An al-Qaida leader has announced in a video that the terrorist organization has moved into India with plans to expand its Islamic laws to the entire subcontinent. Al-Qaida eader Ayman al-Zawahri threatened that the group would “storm your barricades with cars packed with gunpower.”
Middle East expert Fawaz Gerges said that al-Zawahri’s threats were likely meant to intimidate Islamic State (IS) terrorists. “This is really personal. You cannot understand this announcement without understanding the fierce rivalry between Islamic State and al-Qaida central,” he said.
According to Gerges, al-Qaida’s acts of terrorism are being overshadowed by the evil of IS, and the group feels the need to display its influence in the Middle East.
Indian security analyst for the Institute for Conflict Management Ajai Sahni agreed with Gerges’ assessment. Al-Qaida "is struggling for its legitimacy in the eyes of the radicalized Muslim world," he said. “Osama bin Laden has been killed and (al-Qaida's) entire top leadership, apart from Zawahri and a few others, one by one have been decimated by the American drone attacks.”
Still, India may be at risk, as the Associated Press notes the nation has underfunded and minimally-trained security.
Sahni said, "The problem is not these threats. The problem is India's vulnerability."
Publication date: September 4, 2014