(New York, NY) -- The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today released new resources documenting the history, structure, and tactics of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and its mysterious, Indian-born emir, Asim Omar.
AQIS was founded in September 2014 by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and operates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Burma, Bangladesh, and Kashmir. AQIS is al-Qaeda’s fifth official chapter. Analysts generally believe that al-Zawahiri created AQIS in order to counter the expanding influence of ISIS in the region.
On September 6, 2014, AQIS attempted to seize a Pakistani navy frigate, from which they planned to launch missiles at nearby American and Pakistani ships. Ten militants and one Pakistani petty officer died in the ensuing suicide bombing and shootout.
AQIS has claimed responsibility for the murders of secular bloggers Avijit Roy and Washiqur Rahman in Bangladesh and liberal professors Mohammad Shakil Auj and Shafiul Islam in Pakistan. AQIS’s Bangladesh branch, known as Ansar al Islam, has carried out assassinations of secular publishers, political figures, and the editors of an LGBT magazine in that country.