Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), through a statement spread through secured apps Telegram on April 26 has for the second time, endorsed Ansar Al Islam (AAI), a ‘home grown’ jihadist outfit in Bangladesh as its Bangladesh Chapter. Last month, As-Sahab Media, Al Qaeda’s production house, released a video claiming, “chief” of Bangladesh affairs of AQIS, and five of his accomplices, namely Qari Abdul Aziz alias Abdul Halim, Yaqub alias Saddam Hossain, Asadullah alias Nazimuddin Maimoon, Abu Ibrahim alias Saiful Islam Hasan, and Abu Bakr alias Anuj Hasib were killed in Afghanistan’s Kandahar. The statement however, does not when and how the jihadist were killed.
The 13-page statement titled ‘behold’, is a transcript of an audio message from the top AQIS leader Asim Omer.
According to As-Sahab media, Tariq alias Sohel was the chief of AQIS of the Bangladesh affairs.
Osama Bin Laden’s successor, Egyptian Islamist ideologue Ayman al Zawahiri, announced the formation of AQIS in September 2014 to carry the group’s jihadist activities to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
With the latest endorsement, Ansar al Islam is now openly known as the Bangladesh chapter of AQIS, while ‘NEO JMB’ another ‘home grown’ jihadist outfit is known as the Bangladesh chapter of the Islamic State. There have been several announcements on IS activities in Bangladesh through Dabiq magazine, and Amaq News Agency.