The whole scenario indicates towards al-Qaeda’s fear from IS and its possible loss of power in the militant arena. Will India and it’s Muslim population be the sacrificial goat in this group rivalry?
After the release of sensational video by al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri forming an Indian wing of the militant organization and ‘promising’ to ‘rescue’ the Indian Muslims, the Indian government ordered several states to be on increased alert.
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) will verify the authenticity of the video and send a report as early as possible on the same.
The IB, which constantly monitors the activities of the terror outfit operating in the country and its neighbourhood, is expected to send the report within a day or two.
In a 55-minute video, al-Zawahiri had described the formation of the “Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent” as glad tidings for Muslims “in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir” and said the new wing would “rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.”
It should be noted that the areas mentioned by al-Zawahiri in the video are considered to be highly sensitive.
The video is definitely an attempt to radicalize youth who are now being drawn to the Islamic State.
Al Zawahiri took over as Al Qaeda’s head after founder Osama Bin Laden was killed in May 2011 in Pakistan in a US operation.
Al-Qaeda, which was once the parent organization of ISIS, fell apart last year as the IS has declared caliphate in Iraq and is increasing its control over Syria and Iraq.
Islamic State leader Abu Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls himself a “caliph” or head of state and has demanded the loyalty of all Muslims. The IS has also found support in South Asia, which has been al-Qaeda’s stronghold through ISI, Indian Mujahideen and other militant organizations.
Zawahri’s announcement making references to Gujarat, the home state of India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist is a ploy for diverting attention of radicalized youth and other groups from IS and taking them under its own wing. Modi has long been a hate figure for Islamist groups because of religious riots on his watch as chief minister of the state in 2002. More than 1,000 people died, mainly Muslims.
Although Muslims account for 15 percent of Indian population, they are third-largest Muslim population in the world.
The violent India-Pakistan partition of 1947 where thousands were killed have given deep cuts to the religious diversity in the country. In the era of global war against terrorism, some Indian Muslims have begun to sympathise more with hardline pan-Islamic groups and causes.
Recently, more than 20 Indians were reported to have joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
One of the joinees, a young Muslim boy from Mumbai, recently died and was branded as ‘Shaheed’ by the IS in a video posted online.
The whole scenario indicates towards al-Qaeda’s fear from IS and its possible loss of power in the militant arena.
Will India and it’s Muslim population be the sacrificial goat in this group rivalry?