Gunpowder in Pipe Bombs
New York City, NY April 30, 2016 Pakistani Taliban TATP (‘Mother of Satan’)
Pulwama, Kashmir February 14, 2019 Jaish-e-Mohammed RDX & Ammonium Nitrate
Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019 Tawheed Jamaat TATP (‘Mother of Satan’)
Deoband Madrassas – An Emerged Threat
In the May 01, 2019 article entitled “Madrassas Ingrained Worldwide,” and in a related May 06, 2019 article entitled “The Terrorist Ties That Bind,” the authors focused on an international network of multiple tens-of-thousands of Deoband madrassas, and revealed how this madrassa network is not only tightly intertwined within a convoluted network of Al-Qaeda/Islamic State (AQ/IS) Salafi Jihad organizations, but also closely affiliated with the global Muslim Brotherhood network (all meshing together like gears in a transmission).
A third article, which is scheduled to appear in the July issue of Defence & Security Alert, is a thorough discussion of the close affiliations between these Deoband madrassas, the San Bernardino and Sri Lanka attacks, and the ominous 20-page Shariah-based Code of Conduct, which was published in June of 2017 (in English) by a 5-year old multi-national coalition of Salafi Jihad groups known as AQIS (Al-Qaeda of the Indian Subcontinent).
A Quick Note: Anyone who is concerned with sovereignty and liberty in the West, should consider the Code of Conduct as a literal threat – a definitive warning – from the Global Islamic Movement (GIM). What the Muslim Brotherhood’s 1991 “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America” was to America, the Code of Conduct is to the Indian Subcontinent. Specifically, the Code of Conduct reveals  the precise goals of AQIS,  the Sharia-authorized methods (tactics) to accomplish these goals, and  exactly how they intend to fight any opposition to these goals.
If documents like the Code of Conduct are dismissed and ignored, it will be to the free world’s own peril.
Deoband Madrassas – A Growing Awareness
A few earlier citations (pre-San Bernardino & Sri Lanka) that address concerns about Deoband madrassas include an April 11, 2013 article entitled Balochistan – The State Versus the Nation, and a March 27, 2014 study which states that the Deoband madrassa system ‘boasts the largest network of satellite madrasas all over Pakistan, Bangladesh, neighboring countries in Asia and beyond, and as far afield as the Caribbean, South Africa, Britain, and the United States.’
Also, a June 2015 article entitled “Religious Education of Pakistan’s Madaris and Radicalisation,” and a March 23, 2019 article entitled “Terrorism Fears As 3,000 UK Children A Year Go To ‘Jihadi’ Schools In Pakistan, Secret Government Report Reveals,” both focus on the global threat posed by Muslim boys and young men who attend these Deoband madrassas.
Or, we can read the words of a Salafi Jihadist in the April 25, 2016 article entitled “In Conversation with Mubin Shaikh: From Salafi Jihadist to Undercover Agent inside the “Toronto 18” Terrorist Group”:
“My first stage of identity construction takes place when I was in Canada. This includes the cultural and religious aspects of my identity that was formed in the Koranic school [i.e., a madrassa, with subsequent heavy influence by the Deoband group known as Tablighi Jamaat].”
Next Stage – AQIS Is The New Center of Gravity
Along with tens-of-thousands of Deoband madrassas, intelligence and security officials across the Indian subcontinent have now been forced to confront the reality of a vast network of pro-Jihad Deoband organizations known as AQIS, and to recognize that the center of gravity for the Global Islamic Movement has shifted toward the East, with its core in the Indian subcontinent.
For example, an April 26, 2019 Asia Times article entitled “Asia: The New Ground Zero For Islamist Terror” states that:
“The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka rank among the deadliest terrorist attacks in modern history, and underscore the metastasizing scourge of Islamist violence in Asia. Radical Islamic groups, some affiliated with larger extremist networks, have been quietly gaining influence in an arc of countries extending from the Maldivian to the Philippine archipelagos, and the threat they pose can no longer be ignore.”
Another discussion of this emerging global threat is found in the May 05, 2019 article entitled “The Next Islamic State Battlefield Will Be in South Asia,” which points out that:
“Washington has overlooked the explosive potential of Islamic State influence in Pakistan, which will only accelerate the expected power vacuum left after U.S. withdrawal.”
Rivalry & Competition Between AQIS & AQ/IS
Moreover, there is chaotic, fierce competition across the entire Indian subcontinent between fighters from Islamic groups affiliated with AQ/IS and Jihad fighters who have pledged loyalty to AQIS.
Articles that address the threats posed by these (sometimes) violent rivalries, from just the five core countries in AQIS (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar), include the following:
For Afghanistan, see these articles, dated April 13, 2016, September 11, 2016 and September 19, 2018.
For Pakistan, see these articles, dated September 12, 2017, September 21, 2017 and August 17, 2018.
For India, see articles dated July 01, 2016, August 09, 2017, December 27, 2017 and August 14, 2018.
For Bangladesh, see these articles, dated July 01, 2016, April 26, 2017, and January 19, 2019.
