Is Al-Qaeda's New Indian Branch A Ploy For Attention?

While the world's attention is focused on ISIS, militant group Al-Qaeda is trying to rebrand itself and garner some attention.

Is Al-Qaeda's New Indian Branch A Ploy For Attention?
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Al-Qaeda boss Ayman Al-Zawahiri has pledged to bring the group's campaign to India, in a move many outlets are calling, well, a little desperate. 

AL JAZEERA: "Is it perhaps a last desperate attempt by Al-Qaeda to prevent its disappearance in the wake of the Islamic State?"

In the video Al-Zawahiri said Al-Qaeda will look to, quote "rescue" Muslims across the subcontinent, from India through Bangladesh and Myanmar — areas with high Muslim populations. (Video via BBC)

ISIS has certainly been in the spotlight in the past few weeks after the murders of two American journalists. 

World leaders are pressuring NATO to target ISIS, not Al-Qaeda, and President Obama has pledged to degrade and destroy ISIS, not Al-Qaeda. (Video via MSNBC)

And that's prompted headlines like this one from CBS, saying the militant group has overshadowed Al-Qaeda, despite starting life under the moniker "Al-Qaeda In Iraq." 

CNBC: "Is ISIS more dangerous than Al-Qaeda?

Yes absolutely ... What ISIS is doing is a whole other — they are literally, like I said, trying to wipe out borders and trying to build a real caliphate. Al-Qaeda was in the business of spectacular attacks against the west."

Notice he used the past tense? Despite traditionally focusing on Western powers, Al-Qaeda's move does make sense, if it is looking to recruit. 

Estimates indicate India has more than 170 million Muslims, and there's a long history of tensions between the country's Muslim and Hindu populations. Still, some analysts say Al-Qaeda faces a hard sell. (Video via Press TV)

RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN: "Indian Muslim groups have been recruiting to fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria ... Al-Qaeda is going to struggle to make huge inroads into India."

As India Times writes Al Qaeda has long been active in neighboring Pakistan but, "due to influential contacts and a long presence there, it is a minnow compared to local militant groups in terms of manpower and regional knowledge."

Nevertheless, as Foreign Policy notes, Al-Qaeda isn't completely down and out. In fact, the journal says the group is "still the most dangerous terrorist organization on Earth. ... IS has tried on three separate occasions to woo Al-Qaeda's regional branches to pledge allegiance to its self-styled caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Its attempts failed every time."

For its part, the Indian government did raise the alert level of a number of providences in the wake of Al-Qaeda's video. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.