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Qaeda wants to portray Modi as enemy of Islam
Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha said there was a threat from terror groups such as Al Qaeda but the country is ready to tackle such outfits.
Terror group’s new India branch a threat: US
New Delhi/Washington: Al-Qaeda, which has announced the creation of a separate wing for India, wants to portray Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an enemy of Islam and as such India should take its threat "very seriously", a well-known American counter-terror expert said on Friday even as the US tried to downplay the terrorist outfit's capabilities.
"This video, the first from (Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-) Zawahiri this year, should be taken very seriously. Al-Qaeda wants to portray Prime Minister Modi as an enemy of Islam," ex-CIA analyst Bruce Riedel, who is considered to be one of the US' top experts on counter-terrorism, told PTI.
"From its base in Pakistan and with its close links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, al-Qaeda is a dangerous menace to India," Riedel said when asked about the latest video of Zawahiri announcing Al-Qaeda's creation of a new branch for the Indian subcontinent to wage jihad in India, including in Kashmir, Gujarat and Assam with the goal of establishing a caliphate and impose sharia ranging from Afghanistan to Myanmar.
"We do not regard reports of new branch as an indication of new capabilities by al Qaeda, which has long been active throughout the region," Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson of the National Security Council at the White House, said.
Ready to tackle threat: IAF chief
New Delhi: Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha said there was a threat from terror groups such as Al Qaeda but the country is ready to tackle such outfits. "There is a threat perception from such agencies but the nation is prepared for it," he said when asked about Al Qaeda's threat to start operations in India.
He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on the role of Air Force in the 1965 war with Pakistan.
He said that aggression by Pakistan 1965 was committed in 1965 as the neighbouring country thought that India had been weakened by its war with China in 1962.
Raha said that IAF imbibed the lessons from the 1965 war in full earnest, "which resulted in telling successes in the 1971 India-Pakistan war and the 1999 Kargil conflict. "The procedures for Army-Air Force co-operation were revamped, resulting in considerable reduction in response time to emergent demands of the fighting ground forces.
Raha said that the 1999 Kargil conflict threw up the issue of lack of intelligence and that resulted in the effort by the country to have space-based and other intelligence-gathering mechanisms. IAF will continue commemorating the 1965 war through various events over the next one year. The veterans present at the seminar included Wg Cdr JM Nath, who received the Mahavir Chakra (the second-highest gallantry award for bravery in war) twice, along with former Air Chief SP Tyagi, who won a Vayu Sena Medal for his role in the war.