The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
A page from the magazine
An editorial in the first issue of English-language magazine launched by Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) warns that the jihad of Afghanistan will not stop with the establishment of a Taliban-led regime in Kabul, but will march onward through India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar (Burma).
The establishment of AQIS was announced by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in early September 2014, and Maulana Asim Umar was appointed its chief.
The magazine Resurgence was published by As-Sahab's South Asia branch and released through jihadi internet forums and social media outlets. As-Sahab is the publishing arm of Al-Qaeda. The magazine contains a series of articles devoted to the situation of Muslims in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar (Burma), and Bangladesh.
The editorial is signed by Hassaan Yusuf, a militant whose background remains unclear. Interestingly, at the end of the letter, he adds "Red Fort, Delhi" as if he is present in Delhi, the capital of India. The editorial notes the purpose behind the launch of Resurgence, saying the magazine "will primarily focus on issues concerning the Muslims of the Subcontinent, besides encouraging Muslims in every corner of the globe to target the arch enemy of Islam and Muslims, the United States."
The following is the text of the editorial:
"Within A Decade Or So [After 9/11], Western Leaders And Intellectuals Obsessed With 'Reforming Islam', 'Building Moderate Muslim Networks,' And 'Drying The Swamps' That Sustain Jihad Are Having A Hard Time Getting Their Heads Around The Revival Of Islam"
"More than a decade has passed since the watershed of 9/11. Thirteen years on, one cannot fail to appreciate the forces of change that were put into motion by this seismic event. While it is true that our struggle did not begin with 9/11 and the roots of our jihad lie much deeper in faith and history, it's still worth reflecting on the course that events have taken since.
"At the brink of a humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Western world finds it expedient today to feign ignorance of all the vain boasts of smoking us out of our 'caves' and bombing us into the stone-age. Within a decade or so, Western leaders and intellectuals obsessed with 'reforming Islam', 'building moderate Muslim networks,' and 'drying the swamps' that sustain jihad are having a hard time getting their heads around the revival of Islam from the farthest corners of the Muslim world in East Asia all the way to the Islamic Maghreb.
"The superficial intellectualism instilled in Western universities will always prove inadequate to comprehend the extraordinary resilience of a faith that flourishes in the face of adversity and inspires people to sacrifice this life for the Hereafter. The West ignored some profound realities when it decided to enter into a seemingly endless confrontation with Islam and Muslims. The Western world did not come to this realization then and lacks the moral courage to accept this even today, that it was not fighting a few hundred men besieged at Toora Bora [in Afghanistan].
"In fact, it wasn't even confronting a billion-odd Muslim Ummah; it was up against none other than the Creator himself. So let the disbelieving world pool all its material resources, build bigger and more powerful alliances to eradicate Islam, and dedicate entire national budgets to fighting the mujahideen, but these attempts to defy the forces of history are bound to fail. 'Indeed those who disbelieve spend their wealth to avert people from the way of Allah. So they shall spend it; then it shall be for them a source of regret; then they will be overcome. And those who have disbelieved-unto Hell they will be gathered.' (Al-Quran, 8:36)"
"This Is Not The Age Of Arab Nationalism, Socialism Or Secular Liberal Ideologies; It Is An Era Of Hope For The Ummah; An Era In Which The Restoration Of The Caliphate And The Liberation Of Al-Aqsa [Jerusalem] Is An Increasingly Plausible Ideal"
"Perhaps the Western world had forgotten that this is not the era of the fall of the Caliphate [1920s]. This is not the century in which the Ummah was divided into hastily carved up nation-states crippled by the death grip of a neo-imperial system. This is not the age of Arab nationalism, socialism or secular liberal ideologies. It is an era of hope for the Ummah; an era in which the restoration of the Caliphate and the liberation of Al-Aqsa [Jerusalem] is an increasingly plausible ideal. It is the era in which the Ummah is transcending artificial boundaries that had divided it. This, indeed, is the century of Islam's revival in all facets of life. Allah, the Glorious, says: 'O you who believe! Answer the call of Allah and His Messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life.' (8:24)
"According to some commentators, such as Ibn-e-Ishaq, one of the meanings of 'that which gives you life' is jihad. In the recent past, a vast swath of the Ummah has responded to the call of Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him). Jihad has led to the resurgence of this Ummah, bringing it back to life after decades of subjugation to its enemies. In the short span of just three decades, two self-proclaimed superpowers have suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of the mujahideen in Afghanistan [the USSR in 1989 and the U.S. in 2014]. For those whose hearts have been blinded by the material advancement of the West, the consecutive defeats of the two most technologically advanced nations in the world (the Soviet Union followed by the United States and its NATO allies) at the hands of the most impoverished people on Earth contain plenty of signs to ponder upon.
