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Jaish-e-Mohammed

Jaish-e-Mohammed

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Jaish-e-Mohammed is a Pakistani-based, militant Islamic group established by Maulana Masood Azhar
Maulana Masood Azhar
Maulana Masood Azhar is a Pakistani mujaheddin leader and the founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, based mainly in the Pakistan-administered portion of the state of Kashmir....

 in March 2000. JeM aims to end Indian rule in disputed Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 (J&K), expel Indian security forces from the region, and unite J&K with Pakistan. Most Jaish-e-Mohammed attacks have been described as fidayeen (suicide terrorist) attacks. In October 2001, JeM was designated as a Pakistani-based, terrorist organization by the United States pursuant to E.O.
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Jaish-e-Mohammed is a Pakistani-based, militant Islamic group established by Maulana Masood Azhar
Maulana Masood Azhar
Maulana Masood Azhar is a Pakistani mujaheddin leader and the founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, based mainly in the Pakistan-administered portion of the state of Kashmir....

 in March 2000. JeM aims to end Indian rule in disputed Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 (J&K), expel Indian security forces from the region, and unite J&K with Pakistan. Most Jaish-e-Mohammed attacks have been described as fidayeen (suicide terrorist) attacks. In October 2001, JeM was designated as a Pakistani-based, terrorist organization by the United States pursuant to E.O. 13224 and by the UN 1267 Committee. The outfit has been banned by the Indian government under provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) on October 25, 2001. Former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

, in a notification on December 26, 2001, designated the outfit as a foreign terrorist organization. The United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada have also designated JeM as a FTO. In 2002, the Pakistani government outlawed the terrorist group and the organization subsequently broke into two factions; the Jamaat ul-Furquan group and the Khuddam ul-Islam section. Both of these smaller groups were banned in late 2003. JeM has also declared open war against the United States in removing coalition forces from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

.

Formation and Evolution


The outfit was launched on January 31, 2000, by Maulana Masood Azhar in Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 after he was released from an Indian jail during the terrorists for hostage swap of December 31, 1999, following the hijacking of the Indian Airlines Flight IC 814. The formation of the outfit was endorsed by three religious school chiefs, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai of the Majlis-e-Tawan-e-Islami (MT), Maulana Mufti Rashid Ahmed of the Dar-ul Ifta-e-wal-Irshad and Maulana Sher Ali of the Sheikh-ul-Hadith Dar-ul Haqqania.
The outfit's creation can be linked to the popularity surrounding Masood Azhar after his release from India. Maulana Masood Azhar was the general secretary of the newly established Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA) in 1994 and was on a 'mission' in J&K when he was arrested on February 11. When he was released, the HuA had been included in the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations which had compelled the outfit to rename itself as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). However, Masood Azhar decided to float the new outfit JeM rather than rejoin his old outfit. Within weeks of his release from prison, Mullah Masood was recruiting new members for his organization at a series of public rallies in Pakistan. He was also reported to have received assistance in setting up the JeM from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the then Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 and several Sunni sectarian outfits of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 outlawed JeM in 2002. By 2003, JeM had splintered into Khuddam ul-Islam (KUI), headed by Azhar, and Jamaat ul-Furqan (JUF), led by Abdul Jabbar, who was released from Pakistani custody in August 2004. Pakistan banned KUI and JUF in November 2003. JEM continued to operate openly in parts of Pakistan despite President Musharrafs 2002 ban on its activities. The group was well-funded, and was said to have tens of thousands of followers who supported attacks against India targets, the Pakistani government, and sectarian minorities.

Leadership & Command Structure


There are no reports of any formal governing bodies or councils within the outfit. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the prominent office bearers of the organization include:
  • Maulana Masood Azhar – Amir (Chief)

  • Maulana Qari Mansoor Ahmed – Nazim Propaganda Wing (he is a resident of Bhurewala, Punjab)

  • Maulana Abdul Jabbar – Nazim, Military Affairs (Former Nazim military affairs, (HuM)

  • Maulana Sajjad Usman – incharge, Finance (Former HuM Nazim Finance)

  • Shah Nawaz Khan alias Sajjid Jehadi & Gazi Baba – Chief Commander J&K (Former Supreme Commander HuM, J&K)

  • Maulana Mufti Mohd. Asghar – Launching Commander (Former Launching Commander of HuM)

JEM is organized along military and missionary lines. A chief commander in Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 has primary responsibility for military activities in the group's chief area of operations whereas every district has a commander responsible for local activities. In addition, the group has a number of different departments responsible for certain spheres of influence.

