The Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent is “ideologically inclined” to carry out attacks in India, but its capability is believed to be low, according to a report by the United Nations.
AQIS, a branch of global militant outfit Al Qaeda, was established in 2014, and is led by Asim Umar, a former member of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami.
The 22nd report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted the report to the UN Security Council Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee on July 28. “Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent is relatively isolated owing to increased security measures within the wider region, but the group continues to seek security gaps for opportunistic attacks,” the report said. “The group, Al-Qaida’s newest affiliate, is ideologically inclined to carry out attacks inside India but its capability is believed to be low.”
The report added that according to the member states, the strength of AQIS in Afghanistan is estimated at several hundred people, located in Laghman, Kandahar, Ghazni, Paktika and Zabul provinces.
The report further noted that Al Qaeda maintains presence in South Asia, adapting to the local environment, trying to embed itself into local struggles and communities. “It is closely allied with the Taliban,” the report read. “According to one member State, although ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS] poses an immediate threat, Al-Qaida is the ‘intellectually stronger group’ and remains a longer-term threat.”