Mr Bergen, known for his insight into operations of al-Qaeda in South Asia, said, “The idea that Ayman al-Zawahiri is going to open a branch of al-Qaeda in India is just crazy. Yes, there are some jihadi elements in India, but there’s no evidence that al-Qaeda has a presence in the country”.
“It’s an attempt by Zawahiri to have people like us discuss him, because he’s been out of the limelight for so long, it’s all been about ISIS in Iraq and Syria and al-Qaeda is very conscious that they’re yesterday’s story,” he added.
“And if you look at the tape that they showed of Zawahiri, it’s so boring. It’s him talking in a monologue that goes on for more than half an hour”, said Mr Bergen.