Azhar's Arrests, Releases and Whereabouts


Azhar was arrested by Pakistani security forces on December 29, 2001, after pressure from India and other foreign countries following the December 13, 2001 attack on India's parliament. However, a three-member Review Board of Lahore High Court ordered on December 14, 2002, that Azhar be released. His release came following. Pakistani police detained Azhar after the 2003 assassination attempts against then-President Pervez Musharraf, but freed him months later. And in December 2008, in the wake of the Mumbai terror assault, Pakistan placed Azhar under house arrest (the government later denied this, it is thought he was placed under house arrest then quietly freed). He is since thought to have fled to South Waziristan
South Waziristan
South Waziristan is the southern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² . Waziristan comprises the area west and southwest of Peshawar between the Tochi River to the north and the Gomal River to the south, forming...

 and may now be based in North Waziristan
North Waziristan
North Waziristan is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering . Waziristan comprises the area west and south-west of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's...

 along with many of his followers.

AI Rehmat Trust


Azhar established the Al Rehmat Trust, which became the designated front for JeM operations following the organization being banned from Pakistan in 2002. Al Rehmat Trust provided support for militant activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including financial and logistical support to foreign fighters operating in both countries. Al Rehmat Trust has been involved in fundraising for JeM, including for militant training and indoctrination at its mosques and madrassas. As of early 2009, Al Rehmat Trust had initiated a donation program in Pakistan to help support families of militants who had been arrested or killed. In early 2007, Al Rehmat Trust was raising funds on behalf of Khudam-ul Islam, an alias for JEM. Al Rehmat has also provided financial support and other services to the Taliban, including wounded Taliban fighters from Afghanistan. Al Rehmat Trust claims to support relief efforts for suffering victims of natural or other kinds of disaster to inhabitants of Pakistan and State of Kashmir, and to provide international aid to those in need, both financial and practical terms. Additional organizations that have provided past funding include the Al-Rashid Trust, the Al-Akhtar Trust, Al Qaeda, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HuJI-B)and the Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HuM). Reports suggest that as much as $3 million a year still flows from Britain into the coffers of the JEM.

Sanctions


In anticipation of asset seizures by the Pakistani Government, the JEM withdrew funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and public relations. On November 4, 2010 the U.S. Department of the Treasury targeted the financial and support networks of Pakistan-based terrorist organizations Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LET) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM). Sanctions were place on Azhar's Al Rehmat Trust. The November 4 actions, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with these individuals and entity and freezes any assets the designees have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Ideology and Objectives


JeMs violent mission is recognized for two key dynamics: first, the tripartite struggle locally in Indian-controlled Kashmir, against India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 itself (to 'reclaim' it as 'Muslim territory' that was once part of the 'Caliphate'), and planet wide to establish God's justice and truth everywhere; second, the need to discipline Muslims 'internally' while fighting unbelief 'externally'. Azhar has outwardly spoken about JEM ideology and objectives, stating,

"It is to express to the unbelievers that all Muslims are like one body, so to touch or cause harm to any part of the body is like challenging the whole body. Similarly to lift the hand against a Muslim's life, wealth or honour is similar to challenging the whole nation of the Muslims."

As a first, JeM would seek to force a withdrawal of Indian security forces from Jammu and Kashmir. JeM claims that each of its offices in Pakistan would serve as schools of jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

. Delivering speeches at various cities and towns in Pakistan after his release, Masood Azhar threatened that the outfit would eliminate Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, whom he termed 'Abu Jahl' (Father of Ignorance).
In its fight against India, Azhar added that the outfit would not only "liberate" Kashmir, but also take control of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Amritsar and Delhi. JEM attacks are aimed at gaining publicity and at linking the jihad in Kashmir with the global Salafi jihad.

Operational Strategies


Most Jaish-e-Mohammed attacks have been described as fidayeen (suicide terrorist) attacks. In this mode, terrorists of the outfit storm a high security target, including security forces' bases, camps and convoys. After storming, they either fortify themselves within the target, killing as many security force personnel and civilians as possible before they are killed by retaliatory action. In other cases, they kill and injure as many as possible before attempting to escape. Used in their attacks are a variety of Kalashnikovs and other assault rifles, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades (Katyusha, 122mm BM-21), landmines, mortars, surface-to-air missiles (SA7 Grail, FIM-92A Stinger), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). JeM's immediate tactical aims are two-fold; produce as many casualties and as much publicity as possible. Outside disapproval from the populace with regards to the civilian casualties has not affected JeM's approach. As of 2008, JeM members have increased attacks targeting Western forces and interests in Pakistan and Afghanistan, especially if they are linked to the war in Afghanistan.

