High Alert, Al-Qaeda calls on Indians to carry out lone-wolf attacks in country


New Delhi: Leader of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) Asim Umar recently incited Indian Muslims to not only carry out lone wolf attacks, similar to those in Europe, but also kill administrative and police officers in India, according to a report by SITE intelligence group. 

According to a report, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) Asim Umar, issued a statement "inciting Indian Muslims to rise up and to follow the example of lone-wolves in Europe and kill administrative and police officers in India". The call for violence comes days after a major attack in the capital of Bangladesh, which is also a part of the Indian Subcontinent. 

The responsibility for the attack was claimed by Isis and the Mujahideen group in Bangladesh. The al Qaeda also issued the statement four days after the U.S. State Department designated the group as a "foreign terrorist organisation" and added Umar to the list of "global terrorists." Al-Qaeda has attempted to recruit Indian Muslims for its operations over the last two years but has struggled to find good response.

US-based SITE Intelligence Group tracked the AQIS statement, putting Indian intelligence agencies on alert. Both Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) have been trying to recruit Indians to carry out attacks in the country. So far, this has yielded little fruit as Indian intelligence has been cracking down on suspects assiduously.  NIA and state police forces have arrested 54 ISIS members at the stage of planning. Counter-terrorism officials feel that this the Al-Qaeda call is a cause for concern, because the organisation is competing with ISIS to recruit from India and establish themselves in India and Bangladesh.

But because neither Al-Qaeda nor ISIS have made much headway in their recruitment plans, the lone-wolf strategy is being pushed forward. Asim Umar, whose real name is Sanaul Haq, belongs to Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal and moved to Pakistan in the 1990s. He was named the head of AQIS by the organisation’s chief Ayman Al Zawahiri in 2014.