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update: 20:46, 04 September 2014 Thursday

Al-Zawahiri announces the formation of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent

Al-Zawahiri announces the formation of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent

Ayman Al-Zawahiri, leader of Al Qaeda, has announced in his latest video, released on online websites on Wednesday about the formation of a new Al Qaeda branch in the Indian subcontinent. Al-Zawahiri said that the branch will work to bring back Islamic rule to the region and revive the Islamic Khilafa.

In a video spotted in online "jihadist" forums on Wednesday by the SITE 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 the group would take the fight to India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and fellow officials' Asim Umar and Osama Mahmoud announced the creation of a new branch called "Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian subcontinent."

"This entity was not established today but is the fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the mujahedeen in the Indian sub-continent into a single entity," he said.

The last section of this most recent video is the audio statement of Maulana Asim Umar, the apparent leader of the new al-Qaida in India organisation.

Asim Umar, about whom little is known, has featured in two previous statements, one aimed at Indian Muslims in which he incited them to join the global jihadi movement and a second focused on Kashmir, the disputed Muslim-majority Himalayan region.