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India on alert as Quaida calls for Jihad

India on alert as Quaida calls for Jihad
Highlights

In the wake of al Qaeda\'s announcement of the formation of a wing of the militant group in India and its neighbourhood, New Delhi on Thursday ordered several states to be on increased alert.

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-ZawahiriNew Delhi: In the wake of al Qaeda's announcement of the formation of a wing of the militant group in India and its neighbourhood, New Delhi on Thursday ordered several states to be on increased alert.

In a video posted online on Wednesday, al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri promised to spread Islamic rule and "raise the flag of jihad" across the "Indian sub-continent".

Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with the intelligence agencies over the issue. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was present at the meeting.

Afterwards, Singh said the PMO had been briefed on the issue. He added that the authenticity of the video was still to be verified by the Intelligence Bureau. However, a news agency quoted an official, who attended the security briefing in which the video was discussed with the Home Minister, as saying that the government believes it is authentic and has warned local governments. "This matter has been taken very seriously," the official told a news agency. "An alert has been sounded." Zawahiri`s announcement also made two references to Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Notably, over 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, had died in Gujarat riots in 2002 when Modi was the state's chief minister.

Zawahiri described the formation of "Al Qaeda in the Indian sub-continent" as glad tidings for Muslims "in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir" and said the new wing would rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.

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