Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Al Qaeda shelter in Afghanistan is dangerous for India; Indian officials worried

New Delhi : Ayman al-Zawahiri’s death could be a major blow to al-Qaeda supporters and allied terrorist organizations in India, Indian officials said on Tuesday. However, India has expressed its concern over the Taliban government in Afghanistan giving shelter to Zawahiri in Kabul, saying that it is dangerous for India to have such an India-targeted terrorist organization get safe haven in Afghanistan.

Some Indian diplomatic officials said Zawahiri’s killing was likely to affect the morale of al-Qaeda supporters and activists in India. More recently he was trying to spread Al Qaeda’s presence in India and trying to restructure Al Qaeda’s organizational structure. It may also adversely affect the composition of Al-Qaeda’s regional affiliates in the Indian subcontinent. Zawahiri lived in an elite area of ​​Kabul, revealing close ties between the Taliban and al-Qaeda. These close ties are against Indian interest. The Taliban, which provides shelter to al-Qaeda, threatens to provide similar facilities to Pakistan-based outfits such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which primarily target India.

Additionally, Indian security agencies speculate that the internal conflict within the ‘Taliban’ may intensify after Zawahiri’s death. Because the Haqqani network, which is considered very close to al-Qaeda, could retaliate for providing information about Zawahiri to US authorities. One concern facing India is that if al-Qaeda is disillusioned, its members may join the Islamic State and its regional ally, the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP). Given ISKP’s capability to carry out sophisticated attacks, all further developments should be taken seriously, officials added.

Zawahiri’s successor Saif al-Adl?

Saif al-Adl may succeed Zawahiri as the head of Al Qaeda. He has experience of terrorist attacks. He led the bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya in 1998. The officials also speculated that Saif al-Adal, compared to Zawahiri, would carry out more terrorist attacks to keep al-Qaeda active so as not to attract its members to the Islamic State.

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