July 6, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3971

Indian Newspaper Report on Ayman Al-Zawahiri: 'India Could Be Key Target Of New Al-Qaeda Chief'

July 6, 2011
India | Special Dispatch No. 3971

Following the appointment of Ayman Al-Zawahiri as the new leader of Al-Qaeda, a leading Indian daily published a report warning that India could be a target of the new Al-Qaeda chief. Citing Indian intelligence sources, it said that Al-Zawahiri could target India to be "one of several new theaters" of war in order to establish his authority on Al-Qaeda and its allies.

The report, titled "India Could be Key Target of New Al-Qaeda Chief," argued that India has been on the radar of Al-Qaeda for a decade, and an audio tape of Al-Zawahiri's deputy Sai'd Al-Masri (who has since been killed) had mentioned the February 2009 attack on a café in the western Indian city of Pune.

The report warned that Al-Zawahiri could also "turn to Pakistani jihadists to execute his plans." It noted: "Fakir Muhammad, a top jihadist commander who has repulsed multiple military campaigns to retake his strongholds in northwest Pakistan's Bajaur Agency, is among Al-Zawahiri's closest allies." ...

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