Page 1 of 2

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Neighbourhood

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 12:40
by SSridhar
I had started a couple of months back a thread on IS. Now that the Al Qaeda - IS competition is acquiring a sharper outline, I think it is time for us to focus on the AQ too. The component of AQ that would be of interest to us is the AQIS because it is specifically targetted at us and the fight between AQIS and the IS over the Koranic region of Khorasan has deep theological importance. The IS has announced its organizational structure for Khorasan and similarly AQIS has also announced its organization which is headed by an Indian.

It is being acknowledged now that the IS and the AQIS are at loggerheads over theology, tactics etc. The AQIS has the backing of the ISID. The two are slowly engaging themselves in competetive brutality in the Indian Subcontinent and its neighbourhood, like in Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

This thread will therefore focus exclusively on AQIS.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 12:42
by SSridhar
X-posting one of myearlier posts from the IS thread

Let me summarize the fluid situation as best as I can.
1. The 'good Taliban-bad Taliban' dichotomy has evolved into 'AQIS vs. IS' with the same set of players and supporters, with some minor re-alignments, but largely along old lines of division
2. The Zerb-e-Azb led to a clear split of the loosely-knit TTP, by the end of 2014, which was hitherto attempting to project a non-existent monolithic unity
3. Musharraf, under immense US pressure, played a dangerous double game of protecting the jihadi assets as much as possible in Af-Pak while also being seen as taking action. He chose the Uzbeks & Chechens for attack because he told the Americans that it was these foreign jihadists who were at the root of the trouble. But, it backfired and ended up in disaster as most of the Pakistani Taliban and the tribal elders (who had given refuge to them under the traditional Pashtunwali rivaaj of melmastia or hospitality) became his enemies as also the Punjabi Taliban. The Lal Masjid incident under the Chinese compulsion made the opposition to him stronger. These became the 'bad Taliban'. There were very few 'good Taliban' left, only Mauvi Nazeer of South Waziristan and Gul Bahadur of North Waziristan. This split is one component of the new IS vs. AQIS fight.
4. The other component was the split in the Afghan Taliban group, with a large and influential section of the Afghan Taliban turning against the ISI-appointee Emir Mansour (Mullah Omar’s son Mohammed Yacoub, Mullah Omar’s brother Mullah Abdul Manan, Mullah Omar's son-in-law Tayyab Agha who was also the head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, Abdul Qayum Zakir, Taliban’s military commander in the Doha office, Qari Baryal head of the Peshawar Shura Military Commission of the Taliban, Mullah Dadullah et al). Mohammed Yacoub had earlier got the support of Sirajuddin Haqqani whom the Pakistani ISI presuurized to shift to Mansour. A grateful Mansour appointed Sirajuddin Haqqani as his Deputy. Hekmatyar, the till-recent favourite of the ISI shifted his allegiance to the IS. In the meanwhile, the IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) which was targeted by the Pakistani Army as part of its Zerb-e-Azb has naturally denounced Mansour’s actions and has announced its support for the IS. This was made by the senior IMU leader Saidullah Urgenji.

Another post
The PA/ISI is not monolithic. There are essentially two factions as in Pakistan or in any other Islamic country for that matter. One is green and the other is greener. Of course, the greener will have many shades of green within itself but for convenience we clump them all together as one 'greener' group. Both groups have some commonalities such as hatred for India, the US and the Jews, and being 'tactically brilliant'.

The green PA/ISI has India on its radar, concentrates on milking the US and making money, sends its children to the West for education and eventual settling down there, wants to avenge its series of military defeats by India, is willing to seek any which way to achieve these goals but wants to be careful that its is not overwhelmed in the process by the darker forces. The green group helped the mujahideen and then created the Taliban too. They helped to create tanzeems like Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), Harkat-ul-Jihadi-Islami (HuJI), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) etc and directed them towards India. It included such people as Gen. Zia, Lt. Gen. Akhtar Rehman, the ISI Chief, Gen Aslam Beg, Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, Maj Gen. Nasarullah Babar, Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Ahmed, Gen. Kayani, Gen. Musharraf et al. Their conviction was that the ISI could always control jihad and terror and ensure that these groups never disobeyed their command. But, even among this group were some greener Abduls such as Maj. Gen. Zaheerul Islam Abbassi and Brig. Mustansar Billah who along with Qari Saifullah Akhtar's HuJI and about 40 other Army officers tried to assassinate Ms. Benazir Bhutto and the COAS Gen. Waheed Kakar and establish a 'Caliphate'. Maj Gen Abbasi later joined SSP, the 'mother' of all jihadi and sectarian terror groups to actively work for establishing the Caliphate.

The greener variety within the PA/ISI also has India on its radar but that is part of the overall Caliphate project. It has its sights on the Pakistani nuclear weapons and their delivery systems first, it wants to have a firm foothold in Afghanistan (whether it is IS or AQIS, the two main worldwide jihadi groups at present) because that is adjunct to the nuclear-weapon Islamic state Pakistan and has its own geographical advantages too. The names of those who support them from within the PA/ISI may not be known now. But, we have to remember that the then ISI Chief Mahmoud Ahmed claimed in a RAND interview in 2002 that 16% of the officer corps were Islamic radicals. That should itself have been a conservative estimate,not to raise alarms. In the decade since then, this should have doubled because of the various Islamist events and causes all over the world that had a great impact on Pakistan, events within Pakistan itself, the spread of extremist wahhabism/Deobandism in that country, the changing recruitment patterns away from the traditional Potohar region etc. This very radical 'greener' group may yet be biding its time leaving all the talking to the 'green' group thus presenting a misleading picture of a more reasonable Pakistani Army which is only worried about its existential threat, India.

In the last two years, things have changed for both these groups. The US announced the deadline for the withdrawal form Afghanistan and stuck to that. It withdrew from Iraq leading to a huge crisis there. It supported the ambitions of the Gulf monarchies in Syria leading to a very huge problem there. It supported the extremist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt which created a turmoil. These events helped reinforce each other and created the IS, a breakaway faction of the Al Qaeda.

The 'green' and the 'greener' groups want to seize the opportunity of the developments in Afghanistan for their own evil reasons. As I said in my previous post on the three-way split within TTP, the PA/ISI is under a tremendous pressure from the IS. If recruits have flocked the IS from India, one can imagine the situation in the rage-boys land of Pakistan.

The re-alignments are of interest. Essentially, there seems to be two poles attracting the splintered TTP groups. (We still do not know what other mainline terror tanzeems like HuJI are thinking about these developments.) One is the Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi led IS (Dawalah Islamiyah or Islamic State) and the other is the Ayman Zawahiri-led AQ (Al Qaeda). One splinter of TTP, led by Asmatullah Mu’awiya is supporting AQ. In March 2013, Mu'awiya threatened India over the execution of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru and vowed to target India once the US forces leave Afghanistan. This is a certain giveaway of his proximity to the 'green' group of the ISI.

Asmatullah Mu’awiya turning pro-sarkari in c. 2014 gives rise to the suspicion that AQ is being ‘appropriated’ by the Pakistani Army and the ISI for future operations against India. This is strengthened by various other utterances from other AQ leaders as well. Since July 2012, AQ has been issuing more threats to India than ever before. First, it was the Pakistani commander of the AQ, Farman Ali Shinwari who pledged ‘full support’ to the Kashmir cause. Then came Asmatullah Mu'awiya's threat about Kashmir. In June 2013, Al Qaeda leader Maulana Asim Umar, who is considered part of the Al Qaeda think tank in Pakistan and has been appointed head of the newly-formed AQIS, released a video message inviting Indian Muslims to join jihad. This message again contained references to US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and warned of increased terrorist activities in India. Al Qaeda unveiled its strategic vision for the Indian subcontinent in July 2013, when in a video release Al Qaeda’s propaganda chief in Pakistan, Ustad Ahmad Farouq declared that “The war that is underway in the tribal area is the battle for the future of the whole of the Subcontinent”. On September 4, 2013, the AQ chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri announced Jamaat Qaidat al-jihad fi’shibhi al-qarrat al-Hindiya, or Organisation of The Base of Jihad in the Indian Sub-Continent or popularly known as Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

The ISI and the LeT have been facing pressure due to their inability to mount large-scale attacks in India. This led to two top IM (Indian Mujahideen) operatives, Riyaz Bhatkal and Muhammad Ahmad Siddibapa, aka Yasin Bhatkal, to leave the ISI patronage. There appears to have been a serious attempt to get them within the folds of the AQIS. There were news reports about Riyaz Bhatkal meeting a senior AQ leader in Afghanistan. However, recent reports seem to indicate that the IM has moved to the IS. Ansar-ul-Tawhid Fi Bilad Al Hind (AuT), suspected to be the new outfit of the Bhatkals and based in Af-Pak region, released a statement on its twitter handle in English, Hindi and Urdu vowing to avenge the death of two Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists at Batala House in September 2008. The AUT is showing allegiance to the IS. The upsurge in the recruitment of Indian youth to the IS is seen as efforts by the AUT and IM. Thus, the PA/ISI is facing competition in what it used to consider as its backyard, India. Its ability to control the jihadi terror tanzeems is getting frayed all over.

The emergence of this new report that the ISI was unhappy with the LeT for its inability to disrupt the the December 2014 state elections in J&K where the voting percentage was at an unprecedented 70% or above in most places, is therefore not surprising.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 12:42
by SSridhar

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 13:03
by SSridhar
‘Hyderabadi in al-Qaeda training camp’ - Marri Ramu, The Hindu
A team of intelligence officials are rushing to Delhi after they discovered that one Hyderabadi boy was spotted in the company of al-Qaeda terrorists on Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

The boy with the nom de guerre of ‘Omar Hyderabadi’, was reportedly spotted at a terrorist camp of al-Qaeda in a remote area on Af-Pak border by members of a module of al-Qaeda in Indian Sub-continent (AQIS) which was recently busted by Delhi Special Police.

Except the bare details, the module didn’t know precise details of Omar but they confirmed that the youngster from Hyderabad was part of the AQIS network.

“For the first time a Hyderabadi’s name having connections with al-Qaeda cropped up,” said top intelligence officials.

