Al Qaeda’s hijab video aimed at swaying Indian Muslims, dividing India culturally
New Delhi, Apr 12: The recent hijab controversy in Bengaluru was followed by a video by the Al Qaeda which sang praises of the girl who defied the ban. While the Al Qaeda has been largely weakened, it still remains one of the most resilient groups and over the past couple of years, it has focused heavily on India with clear attempts to invoke a culture war.
A recent UN report noted that the Al Qaeda has anything between 150 to 200 terrorists from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar who are part of the Al Qaeda in the Sub-Continent (AQIS).
The Al-Qaeda in the Indian sub-continent operates under the Taliban umbrella from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan. The AQIS is headed by Osama Mahmood, who succeeded the late Asim Umar, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh.
The AQIS is the youngest subsidiary of the Al Qaeda, but it remains relevant because of the proactive and influential campaign virtually especially in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where there is a large Muslim population.
There are many more subsidiaries in the above mentioned countries. There are subsidiaries in Jammu and Kashmir and in South the offshoot of the Al Qaeda is the Base Movement.
Intelligence Bureau officials who OneIndia spoke with say that the Base Movement comprises a set of Muslim youth who subscribe to the ideology of the Al-Qaeda. The trigger that led to the formation of this group was the denial of bail to Abdul Nasir Madani. Their primary intention was to target the police, judiciary and media. In this regard they sent out a series of letters with a stern warning.
Following the release of the "Code of Conduct "document in June 2017, the AQIS formally established and endorsed a new jihadist group, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH, Supporters of Holy War in India), in Kashmir under the Hizbul Mujahideen renegade militant, Zakir Rashid Bhat (Musa), along with a media wing named Al-Hurr, Animesh Roul, Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict had said in his project, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent- Spearheading Jihad in. South Asia 2014-2020.
The video praising the girl who opposed the Hijab ban is part of the Al Qaeda's larger agenda to divide India further and split it culturally. In the video none other than Al Qaeda supremo, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
He said that he was moved by the defiance of the girl. He also composed a poem praising the girl. He further attacked countries that had banned hijab. The nine minute video was released by the Al Qaeda's official Shabab media. The same was also verified by SITE Intel-Jihadist Threat.
Zawahiri who made his first appearance since November praised Muskan Khan who had taken on students from Karnatka who had objected to her wearing a burqa in an educational institution. She also chanted Allahu Akbar when the students chanted Jai Shri Ram.
In 2019, Zawahiri had posted a video threatening the Indian Army. He said that the mujahideen must liberate Kashmiri jihad from the clutches of Pakistan's intelligence. He also accuses the Pakistani's of betraying the Jihadis both in Afghanistan and Kashmir.