Al Qaeda announces India wing, renews loyalty to Taliban chief

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 03, 2014 4:02 PM

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri on Wednesday announced the formation of an Indian branch of his militant group he said would spread Islamic rule and "raise the flag of jihad" across the subcontinent.

In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri also renewed a longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in an apparent snub to the Islamic State armed group challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational Islamist militancy.

Zawahri described the formation of "Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent" as a glad tidings for Muslims "in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujurat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir" and that the new wing would rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.

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(Reporting by William Maclean; Editing by Alison Williams)