They had information that Omar was from either Chanchalguda or Barkas localities. Their inquiries indicated that Omer had flown to one of the Gulf countries a few years ago and had come in contact with the terrorist network and through them approached Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) officials.{ISI is the sponsor and recruiter for the AQIS}

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 09 Jan 2016 03:10
by SSridhar
Anzar was on IB radar for sometime - Daniel George, ToI
Maulana Anzar Shah Qasmi was under the close watch of intelligence agencies for some time.

Anzar surfaced on the radar of intelligence agencies following a religious congregation in Bengaluru. The alleged meeting between Anzar and Mohammed Asif, the recruitment and training head of al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), is said to have further alerted intelligence agencies.

The intelligence bureau first stumbled upon Anzar when it was tracking two of his associates Asif and Abdul Rahman from West Bengal.

Sources who knew Anzar claimed he was repeatedly advised against speaking ill about other religions. Tipped off about his activities, Banashankari police kept tabs on Anzar. Policemen even visited the mosque and spoke to authorities, who assured them that Anzar would behave.

"Anzar was first working in a Shivajinagar mosque and then moved to a mosque in Jayanagar 9th block where he was allegedly sacked. He was warned against making fiery speeches and appointed at the Banashankari mosque only to deliver Friday sermons. He went to the Banashankari police station and gave in writing the he would not resort to fiery speeches. None of us knew about his alleged terror links," said the source.

Anzar's son is also a moulvi in Bengaluru. This is the fourth arrest in the operation against AQIS, the newest terror outfit to surface in India.

IB sources claimed that during interrogation Anzar told them he was advised by Asif that he would be contacted by AQIS operatives in a month's time to carry out an operation in Bengaluru and that he would have to provide logistics and accommodation.

Police claimed to have records of the financial transactions between Anzar and Asif. It also learnt that Anzar was in touch with a few members in Ambur and Vaniyambadi in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, and a team of officials was following up the leads given by Anzar.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 26 Jan 2016 14:04
by SSridhar
2 al-Qaeda operatives held in Jamshedpur - The Hindu
Two al-Qaeda operatives, believed to be members of its sleeper cell and motivating youths to join the terror group, were arrested from the steel city on Monday on the eve of Republic Day.

East Singhbhum district police arrested Ahmed Masood Akram Sheikh alias Masood alias Monu from Dhatkidih, while Nasim Akhtar alias Raju was nabbed from Zakirnagar, Senior Superintendent of Police Anoop T. Mathew told newsmen here.

The police picked up 35-year-old Masood following inputs provided by Jamshedpur-based Abdul Sami, who was arrested by the Delhi police in Haryana last week.

Masood confessed that he had been linked with the terrorist group since 2003 after he was motivated to join it by Abdul Rehman Katki, who was arrested by the Delhi police from Cuttack in December last year. — PTI

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 02:20
by ramana
How is AQIS defined vs. ISIS in IS?
What makes them different and what similarities?

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 15:00
by SSridhar
ramana, I will limit your question to just the Indian subcontinent because the Al Qaeda is now reduced to operating only in two theatres, Indian subcontinent and parts of West Asia.

However, we need to understand the dynamics of jihadi terrorism in the Indian subcontinent as well as West Asia to decipher the PA's game.

I have always believed that AQIS and IS are two different entities in our neighbourhood competing for dominance and space. Clearly, the friends of one are the enemies of the other. It is also my belief that AQIS was a creation of the ISI and contains the remnants of AQ and lumpen elements of the 'bad Taliban' who [were] split from TTP by end of c. 2014. Some of the splittists went back to their 'parent' groups like Muawaiya who went back as commander to JeM. Some took a neutral position, some continued to swear allegiance to Osama and by implication to Zawahiri and some joined the fledgling IS in Khorasan. My detailed post on this was made Nov 7, 2014 and events have gone along the same lines since then.

There is a view here that the ISI is behind IS in our subcontinent. I believe this to be incorrect. Let me explain.

The reason that the ISI had to create AQIS is also simple. After 26/11, LeT gained a notoriety and the UN sanctions, after concerted efforts to stall it through China had failed, meant that the PA couldn't use them in pan-India terror operations. Border areas or J&K were all right for LeT operations but PA is a pan-India targeting terrorist setup. There was also a risk of India retaliating, even the docile Man Mohan Singh government, if LeT was traced to one more operation. After 1993, PA had gradually given up the 'plausible deniability' ruse and begun to leave clues in crime scenes as a matter of challenge to India, bravado, prestige and swagger. As a next version, it began to openly employ the terrorist as its proxies. Then, the proxies became virtually an extension of the army taking part along with its BAT teams in border operations. 26/11 was the culmination of this integrated operation. For several reasons, PA hoped that it could weather the backlash. It largely did, but the UNSC resolution 1267 and India's determination (though we failed to retaliate) created problems in using LeT any further. Even the Americans said that they could understand India's retaliation if there were to be one more attack. It is reasonable to expect that China, for its own reasons, would have also advised PA to rein-in LeT. All these meant that the PA had to give up its swagger & bravado in being 'open' about its involvement in terrorism and go back to its older version, using proxies. They needed to create another organization.The only other pro-PA jihadi tanzeem, therefore, was JeM, but it was not a strong enough, and continues to remain a weak, terrorist organization unlike LeT. It was on death-bed due to a mass exodus in c. 2007. JeM was flying high when Osama was supreme because Maulana Masood Azhar was quite close to him, but after c. 2002, JeM was weakened. Musharraf's joining hands with the Americans led to a group of JeM cadres even trying to assassinate him. Masood Azhar could not control his own men. This group later split from JeM, after Lal Masjid and joined the 'bad Taliban'. This was one component of the disparate group, commonly known as the 'Punjabi Taliban'. JeM was weakened and was confined to Masood Azhar's sprawling complex in Bahawalpur until it was revived early c. 2015 upon the return of commander Muawaiya back into the folds. By early 2014, there was increasing pressure on Pakistan to take action in North Waziristan. Though the US and Afghanistan have been demanding action by the PA in NWA just like its operation in South Waziristan in c. 2009, Kayani had been dodging the request. But, the decapitation of 23 soldiers of the FC, the assassination of a PA Major Gen. in KP earlier, the assaults on various cities, the Karachi Airport attack, the approaching denouement in Afghanistan which demanded that PA had to take definitive positions, all meant that the time was ripe for action in NWA too. The PA/ISI approach was three fold, in the following order. One, get back old hands to become pro-PA as much as possible (Muawaiya), get as many to become neutral (the Sajna group of the Mehsuds of SWA) and attack the rest. The rest split into two groups. One, carrying the TTP banner under Fazlullah and the other crossing over to IS (Shahidullah Shahid and nine other commanders). But, JeM alone was not a force to reckon with. That is where the moribund AQ came in handy. It had an operational plan that was not in conflict with the PA, the PA knew its leaders, those leaders were more or less compliant, the AQ had not much of an alternative especially as a more militant group had broken away from it and was becoming a challenge to its very parental organization, it knew the charismatic Mullah Omar was dead and the ISI had a chance to influence the selection of the new Emir whenever Mullah Omar's death was announced etc. Acts by AQ in India would become part of global jihad and would not be pinnable on the PA/ISI.

The return to 'plausible deniability' is just one aspect of the ISI endorsing AQIS, though it might be its most important objective as of now. Why do I say 'as of now'? That's because one can visualize the internecine conflict (it is already happening mostly as war of words and sometimes otherwise too) between the parent body AQ and the IS. This forced the ISI to take sides even though the actual fighting was taking place elsewhere. As everyone knows, Abu Mosae'b Al Zarrqawi was a member of AQ but his violence was too much even for Osama bin Laden who asked him to take it slightly easy, an advice the former spurned. But, the relationship between Zarqawi's group and AQ continued. After the Americans handed power back to the Iraqis, the elements of Zarqwi group, the Al Qaeda in Iraq or AQI (its emir being Abu Bakr al Baghadadi), out-of-favour and revengeful Baathist Iraqi Army officers and men, some tribal groups etc came together and this gelled into ISI (Islamic State in Iraq) as they began seizing territory. This ISI then merged with the Syrian al-Nusra front in April 2013. The al Nusra front itself had been formally announced as an AQ franchisee in Syria in January 2011, helped initially by AQI and later by Zawahiri himself directly in c. 2012. However, when ISI announced the merger with al-Nusra in April 2013 and announced the formation of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq & al-Sham), Zawahiri felt he was losing control and ordered al Baghdadi in May 2013 to rescind the announcement, which he refused to do. Though the al-Nusra leadership continued to owe allegiance to AQ, al Baghdadi's announcement and the latter's more violent approach attracted thousands of al Nusra fighters and an internecine war broke out between the two factions, the usual scenario among jihadi Islamists. Though ISI itself was announced without taking the AQ central leadership into confidence, the ISIS was too much to bear for Zawahiri. So, a formal split between AQ & IS formally ensued in February 2014 and soon thereafter al Baghdadi announced himself as the Caliph after routing the Iraqi army in June 2014, thus directly posing a challenge to Zawahiri. Khorasan plays an important role in the Islamist discourse, especially in jihadist circles. Besides, al Baghdadi and his IS have now an implacable enemy in Zawahiri who had implied in his denunciation of the new Caliph that the new Caliph was once just a member of his group and that rebellion against the leader is unIslamic inviting severe punishment. The stage is therefore set for a showdown between the two. The attractiveness of the IS worries the ISI. However much we non-Muslims study about these things, only Islamists would appreciate the magnet-like attraction to violent jihadism to establish dar-ul-Islam and presently the IS seems to be winning the contest. This worries the ISI for several reasons. The IS would not be accommodative like the AQ, the ISI practically has no contact with IS leadership, the IS has territory and would not depend upon the PA for any support, the IS is far more violent and ruthless than PA itself and AQ put together, the IS has far more worldwide following than the AQ, and the most significant of all, the IS will totally assimilate the PA and the latter would no longer exist after that. By his own admission, the then DG, ISI, Lt. Gen Mahmoud Ahmed admitted as far back as circa 2000 to a RAND Corp analyst, that 15 to 16% of the army officer corps were religious extremists. One can imagine what would happen when IS more firmly establishes itself in Khorasan. The PA Generals only want a well-controlled, uni-focussed jihadism to achieve their personal, professional goals. Why would a material-minded top leadership of PA Generals blow it all up by taking a liking to the IS?

