The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday said it will investigative whether the al Qaeda had formed a new cell in the state and appointed former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa its chief, the Greater Kashmir reported.
“A militant is a militant, regardless of which tanzeem [outfit] he belongs to,” Director General of Police SP Vaid said at a press conference in Srinagar. “Somebody who has picked up a gun is a militant for us. We will investigate the arrival of the al Qaeda in Kashmir.”
The al Qaeda on Thursday announced through its propaganda outlet, the Global Islamic Media Front, that it had established the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind in Jammu and Kashmir with Musa as its chief, The Economic Times reported. It said in a statement that the group would “carry the flag of jihad to repel the aggression of tyrant Indian invaders” in the “Muslim Nation of Kashmir”, after the “martyrdom” of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
On Thursday, however, Vaid had downplayed the news and said that the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind was “underwhelming in its significance”. “This breakaway group consists of perhaps half a dozen people, with few arms and sources of funding,” the DGP had said. “He [Musa] is pretty much a dead man walking.”
Musa had taken charge of the Hizbul Mujahideen after Wani was killed in a clash with security forces on July 8, 2016. Musa quit the group on May 13.