NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says al-Qaida is "delusional" if it believes it holds any appeal for India's large Muslim population.
Earlier this month the head of the extremist group, Ayman al-Zawahiri, said it had created an Indian branch that would bring Islamic rule to the entire subcontinent.
Modi told CNN that Indian Muslims would live and die for India. Excerpts from the interview were broadcast Friday, and the full interview is to be aired Sunday.
Most terrorist threats in India have emanated from Pakistan or Kashmir, the disputed Himalayan region claimed by both countries. Al-Qaida's influence there is thought to be minimal.
Muslims constitute about 13 percent of India's population of nearly 1.2 billion. The country has largely seen itself as beyond the recruiting territory of international jihadist groups.