ISI’s new strategy on Kashmir: TRF to work on ANTIFA pattern

at 2:59 pm
Representational Image
Representational image


By R C Ganjoo

After the fall of Kabul and the Taliban’s conquest of most of Afghanistan, thousands of ‘jihadi terrorists’ have arrived in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and new launching pads for infiltration into the Jammu and Kashmir have been formed.

It has been noticed following the change in command of the 10 Corps by Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, there has been intensification of terrorist attacks targeting minority groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

Intelligence sources acknowledge that the training for ‘jihadi’ commandos and suicide bombers are taking place at the National Counter-Terrorism Center in Pabbi, Punjab.

Pakistan’s intelligence organisation ISI has adopted a new strategy for militants, operating in Kashmir on the pattern of ANTIFA.

ANTIFA is an “anti-fascist group, operating particularly in Europe, since decades, conspicuously in Italy, against Mussolini, and in Germany, against Hitler.

In the post-war period, Antifa groups swelled up to fight neo-Nazi groups, in Germany. In the U.S., the anti-fascist movements germinated out of leftist politics in late ’80s, under the patronage of Anti-Racist Action.

The name Antifa is derived from the Moscow-based Communist International in 1933 directed the Soviet-led Communist Party USA to form the American League against War and Fascism.

That group was patterned after Germany’s Antifascist Action — or Antifa — formed in 1932. Antifa is not a single organisation and does not have a leader but is a secretive movement though different state groups do hold regular meetings.

Antifa can also be traced to Anti-Fascist Action, a militant group founded in the 1980s in the United Kingdom whose general strategy was to deny fascists a public platform to spread their message.

The Resistance Front (TRF), a terrorist organisation backed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) launched after the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 , claimed responsibility for the recent target killings in Kashmir. They follow the execution plan like ANTIFA.

It was the first time that on May 25, 2020, the USA was seriously jolted with the home-grown terrorist group unleashed unrest from the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area and spread over 2,000 cities in the US on the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American man in Minneapolis by police.

This group Antifa is not only active in the US, also systemically spreading its tentacles in Europe as well.

The main objective of Antifa is to stop neo-Nazis and white supremacy. The Antifa groups are unequivocally anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobia, but also by and large socially leftist and anti-capitalist.

The Antifa groups track and react to the activities of individuals or groups, advocating fascist views, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, white supremacists, and white nationalists.

They have a unique pattern of demonstration.

When Antifa members come into sight for demonstrations, are often dressed in black and wear masks.

The Antifa activity involves nonviolent protests like hanging posters, delivering speeches, and marching.

According to US officials, the principal funding of Antifa, and Black Lives Matter groups, is George Soros and his Open Society Foundations which has stuffed $38 billion for operations in 120 countries.

He has been funding terror activities and disruption of governments around the world for decades. He pledged one billion dollars last year against “resurgent nationalism” and openly named India’s Narendra Modi as the man on his radar. This was in the wake of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The Resistance Front (TRF) has been getting regular support from the neighboring country,” said officials in National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Both Jammu and Kashmir Police and agency sources confirmed that the recent attacks are a part of the new strategy of LeT’s TRF wing to spread terror among residents and security forces as the terrorist handlers have got frustrated due to the killing of huge numbers of terrorists of all outfits especially their leaderships, destruction of their support structures and continuous and effective maintenance of law and order in the valley.

The TRF, like ANTIFA, avoids symbolic representation, any religious symbols and identifiers—a recurring feature in militant propaganda, particularly of the new groups such as TRF and People’s Anti Fascist Front (PAFF).

This marks a tactical shift in branding of the militant outfits to the outside world.

There has been an increased effort to secularise the propaganda of the outfits with emphasis on “resistance” instead of jihad or a holy war sanctified by Islam.

The “United Liberation Front (ULF) uses “Resist to Exist” as its slogan. The logo of this group uses a Chinar leaf to give it a Kashmiri identity. Apart from that, the logo uses sketches of a clenched fist and a falcon.

Older groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, and Jaish-e-Muhammad always borrowed religious iconography in their logos, flags, and slogans.

In December 2020, a new militant group called the “United Liberation Front (ULF)” operating in Jammu & Kashmir made its first appearance on the online platform, Telegram.

Prior to this, there was no mention of this group or its on-ground activities in the mainstream militant narratives or in the media.

The Telegram channel of this outfit was created on 21 December, and on the next day, a poster appeared on the channel which read: “United Media Front for all the outfits fighting against the Indian occupational regime for the liberation of Kashmir.”

TRF has taken responsibility for various attacks in Kashmir in 2020 including the deaths of five Indian Army Para commandos.

In June 2020, Army’s 15 Corps commander Lt General B S Raju said “There is no organisation called TRF. It is a social media entity which is trying to take credit for anything and everything that is happening within the Valley. It is in the electronic domain

The FBI assessment, says that the “most persistent threats” to the United States are from home-grown violent extremists, inspired by the global jihadi movement, foreign terrorist organizations, and domestic terrorists.

Regarding Antifa, FBI Director Wray views Antifa “more as an ideology than an organization.” The FBI currently has several investigations into violent criminal activity by individuals who subscribe to “an Antifa-like ideology”.

Wray has already alarmed China. Acceding to Wary agents have become involved in a growing number of cases of economic espionage, counter-proliferation, criminal hacking and intellectual property theft across all sections of the U.S. economy.

“There is no country that poses a more severe counterintelligence threat to this country right now than China,” Wray told US lawmakers.

The Chinese government employs “a slew of non-traditional intelligence collectors” such as businessmen, scientists, high-level academics, and even graduate students.

Senator Rehman Malik of Pakistan in his article June 11, 2020 has compared Al-Qaeda with Antifa. He has mentioned Al-Qaeda use religion – but far from Islam.

Al-Qaeda recruits common people who have suffered in the hands of the government from within the country they are operating in.

Antifa also includes the common people who have faced discrimination. Al-Qaeda exploited the Islamic forum whereas Antifa is a non-religious organisation using the communist forum and is more close to Russia. Al-Qaeda used high-level violence tactics – AntiFa uses bricks/gases etc. as ammunition.

Al-Qaeda used suicide bombing to terrorise the people of the area – Antifa also uses human shields in their protests. Al-Qaida could be bombed and droned – Antifa cannot be droned or bombed as it is integrated within American society and by now, they have won local politics.

Al-Qaeda does not care about the civilian property or lives – Antifa also destroys properties through violence regardless of whose property they are damaging.