New Delhi: Terror group Al Qaeda’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has called out to “Mujahideen in Kashmir” to inflict “unrelenting blows” on the Indian Army and government in Jammu and Kashmir, said reports on Wednesday. Also Read - Al-Qaeda Planning Terror Attack in West Bengal, Recruiting Locals Through Online Media: IB Report
According to Foundation for Defence of Democracies’ (FDD) Long War Journal, Zawahiri sent out his message via a video released by his outfit’s media wing. The message is titled ‘Don’t Forget Kashmir’ and has been released by As Shabab. Also Read - Abu Muhsin Al-Masri, Al-Qaeda's Second-in-command on FBI's Most Wanted List Killed by Afghan Security Forces
In his report of the FDD Long War Journal, Thomas Joscelyn has said that Al Qaeda has been grooming a group to wage war against the Indian forces in Kashmir. Also Read - NIA Busts Major Terror Module, Arrests 9 Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives For 'Plotting Attacks on Vital Installations'
Zawahiri’s message adds, “(I am) of the view that the Mujahideen in Kashmir- at this stage at least- should single-mindedly focus on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and government, so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment.”
Also, a picture of deceased terrorist and Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) founder Zakir Musa flashed on the screen as Zawahiri spoke on Kashmir.
As per Joscelyn’s report, it was likely that Zawahiri and AGH were coordinating their messages. He drew similarities between Zawahiri’s message and a speech given by Musa’s successor, Abdul Hameed Lelhari, recently.
Both Musa and Lelhari had admitted to Pakistan’s role in training Kashmiri ‘jihadists’ and both had advised on exercising caution while dealing with Pakistanis as they “are not trustworthy”.
Zawahiri called both the Pakistani Army and government as “toadies of America” in his message. According to him, Pakistan prevented the “Arab Mujahideen” from ‘moving to Kashmir after expelling the Russians from Afghanistan,’ — which was countered by the author by quoting the 9/11 Commission.
“All the Pakistani Army and government are interested in is exploiting the mujahideen for specific political objectives, only to dump or persecute them later,” Zawahiri said, highlighting Pakistan’s role.
Pakistan’s “conflict with India is essentially a secular rivalry over borders managed by the American intelligence,” he went on to allege.
He also said that the “fight in Kashmir” is not a separate conflict but instead is part of the worldwide Muslim community’s jihad against a vast array of forces and called on “unnamed” scholars to spread the message.
“You (the scholars) must clearly state that supporting the jihad in Kashmir, the Philippines, Chechnya, Central Asia, Iraq, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, Somalia, the Islamic Maghreb and Turkistan is an individual obligation on all Muslims, until sufficient strength is achieved to expel the disbelieving occupier from Muslim lands,” he said.
Zawahiri also told his terrorists not to target “mosques, markets, and gathering places of Muslims” in Kashmir during his message.
“Esteemed scholars! It is your duty to preach to the Ummah that the Jihad against America in Afghanistan today is an individual obligation (fard ayn), just as the jihad against Russia was three decades earlier,” Zawahiri said. “Clarify to the people that we are a single ummah, and our jihad is one jihad,” he said.