"We want Islam to return to the Indian subcontinent, which was part of the Muslim world before it was invaded. It will serve Muslims in Burma, Kashmir, Gujarat, Bangladesh, Ahmedabad and Assam", Zawahiri said.
Reportedly, Asim Umar, chief of Al Qaeda's Sharia Committee for Pakistan, has been named the leader of the new group, called the Qaedat al-Jihad. Ustad Usama Mahmoud is the spokesperson of the group.
We want Islam to return to the Indian subcontinent: Al Qaeda
"Establishing Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent is the result of two years of work to unify the Mujahideen. The rise of this new branch demonstrates that jihad under the leadership of Amir of Believers, Mullah Omar (head of the Afghan Taliban) is expanding", Zawahiri said. What are the groups's motives? Zawahiri lists: "Establish sharia in the land and to free the occupied land of Muslims in the Indian sub-continent".
Al Qaeda's new initiative is indeed a concern for India. Recently, there were reports of youngsters from poor families from various Indian states joining the Islamist group. Money is what the group uses to lure the youth.
The rise of ISIS and similar jihadists in middle-east and Africa has put Al Qaeda under pressure. The Indian venture is seen as the organisation's attempt to reclaim its title as the global jihadi organisation.