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Al-Qaeda more active in India: US

July 20
09:25 2017

Washington: US counter-terrorism experts have realised and told the lawmakers that Al-Qaeda is more active in India.

“By 2017, al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent boasted several hundred members and had cells in Afghanistan’s Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Paktika, Ghazni, and Nuristan Provinces. Al- Qaida’s presence in Afghanistan was almost certainly larger and more expansive than five or even ten years before,” said Seth G Jones, a strategic expert.

He was speaking at his Congressional testimony before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence when he explained that this might have happened due to Taliban advances in Afghanistan and al-Qaida’s relationship with operatives from the Taliban and other groups, such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e Jhangvi.

“Al-Qaida operatives in Bangladesh were particularly active, conducting a range of attacks. In addition, al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent conducted a steady propaganda campaign from its media arm As-Sahab,” he said.

In 2014, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had announced the creation of regional affiliate al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent. The group was led by Asim Umar– an Indian and former member of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami– a Pakistan-based terrorist group with branches across the Indian subcontinent. Umar was flanked by Abu Zar, his first deputy.

“A recent surge in propaganda from AQIS leadership may indicate an attempt to revive the group,” the US lawmakers have been told.- PTI

 

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