A man is seen among graves of children killed in air raids carried out by the Saudi-led coalition at a cemetery in Sanaa, capital of Yemen, on June 4, 2016, also the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. (Photo: IANS)
NEW DELHI: Killing innocent women and children in bombings and suicide attacks is
against the essence of jihad and the tenets of Islam, says Al Qaeda's
However, the chief, Asim Umar praised
the 9/11 attacks on America that left some 3,000 persons, including
hundreds of women and eight kids, killed in one of the worst terror
strikes in history.
According to Indian intelligence agencies,
Umar, who gave his "message to mujahideen in India and Pakistan" in
Urdu, is originally from Uttar Pradesh but is now based in Pakistan.
Mohammed has clearly and strongly forbidden the killings of
non-combatant women and children," Umar said in the message posted
online and authenticated by jihadology.net.
The website is a
jihadi material clearing house of a Richard Borow fellow, Aaron Y.
Zelin, associated with the Washington Institute, who researches on
jihadist groups and Salafi politics.
Al Qaeda is in a struggle
with Islamic State (IS) to wrest back its leadership role among jihadis.
IS has shown no qualms in killing women and children, often publicly.
The message may also have been directed at Al Qaeda allies, the Taliban,
which has often attacked women and children in Pakistan.
Qaeda leader said a "superficial jihadi, who doesn't know much about
human psychology, thinks that killing innocent women and children may
weaken" the enemy.
"Such acts also create hatred and increases
the number of our enemies," said Umar, a graduate from the famed Deoband
Islamic seminary in India who changed his name from Sanaullah Haq. He
hails from the Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh.
Umar is said to
have joined Islamist extremist outfits after he disappeared from the
state in 1995. He has also attended Islamic studies in the Jamia Uloom,
Karachi -- the jihadi alma mater of Masood Azhar and other jihadi
leaders in Pakistan -- and has always been a fundamentalist in his
"Let's not blemish the jihad with the blood of
innocents...with the bloodshed in markets, schools, universities and
public places. You won't succeed by that. This is what your enemy wants
you to do to defeat you," he said.
Umar may have been referring
to attacks in Pakistan by the Taliban. A gun and bombing attack by the
Afghanitan-based Taliban at Peshawar Army Public School left 152 school
children dead on December 16, 2014.
Some 30 students were also killed in a similar attack this year on the Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
militant leader also advised his fighters to "make certain that they
use their resources judiciously to cause maximum damage to the enemy".
contradicting his own advice on women and children, Umar cited the
September 9, 2001, attack on America masterminded by then Al Qaeda chief
Osama bin Laden as the best example of a guerrilla strike on the
(Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)