India will be targeted in fresh Mumbai-style attacks, warned Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid, said to be number three in the global Al Qaeda hierarchy, in a new video sent to the BBC office in Islamabad on Monday.
“India should know that it will have to pay a heavy price if it attacks Pakistan,” Al-Yazid, 52, an Egyptian national arrested in 1981 for involvement in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, referring to India’s Mumbai “humiliation”, said.
According to the BBC report, neither did Al-Yazid claim responsibility for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks nor did he make any reference to the perpetrators. “The Mujahideen will sunder your (India’s) armies into the ground, like they did to the Russians in Afghanistan,” Al-Yazid, reported killed in Pakistan’s Bajaur region in August 2008, warned in the Arabic video.
This is the second time Al Qaeda has warned India. In August 2007, Adam Gadahn, an American Qaeda leader, had said that Indian and American diplomatic missions were “legitimate targets”.
“Our army is ready to face any threat from anywhere,” said Defence Minister A.K. Antony in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
In Washington, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the US would not permit terrorist safe havens in Pakistan-Afghanistan.
“…We cannot allow Al Qaeda to operate. We cannot have those safe havens in that region. And we’re going to have to work both smartly and effectively, but with consistency in order to make sure that those safe havens do not exist,” Obama said at a press conference.
In implicit criticism of both the Pakistani and Afghan governments, Obama said neither had shown the “concerted effort” to root out the terror safe havens in the border regions between those two countries.
“In addition, you’ve got the Taliban and Al-Qaeda operating in the FATA and these border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. And what we haven’t seen is the kind of concerted effort to root out those safe havens that would ultimately make our mission successful,” the American President stressed.
Neither did Obama spare Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, a particular favourite of his predecessor George W. Bush.
“They’ve got elections coming up, but effectively the national (Karzai) government seems very detached from what’s going on in the surrounding community.”
“I do not have yet a timetable for how long that’s going to take,” Obama said about pulling out troops from Afghanistan. “What I know is... I’m not going to allow Al Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden to operate with impunity, planning attacks on the US homeland.”