Al Qaeda in India apparently botches first terror attack, reports say

Call it a jihadi error in judgment.

The newly-formed branch of Al Qaeda in India apparently botched its first attempt at a terror attack after militants mistook a Pakistani naval ship for a U.S. aircraft carrier last week.

The Daily Mail reports that 10 militants were easily overwhelmed in the Karachi sea dock attack on Sept. 6, with three killed and seven arrested.

Two Pakistan Navy guards were wounded in the fighting, the Telegraph reported.

The goal may have been the capture of a ship, a source told the Telegraph. The USS George Washington, which was believed to have been stationed off the coast of west Pakistan that day, could have been the target, the Daily Mail said.

Some experts suggested to the Daily Mail that the attack may not have been carried out by Al Qaeda, and that its "increasingly desperate" leadership -- which has been looking to regain influence in the wake of the rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS -- simply claimed credit for the fumbled attack in the hope that Al Qaeda would appear more capable than it actually is.

Al Qaeda's Indian branch was formed earlier this month by terror leader Ayman al-Zawahri, who vowed to bring Islamic rule to the entire subcontinent.

Until recently, India had largely seen itself as beyond the recruiting territory of international jihadists like Al Qaeda. Over the past few months, however, the Islamic State group has grown in prominence in India, and has gained at least a handful of followers here. Last month, an Indian engineering student who had traveled to Iraq with friends, and who was thought to have joined ISIS, was reported killed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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