In New Video, Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri Announces Establishment Of 'Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization In South Asia,' Says Its Objective Is 'To Erase The Borders Which Were Drawn By The British To Divide The Muslims Of South Asia'

September 3, 2014

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Ayman Al-Zawahiri appears healthy in the new video

In a new video statement, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri announced the establishment of the "Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization in South Asia" – a new branch of the global terrorist network for the broader South Asian region, to be headed by militant commander Maulana Asim Umar. It should be noted that over the past few years, Maulana Asim Umar, an Urdu-speaking Pakistani militant of scholarly reputation, has issued a series of jihadi videos aimed at attracting Muslims from Kashmir and other parts of India.

In the video, Maulana Asim Umar is referred to as "Emir, Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization in South Asia." Another militant, Usama Mahmood, is named "Spokesman, Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization in South Asia."

The video was released through a jihadi internet forum on September 3, in both the original Arabic and with Urdu voiceover.  As-Sahab, the multimedia broadcasting arm of Al-Qaeda, also released a 17-page PDF document in Urdu of the translation of three speeches in the video, which are:

i) Announcement of Al-Qaeda's New Branch in South Asia – by Sheikh Ayman Al-Zawahiri

ii) Revival of Bai'yah (Oath of Fealty) and Objectives of the (Al-Qaeda) Organization by Usama Mahmood, Spokesman of Al-Qaeda in South Asia

iii) Our Way – Qital (Fighting) by Maulana Asim Umar, Emir of Al-Qaeda in South Asia

This review is prepared from the Urdu version, as officially made available by As-Sahab, the media arm of Al-Qaeda.

Osama Bin Laden Clip: "We Have Embarked On [The Path] To Revive The Map Of The Islamic World 'Til… The Entire World Of Islam Becomes A Single Country Under The Flag Of Caliphate"

The video opens with a clip of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who says: "With Allah's blessings, from today we have embarked on [the path] to revive the map of the Islamic world 'til – by the order of Allah – the entire world of Islam becomes a single country under the flag of Caliphate. And today with Allah's blessings we are writing a pious and bright chapter in the history of the dwellers of [Islamic] faith in such an era when oppression and brutality, unbelief and conflict/mischief, have spread in every direction in the East and the West. So, blessed is the person who is granted steadfastness under the flag of [Islamic] monotheism by Allah."

A video clip of Osama bin Laden is included at the beginning

Soon after Osama bin Laden's video clip ends, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri declares: "To the entire Muslim Ummah and especially the Muslims of South Asia, with the blessings and graciousness of Allah, I convey the good news of the establishment of a new branch of the Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization – 'Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization in South Asia.'" He explains: "This step is an effort for the ascendancy of Islam, re-establishment of Islamic government, and rule of Islamic sharia in the land of South Asia, which was once part of the world of Islam but infidels captured it and divided it into small pieces [e.g. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc.]."

Al-Zawahiri: "This Organization Hasn't Come Into Existence In A Day; Rather, It Is The Outcome Of Pious Efforts Which Have Been Underway For Nearly Two Years, For Uniting Different Jihadi Organizations Of South Asia"

Al-Zawahiri, who appears in good health, notes that the establishment of Al-Qaeda's branch for South Asia did not come about suddenly: "This organization hasn't come into existence in a day. Rather, it is the outcome of pious efforts which have been underway for nearly two years, for uniting different jihadi organizations of South Asia." He clarified that the new jihadi organization will work under the Islamic Emirate, whose Emir is Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban leader. It should be noted here that Mullah Omar is accepted as Emir-ul-Momineen (Leader of the Faithful Muslims) by all Al-Qaeda affiliates. Al-Zawahiri notes that the new group will have the same objectives as those laid down by Osama bin Laden: a) to prepare Muslims for jihad against their enemies, b) to liberate Muslim lands now ruled by non-Muslims and establishment of Islamic rule there, and c) to revive the Islamic caliphate.

