Death by a thousand cuts was a brutal form of torture and execution which had its roots in Imperial China. The fall of the Soviet Union and the blunting of the Iraqi armor using American air power in the First Gulf war proclaimed the end of conventional large-scale military assaults. Modern warfare would be fast, modern militaries had to be nimble and weapons precise. The rapid victory of American forces in Iraq and then Yugoslavia affirmed to this change. However, the enemy too was evolving. While insurgents united by nationalist feelings had plagued conquerors for centuries, militants motivated by dogmatic religious beliefs started appearing in greater numbers soon after the Gulf war. These militants were better motivated and were ready to lay down their lives in most cases and hence, it became extremely difficult to stop them. This form of unconventional warfare has transformed the battlegrounds.
Al Qaeda is a global terrorist organization which became infamous across the world after the 9/11 attacks. When its leader, Osama Bin Laden was eliminated in a daring raid by American Commandoes in Pakistan and most of its foot soldiers found a new paymaster in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, it started to stare at an existential crisis. In a brazen display of desperation and opportunism, Al Qaeda started testing waters in the Indian Subcontinent. While open calls for jihad did not do it any favor nor attract any zombies (yes, only a zombie willingly inflicts pain and suffering on its fellow brethren) to its fold, it was forced to modify its strategy accordingly.
In its latest video, Al Qaeda claims that waging war on Indian Cities can be the key to the victory of radical Islam in Kashmir and ultimately, the proclamation of an Islamic caliphate in the Indian Subcontinent. This is an attempt to inflict death by a thousand cuts on the Indian Republic.
As stated earlier, modern terrorists are highly motivated and show total disregard for their lives. The coming of the internet and the advancement of technology has only made it easier for these radicalized zombies to strike at population centers. These zombies choose to strike population centers not only because they love to see the innocent die but also because it provides a global coverage for their gory propaganda.
While hundreds of zombies are killed before they make it to the intended target, even a single successful strike has the potential to attract thousands of more recruits to the terrorist organization. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have a tough time trying to tackle these zombies. Since most these zombies are from within the society, it requires a great deal of effort to identify and tackle them before they bare their fangs. While earlier, militaries aimed to find their opponents and defeat them in a fight, these days’ militaries are marching in the dark for an adversary, which is increasingly become difficult to locate. The agencies are forced to adapt and adopt newer methods to achieve these goals. Needless to say, a few of these methods fall in the gray area of conventionally agreed human rights conventions. When the agencies make a rare mistake (they too are human after all), the anti-establishment media is quick to lap up the issue and blow it out of proportion. This plays right into the hands of the terrorist organizations who use it as propaganda to further their own ends.
By striking in Indian cities, Al Qaeda is striking to take down many birds using a single tool. Striking India cities will cause us to bleed and even a small cut if replicated several times, has the potential to leave a body dry. Apart from the blood quotient and the propaganda quotient of such a dubious target choice, they are aiming to fragment this nation on religious lines, playing the majority against the minority. Much of their work is made easier by the presence of hotheads on both sides of the crowd. Also, attacking cities might weaken the resolve of the government in its handling of radicalization. Moreover, opportunistic politicians might use such unfortunate events to take snipes at the ruling dispensation for going soft on matters of national security.
These truly are tough times and we Indians should stand united lest we present a chink in our armor that these zombies might exploit. Ours is a great country, with a glorious past and equally great future. We cannot and should not allow these rabble-rousers to disturb the sanctity of our goals. Our intelligence agencies will leave no stone unturned in stopping any terror attack. Our law enforcement agencies will ensure that any and all miscreants will be dealt with firmly and swiftly. In this, I have complete faith. Let Al Qaeda preach to its zombies, those zombies are dead, anyway.