Al-Qaeda, neglected, declares intention to destabilize Indian subcontinent

Remember al-Qaeda? Yeah, the guys who attacked the United States and its allies from 1998 to the present day in battlefields around the world? Seems like it’s been a while since we’ve talked about them, right? Well, they have noticed and are not happy about it.

As National Review’s Joel Gehrke recalled, The Daily Mail reported in July that the organization founded by Osama bin Laden hopes to inspire “a final apocalyptic war in which India will be conquered by a jihadi army.” On Wednesday, the international jihadist group announced the formation of the “Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent.”

The independent journalist Zaid Benjamin has more details on the video featuring an al-Qaeda leader declaring the start of a campaign in India:

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri also reportedly sanctioned a jihad against the Indian government:

This development comes at a time of political turmoil in the Subcontinent as the government in Pakistan has begun to teeter following the involvement of the military in negotiations between the government in Islamabad and anti-government protesters.

The Islamic State has its eye on the Indian Subcontinent as well, according to a report in The Times of India. ISIS is apparently engaging in a leafleting campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan aimed at recruiting locals and increasing their regional influence.

“A booklet titled ‘Fatah’ (victory) in Pashto and Dari languages was distributed in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, as well as in Afghan refugee camps on the outskirts of the city, the Express Tribune reported,” Wednesday report read.

The logo of the pamphlet has the Kalma, the historical stamp of Prophet Muhammad and a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Some copies were also mysteriously sent to Afghan journalists working in Peshawar, the paper said.

A number of hardline groups operating in border areas have already announced support for the outfit. Among them, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost and Maulvi Abdul Qahar, stalwarts of Saudi Arabia-backed Salafi Taliban groups operating in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan, have extended support to the self-styled caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Both Pakistan and India have substantial nuclear arsenals and a history of mutual hostilities, but the external threat represented by Islamic terrorism groups represents a common enemy. It remains unclear if this new threat will result in a bilateral warming of relations.

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