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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Virtual war: PoK-based jehad council hits Facebook

Peerzada Ashiq , Hindustan Times   Srinagar, June 27, 2013
First Published: 17:14 IST(27/6/2013) | Last Updated: 17:19 IST(27/6/2013)

A purported page of the United Jehaad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of militant groups operating from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, has sprung up on social networking site Facebook.
 
The FB page has attracted attention of both the security agencies, journalists and civilians in the Valley.
 
The FB page 'United Jihaad Council' was made public just a day after the Hizbul Mujahideen claimed to have carried out a deadly attack on the army convoy in Srinagar on Monday, a day ahead of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi's scheduled visit to the state.
 
Since Tuesday, the UJC has 450 followers, mainly journalists and security personnel. "Jihaad is necessary in Kashmir, in Palestine, in Syria etc. First of all we have to be united," says the page, where the UJC introduces itself as a non-governmental organisation.
 
The PoK-based UJC is a conglomerate of thirteen militant groups, which claim to have presence across Jammu and Kashmir. It is headed by Syed Salahuddin, the supremo of largest indigenous militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.
 
Of late, the Hizbul Mujahideen has stepped up its activities in Kashmir, which include five major attacks since March 14. These attacks have left 12 armymen, five CRPF jawans and six cops dead. 
 
The police in Srinagar refused to comment on the FB page saying, "It is checking its veracity".
 
The last update by the page was made on Taliban-US talks. "Muhammad Naeem, the representative of the Taliban, who speaks during a press conference at the official opening of their office in Doha, Qatar," says the update with Naeem's picture.
 
There are many FB pages and handles of the micro-blogging Twitter that remain under constant scanner of the police. "Many have multiple users sitting outside India," said a police officer on the condition of anonymity.

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