In the video posted online, al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahri
promised to spread Islamic rule and "raise the flag of jihad" across
the "Indian subcontinent". The 55-minute video which
announces the creation of the group called "Qaedat al-Jihad in the
Indian Subcontinent" was posted on social media outlets including You
The government believes the video is authentic; it has
asked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to verify details like where the
video was uploaded within a day or two.
In it, Zawahiri singles
out Assam, Gujarat and Kashmir -- states with large Muslim populations
-- along with Bangladesh and Myanmar, as territories targeted by the new
The video speech makes two references to Gujarat,
the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, long considered a
target for Islamist militant groups because of the communal riots which
took place during his first term as chief minister of the state in 2002.
More than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, were killed.
wake of this al Qaeda video, we will be on a higher alert. We will work
closely with the central government to tackle any threat posed to the
state," SK Nanda, the most senior bureaucrat in the home department of
Gujarat, told news agency Reuters. A high security alert in the state
involves activating informer networks in sensitive areas.
timing and content of the video suggests rivalry between al Qaeda and
its more vigorous rival in Syria and Iraq, Islamic State, which
anecdotal evidence suggests is gathering support in South Asia.
officials say that in recent months, there have been reports that some
members of the Indian Mujahideen, who are based in Pakistan,
are now showing signs of breaking away from Mujahideen and are
affiliating with Al Qaida.
Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested last year by India, has allegedly confirmed this to interrogators.
Indian Mujahideen was launched in India by the Pakistani terror group
Lashkar-e-Taiba and is responsible for some of the worst recent terror
attacks in recent years in the country.
video by this breakway group of the Mujahideen shows one of its leaders,
Sheikh Armar, originally from Hyderabad, talking about fighters being
trained in Afghanistan and then being sent to India.
Story First Published: September 04, 2014 13:39 IST