The United States identified Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa International among the separatist movements that pose a risk to its personnel overseas. The Donald Trump-led administration released its National Strategy for Counter-terrorism on Thursday. The document stresses on using all US powers to counter terrorists that pose a threat to the US and its citizens.
The militant group is a proponent of the Khalistan movement, which is a Sikh nationalist movement that seeks to create an independent homeland for the Sikh community. The group is banned in India, Canada and the US, among other countries.
“Babbar Khalsa International seeks, through violent means, to establish its own independent state in India and is responsible for significant terrorist attacks in India and elsewhere that have claimed the lives of innocent civilians,” the strategy document said. “Such groups may avoid or de-prioritise targeting United States interests for now to avoid detracting from their core goals but frequently conduct assassinations and bombings against major economic, political, and social targets, heightening the risk to United States personnel and interests overseas.”
The document identified the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and several other radical terrorist groups as threats to its citizens and interests overseas. The list included Boko Haram, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, and Lashkar-e Taiba. The US document also listed the Nordic Resistance Movement, a self-described nationalist-socialist organisation with anti-Western views, and neo-Nazi National Action Group. “These terrorist threats are different in many ways, but they all seek to use violence to undermine the United States and disrupt the American way of life,” the document said.
Washington said domestic terrorists who are not motivated by a radical Islamist ideology, but by other forms of violent extremism “including racially motivated extremism, animal rights extremism, environmental extremism, sovereign citizen extremism, and militia extremism” were also threats.
It identified Iran as a major state-sponsor of terrorism.