It was in this milieu in c. 2014 that PA had to formulate / revise its short & long term policies. Of course, its long term policy of disintegrating India remains valid forever. The short-term policy was to purge elements from the Af-Pak theatre that were attacking it, like the Uzbeks, Chechens, Uyghurs, TTP etc. to be in time for taking control in Kabul and thwart the IS plans. That, to me, explained the Zerb-e-Azb, the relocation of Haqqanis, the creation of AQIS and a lot more. AQIS would be the force, for Zawahiri, to fight the IS in Khorasan and AQIS would be the global jihadi force to carry out terrorism in India though under the rubric of 'plausible deniability' paradigm of the PA/ISI.

There are two very clear differences between AQ and IS, though ideologically both are Salafi Sunni and both want to establish Dar-ul-Islam worldwide through jihad. The AQ wants to fight the Great Satan, the 'far enemy' and take on the locals later while the reverse has been true of the IS. The accumulation of territory, confined fighting in Iraq & Syria, and its ability to mount only lone-wolf attacks in Europe (leave alone the exceptional Paris attack) prove that point for IS. The AQ is top-down and the IS is bottom-up.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 21:32
by ramana
SSridhar, Thanks for the tight analysis and clarifying the alphabet soup of Islamist terrorism.

Your analysis has bearing on the Gurdaspur and Pathankot attacks by LeT and JeM to shown their usefulness to TSP/ISI. What it also means is next attack will be by AQIS in India to show their mark.
And again provide plausible deniability to PA/ISI.

It also shows why India should care about the twin battles underway in Yemen and Syria/Levant.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 21:45
by deejay
SS Ji, wonderful analysis. If I may add and I am not sure how this will affect the Indian Sub Continent chapter of both these organisations -

Political Support - IS has strong backing within Gulf Sunni states (SA, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait,etc) plus has tacit Israeli support. Turkey is pretty much a partner to IS in Levant though outside of Levant I do not think Turkey is interested in IS. AQ on the other hand has had a partial fall out in Saudi Arabia with some big AQ names scheduled for execution by SA.

Economics - AQ or AQIS is dependent on economic support of Godfathers. IS with huge territories, control on oil trade in Syria, Iraq and Libya, control of cotton exports from Syria, just like AQ narcotics trade and ofcourse tax collections of Zakah and Jizya has far more economic heft than AQ. This helps IS in remaining independent of PA or similar puppet masters.

Just my two cents.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 21:57
by ramana
As IS spreads its tentacles await the much forecasted jihadi coup in Pakistan to take control of the nukes.

It could be pro-IS or anti-IS.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 28 Jan 2016 09:45
by SSridhar
ramana & deejay, thanks.

deejay, you are right absolutely on the two points you mentioned. This Jhabat al-Nusra seems to me to be a clever organization. It is officially an AQ franchisee, but Qatar certainly has influence over it as the release of an American journalist through Qatari efforts showed. There has been talk of other GCC members also hobnobbing with al-Nusra. The point to note here is that many prominent members of the GCC like KSA, UAE, Kuwait & Bahrain (Qatar is ambiguous IMO) do not like AQ at all and yet al-Nusra has gone to bed with both, a la Pakistan.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 29 Jan 2016 06:45
by SSridhar
One has to infer from bits & pieces of information.

The following quote is the first point made in the recently held Pugwash-sponsored meeting with the Taliban in Doha (23rd & 24th Jan 2016).
Peace is an urgent need. Decades of war that have been imposed on Afghanistan, have had a devastating impact on all Afghans. People are waiting impatiently for peace. If progress is not made soon, many fear the country may face other threats that might further complicate the process

The 'other threats' allude to IS. The 'many' who fear such a threat are naturally the PA/ISI, Afghan Taliban (especially of the Akhtar Mansour variety), Al Qaeda led by Zawahiri and the Americans. Hence these parties are pushing for an 'accommodation' of the Taliban in power sharing, the eventual result of which would be total control of Afghanistan once again by the Taliban. The bondage between the Taliban and Al Qaeda would mean that Al Qaeda would have safe havens and operate more openly than what it is doing now from Pakistani safe-havens. Pakistan would replay the double game between the Taliban/AQ combine and the rest of the world as it was doing prior to 9/11. The complete control of Afghanistan is needed for the AQIS game too. JeM & LeT cadres can be relocated there with only Masood Azhar & Hafeez Saeed staying in Pakistan and doing tableeghi while giving fiery jihadi speeches against India, motivating and recruiting manpower, collecting hides and funds and planning attacks against India with the Pakistani military and political leadership.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 15:57
by SSridhar
Pakistan arrests 97 al-Qaeda and other militants; foils planned jailbreak - Reuters
Pakistan has arrested 97 al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants, including three commanders, in the southern port city of Karachi, and foiled a planned attack that would have broken Daniel Pearl's killer out of jail, the military said.

The LeJ's Naeem Bokhari and Sabir Khan, as well as Farooq Bhatti, deputy chief of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), were captured by Pakistani forces in recent raids, Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa told a press conference on Friday.

The 97 men had been involved in multiple major attacks on Pakistani air bases, a major airport and police installations, Lt. Gen. Bajwa said.

Several of those arrested, including Bokhari, were in the advanced stages of planning a jailbreak attempt on the Hyderabad Central Jail, Lt. Gen. Bajwa said.

Khalid Omar Sheikh, who kidnapped and killed the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl in 2002, is being held at that jail and was to be released during the raid, he said.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 16:58
by SSridhar
The situation in Pakistan is very complex now after three significant events, namely the split of TTP into multiple fractions, Mullah Omar's death and the arrival of IS in Khorasan. Even earlier, while all groups of TTP pledged a bayat to Mullah Omar, they were ridden with factionalism that went back many centuries. The Punjabi Taliban group of HuJI, LeJ and SSP remained more united in the 'bad Taliban' group of TTP than the Pashtun groups.

Therefore, there are likely to be same side goals.

Now, my theory was that the AQIS was created by the PA/ISI to take on the IS in Khorasan. Zawahiri is the ultimate leader of AQ. TTP, being fiercely anti PA/ISI, naturally does not have any loyalty to the new ISI-imposed Emir, Akhtar Mansour. They have perforce to choose between the IS and the AQIS. As far as I can see, the Fazlullah-faction of TTP has not sided with the IS. Only the breakaways went that way. The Fazlullah-faction and the PA/ISI are implacable enemies, have been so for many years now. However, that does not mean that they both cannot support AQIS simultaneously, though for different reasons.

The claim by Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa, DG ISPR, that the Dy. Emir of AQIS has been arrested for plotting a jailbreak is purely to make it appear that Pakistan is taking action against all terror outfits to hide its collaboration with AQIS. Who can check the authenticity of this claim? Also, the Dy Emir of AQIS, by name Farooq, was claimed to have been killed in a CIA drone attack last year. Is this new Farooq Bhatti a different one then?

I had posted in the IS thread a report by the Pakistani IB Chief where he said that "Islamic State group was emerging as a threat in the country because several militant groups had soft corner for it. He named Lashkar-i-Jhangvi [LeJ] and Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan as examples.". Now, Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa claims that LeJ was collaborating with AQIS. It is simply impossible to be an IS & AQIS collaborator at the same time because of their rivalry. So, IMO, the DG ISPR is flying deceptive kites when he implicates AQIS.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 15 Feb 2016 11:04
by SSridhar
Deepa Sarai and its road to infamy - Devesh K Pandey, The Hindu
Mohammad Asif, the alleged India head of the Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and resident of Deepa Sarai, landed in the terror net through Facebook, say official reports.

Police records quote Asif, who is now in judicial custody, as saying that while working at a Sambhal shop that sold construction materials, he opened a Facebook account in 2012. Soon he received a friend request from Saeed Akhtar, aka Qasim, a former resident of Deepa Sarai, who was then in Karachi.

Qasim, as allegedly disclosed by Asif, said he worked for the Tehrik-e-Taliban, and motivated him to undergo training in Pakistan. He told him that a youth from their village, Sarjil, was also planning to visit Pakistan. At Qasim’s instance, Deepa Sarai resident Masood paid Rs.1 lakh for the travel expenses of his nephew Sarjil and Asif.

Sarjil, the eldest, was doing engineering from Jamia University. We had high hopes for him. He was obsessed with his plans to go for Umrah [pilgrimage to Mecca], but we asked him to finish his studies first. Days before he is said to have left for Tehran, he came home to collect next year’s fee. His phone was switched off. Someone misguided my son,” says his mother, Imrana.

Asif and Sarjil boarded a Tehran-bound flight on June 23, 2013, from the Delhi airport, where a third person from Delhi joined them, say official reports. “All this is concocted. Asif had got a job in Saudi Arabia through a manpower agent {Nobody travels to Saudi Arabia through Teheran !}. He travelled alone. I went to drop him at the airport. Travel records will reveal all details,” insists Asif’s brother Sadiq.

However, the police version records Asif recounting that he along with the other two landed in Tehran together and contacted Qasim over the phone. They took a bus to Zahedan, capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province in Iran, and crossed the Iran-Pakistan border on foot. On the outskirts of Quetta, they stayed for over a week.

It took them two more days of travel on motorcycles to reach Ghazni in Afghanistan, and from there they boarded a car to Pakistan’s North Waziristan where Usman — their neighbour from Deepa Sarai — received them. {What a journey, Delhi-Teheran-Sistan-Quetta-Ghazni-NWA}

Asif has disclosed that after reaching North Waziristan, they along with Usman stayed in Miramshah. Qasim joined them soon. Asif had to meet one Maulana Asim Umar for further orders.

Asim Umar turned out to be their former neighbour Shaan-ul Haq.
Asif completed his Deeni (religious) training {i.e. conversion to wahhabism/salafism} , after which Haq invited him to an important meeting at Miramshah, with Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri’s son-in-law Abu Dujana al Basha (believed to have been killed in U.S. airstrike in 2014), and members of its grand council.

