Al-Qaida chief Zawahiri asks terrorists to step up attacks against India | India News


NEW DELHI: One of the most wanted terrorists in the world, al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, has in his latest video message asked terrorists in Kashmir to step up terror attacks against India.
In a recorded video released by al-Qaida’s media wing, the Egyptian doctor and successor to Osama bin Laden said, “(I am) of the view that the mujahideen in Kashmir — at this stage at least — should single-mindedly focus on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and government, so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment.”
Seated in a chair behind a large desk against a black background, Zawahiri, looking old and frail, spoke in Arabic in the video which ran English captions at the bottom. Suspected to be hiding in Pakistan under the patronage of the ISI, Zawahiri, who seemed to be reading a script from a tele-prompter, said the “fight in Kashmir” is not a separate conflict but instead a part of the global Islamic jihad against several forces.
Strangely, Zawahiri reprimanded Pakistan’s ISI, very much on the lines of al-Qaida affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind founder Zakir Musa and his successor Hameed Lelhari, for failing to wrest control of Kashmir from India.
Musa, who quit Pakistan-backed terror group Hizbul Mujahideen to set up al-Qaida’s local branch in Kashmir, had lashed out at Pakistan several times during phone conversations with a Pakistani terrorist, Abu Dujana. Zawahiri, in his latest video, called both the Pakistani Army and the government “toadies of America”.
Though Zawahiri, a surgeon-turned-terrorist, did not mention any Kashmiri names, pictures of slain terrorists Zakir Musa, Burhan Wani (a Hizb commander) and Afzal Guru (a Jaish-e-Mohammad member convicted in the Parliament terror attack case) flashed towards the end of the video.
Counter-terrorism analysts in Srinagar said the video seemed to be ISI’s old ploy of appearing to fight against al-Qaida but in reality protecting it for its own strategic gains. “Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad under their protection and so is Zawahiri somewhere in Pakistan, since the American forces evicted al-Qaida from Afghanistan in 2001. Zawahiri has reportedly survived several drone strikes,” an officer said.
Zawahiri also highlighted ISI’s cross-border terrorism in Kashmir in a seven-page paper titled “Don’t Forget Kashmir” which was released by al-Qaida media wing As Shabab.

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