Al-Qaeda sets up Valley wing with Chandigarh college dropout as chief
Zakir Rashid Bhat, a commander of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen division based in southern Kashmir, was named chief of Al Qaeda in the new branch of the Indian subcontinent to the state, Ghazwat Ansar-ul-Hind, the ‘ Terrorist group announced Thursday.
The announcement marks the first time the group has established a Kashmir subsidiary, but Indian police and intelligence officials said it would have little impact on the ground.
“Jihad in Kashmir has reached a stage of recovery while the Muslim nation of Kashmir has pledged to carry the flag of jihad to repel the aggression native tyrannical invaders,” said the Islamic world al-Qaeda news release.
Bhat had appeared in a video in May under the banner of Al Qaeda, accused of cowardly Indian Muslims and called them to participate in jihad against the government. Earlier this month, the Urdu-language magazine Nawa-i Afghanistan Jihad al-Qaeda had also published an article referring to the Musa group.
Ghazwa-e-Hind, the new organization bears his name, is a prophecy attributed, in some Islamic traditions, Prophet Muhammad proclaiming a victorious army of the West will establish Islam in India before the Day of Judgment.
It is unclear whether Ansar-ul-Hind Ghazwat is operating under the umbrella of Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, led by Uchahran Pradesh, born Sana-ul-Haq, and will report directly to Head of Organization Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Haq has long been a champion of the linkage of jihad in Kashmir with the greater Jihadist cause of the Pan-Indies.
Few in establishing security in India, however, saw the importance of the news. Lee: There is no room for the Islamic state, al-Qaeda, said the head of Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin. Click here.
“Frankly, it was disconcerting its meaning,” said a former police officer in southern Kashmir. “The Bhat break group includes maybe half a dozen people, with few guns and sources of funding. It’s a dead man walking.”
Intelligence sources in Delhi agreed with the police assessment. “Al Qaeda has no supply chain or control line facilities to power units operating in Kashmir, unlike the Lashkar-e-Taiba,” he said. “This is an effort to reach the young people of Kashmir attracted global jihadism via the Internet.”
The group, according to intelligence sources, wanted to join the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander for southern Kashmir, hitherto only known by the pseudonym of Abu Dujanah to announce the creation of the new Al Qaeda group on 8 June. The meeting had to be canceled after launch search operations to its likely sites, an intelligence official said.
Dujanah of control expelled in Lashkar’s middle tier accusations of being too closely with double the police, Muhammad Yusuf Dar, is also believed to have considered the creation of an independent organization.
Dar died earlier this year after the Lashkar commanders discovered that he had betrayed a series of fidayeen operations to the police in exchange for his own safety and that of Dujanah.
The report of the commander of Lashkar with his organization, according to intelligence sources, also agitated after his request for Rs 7 lakh to transfer his wife, a resident of the village of Harkripora in southern Kashmir, was rejected by the organization.