In a first, the al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has directly mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a video message released by its publicity wing As-Sahab on May 2.
AQIS chief Maulana Asim Umar, in the video titled ‘From France to Bangladesh: The Dust Will Never Settle Down’, mentioned PM Modi in context of what he claims as the war against Muslims.
In the video, India-born Umar talks about attack on Muslims “through World Bank and IMF policies, drone attacks, satanic conspiracy of Kerry-Lugar bill, Charlie Hebdo’s writings, UN charter, official sermons by muftis and Narendra Modi’s speeches which call for muslims to be burnt alive- this is the same war.”
AQIS has also claimed responsibility for the assassination of several secular writers and intellectuals in Bangladesh and Pakistan, including Avijit Roy who was hacked to death in Dhaka in February.
Qaeda chief Ayaman Al-Zawahiri had announced a new branch of al Qaeda called “Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent” last year. AQIS IS “seeking to raise the flag of jihad, return Islamic rule, and imposing Sharia across the Indian subcontinent.”
While nothing much is known about Maulana Asim Umar, reports suggested that he is possibly of north Indian origin and had migrated to Pakistan in the nineties.
Last year, when Modi was probed about the formation of Qaeda’s Indian wing, he had said, “My understanding is that they are doing injustice towards the Muslims of our country. If anyone thinks Indian Muslims will dance to their tune, they are delusional.”