- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2014

Al Qaeda terrorists say they’re expanding operations, and will soon open a new branch in India “to liberate its land,” they said.

In a video, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said his group’s mission is to “wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty and to revive its caliphate,” CNN reported.

Mr. Al-Zawahiri also announced he will try and gather support “for the vulnerable” in Myanmar and Bangladesh and in other regions that are subjected to territorial disputes between India and Pakistan. He called for a widespread “rescue” of residents in India from what he described was “injustice, oppression, persecution and suffering,” CNN reported.

Intel insiders say al Qaeda is struggling to keep followers in the face of the Islamic State’s growing support.

“They are losing a lot of constituents to the Islamic State,” said Bernard Haykel, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, in CNN. “They’re trying to show their global reach as an organization, but I’m not sure of exactly what sign they are trying to send.”

The government of India, meanwhile, is trying to confirm the video as genuine.