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The Al Qaeda is coming to Kashmir

Last updated on: June 16, 2014 13:13 IST

The Al Qaeda is coming to Kashmir

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Vicky Nanjappa / Rediff.com

A new video, released by Maulana Asim Umar -- a senior leader of Al Qaeda's Pakistan cell -- urging Kashmiris to follow the footsteps of their "brothers" in Iraq and Syria and launch a jihad against India, has rung alarm bells in New Delhi.

The video, issued hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed about the possibility of massive infiltration into India once American troops left Afghanistan and featuring images of the 2010 demonstrations in Jammu and Kashmir and the silhouette of an armed man juxtaposed against a purported photo of the Dal Lake, says: “Now Muslims all over the world have picked up arms, are marching in the field of jihad. Even those who rejected armed jihad are now joining this path after being disillusioned with democratic ways of peaceful protests.”

The Al Qaeda’s message cannot be ignored, an Intelligence Bureau official told rediff.com

The IB official said, “Ideally, Pakistani espionage agency Inter Services Intelligence would never allow the Al Qaeda or the Taliban wage a war in Kashmir. The ISI reportedly has a set of dedicated outfits for Kashmir. Neither the Al Qaeda nor the Taliban are not part of them.”

“However, the recent developments could prove to be dangerous if not controlled. Take the Tehrik-i-Taliban for instance. They are not under the ISI today and despite that they are able to strike at will and create such a ruckus.”

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Vicky Nanjappa / Rediff.com

The Al Qaeda has for long stayed away from Kashmir, but has had it on their agenda.

Slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden never allowed his troops to march into Kashmir directly, but was very supportive of any group that fought the Kashmir battle.

The outfit gave ideological and financial support to the Harkat-ul-Ansar, which was fighting in Kashmir.

After Osama was eliminated in the Abbottabad operation, his successor Ayman Al Zawahari too spoke often about the need for waging the Kashmir battle while also adding that the ISI-led groups had failed miserably.

In this context it would also be interesting to look at the US diplomatic cable, leaked by WikiLeaks last year, which clearly states that Osama and Al Qaeda were ready to pump in $20 million to support the war on Kashmir.

Following this there were also a series of alerts suggesting that Al Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri was planning major strikes in India and was also training cadres for the Kashmir battle.

Kashmiri, who had a love-hate relationship with the ISI, always showed keen interest in India. He very often told the Al Qaeda leadership that India was a huge threat and the best way to go about waging a jihad there was to start from Kashmir.




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