JeM chief Masood Azhar got funds from UK, Gulf, Africa for Kashmir jihad
Masood Azhar’s foreign sojourns took place due to his proximity to Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil and Osama Bin Laden, the dossier says. Maulana Fazlur headed the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and was close to Osama bin Laden, whose Al Qaeda funded the Jamia Binoria, where Azhar completed his education and later joined as a teacher and managed to impress Maulana Fazlur.Updated: Mar 17, 2019 19:56 IST
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar travelled to the African and Gulf countries as well as the UK between 1990 and 1993 to collect donations for jihad in Kashmir, Afghanistan and Somalia, a dossier on the terror mastermind that has been handed over to Pakistan by India says. The dossier lists countries such as Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, the UAE, Bangladesh and the UK among the places that he visited during his trips.
Masood Azhar’s foreign sojourns took place due to his proximity to Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil and Osama Bin Laden, the dossier says. Maulana Fazlur headed the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and was close to Osama bin Laden, whose Al Qaeda funded the Jamia Binoria, where Azhar completed his education and later joined as a teacher and managed to impress Maulana Fazlur.
“Masood Azhar studied upto class VIII and then joined the famous Jihadi seminary in Karachi, called the Jamia Uloom al Islamia or the Jamia Binoria, which has been one of the main nerve centers of support for the Afghan Jihad since early 1970s,” the dossier says.
The dossier on the Jaish-e-Mohammad and its top leadership, including Masood Azhar, was handed over to Pakistan by India after the Pulwama attack. Pakistan had at that time said that the dossier was being examined. Immediately after the Pulwama attack, France, UK and US had moved a resolution in the UN to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. However, like the previous three times, China once again put a technical hold on the move, saying it needed more time for consultations.
The dossier to Pakistan says that during the course of his travels to the African and Gulf countries, he had “referred to his own participation in the global jihad in Somalia”, and “managed to collect large amounts of funds and had created his own funding network beyond Pakistan”.
After the Russian forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, the HuM, al Qaeda and the Taliban linked groups shifted their focus to Jammu and Kashmir to incite people for jihad, “showcasing Afghanistan as a success story of jihad”, the dossier says.
Subsequently, in 1994, Masood Azhar arrived in India through Bangladesh on a fake Portugese passport in the name of Vali Adam Issa. “He went to Jammu and Kashmir to lead the Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), a group formed by the merger of HuM and HUJI in Jammu and Kashmir and in Pakistan,” it says. But he was arrested in February 1994 and jailed for his acts of jihad in India. He stayed in jail till December 1999, when he was released after the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight IC814 to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
During the course of his interrogation after his arrest, he had revealed his close contacts with key jihadi leaders of the region and had also given “details of his activities in support of the al Qaeda-led jihad across many theatres including Somalia and Afghanistan,” the dossier says.
A year after he was released at Kandahar in 1999, Masood Azhar had formed the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which “attracted the bulk of the cadres of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen as well as other jihadis from Punjab and Karachi” the dossier to Pakistan says.
“With renewed vigour and support, Masood Azhar made fresh bid to perpetuate violence in India. The group claimed its first attack (a suicide attack) in an Army cantonment in Jammu & Kashmir in December 2000 and then mounted another attack in the Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly in India in October 2001. The JeM operatives directed by Masood Azhar launched audacious armed coordinated attacks on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi on December 13, 2001,” the dossier states. The Parliament attack had led to serious standoff between India and Pakistan.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad’s claiming of the Pulwama attack had also led to tensions between the two countries with India launching an air strike on a Jaish camp at Balakot in Pakistan. The air strike was responded to by Pakistan and had led to an aerial engagement on the Line of Control.
First Published: Mar 17, 2019 19:54 IST