Lt. Gen. Raj Kadyan calls new Al-Qaeda video a sign of worry
Former Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Raj Kadyan (Retired) said that the new video released by the Al-Qaeda's media arm, which shows terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announcing the creation of a new branch of the organization in South Asia, is a worrying sign for India.
Lt. Gen. Kadyan told ANI, "The Home Ministry has asked the intelligence to investigate the latest video tape to check for its authenticity. But, it is a worrying sign. India is not new to terrorist attacks; we have had them in the past. But perhaps in earlier attacks, the involvement was of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)."
"But Al-Qeada, which so far has focused more on Afghanistan and attacking the Western countries, is now shifting its focus to the Indian subcontinent. They have taken the names of a few Indian states, from where they want to recruit young potential. They have also called on the Muslims of Bangladesh and Burma to join the group," he added.
Calling it a national issue, Lt. Gen. Kadyan said, "We have to be very alert. Terrorism cannot be fought by the government agencies alone. It is the responsibility of the entire society to get involved. Any suspicious activity noticed must be reported at the earliest so that timely action is taken."
According to a translation provided by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of Washington DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the new organization called, "Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization in South Asia" will be reportedly headed by militant commander Maulana Asim Umar. Another militant, Usama Mahmood, has been named as 'Spokesman, Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization in South Asia'.
The video, released on September 3 in both Arabic and Urdu voiceovers, shows Al-Zawahiri calling on Muslims to "wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty and to revive its caliphate".
Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's right hand man, who has been heading the organisation since he was killed in 2011, said, "We want Islam to return to the Indian subcontinent, which was part of the Muslim world before it was invaded. It will serve Muslims in Burma, Kashmir, Gujarat, Bangladesh and Assam."
In the video, Zawahiri goes on to say, "Establishing Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent is the result of two years of work to unify the Mujahedeen. The rise of this new branch demonstrates that jihad under the leadership of Amir of Believers, Mullah Omar (head of the Afghan Taliban) is expanding."
(Posted on 05-09-2014)