Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), the Kashmir-based wing of al-Qaeda has issued a statement in which it said that the US peace deal with Taliban and the anti-Hindu Delhi riots have energised the Jihadis in Kashmir.
According to a report by New18, the statement hails: “the glorious times when the crusader’s army in Khorasan have signed the final document of their defeat and in such a hopeful season when Indian Muslims have decided not to bear the atrocity and oppression of Hindu polytheist groups”.
The Kashmir based terrorist organisation in its statement vowed to “free the land of Kashmir from the Hindu polytheists, and will implement the shari’a law”. It also said it would continue fighting until the Masjid-e-Aqsa [in Jerusalem] and Babri Masjid are not free from kuffar [the unbelievers]”.
In its first statement since the Government of India ended Kashmir’s autonomy in August, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind saluted the killing of ethnic-Kashmiri jihadists Jehangir Rafiq Wani Raja Umar Maqbool, Saadat Thokar, last month on the outskirts of Tral in southern Kashmir. “We give glad tidings to the ummah [Muslim nation] of the martyrdom of its sincere and loyal sons”.
It is pertinent to note here that the Anti-Hindu Delhi riots in which the Islamists had run amok engaging in arson, stone-pelting, vandalism, brutal killing of innocent people in the national capital, has left a total of 87 people dead and around 300 people injured with bricks, stones, sticks, and other sharp weapons.
Even though al-Qaeda remains marginal in Kashmir’s jihadist landscape, there have been signs that its influence is growing among a section of young people.
In June last year, 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 Jamiat-Ahl-e-Hadith. Hours after which the Al Qaeda released a video praising Zakir Musa’s martyrdom.
The Kashmiri group Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind is supported by the Al Qaeda and is regarded as its branch in Kashmir.
Zakir Rashid Bhat, an engineering college dropout, had founded al-Qaeda’s Kashmir unit in 2017. In one video, Bhat appeared under the al-Qaeda banner, accusing Indian Muslims of cowardice, and calling on them to engage in jihad against the government.
Then in July 2017, al-Qaeda had announced the formation of the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, saying, “The jihad in Kashmir has reached a stage of awakening as the Muslim nation of Kashmir has committed to carry the flag of jihad to repel the aggression of tyrant Indian invaders”.
Zakir Musa is the former chief of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind who was killed on 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.