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Security beefed up in UP after Al Qaeda video

Lucknow: Security has been stepped up at public places across Uttar Pradesh a day after an Al Qaeda video announcing the creation of its terror wing in the Indian subcontinent surfaced, an official said Friday.

A video grab of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri. Photo: AFP
A video grab of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri. Photo: AFP

Soon after the union home ministry verified the Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri tape as authentic, Home Minister Rajnath Singh set the ball rolling. A missive was sent to the state police and the home department after which a state of high alert was put in place, officials added.

Inspector General Amrendra Sengar told IANS that district police have been asked to be extra vigilant and the local intelligence units have been sensitized on the new threat perception. District police chiefs have also been asked to share and pass on any specific or even vague input at the earliest.

Security has been beefed up at busy thoroughfares, religious places, schools and public places like the bus and railway stations, multiplexes, and parks where people are present in large numbers.

"We have stepped up security whereever it is needed and the UP Police is determined to meet the challenge thrown up by the terror group Al Qaeda," said an intelligence official. Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced the creation of a South Asian branch of his outfit to "raise the flag of jihad" in the Indian subcontinent, causing concerns.

In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahiri - who succeeded Osama bin Laden after he was killed in Pakistan, said that the formation of "Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent" would be good news for Muslims in Burma, Bangladesh and in the Indian states of Assam, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir where they would be rescued from injustice and oppression".

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