Zawahiri’s message on Kashmir is a desperate attempt to stay relevant after Musa’s death
New Delhi, July 10: The media arm of the Al-Qaeda, As Sahab released a video message from Ayman al-Zawahiri tittled, "Dont forget Kashmir."
Although he did not mention Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, the Kashmir wing of the Al-Qaeda, he ends the video with the image of the Ansar chief, Zakir Musa, who was gunned down in an encounter on May 23 2019.
He says 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.
A close introspection of Zawahiri's speech suggests that it is desperate times for the Al-Qaeda in the sub-continent. It may be recalled that in 2014, the outfit had launched the Al-Qaeda in the Sub-Continent, with an intention of spreading operations primarily in India.
Since its inception in 2014, the outfit has not really gained any traction. There have been desperate attempts in the past as well to make some impact in the sub-continent, especially in Kashmir. The outfit circulated videos calling for attacks on the mainland in a bid to liberate Kashmir.
In the early part of 2018, the outfit had said, "you strike Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Kashmir will be liberated automatically from India."
Since 2014, the outfit has made several attempts to gain traction and it had even instigated youth to carry out lone wolf attacks. It also had managed to set up some modules in Delhi, but the NIA busted it and shut it down.
The only form of traction, it got was when it announced its Kashmir wing, the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. This was primarily because it was headed by a Hizbul Mujahideen deserter, Zakir Musa, who was once part of the Burhan Wani faction. Musa was a known face in Kashmir and had managed to shake up other terror groups after he roped in several persons from the Valley. He was savvy and had a following in Kashmir as a result of which the AGH managed to click for sometime.
However, the Indian security agencies dealt a massive body blow to the outfit, when it gunned Musa down. With Musa out of the picture, the very existence of the AGH is on shaky grounds now.
Zawahiri was made chief of the Al-Qaeda after the death of Osama Bin Laden. When he took over as chief, the Indian agencies had said that he would try his hand in Kashmir.
Zawahiri's latest video message is a clear sign of desperation as he intends to keep the flock together in the wake of Musa's death. The AGH in the wake of Musa's death is disintegrating and the Al-Qaeda is making a desperate attempt to keep it afloat. For the Al-Qaeda in the Sub-Continent, the closest it came to gaining any traction was through the AGH. It is only obvious that Zawahiri would make such a desperate attempt with the AGH now on the verge of a collapse.