Indian security forces killed a notorious and heavily sought-after bomb-maker and chief commander of the Pakistani-connected Al-Badr organization in the Jammu and Kashmir region. Indian officials and news sources identified the commander as Zeenat-ul-Islam, and illustrated his ties with numerous US-designated foreign terror organizations in the region, including Al-Badr and Hizbul Mujahideen. A second terrorist, identified as Shakeel Dar, was also killed and has been described as Islam’s “aide.”
The killing of Zeenat-ul-Islam is a big win for Indian security forces in the contested region, who encountered and killed the wanted commander and his aide during a “cordon-and-search” operation in the district of Kulgam. Jammu and Kashmir Police launched the operation in response to tips from residents that terrorists were present in the area.
Many of the active terror organizations in the Jammu and Kashmir region have benefitted from the work of Islam over the last 10 years. Last year, the Indian Army released a list of its 22 most wanted terrorists as part of its “Operation All Out.” Islam made the list, and earned its highest designation of “A++.”
In light of Islam’s death, terrorist organizations in the region including Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba paid tribute to the commander. Additionally, so-called moderate political parties associated with the “freedom movement” in the region heaped praises on the killed terrorist. According to news outlet Greater Kashmir, chairman of the Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani said in a statement, “the youth are sacrificing their precious lives to end the forcible control of their nation,” adding that, “our youth are forced to adopt the extreme path as the peaceful voices are not responded [to].”