“We won’t allow white collar terrorism to prevail in Jammu and Kashmir.” said the Indian Army after a recent operation in Srinagar’s Hyderpora locality. This term “White collar terrorism” deserves to be called the worst form of terrorism because of it’s unmatched ability to remain anonymous yet cause unnerving damage. It has become one of the greatest causes of concern for the national security. With the advent and expansion of social media it has become a cakewalk for the ill minded to spread a particular propaganda and falsehood, misleading and brainwashing people to commit heinous crimes. As per an assessment by the Indian security agencies, these “white collar jihadis” have a tendency to trigger communal clashes or cause a movement against the government by manipulating news on social media while themselves residing comfortably in foreign lands.
On one hand, these eminent men or women of the society keep searching for new recruits, mostly impressionable young men of the society, to make them terrorists, while their own family members get good education and government jobs. Also, they have houses across the country. Migrant Kashmiri natives across the world also have a hand in this nexus of terror. Most of these people may not have visited Kashmir even once during their lifetime, but take money and instructions from their masters sitting in Pakistan, at their behest, spread bigotry through social media. Amusingly they also present themselves as victims of oppression.
These white collar jihadis fight an unconventional battle, they are difficult to identify and trace. Identifying them is like finding a needle in haystack as they may be regular civilians. A white collar terrorist might be a businessman or doctor or an engineer or anyone around us who might appear normal but would be running a hidden agenda via digital platforms.
Millions of people today are using social media but it is difficult to locate one particular person. Such people themselves live a lavish life, avail all the perks and privileges from their agrnda- driven sponsors, usually from Pakistan or Qatar, their children even go abroad for higher education and pursue all kind of bright careers themselves but on the backend, they keep instigating the local youth of Kashmir to boycott government facilities or schools and devote themselves to their so called “bigger cause”. For an example, son of Hurriyat leader Late Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Nayeem Geelani, who blames army-run schools for indoctrination, is a medical practitioner in Rawalpandi, Pakistan. His other son, Zahoor, is crew member of a private airlines in India, Geelani’s daughter is a teacher in Jeddah and her husband is an engineer there. This list is endless.
A hard core white-collar terrorist might also work as an over ground worker (OGW), who in addition to spreading cross-border terrorism by recruiting and inciting the youth for terrorism might also facilitate safe stay of terrorists. The OGWs are generally financially affluent and technically empowered and they provide terrorists every kind of logistic, be it hard cash or medicines or transport or weapons & ammunition or even hideouts. Such terrorists must be identified by ordinary people and the administration at the earliest.
Efforts are being made by the Govt of India regarding this but it is not possible without the supports of local public. These over ground workers even help the terrorists to identify targets for terror attack and help them in facilitating heinous act.
These white collared terrorists hide in plain sight and they only creep out of their hiding to blare out the ideology of ISI and other extremist organisations. They are always on the prowl, in search for innocent targets whom they cling on for financial assistance, religious indoctrination, religious or regional rivalry. Their are known to suffer from severe identity crisis. The duality adopted by the white collared terrorists escapes the eyes of those held against the wall by extreme poverty, illiteracy, inaccessibility and religious fundamentalism.
Recently the Jammu Kashmir Police has registrated local citizens as volunteers for internet policing and report suspected crimes. This initiative provides three categories of volunteers being Unlawful content flaggers, Cyber awareness promoters and Cyber experts.
As per the police, the unlawful content flaggers will identify the unlawful content flaggers like child pornography, radicalisation, terrorism and antinational activities. The cyber awareness promoters will create awareness about the cyber-crimes while cyber experts will deal with specific areas of cyber-crime, forensics, memory analysis, cryptography among others.
Now the onus lies on every single individual, every maulvi, teacher, parent to be cautious and ensure that no one near them falls prey to their malicious agenda. Hence it is important for the people to identify the black sheep amongst them and shun them and expose their vile agenda to the community and administration.
Only then can we expect a decline in such activities and hope for a better future of our people with peace and prosperity. To restore lasting peace and stability in Kashmir, there is a need to treat this malaise. Merely treating symptoms like dealing with gun-toting terrorists and expecting lasting results will be a mirage.