Daesh overtaking Al-Qaeda in S. Asia social media war

Updated 19 June 2015
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Daesh overtaking Al-Qaeda in S. Asia social media war

ISLAMABAD: Militant propaganda websites and social media accounts in South Asia are promoting Islamic State at the expense of Al-Qaeda, analysts said on Friday, highlighting the rivalry between the two global militant groups.
Disaffected Taleban factions have started to look toward Daesh, impressed by its rapid capture of territory in Syria and Iraq, though there is no evidence it is providing substantial material support to the Taleban.
The popularity of Daesh comes at the expense of Al-Qaeda, whose deep pockets and foreign fighters once readily attracted local commanders. But Al-Qaeda has been decimated by drone strikes and its traditional influence severely eroded.
“The Taleban and Al-Qaeda have almost been written out of the picture,” said Omar Hamid, the head of Asia analysis at IHS Country Risk. “Most of these sites have converted their content to an Daesh platform.”
So far the IS social media campaign has not been matched by material support to South Asian groups such as the Taliban, he said, but it has helped gather dissatisfied splinter groups around Daesh.
A few Afghan commanders have sworn allegiance to Daesh, saying they oppose peace talks between the government and Taleban. Others have questioned whether reclusive one-eyed Taleban leader Mullah Omar, who has close ties to Al-Qaeda, is alive.
In Pakistan, home to a separate but allied Taleban insurgency, the leadership of the Taleban is hotly disputed. Some factions there also swore allegiance to Daesh, cementing their vow by beheading a soldier and posting the video online.


Militants kill 6 Pakistani troops in southwest Baluchistan near Iran

Updated 10 min 24 sec ago
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Militants kill 6 Pakistani troops in southwest Baluchistan near Iran

  • No one immediately claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell on militants and the Daesh group

QUETTA, Pakistan: Pakistani police say militants in two attacks on security forces killed six paramilitary troops in the southwestern Baluchistan bordering Iran.
Local police officer Hidayat Ullah said Monday that four troops were killed Sunday when gunmen opened fire on security forces in the town of Turbat. Two troops were killed in the southwestern town of Loralai a day earlier.
No one immediately claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell on militants and the Daesh group, which emerged as a major force behind violence in the region in recent years.
Sunday’s two attacks on Pakistani troops came days after an attack on Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard killed 27.
Iran claims that attack was “planned and carried out from inside Pakistan.” Pakistan rejected the charge and condemned the violence in Iran and offered cooperation.