Al Qaeda-linked jihadi leader killed in Kashmir

Zakir Musa, a charismatic jihadist leader in Kashmir, has been killed, according to multiple reports. Indian forces say they surrounded Musa in a village in South Kashmir, eventually killing him after a firefight during which he refused to surrender.

Thousands of protesters and mourners turned out for Musa’s funeral earlier today, an indication of his own popularity, as well as the widespread anger with Indian forces.

Musa had been one of India’s most wanted terrorists, as he attempted to fuse a popular discontent with al Qaeda-style jihadism.

On Twitter, the Jammu & Kashmir Police lauded Musa’s death as “a major success against terrorism.” He had been active for “six years,” or since approximately 2013, and “was involved in number of terrorist activities.” Musa had “rocket, grenade launchers, projectiles, huge ammunition and war like stores” in his possession, the J&K Police said.

Musa led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), an al-Qaeda linked outfit that was established in 2017. His death comes at a time when upstart groups, such as AGH, are attempting to reboot the jihad in Kashmir.

AGH has been competing with groups traditionally backed by the Pakistani state, as well as an upstart Islamic State “province,” for support.
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