AQ urges Muslims in India to mount lone wolf attacks
Reuters, Jul 4 2016
NEW DELHI – A regional branch of AQ urged Muslims in India to revolt and carry out lone wolf attacks, Rita Katz’ SITE Monitoring reported, days after ISIS claimed responsibility for Bangladesh’s worst militant attack. The call by AQ in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) follows warnings by security boxtops that the two groups are trying to outdo each other in the region and claim the mantle of global Jihad. An online audio message purportedly from Asim Umar, the head of AQIS, said Indian Muslims must follow the example of youths in Europe and strike against Indian police and senior officials, holding them responsible for communal violence. AQIS said, according to SITE:
Start Jihad with the strength which Allah has already granted you! Kill the senior officers of institutions and administrative departments that provoke these riots (against Muslims in India)! Muslims are present in every part of India. You must use your strength to regain power. Even if you come out carrying merely knives and swords, then history bears witness that the Hindus cannot withstand you!
Since its formation in 2014, AQIS has been trying to incite attacks, but India’s Muslims, who number more than 160 million, have been largely unmoved. Only a handful are known to have tried to join ISIS, according to Indian officials. An Indian interior ministry spokesman said he had seen media reports about the latest warning from AQ, but he had no immediate comment to offer. Security agencies were aware of the matter, he added. Both AQ and ISIS have claimed a series of killings in Bangladesh over the past year, attacking liberals and foreigners. On Friday, militants stormed a restaurant in Dhaka and killed 20 people, most of them foreigners, in an attack claimed by ISIS. Bangladesh’s government has long denied the involvement of foreign Islamist groups in the violence, but some security experts said the restaurant attack undermined that position. Thomas Joscelyn of the Long War Journal said:
I think it demonstrates that competition between AQ and ISIS isn’t necessarily a good thing. ISIS in Bangladesh clearly planned an attack that would outdo AQ in terms of carnage and international attention.