India gets ASEAN to counter worldwide web of Islamist terror

In a counter-terrorism effort, India will be holding a cyber dialogue here for the first time and will get on board ten ASEAN member-countries.

Published: 18th September 2016 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2016 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: In a counter-terrorism effort, India will be holding a cyber dialogue here for the first time and will get on board ten ASEAN member-countries. The perils of radicalisation through the cyber world came to light during the terror attack in the heart of Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave in July.

Terrorist groups such as the  Islamic State (IS) have become increasingly sophisticated at creating dense, global networks of online support, which help these groups run virtual circles around governments and communities. This was highlighted during the Dhaka attack, where Indian preacher Zakir Naik was accused of being instrumental in radicalising the young Bangladeshis.

“We agreed to cooperate towards addressing security challenges, including in areas of de-radicalisation, prevention of violent extremism and cybercrimes. ASEAN leaders are looking forward to the convening of the first ASEAN-India dialogue,” sources said.

The dialogue will take place in late 2016. Naik’s sermons promoting a fundamentalist strain of Islam are very popular in Malaysia and Indonesia. India’s probe into Naik’s role is being closely watched by these countries. Terrorists use websites as sources of ideological inspiration, also for finding manuals on how to make explosives. The IS, through the internet, has promoted its hateful message, attracting like-minded extremists.

India has been seeking concerted efforts to counter terror at all international platforms. PM Narendra Modi, during the ASEAN summit in Laos, tried to impress upon the member-states on the threat posed by terrorism. The ASEAN countries have lent support to India’s efforts to have a universally accepted definition of terrorism at the UN. “ASEAN and India support the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), currently, under negotiation at the UN,” a source said. India has revived its two-decade old proposal of CCIT and will be pushing for its adoption at the UN General Assembly this month.

India is said to have completed a draft taking into account objections of the three main opposition blocs—the US, the Organisation of Islamic Countries and Latin American countries. CCIT, that was first tabled in 1996, will give terrorism a universal definition. It will make it imperative for all 193-members of the UNGA to adopt it in their own criminal law, and clamp down on all terror groups without distinguishing between good and bad terrorists.

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