For Myanmar, see articles dated December 17, 2016, May 01, 2017, and January 03, 2019.
Mischaracterizations, Negligence & Warnings Ignored
An April 23, 2019 article entitled “ISIS Suspect Gave Advance Warning of Sri Lanka Bombings,” states:
“Early warnings from India’s intelligence services to Sri Lankan officials ahead of the Easter Sunday bombings were based on information gleaned from an ISIS suspect, CNN has learned. [New] Delhi passed on unusually specific intelligence in the weeks and days leading up to the attacks, Sri Lankan officials have said, and at least some of it was gleaned from material obtained during interrogations of an ISIS suspect arrested in India, an Indian official told CNN.”
Then, an April 24, 2019 article entitled “India Relayed Three Specific Warnings About Terror Attacks To Sri Lanka, Ahead Of Easter Bombings,” added these ominous details:
“India relayed three specific warnings about possible terror attacks to Sri Lanka, ahead of the Easter Sunday bombings. The final warning was communicated just one hour before the explosions started, a person with knowledge of the information told CNN. The first warning was communicated on April 4; the second warning was sent on April 20, one day before the attacks; and a third warning was sent on the morning of the attack.”
However, despite these warnings, it was revealed on June 08, 2019 that:
“Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has told his cabinet that he will not cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into security lapses leading to the Easter suicide bombings, official sources said on Saturday. Sirisena summoned an emergency meeting of his cabinet on Friday night to oppose the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people and wounded nearly 500.”
This approach was confirmed by a ministerial source, who told AFP that Sirisena has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee.
“The cabinet meeting ended inconclusively,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “The government did not agree to suspend the PSC either.”
Unfortunately, it would be wrong to assume that this kind of blatant negligence is unique to the government of Sri Lanka. In fact, in the weeks, months and years before the San Bernardino attacks, exactly the same thing happened in America.
To cite one example (which includes quotes and observations from several congressman), a December 11, 2015 article entitled “Were San Bernardino Terror Attack Warning Signs Overlooked?” informed us that:
“As the investigation continues into the terrorist attack that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California last week, details have emerged that raise the possibility that authorities missed warning signs in the suspects’ communications and their backgrounds.”
“Terrorism experts say the significance of this information is much easier to see after the attack, but they disagree on whether things that appear suspicious to a frightened public now should have set off alarms for intelligence agencies months or years ago.”
In response to these assertions, retired FBI counterterrorism executive David Gomez said it is often “disingenuous” for politicians to make such accusations in the wake of an attack, because they were in a position to help the agencies involved and they failed as well.
Eyewitness To Failure
From professional experience, the author (Haney) knows that Agent Gomez was right. As a Founding Member of the Department of Homeland Security, and a Subject Matter Expert in Counter Terrorism who was assigned to the National Targeting Center outside of Washington, D.C., Haney made the following statement in a December 16, 2015 editorial in The Hill, which was entitled “Administration Nixed Probe into Southern California Jihadists”:
“There are terrorists in our midst and they arrived here using legal means right under the noses of the federal law enforcement agencies whose mission is to stop them. That is not due to malfeasance or lack of effort on the part of these officers; it is due to the restrictions placed on them by the Obama administration.”
“I was a firsthand witness to how these policies deliberately prevented scrutiny of Islamist groups. The two San Bernardino jihadists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, may have benefited from the administration’s closure of an investigation I initiated on numerous groups infiltrating radicalized individuals into this country.”
“My law enforcement colleagues and I must conduct our work while respecting the rights of those we monitor. But what I witnessed suggests the Obama administration is more concerned with the rights of non-citizens in known Islamist groups than with the safety and security of the American people. That must change.”
Meanwhile, as a December 17, 2015 article entitled “Why Wasn’t San Bernardino Prevented? The Hard Truth That No One Wants To Admit,” revealed:
“Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband [Syed Rizwan Farook] carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the United States from Pakistan.”
“None uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide – that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad. She said she supported it. And she said she wanted to be a part of it.”
In response, during one of the Presidential debates, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) added this warning:
“We didn’t monitor the Facebook posting of the female San Bernardino terrorist because the Obama DHS thought it would be inappropriate. She made a public call to jihad, and they didn’t target it.”
As with Agent Gomez just above, Senator Cruz was also correct in his assertion that official (secret) policy made sure that Tashfeen Malik’s social media wasn’t checked, as revealed here, here, here & here.
Members of Deoband groups have conducted Jihad attacks all around the world since September 11, 2001, including one major attack on December 02, 2015 in San Bernardino, and another one on April 21, 2019 in Sri Lanka.
Today, the indicators (the ‘connecting dots’) are now in plain sight for all to see, no longer hidden in the shadows. These goals (dots) are not only clearly written in their own words (in English!) in Sharia-compliant manifestos such as the AQIS Code of Conduct, but are also demonstrated repeatedly in their Quranically-endorsed actions.
It is well-past time for all of us, in the East and the West, to take their words and actions at face value, and work together to protect our sovereignty and national security at the local, national and international level.
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