Al-Zawahiri lauds the local jihadi leaders who agreed to the formation of the new organization, but doesn't name them. However, he reiterates that the organization will work under Mullah Omar, stating: "In the entire word at this time, the message of jihad under the flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [IEA led by Mullah Omar] has been spreading and expanding continuously…." Noting that Mullah Omar was certain about victory in the face of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Al-Zawahiri quotes a Koranic verse to stress the need for unity among Muslims: "Be united and hold tight Allah's rope (of guidance) and be not divided…." (Chapter Aal Imran, Verse 103).

He also cites similar verses from the Koran to encourage unity among Muslims against the non-Muslims. These include verses 62 and 63 from Chapter Al-Anfal which encourage friendliness among Muslims; verse 29 from Chapter Al-Fatah which says "Muhammad is Allah's prophet and those who are with him are harsh towards infidels but merciful among themselves…"; verse 54 from Chapter Al-Maeda in which Allah warns that if Muslims leave Islam, then he will create people who will love him and will be loved by them; and verses 45 and 46 from Chapter Al-Anfal which urge Muslims to remain steadfast when confronted by a group of infidels, etcetera.

"Therefore, O mujahid brothers, progress towards unity and fraternity! Hold tight Allah's rope by leaving behind internal differences and discord, and stay away from groupism! This organization has been established so that, by uniting with our Muslim brothers in the entire world, to erase the borders which were drawn by the Britishers to divide the Muslims of South Asia. Therefore, the fundamental message of this organization for the inhabitants of South Asia is that they unite based on the [belief in] Islamic monotheism and perform the duty of aiding Islam by walking on the path of dawah [invitation to Islam] and jihad adopted by prophets and pious persons of Allah," Al-Zawahiri says.

"This New Organization Is A Cool Breeze For The Hapless And Weak People Inhabiting Different Regions Of South Asia [Burma, Bangladesh, And India's States Of Assam, Gujarat And Kashmir]"

He continues:"My Muslim brothers living in South Asia and the entire world, the failure of godless democracy will have become clear to you by now – the basic credo of which is that decisions be made on the basis of the majority view; and that the belief in the rule of Islam be abandoned, without which faith [in Islam which] is unacceptable." Here, Al-Zawahiri cites verse number 65 from Chapter Al-Nisa, according to which believers will not be momins (true Muslims) until they accept Allah as the ruler and judge.

Arguing against democracy, Al-Zawahiri cites verses 49 and 50 from Chapter Al-Maeda which urge Muslims to follow the orders laid down in the Koran; and verse 39 from Chapter Al-Anfal which calls upon Muslims to fight until unbelief (Kufr) no longer exists, i.e. fight till only Islam exists as a way of life.

With regard to verse 39 from Chapter Al-Anfal, which is widely quoted in jihadist videos, Al-Zawahiri explains that jihad becomes obligatory when Islam is partially implemented by Muslims while at the same time they continue to follow non-Islamic practices, i.e. as in democratic systems which allow Muslims to perform prayers. He goes on cite other verses to stress that Muslims be prepared, keep their horses ready for the battlefield, and be ready to fight the enemies of Allah.

Al-Zawahiri mentions Burma, Bangladesh, and India's regions of Assam, Gujarat and Kashmir, where Muslims have suffered in conflicts and government crackdowns, and notes that their suffering has not gone unnoticed by Al-Qaeda fighters, and says: "This new organization is a cool breeze for the hapless and weak people inhabiting different regions of South Asia. He calls upon Muslims "to join the jihad fi sabeelillah [jihad in the path of Allah]" and cites verses 10-13 from Chapter As-Saf in which Muslims are urged to follow Prophet Muhammad and spend their wealth and lives in the path of jihad.

Towards the end of his address, Al-Zawahiri cites several Koranic verses to argue that the message of "jihad in the path of Allah" is basically a message from Allah which has come through different prophets.

Very significantly, Al-Zawahiri ends his address by citing a hadith (saying of Prophet Muhammad): "In my Ummah, there are two groups which are saved by Allah from the fire [of Hell]: one group will fight in India and the other group will fight alongside Jesus son of Mary [who will be reborn in present-day Israel]." This hadith, also popularly known as Ghazwa-e-Hind (Battle of India), is widely quoted by jihadist groups based in Pakistan and its neighborhood.

A 17-page PDF document in Urdu was also issued by Al-Qaeda

Source: Al-Fida', September 3, 2014.

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