At the meeting, the police say, Haq was anointed the Amir of the new wing of Al-Qaeda and he took the pledge to propagate the outfit’s ideology across the South Asian region. Asif was made the India chief. He remained stuck in Waziristan for 8-9 months. On getting an opportunity, he got out and was crossing the Iran border when the Iranian police caught him, reports say.

Asif spent about a month in jail. The Iranian police later dumped him in Turkish territory, thereafter he contacted the Indian Embassy in Istanbul which facilitated his return to Delhi after 15 months in October 2014. “Yes, he returned around the same time, but he came back as he was unhappy with his job at a department store in Saudi Arabia,” says Sadiq. Though Asif’s brother says he has never visited Bengaluru, police records cite him disclosing that he went there in August-September 2015 to meet two operatives.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 10:54
by SSridhar
Terror network has wide reach - Devesh K Pandey, The Hindu
The network that actively worked on expanding the Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) was not simply limited to the Deepa Sarai {in UP near Moradabad & Bulandshahr} neighbourhood from where six men allegedly came together to form the outfit {See the post above this} . Its reach was far and wide, according to alleged revelations by Mohammad Abdul Rehman Ali Khan. He is now in judicial custody.

Khan came under surveillance after a phone call to him by Deepa Sarai resident and alleged AQIS-India chief Mohammad Asif was intercepted by Indian agencies in August-September 2015. Official records quote him as saying that Asif met him in Bengaluru and told him about the new outfit.

Police say Asif’s visit to Bengaluru was for roping in Khan and one Maulana Anzar Shah who were already engaged in making recruitments for the Al-Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

During interrogation, Khan purportedly disclosed that he visited Pakistan via Saudi Arabia about a year ago and underwent weapons training in Muzaffarabad at the instance of Lashkar veteran Sajid Mir, who has been named by David Headley in his recent deposition before a Mumbai court in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks case.

Khan also met top Lashkar leader Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi in a Rawalpindi jail and its founder Hafiz Saeed in Lahore. By last December when he was arrested in Odisha, Khan had initiated at least five men to join the Al-Qaeda, police allege.

Radicalised in the wake of the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, Khan’s inclination towards extremism was nurtured further by Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar’s provocative speeches that were in wide circulation in the 1990s. He was then a scholar pursuing higher studies in Deoband’s Darul Uloom, say police records.

In November-December 1999, Khan met one Saleem, reportedly a veteran of Afghan jehad against the Soviets, who told him that he was part of the conspiracy hatched to free Masood Azhar, then lodged in a Jammu jail. He revealed that about 10 well-trained boys had already flown into Kathmandu, and that Saleem had been told to be in Delhi.

Saleem disappeared after a couple of meetings. Khan returned to his home in Bahugram village of Cuttack. Meanwhile, the IC-814 flight was hijacked and Masood Azhar freed in exchange for the passengers.

Six months later, Saleem again met Khan and told him that he had fled to Pakistan after the IC-814 hijacking. In 2000, Khan arranged for Saleem a safe house in Cuttack. The same year, he introduced Khan to two Pakistani associates of Masood Azhar.

Khan later came to know through newspaper reports that Saleem and the Pakistani terrorists had been killed in an encounter with the Uttar Pradesh’s Special Task Force in Lucknow on April 18, 2001. When his name cropped up in the probe, prompting the U.P. police to enquire about him in Deoband, he went underground.

A double doctorate in Arabic and Hadith and proficient in six languages, Khan was on the run. He kept shifting base: from Kendrapara and Cuttack in Odisha to Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Bengaluru.{Unfortunately, Bengaluru has become a hub for these Islamist jihadi terrorists} The police went after his brother Tahir Ali Khan, who was arrested, then released on bail, again arrested in the 2002 Kolkata’s American Center attack case, and then acquitted.

In 2007, Khan returned home to attend to his old mother and took up a teaching job. He also started a madrasa. He disclosed that during a visit to Bengaluru in 2009, he came in contact with Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, a cousin of the 2007 Glasgow international airport attack mastermind Kafeel Ahmed.

In 2010-11, the doctor {ie.Dr. Sabeel Ahmed} moved to Saudi Arabia and Khan followed suit in October 2012. He was received by Arshiyaan, a friend, at whose house he again met Dr. Ahmed. They told him that they worked for the Al-Qaeda and the LeT and that they wanted him to recruit unemployed Indian youths on the pretext of getting them jobs in Saudi Arabia, according to police records.

We already knew that Al Qaeda and LeT were close to each other. It flowed from the AFghan Jihad and the the proximity between Abdullah Azzam, the mentor of Osama bin Laden, and Hafeez Saeed. Later, Osama largely funded the establishment of the Muridke complex. Same goes with JeM. Maulana Masood Azhar was a close friend of Osama from his Sudan days.

Folks, now, it is very clear from the above that the AQIS & LeT are working in very close coordination.

From the above, the following are evident:
  • The recruiter in Bengaluru, Maulana Anzar Shah is recruting for both.
  • The LeT gives arms training to AQIS recruits in Muzzafarabad in an LeT camp. Since it is Muzzafarabad, the training must be either the one-month Daura-e-Aam or the next advanced level Daura-e-Khas which is a three month course at the Umm-al-Quera training site. LeT's Sajid Mir, being involved in this, is a dead giveaway of the nexus between LeT & AQIS. Sajid Mir is the Head for Transnational Operations within LeT. On August 30, 2012, the US Department of Treasury placed sanctions on him for being the ‘project manager’ for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks as well as for recruiting four “operatives” in the US state of Virginia in the 2000s.
  • The AQIS recruits meet Lashkar leader Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi in a Rawalpindi jail and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed in Lahore. Incidentally, this also confirms the 'privileges' enjoyed by Lakhvi in jail who also fathered a child while being imprisoned.
  • The timeframe of this AQIS recruit undergoing training in LeT camps and meeting with top leaders of LeT, namely August-September 2014, coincides with the announcement of AQIS by Zawahiri on September 3, 2014.
  • The Glasgow International Airport bomber's brother confirmed that he worked for AQ & LeT in c. 2012. That confirms the close collaboration which we know even otherwise. LeT safe houses were provided to Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, Abu Zubaydah for example. Headley's confessions further establish the proximity as also several terror incidents all over the world.

This confirms, IMHO, the suspicion that AQIS is a creation of the ISI to forge a single unit, use LeT terrorists but blame the faceless, trans-national AQIS, and thus protect the LeT. Since LeT & JeM have collaborated in many terror attacks and are both under ISI control, the AQIS is a combination of certain AQ remnants, LeT, JeM, and Indian Mujahideen.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 21:10
by ramana
SS, If we want to create a database of AQIS what fields should one populate? I am thinking designated volunteers update a database in google docs with this info. Too many Abu this and that.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Mar 2016 14:42
by SSridhar
ramana, saw your query just now. The Abu, Ibn, Bin are confusing in all Islamist jihadi organizations. Countrywise, nationalitywise classification might help.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Mar 2016 14:51
by SSridhar
Posting the following here because it is too significant and too close to comfort.

Yemen conflict: Al-Qaida ‘used surface-to-air missile’ to bring down Emirati fighter jet - ToI
Al-Qaida has acquired sophisticated surface-to-air missiles, The Independent has learned, which were used to shoot down an Emirati fighter jet in a dangerous escalation of the civil war raging in Yemen.

A French-made Mirage jet, flying in the air force of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), crashed into a mountain side just outside the southern port city of Aden on 14 March. Authorities claimed that the crash was "the result of a technical malfunction", but sources dispute this, claiming that the jet was shot down with Russian munitions. The incident raises the spectre of other jihadist branches accessing sophisticated surface-to-air missiles in Syria, Iraq and further afield.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition that has carried out a year-long war against Shia Houthi rebels, primarily from the air. Also involved in the war is al-Qaida's regional affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). With the bombing war dragging on, AQAP has worked assiduously and quietly to consolidate its hold in south Yemen.

Two pilots flying the jet were killed in the crash and locals reported seeing Apache helicopters and the jet engaged in an attack on AQAP forces dug into a district to the west of Aden. Security sources have estimated that some 300 jihadist fighters were under attack at the time the jet came down.

A source in Yemen told The Independent that the surface-to-air missile was a Russian-manufactured SA-7 or "Strela". The SA-7 is a shoulder held heat-seeking missile. It has a "kill zone" range of between 15 and 1,500 metres in altitude, suggesting that the Mirage was flying low in a strafing run on the AQAP positions when it was hit.

The SA-7 has been around for several decades. The most likely source is Bulgaria which, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, sold Russian military hardware, including the SA-7, to countries alll over the Middle East.

The incident was the fourth time a coalition jet had crashed in the Yemen campaign, but the first in which a surface-to-air missile was used.

In late December an American-made F-16, part of Bahrain's air force, came down in Saudi Arabia. The pilot ejected and survived in what appeared to be a crash related to a technical problem.

In May of last year, a Moroccan pilot died when his F-16 crashed in the north Yemen governorate of Saada. The Houthis claimed at the time that the jet was flying low and was hit by anti-aircraft guns positioned in the mountains. Coalition authorities said technical problems caused the crash.

The third plane, a Saudi F-15, came down in international waters in the Gulf of Aden at the start of the war, with officials citing mechanical issues.

A second source, who has close links with the Saudi intelligence service, said that the missile which brought down the Emirati jet this month was acquired by AQAP in raids on military bases that have occurred over the past year.

"Al Qaida has confiscated huge amounts of weapons from bases in Yemen," he said. He cited two such bases, one at al-Aryan along the southern coast east of Aden and another at Ataq, the capital of the southern governorate of Shabwah.

Using alliances with local tribes, al-Qaida now controls the oil rich governorate of Hadhramaut together with the coastal city of Mukalla. Shabwah lies to the west of Hadhramaut and it too is largely controlled by AQAP and its tribal affiliates. "Al-Qaida are smarter than Islamic State [Isis]," the source said. "They speak with the tribal elders, they co-opt people, get them on their side. Islamic State uses fear and coercion. It's flashy and seeks a lot of attention but al-Qaida is laying low and playing the long game."

