The following comments from Keith Massey, PhD are his own interpretation of recent news stories and are not based on any classified information. He does not have any access to classified information. Keith Massey, PhD is a former Arabic linguist at the National Security Agency, but has been a Latin teacher at a public high school for the last eight years. He offers the following opinions, however, as someone who, at one time, followed the target of this story quite closely and feels that he can still read between the lines...
Al-Qaeda (AQ) leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (AZ) has announced that AQ has officially opened a branch of its operations in India.
Now, this announcement comes in the context of the world being currently fixated on the exploits of the terrorist group ISIL, which AZ formally renounced and repudiated.
CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen has called AZ's announcement "hyperventilation and posturing," an effort to capture attention at a time when the world speaks only of ISIL, not AQ.
I would assert that, in the current context, when AQ is indeed fighting for attention on the jihadist stage, that AQ does not even have the luxury of "hyperventilation and posturing."
In other words, this announcement is a formality before some major operation in India by AQ operatives.
If AZ makes an announcement and then nothing significant happens in the area in question or, for that matter, anywhere in the world for a space of time, AQ will look all the more irrelevant on the jihadist stage.
And that's why there's no reason why they would make an announcement as ultimately silly as the creation of an Indian AQ cell, unless they knew that this silly announcement was about to become not-so-silly by something significant.