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Killed in the nick of time: How gunning down Zakir Musa, destroyed an Al-Qaeda dream in India

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New Delhi, May 24: The big news on May 23 was undoubtedly the victory of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even as Modi was addressing party workers at the BJP headquarters here, there was big news developing in Tral, Jammu and Kashmir.

Zakir Musa, one of the most dangerous terrorists, who had broken away from the Hizbul Mujahideen to form the Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, an Al-Qaeda linked outfit in the Kashmir Valley was killed in the encounter on Thursday.

Killed in the nick of time: How gunning down Zakir Musa, destroyed an Al-Qaeda dream in India

In an already crowded terror market in the Valley, both the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda have been fighting for some space. For the Al-Qaeda, Zakir Musa was the answer. He had denounced the Hizbul Mujahideen and went on to form his own outfit.

Kashmir's top terrorist Zakir Musa killed in Tral encounter

Like Burhan Wani, he too had been gaining a great amount of traction and turning out to be an immensely dangerous terrorist. A couple of months back, he was spotted at Punjab, which clearly signalled that he was trying to expand beyond Kashmir. He was determined, dangerous and held a sway over a large number of youth, who were willing to join him.

The Al-Qaeda has made several unsuccessful attempts to set up shop in the sub-continent since 2014. The outfit was dying a natural death, but the entry of Musa gave it a ray of hope.

Musa and his men were calling for attacks on the mainland in a bit to liberate Kashmir. Further the outfit was also scouting for left overs of the Indian Mujahideen in a bid to expand operations. In one video, the Al-Qaeda went on to say that if there were strikes in Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata, Kashmir would be automatically liberated.

An officer with the Intelligence Bureau tells OneIndia that Musa had already begun scouting for operatives outside Kashmir. He was also trying to enter into a tie up with Khalistan groups and expand operations into Punjab as well.

The Al-Qaeda had made several failed attempts to set up shop in Kashmir, before Musa decided to walk in. Although he may have not mustered up the desired numbers, he had made giant steps in trying to spread the ideology of the Al-Qaeda, which is also subscribed to by the Indian Mujahideen and Students Islamic Movement of India, which have a considerable presence in states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

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The IB officer says had Musa succeeded in striking big in the rest of India, it would triggered off a chain of events, which would have been hard to control. He was killed just in the nick of time and had that not happened, India would have been staring at a major problem.

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