Asim Umar

Asim Umar
Born Between 1974 and 1976[1]
Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, India[1][2]
Allegiance al-Qaeda
Service/branch al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent
Rank Emir of AQIS

Asim Umar is an Indian man and the leader of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri announced the creation of AQIS and introduced Asim Umar as its leader in a video posted online in September 2014.[3]

History

He was born between 1974-76 in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, India.[1] He attended the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary, before leaving India and moving to Pakistan in the late 1990s.[2] They also claim that from the late 1990s to 2004, Umar provided ideological training to jihadists in camps run by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in Pakistan Administered Kashmir, before relocating to HuM’s office in Haroonabad in 2004.[4]

Umar studied at Jamia Uloom-ul-Islamia in Karachi and the Darul Uloom Haqqania in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, schools that many top commanders of the Taliban and other Pakistani jihadist groups graduated from. Umar is said to have traveled to Afghanistan where he met Osama bin Laden, and later joined Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI), a Pakistan-based Jihadist group with branches across the Indian Subcontinent.[3] Umar's affiliation with Al-Qaeda was reportedly solidified after the Pakistani government's 2007 storming of the radical Lal Masjid seminary, resulting in the deaths of many students.[2] He is said to have made contact with Ilyas Kashmiri, a top jihadist with close links to al-Qaeda.[2]

Umar quickly began playing a prominent role as a propagandist in video releases from al-Qaeda and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and authored at least four books promoting jihad.[3][5] By April 2014, several months before being named leader of AQIS, Al Qaeda was identifying Umar as the head of its sharia committee in Pakistan.[6]

References

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