The source also said that what he called "co-operative army officers" were making it easy for the jihadists to get weapons, many of them supplied by the Americans to the Yemeni army during the presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Mr Saleh who ruled Yemen with an iron hand for several decades was forced out in 2012 in the wake of popular protests.

The source claimed that soldiers loyal to Mr Saleh, who is allied to the Houthis, as well as soldiers supporting the current Saudi backed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi are selling arms to AQAP. "They are getting the weapons from both sides," the source said.

The growing strength of AQAP - which has made significant territorial gains while the Saudi coalition attempts to quell the Houthi uprising, thus far with little success - is causing consternation in Washington. The Americans, who backed the bombing campaign and have provided logistical support, are increasingly worried that in the last year al-Qaida has secured much of south Yemen as a significant operational base, one with substantial oil revenue potential.

Now, as signs grow that AQAP is becoming increasingly entrenched and much better armed, American support for the Yemen war is waning quickly. News that a ceasefire has been called for 10 April with peace talks commencing a week later in Kuwait was greeted with a sigh of relief in Washington.

But the quiet and steady rise of AQAP in south Yemen has left America and the region facing a significant new threat as it struggles to subdue Isis in Syria and Iraq.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 09 Apr 2016 12:33
by SSridhar
Bangladesh al-Qaida says it had secular student killed - ToI
A banned Islamist group in Bangladesh tied to the al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent has claimed responsibility for the killing of a student opponent of radical Islam.

The killing of 28-year-old Nazimuddin Samad on Wednesday night follows a string of similar attacks last year, when at least five secular bloggers and publishers were killed allegedly by radical Islamists.

According to SITE Intelligence monitoring group, Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladesh division of al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, or AQIS, said in a statement posted online on Friday that its members carried out the attack in "vengeance." It said that Samad "abused'' God, the Prophet Muhammad, and Islam.

It cited three examples from Samad's Facebook page without giving the text of his posts.

"This operation was conducted to teach a lesson to the blasphemers of this land whose poisonous tongues are constantly abusing Allah, the religion of Islam and the Messenger under the pretext of so-called freedom of speech,'' the statement said. It could not be verified independently.

Bangladeshi police declined to comment about the statement Saturday, but said they were investigating.

Three motorcycle-riding assailants hacked and shot to death Samad when he was walking with a friend after finishing his law class at a state-run university in Dhaka.

Investigators said Samad was apparently targeted for his outspoken atheism in the Muslim-majority country, and for supporting a 2013 movement to demand capital punishment for war crimes involving the independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 02 Jun 2016 11:20
by SSridhar
Al-Qaeda asks jihadists to spare women, children - Vijaita Singh, The Hindu
After an Islamic State (IS) propaganda video featuring six Indians surfaced a fortnight ago, the Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which is headed by an Indian, has released a 26-minute audio message “cautioning fighters against harming innocent Muslims.”

Asim Umar, the head of AQIS identified by security agencies as Sanaullah Haq from Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh and said to be based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region has said in this Urdu post that “targeting innocent Muslims as well women and children of the enemy, contradicts Islamic Shariah, and will prevent the fighter who perpetrates such an act from attaining the rewards of jihad.”

The audio message comes close on the heels of the IS video released on May 19. The 22-minute, Arabic-subtitled video “The Land of Hind Between Pain and Hope,” which featured six Indians was first released by the IS’ al-Barakah Province, its division for al-Hasakah in Homs, Syria on May 15.

Posted in Urdu

The audio message of AQIS, “Without Shariah, War is Mere Strife” was posted by Umar in Urdu, with Arabic, English and Bengali subtitles.

The message said that it had been produced by the As-Sahab Media Foundation.
AQIS was created in 2014 under the umbrella of Al-Qaeda and it aims at recruitment of people from the Indian subcontinent.

A top intelligence official told The Hindu that the audio message as well as the timing of its release was “intriguing.”

Who is the audience?

“AQIS has no traction among Indians. Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri has also said something similar in the past about alienating the masses through such mindless killings. In India, we do not have fighters as such. Who is the target audience then? It might be of some appeal to neighbouring Bangladesh as there have been killings of gay activists, Hindu priests and liberal bloggers there and AQIS has claimed responsibility,” the intelligence official said.

Under verification

Another official said the authenticity of the audio message was being looked into.

“It could be the work of an agent from an intelligence agency across the border. May be the Pakistan ISI is trying to do this under the AQIS garb,” said the official. {That is most likely the case. I have always felt that AQIS is nothing but a combo of ISI, AQ et al}

“Along with the speech of Asim Umar, AQIS released an audio speech from its spokesman, Usama Mahmoud, condemning both the January 2016 attack at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, and the December 2015 bombing at the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office in Mardan,” the SITE Intelligence Group, an American NGO said.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 04 Jun 2016 17:59
by SSridhar
X-Post from STFU-TSP thread

Falijee wrote:An offshoot of a-inl-Qaeda is regrouping in Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan — Five years after most senior al-Qaeda leaders are thought to have fled this port city, officials in Karachi worry that the organization is regrouping and finding new support here and in neighboring Afghanistan. They are especially concerned about the recruitment of potential foot soldiers for the next major terrorist attack.

The resurgence has been managed by a South Asian offshoot called al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), created by al-Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in 2014 in order to slow advances by rival Islamic State militants in the region.

Initially, AQIS struggled to gain traction in Pakistan — it has been the principal target of President Obama’s drone-strike strategy in the country’s northwestern tribal belt. But AQIS is now finding its footing in southern Pakistan, powered by fresh recruits and budding alliances with other militant organizations.

“They are making a comeback of sorts,” said Saifullah Mehsud, executive director of the FATA Research Center, which monitors militant groups. “But it’s a different, more localized al-Qaeda.”

After the fall of Afghanistan’s Taliban government in 2001, many al-Qaeda leaders spilled into northwest Pakistan or attempted to blend in in Karachi, a bustling city of more than 20 million residents. A significant number of those core leaders were eventually killed or captured, or fled to the Middle East, officials said.

But the formation of AQIS is again allowing al-Qaeda to tap into Karachi’s wealth and network of madrassas in search of recruits and technical expertise — and sparking deadly clashes with Pakistani security forces.

“The core al-Qaeda, the thinkers and planners, are not coming to the front right now, but they are giving directions, and . . . the local boys are going in big numbers,” said one counterterrorism official in Karachi
who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

While Pakistani officials remain confident that al-Qaeda probably can’t pull off another 9/11-style attack on the United States, there is concern that the group is, as one official put it, “planning something big.” The official added that it is unclear, however, whether such an attack would be aimed at Pakistan, another country in South Asia or the West.

Those concerns mirror assessments from U.S. commanders in Afghanistan, where there are also signs that elements of al-Qaeda are trying to come together. A 30-square-mile training camp was discovered in Kandahar province in October, and last month U.S. and Afghan special operations forces freed a kidnapped Pakistani from an al-Qaeda-linked camp in Paktia province.

“They are looking to nestle in with the Taliban so they have some level of sanctuary,” said Brig. Gen. Charles H. Cleveland, chief spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. “Ultimately, what we think al-Qaeda gets out of this relationship is, if the Taliban can provide them some ungoverned space, that allows al-Qaeda space to really conduct their global operations.” {Same as before in the days of Mullah Omar & OBL}

In Pakistan, officials say al-Qaeda is also re-adapting through enhanced alliances with established militant groups, including the Sunni-dominated Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian group that had been focused on attacking Shiite Muslims.

The coordination comes as Pakistan’s military has stepped up its operations against various militant groups, prompting them to seek out support from al-Qaeda “for survival,” said one Pakistani law enforcement official who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

But officials say that the threat from al-Qaeda extends far beyond Sunni militant groups rebranding themselves. Instead, they say, al-Qaeda is finding new recruits from some unlikely Karachi neighborhoods.

Although ethnic Pashtuns and foreign fighters have historically formed the backbone of al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, some ethnic Bengalis and other Urdu-speaking Mohajirs — Muslims who migrated to Pakistan from India after the 1947 partition — are also being lured into the group, officials said.

“They are not into this factional fighting, or fighting with other sects or Shiites, but they will go for enforcement of sharia law overall” and be drawn to al-Qaeda sermons against the West, the official said.

Counterterrorism officials in Karachi have a list of several hundred active al-Qaeda members, which makes them assume there are at least a few thousand on the streets.

In Karachi, AQIS has divided itself into three operational segments — recruitment, financial and tactical — made up of four-to-six-person cells.

The recruitment cells work in madrassas and schools, casually preaching Islam before targeting certain students for potential recruitment, officials said.

“Nobody may even know it’s al-Qaeda operating,” said Saad Khan, a retired Pakistani intelligence officer.

Cells solicit local businesses for donations, often under the guise of supporting Islamic charities, officials said. Officials have no estimates for how much money al-Qaeda raises from relatively wealthy Karachi but said that militants are often found carrying hundreds of dollars in cash.

“They are being told they don’t need to do any job and they don’t need to indulge in petty crimes,” the counterterrorism official said. “But they are told they have to remain very discreet.”

Although such discretion complicates the work of counterterrorism officials, they think that the Karachi cells are just spokes in a broader operation centered near Pakistan’s southwestern border with Afghanistan or Iran.

From Karachi, AQIS tactical cells ferry money and messages to that general area, often moving through Quetta, which is also where part of the Afghan Taliban leadership resides, officials said. From Quetta, militants cross the border into Afghanistan but appear to have little knowledge about al-Qaeda’s broader ambitions or tactics in the region, intelligence officials said.

“The people we come into contact with say they go to Afghanistan but are put into a small corner and remain there and can’t go out,” the Pakistani counterterrorism official said. “Then they get direction from there, from another Pakistani, and return.”

In Pakistan, officials said AQIS has been linked to just one major attempted terrorist attack — an effort two years ago to hijack a Pakistani navy vessel from the port of Karachi.

The attack was foiled, but five Pakistani navy officers were convicted of helping to orchestrate the operation, according to media reports.

AQIS militants have also been linked to several recent police killings in Karachi. Officials say they are targeted revenge attacks or the early stages of a larger plot to try to weaken the morale of security forces.

