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Al-Qaeda declares new branch in Indian sub-continent

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri pictured in a video released for the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in September 2012Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri launched a new branch of the global Islamist extremist movement on Wednesday to reinvigorate and expand its struggle in the Indian sub-continent. In a video spotted in online jihadist forums by the SITE terrorism monitoring group, Zawahiri said the new force would “crush the artificial borders” dividing Muslim populations in the region. Al-Qaeda is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where its surviving leadership are thought to be hiding out, but Zawahiri said “Qaedat al-Jihad” would take the fight to India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Founded by Osama bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan by US commandos in May 2011, Al-Qaeda has long claimed leadership of the jihadists fighting to restore a single caliphate in Muslim lands.

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