Shifting its focus to the Indian subcontinent, global terror outfit al-Qaida has said it will target Indian security installations and leaders of Hindu “separatist” organisations. The outfit has released an elaborate document titled ‘Code of conduct for Mujahideen in the subcontinent’ detailing its objectives, targets, and do’s and don’ts for members.”All personnel of the military are our targets, whether they be in the war zone or in barracks at their bases. Even the personnel on vacation are not exempted due to their battle against implementation of sharia,” the outfit said in the document.
This is an exact reproduction of the text, “Officers are a greater priority than soldiers. The greater is the seniority, greater is our priority to kill him. Those officers of the military who have the blood of our Kashmiri brothers on their hands are our targets,” the outfit said.
The document makes several references to Kashmir, and the opening note even refers to a resident of UP’s Sambhal, Maulana Asim Umar, UP, as the ’emir’ or chief of the so-called al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Indian intelligence sources said they were keeping a close tab on the development as it comes soon after former Hizbul commander Zakir Musa floated a new outfit and openly acknowledged support from Qaida.
Recently, a DSP was brutally lynched by a mob outside Jamia Mosque in Kashmir. The document accessed by TOI also mentions that hostages should either be traded for a brother, given up for ransom or be killed, besides elaborating on targets in Pakistan, Arakan (Myanmar) and Bangladesh.
Sources said the most worrying part was that the outfit had invited different groups fighting in the subcontinent to pledge their allegiance to what they refer to as the “Islamic emirate of Afghanistan”, and stand up against intelligence agencies and the groups they sponsor.
According to an official dealing in counter terror operations, Qaida is also trying to establish that its objectives and modus operandi are completely different from that of the so-called Islamic State, its arch rival. “The document mentions that the Mujahideen will not attack common Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists and also not strike places of worship. This is in sharp contrast with ISIS (another abbreviation for IS, also known as Daesh) which has been targeting mosques on priority,” the official added.
AQIS, said officials, was the top threat to India at present. Formed by Qaida chief Ayman al Zawahiri and Asim Umar in September 2014, the outfit is backed by Pakistan’s secret service ISI and has sleeper cells in various parts of the country, the officials added.
In December 2015, security agencies, including Delhi’s special cell, had busted several sleeper modules of the outfit across the country. Umar Hyderabadi, Abu Sufiyan, Mohammed Sami and Dr Sabeel, brother of 2007 Glasgow airport bomber Kafeel, have been identified as key members. Farhatullah Ghori, suspected to be responsible for the Gujarat Akshardham attack, has also been listed as an AQIS member.