“What still makes al-Qaeda different and more dangerous from other militant groups is a disciplined management system,” said Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Peshawar-based expert on militants. “Another dangerous thing is they are always looking to penetrate into the armed forces looking for sympathy.”

U.S. intelligence officials have worried for years about potential links between al-Qaeda and rogue Pakistani military officials. That Osama bin Laden was found hiding near a Pakistan military training academy did little to allay their suspicions.

Pakistani security and intelligence agencies, however, seem to have no tolerance for the modern-day al-Qaeda. :rotfl: “We don’t go for arrests,” the counterterrorism official said. “We just search through their computer, their things, and then neutralize them.”

Last month, police in Pakistan’s Punjab province reported killing 14 al-Qaeda militants, including the group’s leader there, over two days in “encounters” with police. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that the suspects had been in police custody for four months before they died.

Saad Muhammad, a retired Pakistani general, said Pakistan’s military is determined not to allow AQIS to jeopardize its recent gains against Islamist militant groups.

“You can’t say they will be totally naked, but they will not be able to gain strength in any significant way,” Muhammad said.

But Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, a retired Pakistani army colonel and sitting senator, said the real concern remains how a city such as Karachi fits into al-Qaeda’s broader global ambitions. The answer to that, he said, remains murky.

“Al-Qaeda is just an umbrella, and the top of the pyramid is what is controlling and enduring,” he said. “They don’t have to put much effort into Pakistan because all they have to do is pick up all these existing, bloodthirsty splinter organizations and they have a ready-made killing machine.”

Nisar Mehdi in Karachi, Aamir Iqbal in Peshawar and Antonio Olivo in Kabul contributed to this report.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 11 Jun 2016 16:12
by SSridhar
Terror suspect was asked to set up JuD in India: police - Subhomoy Sikdar, The Hindu
Investigators probing the alleged network set up by the terror outfit, al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), in the country have said that one of its members had met 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafeez Saeed in Lahore last year.

The police had claimed to have busted the module last December and the charge sheet in the case was filed at Patiala House court here on Thursday.

An investigator told The Hindu that Abdul Rehman, who was a teacher at a madrasa in Odisha’s Cuttack prior to his arrest on December 17 last year, had met both Saeed and another key Lashkar figure Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhwi while on an illegal visit to Pakistan in the early part of 2015.

“Two other AQIS members Farhatullah Gauri and Rashid had taken Rehman to Rawalpindi jail where he met Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhwi, the chief of Lashker-e-Taiba’s armed wing. During his discussions, Lakhwi mooted the idea that since Abdul Rehman is a religious preacher, he should create an organisation like JuD in India and invite more Muslims to take part in jihad,” said the Delhi Police Special Cell source.

He said all monetary assistance was promised by Lakhwi who also asked Rehman to stay in touch with Sajid Mir alias Kasim, another key figure behind the Mumbai attacks.

“Lakhwi also enquired about the conditions of Muslims in India, including those in Muzaffarnagar in western U.P., which had witnessed communal riots in 2013 and motivated him to lead jihad against the Indian government and State. Nearly Rs. 10 lakh were received by Rehman till we arrested him,” said the source.

Lahore meet

The officer said that while much was not known about what transpired at the meeting between Rehman and Hafiz Saeed, it took place in Lahore less than a week after his meeting with Lakhwi.

“He had not disclosed much but we suspect that Saeed too had asked him to work on setting up a JuD-like organisation in India,” the source said.

In its submission to the court, the prosecution has cited these disclosures to claim that the AQIS has a close nexus with the ISI, Pakistan, and the terrorists of this outfit are being given safe gateway for terrorist training in Pakistan. {Spot on. I have always claimed ever since it was announced that AQIS was a creation of the ISI and it also included the pro-sarkari terror tanzeems such as LeT & JeM. See my earlier post here.}

Charge sheet

In the charge sheet filed before additional sessions judge Reetesh Singh, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police charged all the accused — five arrested and 12 absconding — for alleged offences under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Besides Rehman, the other four arrested are Mohd. Asif, Zafar Masood, Syed Anzar Shah and Abdul Sami. While Sambhal resident Asif is the India head of the module, the list of absconders includes Sanaul Haq, who is the chief of the AQIS.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 12 Jun 2016 15:20
by SSridhar
Al-Qaeda leader pledges allegiance to new Taliban leader - DT
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, in an online audio message, pledged allegiance to the new head of the Afghan Taliban, who was appointed last month after his predecessor was killed in a US drone strike.

The militant became Al-Qaeda's leader after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011, and he is thought to be hiding in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, having been based there since the late 1990s.

"As leader of the Al-Qaeda, I extend my pledge of allegiance once again, the approach of Osama to invite the Muslim nation to support the Islamic Emirate," al-Zawahri said in a 14 minute recording.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 12 Jun 2016 20:23
by schinnas
This might makes it difficult for Pakis to negotiate with US through their current Taliban puppet. This also indicates the level of control ISI has over Al-Qaeda. It would be difficult for US politicians to defend negotiating with and giving concessions to a Taliban leader who is closely and publicly associated with Zawahri (who is the most visible and notoriously anti-US AQ leader after bin Laden). Until Zawahri is taken out, US would be probably consider Al-Qaeda to be a material threat to US interests.

The real motivation for this is not clear. It could be a combination of multiple things. Fear of ISIS gaining ground in Afghanistan should scare both AQ and Taliban. However, if ISI indeed negotiated this alliance, they probably miscalculated badly.

I look forward to the new Talib leader and this Zawahri fellow both meeting their 72 thanks to a drone attack.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 03 Nov 2016 13:52
by SSridhar
Blast: clues may lie in electronic components - G.Anand, The Hindu
The Kerala police believe that clues about the origin of the “pressure cooker” bomb that exploded on the compound of the collectorate in Malappuram on Wednesday may lie in its electronic components.

Investigators said the “homemade bomb” was fashioned from an “ordinary kitchen device.” It contained a “low grade mix of explosives in powder form,” batteries for power and a detonator “linked to a circuit board.”

The bomb used “a delayed fuse mechanism.” Its circuit board was sourced from a neighbouring State. An effort was on to identify the persons who routinely bought such electronic components in the urban locality in a bid to zero in on the accused.

Kollam blast

The “improvised explosive device (IED)” closely resembled the one that exploded on the premises of the collectorate in Kollam in June except that the charge was contained in a multi-tier steel tiffin box. The devices lacked sophistication. The bomb maker could have downloaded instructions from the Internet.

M.R. Ajith Kumar, Inspector General of Police, Thrissur range, told The Hindu that comparable devices had been used to trigger non-lethal explosions on the premises of at least six civic stations or courts in south India in the recent past. So far, no group or person has been held accountable for the blasts. Indications were that the detonations were the handiwork of the same group. The motive of the group and its political nature was still a matter of conjecture. It could be a “pan-south Indian group or one with a national presence.”

The State police viewed the detonation of anonymously planted pressure cooker bombs as “portentous.” They were mindful that similar devices had been used with lethal effect during the Boston Marathon in the U.S. in 2013, the Mumbai train blasts in 2006, the Varanasi blasts in 2006, and Sarojini Colony blasts in New Delhi in 2005. Officials said all were proven cases of Islamic terrorism. Investigators said they were viewing “Base Movement,” {Al-Qaeda means 'the Base' anyway} the shadowy organisation that has claimed responsibility for the blast, through the prism of global terrorism.

They found a package with a pen drive that reportedly contained ominous warnings of future attacks and a picture of Al-Queda leader Osama bin Laden.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 20:14
by SSridhar
X-post from Internal Security thread

NIA arrests 3 al-Qaida suspects; police say they were planning to attack PM Narendra Modi - PTI
In raids in several places in the city [Madurai], three suspected al-Qaida operatives were on Monday arrested by the National Investigation Agency.

Police said the three allegedly planned to attack 22 top leaders of the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

They were allegedly involved in threatening embassies of various countries in India, they said.

Those arrested were identified as M Khareem, Asif Sultan Mohammed and Abbas Ali. While Khareem was arrested from Usmannagar, Asif Sultan Mohammed was picked up from G R Nagar and Abbas Ali from Ismailpuram, police said.

Explosive materials were also seized from them.

Police said NIA raided several places on specific information that suspected al-Qaida activists were operating from South Tamil Nadu in and around Madurai.

"Explosive materials and arms have been seized from them," police said, declining to elaborate.

The trio was allegedly running the al-Qaida unit in South Tamil Nadu. They were also allegedly involved in the explosions that took place in various courts in the country over a period of time, police added.

NIA were also searching for two other suspected Al-Qaeda operatives, Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman, they said.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 22:29
by ramana
SSridhar, Could these TN AlQ module be a cover for ISI operations run from Sri Lanka?
Are there pictures for Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman?

Pzr Cooker bombs were an ISI handiwork in Hyderabad.


rsingh wrote:It seems NIA has arrested few unwashed abduls who were working for Al -Kida. Somebody who is known as "Hakeem" is missing :rotfl: :rotfl:

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 01:28
by SaiK
Police said they were interrogating the man and refused to divulge further details.

Man arrested after trying to sneak into high security ISRO complex ... ex-2277604

Re: Sri Lanka - Tamil Nadu Connection

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 18:36
by SSridhar
ramana wrote:SSridhar, Could these TN AlQ module be a cover for ISI operations run from Sri Lanka?
Are there pictures for Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman?

