India has issued a security alert across a number of states after al-Qaeda head, Ayman al-Zawahiri, posted an on-line video to “raise the flag of jihad” in the Indian subcontinent.
The threat is being taken seriously, but counter-terrorism officers believe al-Qaeda needs publicity following the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Ajai Sahni from the Institute of Conflict Management said: “This is really a group today which is not some kind of a global threat, but a group that is struggling for its own survival and legitimacy in the eyes of the radicalised Muslim world.”
In Shrinagar in Kashmir, a city which has seen its fair share of political violence in recent times, the call for jihad is generally unwelcome.
“We want the Kashmir problem to be to be resolved through dialogue. The al-Qaeda chief should think twice before issuing any statement that he is to create an Indian wing here,” said Shrinagar resident Niyaz Illahi.
Al-Zawahiri wants to use cells in India to ferment discontent in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The states of Kashmir, Gujarat, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been placed on heightened alert.
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