July 2017 News

It's Official: Al-Qaeda Announces Kashmir Unit, Zakir Musa Is The Leader

27 July 2017
The Economic Times
Abhinav Tripathi

New Delhi: Stepping up its activity in India, Al-Qaeda has formally announced establishment of a new Kashmir-based terror group Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. The group will be led by the former Hizb-ul Mujahedeen commander, and one of Burhan Wani's successors, Zakir Musa. The 'statement of establishment' was disseminated today on social media by the Global Islamic Media Front, the online propaganda distribution arm of Al-Qaeda. 'After the martyrdom of heroic Mujahid Burhan Wani the Jihad in Kashmir has entered a stage of awakening, as the Muslim Nation of Kashmir has committed to carry the flag of Jihad to repel the aggression of tyrant Indian invaders, and through Jihad, and with the aid of Allah only, we will liberate our homeland Kashmir,' it said. 'For this goal, a new movement of Jihad has been founded by the companions of martyr Burhan Wani under the leadership of Mujahid Zakir Musa,' the statement said. Musa quit Hizb-ul Mujahedeen in May this year, after the group refused to back his audio clip, threatening the separatist leaders for terming the Kashmir issue 'political' and not religious. Since then, the 23-year-old jihadi has reportedly owed support to Al-Qaeda. In his last audio clip, the former Hizb commander had slammed Indian Muslims for not coming forward to join Islamic jihad. Recalling multiple instances of lynching of Muslims by cow-vigilantes, Musa shamed them for not standing up for the victims. Intelligence agencies had expected Musa to emerge as the global terror outfit's first choice to lead its Kashmir operations. Notably, AQ's Indian sub-continent branch (AQIS) had released a 20-page 'Code of Conduct' for its fighters during Eid-ul-Fitr last month, outlining the objectives of the group in the region. The document had several references to Kashmir, hinting at expanding operations in the valley.