Pzr Cooker bombs were an ISI handiwork in Hyderabad.

ramana, it is too early to say, IMHO. My reasoning is as follows:

There were several arrests in TN of ISI-sponsored spies. In September 2012, Thameem Ansari of Tiruchy was nabbed in connection with espionage activities for Pakistan's ISI. Pakistani diplomat in Colombo Amir Zubair Siddiqui was his handler. In April 2013, another suspected Pakistan spy Mohammed Sakir Hussain, a Lankan Muslim, was arrested by TN police. He was the first ISI Lankan spy to be arrested. A month after his arrest, his accomplice and another Lankan ISI spy, Mohammed Hussain Suleman Hussain, was arrested, but in Malaysia. The two were planning to send two Maldivian nationals to India to target US and Israeli consulates in Chennai and Bangalore. Then, Arun Selvarajan, another ISI operative and Lankan native was arrested in September 2014 in Chennai. The arrest of Arun Selvarajan was a big blow. He had not only recceed Kalpakkam for the ISI but had also been recruiting others. He was also an LTTE operative. The Q branch of TN Police (which was setup to handle Naxals in the 70s and which exclusively handles all terrorism-related issues in the State) had recovered pictures of US and Israeli consulates from him. Officials said the pictures had been mailed to his handlers in Pakistan and its Colombo high commission. Cyber signatures showed the pictures were downloaded in a computer within the premises of the high commission in Colombo and India shared that info with the Lankan authorities putting pressure on them to act. Now, under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, Lankan authorities were asked to share their probe details. Confronted with incontrovertible proof, Sri Lanka demanded Pakistan to withdraw Amir Zubair Siddiqui in 2014, which was complied with by GoP. Since then, there is a lull in the Lankan route. I only hope that this is a real lull and not because we are unable to catch them. Gotabaya Rajapakse, brother of then SL President Mahinda Rajapakse, was pressurized by India to take action against the LeT and something seems to have been done. High-quality FICN (which means these are printed at Peshawar & Malir, Karachi Government Presses) continue to flow into TN through Colombo. But, it is not as serious as through Nepal & Bangladesh.

SL itself has become a target for LeT and AQIS (which means ISI). Under the guise of providing tsunami relief, LeT’s Khidmat-e-Khalq entered into Maldives and Sri Lanka in c. 2005. In June 2009, the Delhi Police arrested Mohammed Omar Madani, a Bihari, and an LeT member who was recruiting Kashmiris, Naxals & Sri Lankan Muslims for LeT operations. There are reports of LeT training camps in SL though SL had denied these allegations. But, we know that one of the German Bakery bombers underwent training at an LeT camp near Colombo. The arrest of LTTE cadre Arun Selvarajan in Chennai (above) shows possible complicity between LTTE & LeT/ISI.

Now, to the AQIS. It has been my theory that AQIS is a PA creation and that PA fears IS. I also contend that AQIS and LeT are one and the same. The ISI changed its strategy after 26/11 and uses the faceless, transnational AQIS to conduct operations in all parts of India (except J&K) and use LeT / JeM exclusively for J&K operations where LeT can 'legitimately' claim that such operations are allowed because of the 'disputed nature' of the State.

The arrested Madurai terrorists who call themselves 'Base Movement' (an English translation of Al Qaeda) have said that they detest IS (see The Hindu report below) and are followers of OBL. If this is true, there is likelihood of support from ISI. However, their bomb attacks so far have been crude and ineffective. Very amateurish indeed. Their bombmaker is on the run and when nabbed, we will have more details.

To me, it looks more like remnants of SIMI, Al-Umma who have been behind the brainwashing and organization of this Base Movement.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 18:47
by SSridhar
Base Movement backs al-Qaeda, says suspect nabbed in Madurai - Vijaita Singh, The Hindu
One of the members of the Base Movement, a home grown terror outfit, who were arrested from Madurai on Sunday night for allegedly carrying out low intensity explosions at five judicial courts in south India has told interrogators that they were against the ‘barbaric practices propagated by the Islamic State (IS)’ and believed that al-Qaeda ideology was the only way to ‘Islamise’ the country.

A senior Home Ministry official told The Hindu that the module wanted to register its presence and at a time when there was a huge traction towards IS, the Syria-Iraq-based outfit, the accused said they wanted to follow the al-Qaeda pattern.

‘Aim was to spread fear’

As reported by The Hindu , the accused told the investigators that their aim was not to kill but only spread fear.

The official said that this is the reason that the explosive devices planted by them were of low intensity, devoid of shrapnel and were placed in such locations so as to cause no casualty.

The official said the group’s leader was Dawood Suleiman (23), a software engineer and a resident of Madurai.

The other four accused — N. Abbas Ali (27), M. Samsun Kareem Raja (23), M. Ayub Ali (25) and Samsudeen — are also residents of Madurai and they met at a local mosque.

“This group has nothing to do with the al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the Indian arm of al-Qaeda that was created in 2013. They were only inspired by the terrorist outfit,” said the official.

One of the other accused, Shamsudeen who was arrested on Tuesday was earlier associated with Al Ummah, another defunct terror group in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. He was arrested in 2013.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 18:48
by SSridhar
SaiK wrote:Police said they were interrogating the man and refused to divulge further details.

Man arrested after trying to sneak into high security ISRO complex ... ex-2277604

It looks like he was trying to steal copper wire.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 19:39
by SSridhar
A home-grown movement inspired by al-Qaeda - The Hindu
The aim of the ‘Base Movement’, a home-grown terror outfit, is to ‘Islamise’ the country.

When was the Base Movement formed?

It was on January 26, 2014 that N. Abbas Ali (27), a painter in the temple city of Madurai took an oath with his four other friends to establish the ‘Base Movement’ in India, a recently discovered terrorist outfit responsible for explosions at five judicial courts since April this year.

Why was it formed?

Their aim was to ‘Islamise’ the country and since they were against the barbaric practices of “Islamic State,” falling back on Al-Qaeda was the natural choice.

A senior Home Ministry official said till last year the group limited its activities to sending letters to various jails and other district authorities citing grievances against the jail administration but this year onwards they started planting explosives at courts. They were careful enough to not cause many casualties. They wanted to wreak revenge on the courts for the ‘atrocities’ unleashed against Muslims.

Why were they not caught till now?

With each blast they got emboldened, said the official, as security and police agencies were unable to lay their hands on them for nine months. They were careful enough to not use mobile phones or any other form of Internet communication. All the five blasts they carried out was in the vicinity of Madurai. They carried out the first blast on April 7 at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, then at Kollam in Kerala on June 16, at Mysuru in Karnataka on August 1, at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh on September 12 and at Mallapuram in Kerala on November 1.

Who is the chief of the group?

The amir of the group is N. Abbas Ali, a painter who also owns a small library in the name of Dar-ul-Ilm, which primarily stocked religious books, in Nelpettai in the heart of Madurai city. It was here that the five friends took the bayan (oath) pledging their allegiance to the Base Movement, inspired by the Al-Qaeda.

What is the significance of the name of the group?

‘Qaeda’ of ‘Al-Qaeda’ means ‘Base’ in Arabic and the five friends, who were inspired by the global terrorist outfit decided to name their group after that.

How did the accused meet?

Ali and the four other accused persons — S.Suleiman (23), M. Samsum Karim Raja, M. Mohammed Ayub Ali (25) and Karuvayan Samsudeen are all followers of the Salafi sect (puritan form of Islam) and they hit a common ground at a mosque in Madurai.

It was Ali who brainwashed the others to form the group but soon Suleiman, who is a software professional took over the reins. Suleiman used his skills to draft the threat messages against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various foreign countries in a pen drive which was recovered from the blast site in Mallapuram.

There have been no casualties in the blasts carried out by them, why so?

Their objective was not to kill anyone but only spread scare. In three blasts they carried out, they did not put any shrapnel. But in the last two blasts at Mysuru and Mallapuram they improvised and made a powerful bomb that could have caused many deaths. They deliberately placed the bombs in less crowded places like parking lots and toilets. They wanted to register their presence. The bombs were placed by Samsum and Suleiman.

How did they gather explosives and money?

Samsudeen, a local gangster who has cases registered against him, collected the readily available explosives used in firecrackers from local markets. He was also associated with Al Ummah, a defunct terror group in south India. Abbas managed to collect money on the pretext of charity donations from visitors to places of worship.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 04 Dec 2016 18:37
by SSridhar
Base Movement had planned more blasts: police - Hiran Unnikrishnan, The Hindu
The operatives of the Base Movement, an outfit reportedly owing allegiance to al-Qaeda that carried out low-intensity blasts in Kollam and Malappuram, had planned similar blasts at more locations in the State, according to official sources.

The sources said a Kerala Police team, which launched a probe into the outfit’s role in the blasts, received credible information about the underground outfit targeting Central government offices and eminent personalities. The special investigation team, headed by Kochi Deputy Commissioner of Police Arul R.B. Krishna, interrogated the outfit’s operatives in the custody of the National Investigation Agency.

WhatsApp message

The police are verifying whether it was Dawood Sulaiman who sent a WhatsApp message to the Kochi City police on November 1 threatening to target strategically important places and eminent personalities. The message was followed by an international call to the Commissionerate call centre of the Kochi City police six days later. Following this, the wing registered a case and launched a probe.

“Investigations revealed that the number from which the message was sent was non-existent and hence the identity of the person who sent it could not be ascertained. We then approached the Intelligence Bureau and the National Investigation Agency,” said M.P.Dinesh, Commissioner of Police, Kochi. Investigations revealed that the Base Movement possessed over 20 mobile phones and drew on Wi-Fi services in public areas to send threat messages. Besides the Kochi City police, they are believed to have sent similar messages to various other investigating agencies as well.

Meanwhile, the sleuths have found that Abbas Ali was the key man behind the activities of the Base Movement.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 07 Jun 2017 01:19
by ramana
SSridhar wrote:Zakir Musa slams Indian Muslims for not joining jihad, calls them ‘world’s most shameless' - Aarti Tikoo Singh, ToI
Former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa, in his first message as an al-Qaeda operative, released an audio recording on Monday slamming Indian Muslims for not joining Islamic jihad for 'Ghazwa-e-Hind' (the final and last battle for the conquest of India).

Two senior Jammu & Kashmir police officers confirmed it was Musa's voice. Invoking the recent "atrocities" against Muslims in India, Musa reiterated that the war was not just limited to Kashmir. "It's a war between Islam and the infidel," he declared in his first direct address to Indian Muslims in an audio clip shared via Telegram and WhatsApp groups. Against a black al-Qaeda banner, with a world map added along with and two Kalashnikovs rifles emblazoned on two sides, Musa spoke in Kashmiri-accented Urdu.

