New Jihadi Terror Group Emerges In Kashmir With Al-Qaeda Links

12 October 2014
India Today
Rezaul Hasan Laskar

New Delhi: A terrorist group with links to the al-Qaeda that operates from northwest Pakistan has called on militants from around the world to join the jihad in Jammu and Kashmir, the latest in a string of messages urging terrorists to target India. The Ansar ut-Tawheed Fi Bilad al-Hind (Supporters of Islamic Monotheism in India), an organisation that emerged sometime in the summer of 2013, has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent chief Asim Umar and Afghan Taliban head Mullah Omar in a message issued on Friday. Accusing the Pakistan army and intelligence of betraying jihadis, the group led by Abdur Rahman Al-Nadwi Al-Hindi called on jihadis everywhere to come and fight in the Kashmir Valley. 'We hereby announce that every mujahid and muhajir is welcome in our valley, in our homes to live with us and wage jehad with us. We promise to live and die with them and to protect their lives and honour with our blood and wealth, In'sha Allah,' said the message in English posted on and circulated by several jehadi forums. 'Kashmir, as you know, was betrayed by the apostate army and intelligence of Pakistan long ago.. However, the resources on ground are still not sufficient to start jehad on a large scale and there are a number of factors which are known to the Muslims of the (Kashmir) Valley which hinder the materialisation of this divine commandment,' it added. The Ansar ut-Tawheed informed the al-Qaeda leadership that 'they will find among us the best of fighters and those who obey them in ease and hardship'. The message claimed Zawahiri's announcement about the creation of the al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent had spread in Jammu and Kashmir and people had pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda chief and Asim Umar. Since last year, the al-Qaeda and groups aligned with it have issued several messages calling for jehad in Kashmir and other parts of India. Earlier this year, the al-Qaeda had for the first time issued a message in Urdu that was focussed on Kashmir. Other Pakistan-based groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, too have called for stepping up attacks in Kashmir and other parts of India. JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar emerged after remaining underground for several years and addressed a rally in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by phone on January 26. Security officials believe the latest moves by the terror groups are being orchestrated by Pakistani intelligence to shift the focus to Jammu and Kashmir as US-led foreign forces begin withdrawing from Afghanistan. 'LeT, JeM or Ansar ut-Tawheed - all these groups have one thing in common: their close links to the Pakistani intelligence and security set-up. It's the same old people who keep emerging with new names but they all have the same aim of targeting India,' said a security official who did not want to be named. Videos Soon after the BJP swept the general election in May, Ansar ut-Tawheed issued a video that called on militant groups in South Asia to attack India and Indian interests overseas. The video also repeatedly referred to the 2002 violence in Gujarat. Earlier this month, Ansar ut-Tawheed urged its supporters to attack western nationals in another message. 'If you are in the fortunate position to kill an American or European, whether French or Australian or Canadian, or other unbelievers who have declared war on the Islamic State, then do so,' the message said. Tufail Ahmad, an Indian analyst who tracks jehadi groups, said a recent video had identified Abdur Rahman Al-Nadwi Al-Hindi as someone who studied at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama seminary of Lucknow. 'The title Al-Nadwi is used by students of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama,' he said.