Al-Qaeda Launches India Branch
Zawahri vows to wage jihad across subcontinent
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2014 12:05 AM CDT
Ayman al-Zawahri, head of al-Qaeda, announces the new terror entity.   (AP Photo/Al-Qaida via SITE via APTN)

(Newser) – With an even more brutal group of Islamic extremists capturing the world's attention, is al-Qaeda feeling neglected? In what analysts see as an effort to grab the spotlight from ISIS, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has announced the formation of an Indian branch of the terror network that will "raise the flag of jihad" across the region, reports Al Jazeera. In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri called the new entity the "fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the mujahedeen in the Indian subcontinent" and vowed to bring Islamic law to the entire region.

Al-Qaeda disowned ISIS early this year, and while Zawahri didn't mention the former affiliate by name, he appeared to be taking swipes at it with comments like "Discord is a curse and torment, and disgrace for the believers and glory for the disbelievers," reports Reuters. Three Indian states with high Muslim populations have been placed on alert, though it's not clear how much of a threat the new entity is. Al-Qaeda "is struggling for its legitimacy in the eyes of the radicalized Muslim world," a top Indian security analyst tells the AP. Osama bin Laden is dead, and al-Qaeda's "entire top leadership, apart from Zawahri and a few others, one by one have been decimated by the American drone attacks," the analyst says.