Recalling the rape of a Muslim woman by a police constable on a running Bijnor-bound train, and multiple instances of lynching of Muslims by cow-vigilantes, Musa shamed Indian Muslims for not standing up for the victims. In a direct address to the survivor, Musa said, "Sister, I am ashamed and very sorry that we could do nothing for you."

In his rant against Indian Muslims, Musa said, "They are the most shameless Muslims in the world. They should be ashamed of calling themselves Muslims. Our sisters are getting abused and dishonoured and Indian Muslims keep screaming that 'Islam is peace'."

"They (Indian Muslims) are the most 'beghairat qaum' (shameless community) who cannot speak up against oppression and injustice. Is this what our Prophet and his 'salafs' (followers) have taught us? They gave their blood during the wars and martyrdom for the honour of our sisters," Musa said.

Referring to the historic Islamic 'Jung-e-Badr', he said, "They were 313 and ruled the world. We are crores now but only as slaves."

Warning Indian Muslims, Musa said, "You still have a chance to stand up and join us. Come forward or it will be too late for you." Show cow vigilantes "the muscle of Islam and Muslim community", he said.

The audio clip was interspersed with various Islamic quotes both in English and Urdu and pictures of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden killed by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

"The fact that the whole world is against one religion shows just how powerful that religion is #Islam (sic)," a background quote read.

The clip carried a background display of al Qaeda's noted motivator and recruiter Imam Anwar al Awlaki (killed in Yemen in 2011) picture and quote, "The end result is that Islam will win."

In an indirect reference to the Hurriyat that has been insisting on resolution of the Kashmir issue under the UN resolutions, Musa said, quoting bin Laden, "If they want to solve our tragedies of today in the United Nations, then they are merely hypocrites who are seeking to deceive Allah and his messenger and the believers. Are not all our tragedies only because of the UN?"

The producer of the audio clip seemed to be some N N Ach whose initials were inscribed at the bottom, implying that Musa and his group are tech-savvy and have resources to create such high-end content.

"We will take revenge of each murder and every atrocity committed against a Muslim and establish Sharia not just in India but across the world," he warned.

He also refuted the claims of some unidentified masked terrorists that they belong to Zakir Musa's group and they helped police to kill Hizbul commander Sabzar Bhat.

The highlighted portions show that this is produced by Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) which is under the control of the ISI.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 06:07
by SSridhar
Al-Qaida, Daesh locked in India turf war - Raj Shekhar, ToI
Shifting its focus to the Indian subcontinent, global terror outfit al-Qaida has said it will target Indian security installations and leaders of Hindu "separatist" organisations.

The outfit has released an elaborate document titled 'Code of conduct for Mujahideen in the subcontinent' detailing its objectives, targets, and do's and don'ts for members.

"All personnel of the military are our targets, whether they be in the war zone or in barracks at their bases. Even the personnel on vacation are not exempted due to their battle against implementation of sharia," the outfit said in the document.

This is an exact reproduction of the text, "Officers are a greater priority than soldiers. The greater is the seniority, greater is our priority to kill him. Those officers of the military who have the blood of our Kashmiri brothers on their hands are our targets," the outfit said.

The document makes several references to Kashmir, and the opening note even refers to a resident of UP's Sambhal, Maulana Asim Umar, UP, as the 'emir' or chief of the so-called al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

Indian intelligence sources said they were keeping a close tab on the development as it comes soon after former Hizbul commander Zakir Musa floated a new outfit and openly acknowledged support from Qaida.

Recently, a DSP was brutally lynched by a mob outside Jamia Mosque in Kashmir. The document accessed by TOI also mentions that hostages should either be traded for a brother, given up for ransom or be killed, besides elaborating on targets in Pakistan, Arakan (Myanmar) and Bangladesh.

Sources said the most worrying part was that the outfit had invited different groups fighting in the subcontinent to pledge their allegiance to what they refer to as the "Islamic emirate of Afghanistan" {This is the classic dilemma for the ISI. In Korani terms it should ideally have been Khorasan, as the IS-K unit calls itself. But, then, it would include Pakistan also!. So, it is 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan'} , and stand up against intelligence agencies and the groups they sponsor.

According to an official dealing in counter terror operations, Qaida is also trying to establish that its objectives and modus operandi are completely different from that of the so-called Islamic State, its arch rival.

"The document mentions that the Mujahideen will not attack common Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists and also not strike places of worship. This is in sharp contrast with ISIS (another abbreviation for IS, also known as Daesh) which has been targeting mosques on priority," the official added.

AQIS, said officials, was the top threat to India at present. Formed by Qaida chief Ayman al Zawahiri and Asim Umar in September 2014, the outfit is backed by Pakistan's secret service ISI and has sleeper cells in various parts of the country, the officials added. {We in BRf stand completely vindicated. That's exactly what we have been saying here that AQIS is a creation of the ISI. See the first two posts of this thread as well as this.}

In December 2015, security agencies, including Delhi's special cell, had busted several sleeper modules of the outfit across the country. Umar Hyderabadi {see this post here for details about him}, Abu Sufiyan, Mohammed Sami and Dr Sabeel, brother of 2007 Glasgow airport bomber Kafeel, have been identified as key members. Farhatullah Ghori, suspected to be responsible for the Gujarat Akshardham attack, has also been listed as an AQIS member.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 10 Aug 2017 11:12
by SSridhar
India brings ‘Al-Qaeda man’ back - Subhomoy Sikdar, The Hindu
In a major breakthrough, Indian agencies on Wednesday succeeded in bringing back alleged al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) fugitive Syed Mohammed Zishan Ali from Saudi Arabia. He was wanted by the Delhi Police Special Cell since last year.

A senior Delhi Police officer confirmed the news to The Hindu late on Wednesday night.

Zishan, a resident of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, operated from Saudi Arabia. He is believed to be married to the sister of Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, a cousin of the 2007 Glasgow international airport (U.K.) attack mastermind Kafeel Ahmed, who had moved from Bengaluru to Saudi Arabia in 2010-11.

The police had secured an arrest warrant against Zishan in June 2016. His name was also mentioned in a charge sheet filed against the alleged AQIS accused persons. Zishan’s brother Syed Mohammed Arshiyan, who was last spotted in Saudi Arabia, is also allegedly has links with international terror outfits. He is also wanted by the Indian agencies.

The police first came to know about the two brothers from AQIS accused and Cuttack-based cleric Abdul Rehman, who was arrested in December 2015 in coordination with the Odisha Police.

During interrogation, Rehman allegedly disclosed that he knew Arshiyan since 2003. He later came in contact with his brother Zishan. The accused disclosed that through Arshiyan, Dr. Ahmed and other Saudi Arabia-based contacts, he had sent some young men to Pakistan for training in terror camps there.

Intelligence agencies had started working on the AQIS module soon after a video by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri surfaced in September 2014. It announced the outfit’s formation. About a year later, the police busted a module involving some residents of Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal and this led to further arrests.

They found that AQIS chief Maulana Asim Umar alias Shaan-ul Haq was also a resident of Deepa Sarai in Sambhal. It is suspected that he had crossed over to Pakistan in 1998.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 12 Aug 2017 16:20
by SSridhar
Some more info on the 'Al Qaeda Man Back from Saudi Arabia'

Glasgow bomber’s kin in net, may reveal Qaida’s India plans - ToI
An alleged member of al-Qaida in Indian subcontinent (AQIS), Syed Mohammed Zeshan Ali, has been arrested by Delhi police upon his arrival here after being deported from Saudi Arabia.

DCP, special cell, Pramod Kushwaha, confimed the arrest of Ali, who hails from Jamshedpur. Ali was radicalised by "freelance radicaliser" Abdur Rehman, and left for Saudi Arabia in 2015. He was arrested later that year. Cops believe the arrest of Zeshan will provide crucial leads about his aides and also about the infiltration and expanse of AQIS in India and neighbouring countries.

In November 2015, an AQIS module was busted and it came to the fore that a man from Sambhal, Asim Umar, had been appointed as outfit's emir. In all, 12 suspects were identified during interrogation. Zeshan is married to the sister of Dr Sabil and Dr Kafeel. Dr Kafeel was a terrorist who blew himself in an attack at Glasgow airport in 2007. Dr Sabil was arrested but released. He too has moved to Riyadh. Zeshan's brother Aasyaan, also wanted in the AQIS case, is believed to have migrated to Syria to fight for the IS.

According to Kushwaha, Zeshan was an integral part of AQIS. In Saudi Arabia, Zeshan got in touch with Lashkar-e-Toiba recruiters and was trying to assemble a team for AQIS by radicalising immigrants {This is the most important point. AQIS is PA/ISI creation, something we have been saying here frequently}. He had two 'covers', one as a mobile phone salesman and other a private job.

Agencies believe Zeshan was closer to Lashkar, and was looking at LeT and Pakistan's ISI for support. Interestingly, Indian agencies believe AQIS is actually run by ISI {Exactly} , with its head Asim Umar said to be in ISI custody. "AQIS is really a wing of LeT, managed entirely by the ISI," said a sleuth.

In 2015, the special cell had arrested one Mohd Asif and recovered three phones, a laptop and other incriminating articles. He claimed he was one of the founding members of AQIS and Indian amir of its recruitment. Later four more cadres of this outfit — Abdur Rehman, Abdul Sami, Syed Anzar Shah and Jaffar Masood — were arrested. Rehman had allegedly met LeT brass, including Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur-Rehman Lakhvi, and planned to launch a group like Jamaat-ud-Dawa in India to recruit terrorists.

Re: Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

Posted: 18 Sep 2017 16:56
by SSridhar
Al-Qaida terror suspect held in Delhi - PTI
A suspected al-Qaida operative has been arrested from east Delhi, police said here today.

Shauman Haq, 27, was arrested near Vikas Marg yesterday following a tip-off by Delhi Police's Special Cell, an official said.

Haq's interrogation is underway and further details are awaited, he added.

Last month, two men with suspected links to the terror outfit were arrested here in two separate cases.

On August 9, the Special Cell had arrested 29-year-old Syed Mohammed Zishan Ali after he was deported from Saudi Arabia.

On August 1, 25-year-old Raja-ul-Ahmed was arrested following a tip-off from the West Bengal Police.