Even as the government has sounded an alert after an Al Qaida video claimed it has established an Indian branch, Arab diplomats in Delhi say it could be survival tactic of the terrorist group as it has been ousted from the Middle East by its peer Islamic State, which has run over a large swathe of territory in Iraq.
Talking to dna, a top diplomat of an influential Arab country said baring some exceptions, though India had never appeared a recruiting ground, there have been cases of Indian-origin youth living abroad getting swayed by extremist ideologies. He agreed with the assessment of Indian intelligence sources that Zawahiri's mention of Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad and Burma -- which are communally sensitive – could be designed to attract Indian youth.
Over past many years, recruitments for al Qaeda are drying up, as those out to wage war are preferring the IS. Islamic State leader Abu Abu Bakr al Baghdadi calls himself a "caliph" or head of state and has demanded the loyalty of all Muslims. The group fell out with Zawahri in 2013 over its expansion into Syria, where Baghdadi's followers have carried out beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions.
But the diplomat said like al Qaeda and Taliban, the IS which was also trained and funded by the American intelligence agencies along with Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia crossed the redlines. "Americans are now after them, as they crossed the red lines. They were not supposed to emerge as a threat to Saudi Arabia and by declaring Caliphate, they angered Sheikdoms," he said. The senior diplomat said like the
Free Syrian Army commanders, IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was allegedly trained in Israel by its intelligence agency Mossad. "It is not a coincidence. American created Al Qaeda to fight Soviets and now the ISIS to eliminate threats to Israel and Saudi Arabia in Middle East. But they have now gone out of their hand," he said. The diplomat stressed that he was certain that after Bagdadi, who was an officer in Iraqi establishment of Saddam Hussain, when released from Abu Garib prison was taken to Israel for training.
Meanwhile, the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations All India Muslim Majlis Mushswarat on Thursday asked al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawhiri to stay away from India. Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, president of the AIMM, asked the terrorist leader not to complicate problems of Indian Muslims.
Rejecting the statement of the al Qaeda chief, Khan said it was a disservice to the cause of the Muslims of South Asia who do not require such meddling in their affairs by a foreign terrorist outfit. "Indian Muslims are loyal citizens of their country and they will fight al Qaeda if it ever tried to create a presence here," said Khan. He said Muslims in India were protected by the Constitution and laws of India and do not need the dubious help of a foreign terrorist outfit which has caused so much destruction and deestablisation in the Middle East. He also appealed to Muslim youth not to get carried away by the propaganda of terrorist outfit.