Following the death of al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent’s (AQIS) founding leader Asim Umar and several of his associates in September 2019 in Afghanistan, it was believed that the youngest franchise of the international terrorist organization would be in disarray. However, the jihadist franchise seems to have grown in strength, at least in its virtual jihad and dawa (proselytizing) campaigns. In the months following Umar’s death, the long-serving scholar spokesman, Ustadh Usama Mahmoud (a.k.a. Osama Mahmood), has risen to prominence in AQIS.
Almost six years after al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent’s (AQIS) formation as the regional subsidiary of the infamous transnational jihadist group, the organization is reportedly shifting its violent campaign to Kashmir and India. On March 21, in one of its key Urdu language magazines, AQIS claimed that the group would change the title of its long-running publication Nawa-i Afghan Jihad to Nawa-i Gazawatul Hind, signaling the geographical shift, mostly justifying the objectives behind its name and formation.
Of late, al-Qaeda’s South Asia branch has been proactive and forceful in its campaign against India and its neighbors. A “code of conduct,” released by the group in June 2017, signaled an expanded geographical scope by including Afghanistan and Myanmar into its supposed domain of influence and operation, adding to its core focus on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Abstract: Despite government denials, Bangladesh has increasingly become fertile ground for al-Qa`ida and the Islamic State.
TWO ENEMIES ARE BETTER THAN ONE: "Differences between Al-Qaeda and ISIS will be key to their defeat" : JANUARY 4, 2016
Animesh Roul / The Global Intelligence
The so-called Islamic State (IS) has effectively replaced Al Qaeda and its affiliates at the vanguard of the global jihadist movement. Under the leadership of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, the movement remains determined to build upon its powerbase in Iraq and Syria and unite the entire Muslim world under its version of the Islamic Caliphate. In his Ramadan address in October 2014, Baghdadi laid out plans for the expansion of IS networks into what it calls Khorasan – parts of the Indian subcontinent and its near-neighborhood.
Jihadist discourse over the past year has exhorted India's sizeable Muslim population to participate in jihad, either abroad or targeting the Indian state.
Despite Indian nationals' involvement in transnational terrorist plots, and a substantial indigenous insurgent campaign through the late 2000s, Indian Muslims have typically avoided the jihadist call.
Bangladesh faces growing security threats from a range of radical Islamist interests, including entrenched Deobandi militants, newly emergent jihadist groups, and even transnational operations such as Al-Qaeda.