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Al-Qaeda commander warns India of Mumbai-like attacks

Al-Qaeda commander warns India of Mumbai-like attacks
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First Published: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 05 41 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 05 41 PM IST
Islamabad: An Al-Qaeda commander has warned India of more attacks like the recent assault on Mumbai if it retaliates against Pakistan, the BBC reported.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been severely strained since terrorists killed 179 people in the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
India blamed the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist group for the attacks and said the perpetrators were ”clients and creations” of the Pakistani military’s spy agency.
Pakistan has denied any involvement by state agencies and has been investigating a dossier of information about the attacks that India handed over last month.
India has repeatedly said it is keeping all options open despite Pakistan’s denials, raising the possibility of Indian attacks on what it sees as terrorist targets in Pakistan.
In a video received by the BBC, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, commander of Al-Qaeda operations in Afghanistan, referred to India’s “humiliation” over Mumbai and warned of more attacks.
“India should know that it will have to pay a heavy price if it attacks Pakistan,” the bespectacled Abu al-Yazid said, according to the BBC.
“The mujahideen will sunder your armies into the ground, like they did to the Russians in Afghanistan,” he said.
In August, Pakistani television channels reported that Abu al-Yazid had been killed in fighting with Pakistani forces in the Bajaur tribal region.
According to the BBC report, Abu al-Yazid made no claim of responsibility for the Mumbai attack, nor did he make any reference to the perpetrators.
But he called on Pakistanis to rise up and overthrow their government led by president Asif Ali Zardari, widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Pakistan has arrested hundreds of Al-Qaeda leaders and supporters since the 11 September 2001, attacks on the United States and handed many of them over to US authorities.
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding in ethnic Pashtun tribal areas on the Afghan-Pakistani border, where his followers and their Taliban allies have strongholds.
US President Barack Obama said on Monday there was no doubt terrorists were operating from Pakistan’s tribal regions and the United States wanted to make sure Islamabad was a strong ally in fighting that threat.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 05 41 PM IST