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South Asian Terrorists

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Terrorists based in the region of South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the British Indian Ocean Territory, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), who conduct guerrilla operations against domestic and foreign governments and interests. They can be religious extremists, Dirty Communists or radical separatists, and are often involved in arms smuggling and the drug trade.

Like Middle Eastern Terrorists, South Asian terrorists are increasingly popular as antagonists in modern military-themed media with the advent of The War on Terror, particularly with the War in Afghanistan and the ongoing Indo-Pakistani Conflict.

For terrorism-related sister tropes, see Western Terrorists, African Terrorists, Middle Eastern Terrorists and Far East Asian Terrorists.

No Real Life Examples, Please! noreallife


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the first episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Celestial Being engages Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (or Tamil Tigers) mobile suits as a minor antagonist in Sri Lanka when the group announces its existence to the world. Although the group was defeated by the Sri Lankan military in the early 2000s, it's possible that militant Tamils got together to recreate the group once more as there are plans to revive the movement from outside of Sri Lanka.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dil Se..: In this Bollywood film that became famous for the “dancing on the roof of a train car” song Chaiya Chaiya, a journalist played by Shahrukh Khan tracks a woman involved in the Northeast Indian insurgency - until both meet a tragic and.
  • Extraction, Dhaka, Bangladesh is portrayed as being full of Gangsters, Child Soldiers or corrupt cops, RAB and military member. Token good action girl Nik Khan is the sole exception in the film.
  • Discussed in Gandhi, when Gandhi, Nehru, and other independence leaders discuss violent vs. non-violent tactics. They mention actions such as derailing British troop trains or attacking soldiers would just provoke an even worse British response, and that the kind of leaders that such uprisings would produce would not be desirable leaders of an independent nation.
  • Iron Man has the Ten Rings, Afghan terrorists hiding in caves inspired by Al Qaeda.
  • In London Has Fallen, the main Big Bad is Pakistani arms dealer Aamir Barkawi.
  • Maachis (matches): This 1996 Bollywood film follows the story of a young Punjabi man who is a victim of Police Brutality and in the process gets sucked into the rabbit hole of the Khalistani Sikh separatist movement.
  • My Name is Khan has a recurring storyline where Rizwan Khan is discriminated against by the American public after 9/11 due to his Muslim heritage. At one point, he's arrested by law enforcement officers due to being Mistaken for Terrorist when he calls out, "My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist."
  • Omerta: The story is centered around terrorists from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly the main character Omar Saeed Sheikh, who is a British-Pakistani man.

