European Foundation for South Asian Studies
European Foundation for South Asian Studies

EFSAS organises seminar on terrorism and its challenges

ANI | Updated: Jun 12, 2018 13:42 IST

Dresden [Germany], June 12 (ANI): The European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) organised a seminar, 'Terrorism in South Asia; Challenges for the West', during the world´s largest German Congress conference in the field of Crime Prevention.
The seminar was held in Germany on Monday.
The event was hosted in collaboration with the Federal State of Saxony, the city of Dresden and the Crime Prevention Council of Saxony.
The topic of this 23rd session was 'Violence and Radicalism - Current Challenges for Prevention'. The seminar was moderated by the Research Analyst of EFSAS Yoana Barakova.
The seminar was arranged under the conference's Annual International Forum (AIF).
It was established to address the international audience with the aim to add an international perspective to the German Congress and share experiences in crime prevention, terrorism and radicalization on an international level.
A Kashmiri writer and Director of the EFSAS, Mr Junaid Qureshi, delivered a lecture and elucidated the remarkable expansion of terrorist forces in the region and challenges for the West while thoroughly discussing the origins of the issue and its geopolitical nature.
Qureshi, during his speech, said that the multi-layered dimensions of international terrorism have clearly demonstrated the blurring of lines between internal and external security and between the domestic and international aspects of counter-terrorism policies.
The Director of EFSAS explained that local grievances and socio-political dynamics are exploited by terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taibah, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.
Explaining the nexus between religious extremism in South Asia and radicalization in the West, Qureshi said that many terrorist organisations have stronghold in South Asia or individuals inspired by these organizations as they have made explicit threats to attack the West and have also claimed responsibility for such attacks.
He told that a large number of these terrorists have themselves confessed to have undergone psychological and military training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The Director of EFSAS solidified his remarks by citing examples of terrorist attacks having a nexus with South Asia.
He cited instances of the 9/11 attacks, where the militants were trained at Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, Umar Patek involved in the 2002 Bali bombings, was found hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in early 2011; The key connection between Al-Qaeda's central leadership and the 2004 Madrid train bombings network, Amer Azizi, a Moroccan, received training in a military camp in Afghanistan and travelled from Pakistan to Spain in 2003, to finalise the bombing preparations.
Qureshi further emphasised on the perilous interlink between terrorism in South Asia and the West by highlighting the terrorist attack of December 2015 in San Bernardino California, perpetrated by a married couple of Pakistani descent and the New York City subway attack by a 27-year-old Bangladeshi born lone wolf terrorist in December 2017. He further added that in the attacks on Mumbai in 2008, which killed more than 160 people.
Qureshi said that these and other attacks in Europe have exposed the deficiencies in counter-terrorism policies across the continent which have left Europe and, in the case of David Headley, South Asia, particularly vulnerable.
He concluded by saying that there is a critical need in raising awareness across Western countries and offering practical guidance and training on addressing terrorism and violent extremism that originates from South Asia, which has seen an increase in recent years.
The seminar was attended by Security Officials, Government Agencies, Policy-makers, Human Rights Activists, Scholars, Academicians and Students. (ANI)