On Wednesday Al Qaeda’s Kashmir cell, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) released a video announcing the successor of Zakir Musa as 30-year-old Hameed Lelhari, a native of Pulwama and member of Islamist organization Jamait-Ahl-e-Hadith. Hours after which the Al Qaeda released a video praising Zakir Musa’s martyrdom.
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An 11-minute video message titled “He fulfilled his promise” was released by the official media wing of AGH, al-Hurr Media, on the day of Eid al-Fitr in Kashmir. In the video that was widely circulated on WhatsApp groups, the group’s spokesperson Abu Ubaida announced Abdul Hameed Lelhari, who served as Zakir Musa’s deputy emir, as the new emir followed by Ghazi Ibrahim Khalid as the deputy emir of AGH group.
Jammu and Kashmir police have confirmed the news, an officer said, “Lelhari has taken over AGH but he is hardly a top terrorist”. However, the police were reportedly clueless about the deputy’s identity and background.
Along with the video, there was also an audio clip where it could be heard that Zakir Musa was trying to convince a Hizbul Mujahideen militant to join AGH. The video also contained a tribute to the former emir.
As reported by ITCT, AL Qaeda’s official as-Sahab Media group released a promotional video titled “Soldiers of Ghazwa-e-Hind” for an upcoming audio tape of Kashmir just hours after the release of AGH’s video.
Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in its 11-minute video eulogized the former emir of AGH Zakir Musa. The AQIS spokesperson, Usama Mahmood, asks the Kashmiri Muslims to embrace Musa’s cause. He even compares Zakir Musa to Osama bin Laden. He also makes a mention of the slain commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani.
The Kashmiri group Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind is supported by the Al Qaeda and is regarded as its branch in Kashmir.
Zakir Musa is the former chief of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind who was killed in May 23 in an encounter in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. In 2017, he had threatened to liberate India from the Hindus. Mainstream media was caught in its effort to whitewash the slain terrorist.