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Alert! Terror group Al-Qaeda ‘ideologically inclined’ to carry out attacks in India, says United Nations report

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 August 2018, 13:57 IST

Osama Bin Laden led terror group Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), is "ideologically inclined" to carry out attacks inside India.

However, according to the UN report, its capability is assumed to be low and is relatively isolated owing to increased security measures in the region.

The 22nd report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team was submitted to the United Nations Security Council Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee in New York. The report said that AQIS is "relatively isolated owing to increased security measures within the wider region, but the group continues to seek security gaps for opportunistic attacks."

The group is "ideologically inclined to carry out attacks inside India but its capability is believed to be low," it said, adding that according to member states, the strength of AQIS in Afghanistan is estimated at several hundred people, located in Laghman, Paktika, Kandahar, Ghazni and Zabul provinces.

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According to one member state, although the ISIS poses an immediate threat, Al-Qaeda is the "intellectually stronger group" and remains a longer-term threat.

Some members of the Al-Qaeda group, along with Aiman al-Zawahiri and son of slain Al-Qaeda former leader Osama bin Laden, Hamza bin Laden are reported to be in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Other members of the Al-Qaeda core may leave for more secure areas, the report added.

The report also stated that that around 25,000 ISIS fighters remain in Iraq and Syria and among these, there is still a significant component of the many thousands of active foreign terrorist fighters.

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One member state reports that some recent plots detected and prevented in Europe had originated from ISIL in Afghanistan. In addition to establishing a presence across Afghanistan, ISIL also attempts to have an impact on other countries in the region.

"According to one Member State, ISIS in Afghanistan is responsible for at least one attack in the Kashmir region," the report said. However, no details about the attack in Kashmir were given in the report.

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"In Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad, ISIS already has sleeper cells and has committed disruptive, high-profile attacks, including against both government and Taliban targets during the Eid al-Fitr ceasefire," it added.

As per the report, ISIL has between 3,500 and 4,000 members in Afghanistan, between 600 and 1,000 in northern Afghanistan (both numbers on the rise).

It is led by Abu Sayed Bajauri who is not listed and the majority of its members and leaders were formerly members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and it may represent an emerging threat to the Central Asian States.

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With inputs from PTI

First published: 14 August 2018, 13:57 IST