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Al-Qaida video claims caravan of jihadists coming to liberate Kashmir

India TV News Desk 15 Jun 2014, 8:00:49 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: A chilling new video from the al-Qaida has asked Muslims in Kashmir to emulate "brothers" in Syria and Iraq and wage a violent jihad against India.

The video, which cites the "new Afghanistan being created in Syria" as inspiration, is the first to specifically target Kashmir.

Entitled "War should continue, message to the Muslims of Kashmir", the video was uploaded in recent days to a website where statements by other leaders of al-Qaida and its affiliates have been released in the past.

It is unclear when the video was made, although its production apparently preceded the advances made by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) in Iraq this week.

However, the timing of its release will underline the impression that senior al-Qaida leaders based in Pakistan, who have suffered heavy losses in recent years, are increasingly marginal to the global jihadi movement.

The video runs footages dating back to 2010 of protests on the roads of Srinagar in which civilians were killed during a standoff with India's security forces.

Interestingly, the video addresses Muslims on both sides of the line of control — both on the Indian and Pakistani side as well as to the broader Muslim populations of both countries.

In the video, Kashmiri Muslims are urged to join the global jihadi movement.

Led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group has made increasing efforts in recent years to mobilise the nearly half a billion Muslims who live in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Zawahiri released a set of strategic guidelines last year that mentioned Kashmir. Last July, a cleric who has been linked to al-Qaida issued a video statement that reprimanded Indian Muslims for their supposed lack of interest in "global jihad".

The video appears to have been produced by As Sahab, al-Qaida's in-house media production unit, and includes a statement read by Maulana Asim Umar, a leader of al-Qaida's Pakistan cell.

It begins with a montage of pictures of violent demonstrations in Kashmir in 2010 and shows pictures of the famous Dal Lake.

The video also calls for attacks in Europe and for a repeat of the Lee Rigby incident in London last year. The soldier was almost beheaded by two men of Nigerian origin in broad daylight outside a military barrack.

The footage cites Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq as inspiration for Muslims in Kashmir.

UK has long warned that jihadi fighters connected to the al-Qaida were replacing genuine opposition fighters in Syria, putting the whole world at risk.

Russia informed UK that the dangerous group fighting in Syria in the name of rebels is the Jabhat al-Nusra, which has direct links to the al-Qaida.

International observers fear that Syria has become the biggest training ground for jihadis instead of Pakistan as Islamist sympathists can experience combat training without any official scrutiny.

The fresh video cites "new Afghanistan being created in Syria" as inspiration and is the first to specifically target Kashmir.