  • Full Metal Panic! has an unnamed Afghan guerrilla force led by a man named Majhid, who was able to recruit Japanese orphan Sousuke Sagara and ex-Soviet Army Spetsnaz officer Andrei Kalinin against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and Soviet-led occupation troops.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Combat Hospital has an ISAF medical hospital team in Kandahar doing their work amidst problems of guerrilla activity with Taliban forces being a recurring antagonist.
  • In Strike Back Revolution, one of the bad guys Section 20 pursues to stop a Dirty Bomb from being used is Shuddh Raashtr, an ultranationalist Hindu group that seeks to rid India of all Muslims by using all means, including acts of terrorism.
  • In the Indian version of 24, Anti-Terrorist Unit federal agent Jai Singh Rathod takes on terrorists sent by the LTFE, which is an Expy of the defunct LTTE.
  • In NCIS, Gibbs and the others deal with a Pakistani terrorist named Al Zalim in one of their cases.
    • Two episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles involve the Taliban in Afghanistan and Nepali ex-Gurkha terrorists attempting to steal Pakistan's nuclear arsenal respectively.
  • SEAL Team has Bravo Team in Afghanistan to take on the Halani Network and in India to back up Force One and National Security Guard forces against Pakistani-based terrorists Hizbul Mujahideen. One of their patrons is a Pakistani politician. The third season sees Bravo return to Afghanistan to destroy a newly formed terror group called Tahara.
  • Training Day protagonist Kyle Craig had previously served in Afghanistan where he fought against Taliban forces.
  • In Saban's original TV pitch for Power Rangers back in the 80's (which used footage from Choudenshi Bioman instead of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger), Zack (who was not only an adult police detective, but the Green ranger) is seen searching for terrorists of this description in the short segment dedicated to him.
  • Ultimate Force has an Al Qaeda terrorist named Al Djouf, who takes over the Italian consulate in the episode "The Class of 1980". It's possible that AD is of South Asian origin since his actor is a British man of South Asian origin.
  • The first season of The Unit has the team deployed to Afghanistan to take out a high-ranking Taliban leader.
    • They go back to Afghanistan on a black ops mission to ensure that two warring tribes don't go to war since the last thing Kabul needs to worry about is either the Taliban or Al Qaeda taking advantage of it.
  • The Barrier: After the Propaganda Machine frames the gunning down of the passengers of a resistance-operated transport smuggling people out of Madrid as the takedown of a terrorist cell, one of the characters supporting the New Spain dictatoriship is shown to conflate people of South Asian descent with terrorists. In a single statement, she claims that before the dictatorship took over, terrorists walked around freely, she had trouble running into a white face and Madrid looked like New Delhi.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer: Generals has the Global Liberation Army (GLA) as one of its factions, who are Islamic terrorists in all but religion (turbans, beards, outdated/scavenged equipment, suicide bombers...). Most of the game takes place in Central and Eastern Asia, with the GLA's campaign ending with them taking the Baikonur cosmodrome to launch an anthrax-filled ICBM at the US.
  • Modern Warfare 2 has the Afghan OPFOR, who are heavily implied to be The Remnant of Al-Asad's forces from the previous game, who are also an obvious Expy of the Taliban.
  • Like Modern Warfare 2 above, Medal of Honor (2010) has an obvious expy of the Taliban in the Afghan OPFORnote . It's sequel, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, has Pakistani jihadists.
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin has Agent 47 dealing with Afghan renegades in Nuristan and an Indian Apocalypse Cult in Punjab.
  • In Hitman (2016), one of 47's targets in Colorado is Maya Parvati, an ex-LTTE fighter before she left Sri Lanka after it was defeated in an all-out offensive by the Sri Lankan military and became a mercenary. At one point, she was a pirate who operated in the South China Sea.
  • A terrorist group RAINBOW is assigned to investigate in Rainbow Six is BOTHRA or Brotherhood of the Higher Realm Army from Pakistan, a take on fringe groups with an Islamic face.
  • Version One of Splinter Cell: Double Agent has a rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist named Dr. Aswat, who Emile and Massoud have a meeting with in Shanghai to purchase Red Mercury devices from, and Emile orders you to steal the notes from his safe. You are later tasked by the NSA at the end of the mission to kill him, otherwise you'll lose a lot of trust with them, but your JBA trust is also slowly going down as they wait for you to extract, so you have to be quick about it.
    • Splinter Cell: Blacklist subverts this with its Big Bad, Majid Sadiq, who is ethnically Pakistani, but has a strong British background and was a former MI6 agent. Played straight in Briggs' and Kobin's first missions, though, which have you taking down Indian smugglers in Kashmir and an Afghan drug operation respectively.
  • SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals 3 has the Fist and Fire, a gang of Ruthless Modern Pirates from Bangladesh who raid ships in the Bay of Bengal and sell their cargo to the highest bidder, who have stolen Land Attack Standard Missiles from an Australian freighter which they plan to sell to Al Shakoosh to use against the South Asian government.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has you fighting Pakistani insurgents alongside the Pakistani military in Peshawar in order to capture an unknown gunrunner who's been running serious hardware, mil-spec technology and possibly nuclear material.
  • Project Reality introduced the Taliban in v1.0.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 1 has The Dragon, Yahoot, who is clearly supposed to be a South Asian of Himalayan descent with his dark skin, bindi, facial features, hand pose and Buddhist-like robe. The anime confirms this by adding his home country of Namasty, based on India.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II has you protecting an Afghan government convoy on the way to a peace treaty summit in Maidan Shahr with the Russian foreign minister from Mujahideen in the Strike Force mission "I.E.D". The multiplayer also has the ISA squaring off against a militia in Pakistan in several maps.
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy focuses on Chloe Fraser going up against Asav, an Indian terrorist planning to incite a civil war to restore the brutal ways of the old Hoysala kings he claims descent from. To achieve this goal, he plans on selling the prized Tusk of Ganesh to obtain a bomb and detonate it in a crowded market to trigger a civil war. Asav is also a Genius Bruiser, able to wipe the floor with Nadine Ross, the nigh-unstoppable South African mercenary lady from the last game.

    Web Videos 
  • In Decker, the Taliban, referred to as the "Talibund", serve as main antagonists in a number of episodes.