Al-Qaeda trying to set up base in Assam, says CM Tarun Gogoi

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Guwahati: Days after al-Qaeda issued a video threatening to carry out its campaign in India, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday said the terror group is trying to set up base in the state and had “tacit understanding” with ULFA.

“We have got some information that al-Qaeda is trying to gain access to Assam. We have taken steps to prevent any such development and asked all concerned to remain cautious,” Gogoi told a press conference here.

The terrorist outfit had earlier too tried to set up links in the north east and Assam in association with insurgent groups here but failed to do so, he said.

Asked specifically if al-Qaeda has any link with the banned ULFA, Gogoi said, “I think they have links. Even if there is no direct link as of now, they have tacit understanding … They never criticise each other.”

The Chief Minister said security forces have received intelligence report that there are possibilities of some incidents during the forthcoming Durga Puja.

Asked if repeated violence in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts and other parts of the state, where primarily one community has been affected in recent years, are to be blamed for Islamic fundamentalist groups like al-Qaeda’s possible entry to Assam, Gogoi said “These are in any case disturbing factors. These incidents help them.”

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said Indian Muslims will live and die for the country and would not dance to the tune of al-Qaeda.

On September 4, the Centre had sounded a country-wide alert after an al-Qaeda video surfaced in which the terror outfit threatened to carry out campaign in India and the initial assessment of Intelligence Bureau found the tape to be genuine.

The US media and intelligence agencies had said al-Qaeda has established a new branch to wage ‘jihad’ in India, return the Islamic rule and impose sharia in the Indian sub-continent.

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