A new statement has been released by the Indian franchise of Al Qaeda, criticising the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) for killing over 130 children in the Peshawar school attack.
Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the newest addition to the al-Qaeda brand, posted the statement in Urdu online. The group speaks out against the TTP, describing the Peshawar school massacre as "deeply saddening".
The statement declares: "It is forbidden to target army in such places where ordinary Muslims could be harmed due to collateral damage."
The group clearly outlines its view that the TTP made a mistake in targeting the school, writing: "Nobody amongst can be a momin (true believer) unless his desires don't come under subservience to the Shariah that I have brought. Therefore, those people who attack innocent Muslims, they may name their acts anything but we consider such acts as UnIslamic and contradictory to Islamic Shariah."
Such is the disgust at the attack, AQIS writes it "totally disassociates ourselves from this act. Fear Allah that your bullets which are supposed to hit the Kuffar (unbelievers) and Apostates, turn towards the non-combatant children".
The group goes on to reaffirm its belief that the US is the ultimate target, stating that "jihad against America, Oppressive-Kufr-based System and its protectors, is an obligatory Ibadah (act of worship)".
The statement also slammed the Pakistani government and "the Puppet army" for the targeting Taliban militants and killing civilians in the Federal Tribal Areas, most notably Waziristan. The group describes the government as being "traitorous" and "oppressors".
Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, announced the formation of AQIS in September 2014. Since then, the group has had little success, only attempting one failed attack on a vessel near Karachi.
The statement condemning the Peshawar attack is in line with the overall al-Qaeda view that the attack was bad decision by the TTP. The heavy loss of life, mostly children, has been viewed as an "unislamic act" by the extremist group.