The spokesman for al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Usama Mahmood, has released a statement condemning the Pakistani Taliban’s attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar earlier this week. More than 140 people, mainly children, were killed during the assault.
AQIS’ four-page statement was released on Mahmood’s official Twitter feed. In an accompanying tweet, Mahmood writes that the “massacre of innocent children” makes “our hearts burst!”
Mahmood stresses in the statement that al Qaeda only learned of the attack through the media, and his statement is based on the assumption that those reports are accurate. In particular, Mahmood says, it is al Qaeda’s understanding that the attackers targeted children on purpose and that most of the victims were children.
Mahmood argues that al Qaeda carefully selects its targets inside Pakistan so as to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties. He says that the group focuses on “American targets,” the “puppet rulers” in Pakistan, and America’s “mercenaries” in the Pakistani security and intelligence services…