Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri targets Kashmir: Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a video message, asked its members to intensify attacks on the Indian Army and government installations to spread Islam and help the Muslims in distress. Zawahiri also told the terrorists not to target mosques, markets, and public places frequented by Muslims in Kashmir. The Al Qaeda video has been released at a time when most of the top commanders of different terror groups have been killed while the rest are facing isolation due to the Centre’s tough stand against terror and the security forces’ success in checking terror-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.

Calling on unnamed Islamic scholars to propagate Jihad, Zawahiri said the fight in Kashmir is not a separate conflict but part of the worldwide Muslim community’s jihad against a vast array of forces. However, al-Zawahiri forgot to mention about dreaded terrorist Zakir Musa who was the founder of the Indian cell of the Al Qaeda. The Indian chapter of Al Qaeda was titled Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. The terror group has been preparing the upstart group for attacks on security forces in Jammu & Kashmir, reports said.

Zawahiri urged terrorists not to trust Pakistan and fall into its trap. Pakistan Army and government use terrorists for their personal gains and later either arrest them or kill them, he added.

In February this year, more than 40 CRPF jawans were killed after a suicide bomber belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed rammed explosives-laden SUV into CRPF convoy in Pulwama’s Awantipora area. The terror attack was the most audacious in Jammu and Kashmir in over a decade. The bus was part of a huge convoy of 2,547 CRPF personnel who were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar.

On the other hand, security forces have killed more than 101 terrorists in counter-terror operations in the first six months of the year, acting on intelligence inputs provided by their informants on the ground. In 2018 and 2017, from January to May, security forces had managed to kill 70 and 57 militants, respectively.

In September 2014, in a 55-minute video posted online, al-Zawahiri had announced the formation of an Indian branch of Al Qaeda to spread Islamic rule across the subcontinent.

The Al Qaeda chief described the formation of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent as a glad tiding for Muslims in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir and renewed a longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

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