"If anything, it is a reminder that the Ummah that created history at [battlefields of] Yarmouk, Qadissiyah, and Hitteen is still capable of repeating the same feats. We have equally strong hope that the jihad in Syria will successfully reach its destination, in spite of the intrigues by the West and its lackeys in the Arab world, the flow of men and money for [Syrian President] Bashar's regime from Iran and its Rafidhi [Shi'ite] allies, and the hurdles created by those who have turned their guns against the mujahideen instead of the Nusairi [Shi'ite] enemy. The success of the Ummah's Jihad in Syria will inshAllah [Allah willing] prove to be no less significant a landmark in the contemporary history of Islam than the defeat of the United States and its allies in Afghanistan.
"With the permission of Allah, the victory of the Ummah there will not merely be a deathblow for the rising tide of Safavid [Iranian] expansionism in the Muslim world, but also a bitter defeat for America, Iran, Russia, China and all those who have fought this war by proxy against Muslims. Above all, it will be a stepping stone towards the liberation of Al-Aqsa [Jerusalem] and the emancipation of our besieged brothers in Gaza and the rest of Palestine."
"This Jihad Will Not End With The Establishment Of The Islamic Emirate In Afghanistan, inshAllah [Allah Willing]; It Is Our Hope That The Blood Of Our Martyrs In Afghanistan And Pakistan Will Pave The Way For The Liberation Of Muslims From Kashmir To Arakan [Myanmar]"
"This wave of jihad that originated in Afghanistan and has spread to Iraq, the Levant, and North Africa is also the ultimate hope of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. It was jihad that brought Islam to the Indian Subcontinent, and it will be jihad again that will overturn the legacy of imperialism from Pakistan to Bangladesh and beyond. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'Allah has saved two groups of my Ummah from the Hellfire: the group that will invade Al-Hind (the Subcontinent) and the group that will be with Eesa (AS), the son of Mariam [i.e. Jesus, the son of Mary].'
"It is also narrated on account of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) promised us the conquest of Al-Hind (the Indian Subcontinent). If I am able to join it, I will spend on it my wealth and my life. If I am killed, I will be the best of martyrs and if I return, I will be Abu Hurairah, the freed one (i.e. from Hellfire).'
"We in Al-Qaeda in the Subcontinent are today fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan to make the Word of Allah supreme. This jihad will not end with the establishment of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, inshAllah [Allah willing]. It is our hope that the blood of our martyrs in Afghanistan and Pakistan will pave the way for the liberation of Muslims from Kashmir to Arakan [Myanmar] and the establishment of the Sharia as the supreme authority throughout the Indian Subcontinent. As an effort to spread the message of Islam and support the revival of jihad, As-Sahab (Subcontinent) has launched Resurgence, a magazine that will primarily focus on issues concerning the Muslims of the Subcontinent, besides encouraging Muslims in every corner of the globe to target the arch enemy of Islam and Muslims, the United States.
"Resurgence is a humble effort to promote a correct understanding of jihad and explain its relevance to contemporary issues facing Muslims. At the same time, it is a call to arms for the youth of a nation that shoulders the responsibility of bringing mankind to the Truth [i.e. Islam]. We believe that the youth of this Ummah – especially the millions of young men and women from Pakistan to Bangladesh – need to do some soul searching and ask themselves this question: Are we really fulfilling our potential or just wasting our energies for the sake of a dull and futile existence dictated by social pressure? Surely, there is more to life than a rat race that only ends with an uneventful departure from this world. So my dear brothers: Let us try to live more meaningful lives that can make a difference to the future of this Ummah. And rest assured, there cannot be a life more purposeful than the life jihad has to offer.
"Red Fort, Delhi
 Resurgence, Issue No. 1, Fall 2014. The original English of the article has been mildly edited for clarity and standardization.