The IAF chief’s statement has come against the backdrop of reports that the terrorist outfit has established a new branch to wage jihad in India.

"There is a threat from such agencies but the nation is prepared for it," Raha said when asked about the al-Qaeda threat regarding the group starting operations in India.
    
He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on the role of the Air Force in the 1965 war with Pakistan.
    
US media and intelligence agencies earlier said that Al-Qaeda has established a new branch to wage jihad in India, revive its caliphate and impose sharia in the Indian sub-continent.
    
The creation of the group called 'Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent' was announced by as Sahab, Al-Qaeda's official media outlet, in a lengthy video posted on social media outlets.

Al-Qaeda is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan but the group's leader Ayman-al Zawahiri said that 'Qaedat al-Jihad' would take the fight to India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
    
Security agencies feel the video could be an attempt by Al-Qaeda to carry out fresh recruitments in the sub-continent as it stares at diminishing influence vis-a-vis the jihadist group ISIS.
    
Meanwhile, as to reports about the creation of infrastructure, including Su-27 fighter bases and radar stations along the Line of Actual Control by China, Raha said these were "true to a large extent and part of their (China's) preparation. I cannot say that they are not doing it”.



Al-Qaeda's new India branch not a big threat: US

Al-Qaeda forming a branch for operating in India is not an indication of the terrorist outfit gaining new capabilities, US said, asserting that it is committed to dismantling the militant group.

"We do not regard the announcement as an indication of new capabilities by al-Qaeda, which has long been active throughout the region," Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson of the National Security Council at the White House, said.

"We have seen the reports of al-Qaeda's new branch on the Indian subcontinent. US remains committed to dismantling al-Qaeda and ensuring that it never again poses a threat to the American people," she said in response to a question.

US, she said, has robust counter-terrorism partnerships in the region to combat al-Qaeda's destabilizing influence, to deny it safe haven, to counter violent extremism, and to build resilience against terrorist groups.

After the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, cooperation between US and India on counter-terrorism issues has increased significantly. Six Americans were among the 166 people killed in the attacks.

Obama calls on allies to defeat Islamic State

US President Barack Obama has outlined plans for a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria but European allies gave a cautious reaction.

Speaking at a NATO summit, Obama said that United States would also try to involve Middle Eastern allies in a strategy to counter the jihadists, who have overrun large swathes of territory.

 "It's not going to happen overnight but we are steadily moving in the right direction and we're going to achieve our goal," Obama said.

 The President said that regional involvement was ‘absolutely critical’ - although the state department said that Washington had ‘no plans’ for any military coordination with Iran in the fight.

 "We're going to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL," Obama added, using the previous name of the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for videos showing the beheading of two US journalists.

 

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