An explosive video by the al-Qaeda announcing a branch in the Indian subcontinent has sent alarm bells ringing in the capital, with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) issuing 'high alerts' in the states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked for a report on the new video that shows al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri announcing an 'Indian wing' to 'raise the flag of jihad' in the subcontinent. The video was released on Wednesday and has been deemed as 'authentic' prima facie. According to IB sources, the video was shot somewhere in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.
The IB has issued an alert to police stations across the nation, especially in the states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, and has identified five sensitive regions where recuirtments could be done, news channels reported.
The police has also reportedly been instructed to question SIMI members in connection with the threat.
Zawahri, in the 55-minute video retrieved by the SITE Intelligence Group from jihadist forums, said the branch, which he called "Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian subcontinent, would "rescue" Muslims in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat and Kashmir, from "injustice and oppression".
The al-Qaeda supremo has vowed that the new wing will work towards eliminating "artificial borders" dividing the umma (the Muslim nation) across the Indian subcontinent.
The new threat comes just weeks after leaders of the Islamic State had also threatened to target India.
In the recent months, authorities have been concerned about growing radicalisation of Indian Muslim youths across the country, and the news of a Mumbai youth who purportedly joined the Islamic State being killed in Iraq raised concerns of the strong impact of the group on youth.