Al-Qaida leader says it has expanded into India

By admin
04 September 2014

India's ruling party has called it "a matter of serious concern" but said "there is nothing to worry about".

Al-Qaida has expanded into the Indian subcontinent, the leader of the terror group said in a video statement released Thursday, with a united group that will "wage jihad against its enemies."

In the video, which was seen online by the SITE monitoring group, Ayman al-Zawahri said al-Qaida had been preparing for years to set up in the region.

The new group "is the fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the mujahedeen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity," al-Zawahri said.

While the statement referred to the "Indian subcontinent" - a term that most commonly refers to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal - al-Zawahri's comments were widely seen as directed at India, a largely Hindu nation with a large Muslim minority.

A spokesman for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said the statement was "a matter of serious concern. But there is nothing to worry about. We have a strong government at the federal level."

India has been a target of Muslim extremists in the past, most notably a 2008 attack by a small group of Pakistani terrorists on Mumbai, India's financial hub, in which 166 people were killed.

It has also waged a long-running insurgency war in Kashmir, India's only majority-Muslim state, with militants fighting to bring independence to the Himalayan region or join it to neighboring Pakistan.


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