Areas of Operation


The JeM is based in Pakistan and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Most of its supporters are in Azad, Kashmir, Pakistan and India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions. The JeM primarily launches attacks in Indian-controlled J&K, where they have largely confined their operations. The only recorded instance of its operations outside J&K has been the December 13, 2001, Parliament attack in New Delhi. However, several of its cadre has, on occasions been arrested or killed by security forces in states other than J&K.

Recruitment


JEM pays visits to school assemblies and classrooms where lectures on jihad are given. Visits are also made to mosques and the offices of political parties to recruit new members. Many former Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HuM) members left their group to join the JeM militants. Azhar and Jaish-e-Mohammed have been openly recruiting Pakistanis to fight in Afghanistan, according to the US Treasury. "In 2008, JeM recruitment posters in Pakistan contained a call from Azhar for volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces," Treasury stated.

External Linkages


The outfit is closely linked, through the Binoria Madrassah in Karachi, with the former Taliban regime of Afghanistan and its Portege, late-Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda. JeM chief, Masood Azhar was released by Indian authorities in Kandahar and has reportedly met Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan on various occasions. JeM is also reported to have links with Sunni terrorist outfits operating in Pakistan such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

Activities


JeM continued to operate openly in parts of Pakistan despite President Musharrafs 2002 ban on its activities. The group was well-funded, and was said to have tens of thousands of followers who supported attacks against Indian targets, the Pakistani government, and sectarian minorities. Since Masood Azhar's 2000 release from Indian custody in exchange for 155 hijacked Indian Airlines hostages, JeM has conducted many fatal terrorist attacks in the area. JeM continued to claim responsibility for several suicide car bombings in Kashmir, including an October 2001 suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly building in Srinagar
Srinagar
Srinagar is the summer seasonal capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. It is one of the largest cities in India not to have a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats...

 that killed more than 30 people. The Indian government has publicly implicated the JeM, along with Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), for the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament that killed nine and injured 18. Pakistani authorities suspect that JeM members may have been involved in the 2002 anti-Christian attacks in Islamabad, Multee, and Taxila that killed two Americans. In December 2003, Pakistan implicated elements of JEM in the two assassination attempts against President Musharraf. In July 2004, Pakistani authorities arrested a JeM member wanted in connection with the 2002 abduction and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl. In 2006, JeM claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including the killing of several Indian police officials in the Indian-administered Kashmir capital of Srinagar. JeM has been included in a July 2010, U.S.-based report that details growing cooperation among LeT and Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups like the Afghan Taliban, Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI). The cooperation of these groups poses a growing threat to the US and the Western world.

Major Attacks

  • An informant
    Informant
    An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants , and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information...

    , posing as a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed, helped police to arrest four people allegedly plotting to bomb a New York City synagogue as well as to shoot Stinger
    FIM-92 Stinger
    The FIM-92 Stinger is a personal portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile , which can be adapted to fire from ground vehicles and helicopters , developed in the United States and entered into service in 1981. Used by the militaries of the U.S...

     missiles at military aircraft in the United States. The arrest of the four took place in May 2009. One of the four, by the name of James Cromitie, allegedly expressed the desire to join Jaish-e-Mohammed. This expression allegedly took place approximately a year prior to this arrest.

  • December 9, 2009: five Muslim Americans, who knew each other from the ICNA Center in Arlington, Virginia
    Arlington County, Virginia
    Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district. On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of...

    , were detained in Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     during a police raid. The men had met with Jaish-e-Muhammed in Pakistan and offered their assistance in jihad
    Jihad
    Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

    i
    attacks. The house they were detained in was occupied by Khalid Farooq, the father of one of the men. He is suspected of ties to Jaish-e-Muhammed, to which the house itself is also linked.

  • July 2008: JeM claimed the killing of 47 Indian troops in Kashmir on a Web site commonly used by Islamic militants.

  • May 30, 2006: Grenade attack on a police vehicle escorting a Human Rights Commission vehicle in Srinagar, the capitol of Indian-administered Kashmir: one killed, ten injured.

  • May 31, 2005: Suicide bombing at the Madinatul Ilm Imambargah mosque in eastern Karachi: five killed, 20 wounded.

  • August 9, 2002: Grenade attack at a Christian hospital in Taxila: four killed, 20 injured.

  • August 5, 2002: Shooting at a Christian school near Murree: six killed, at least two wounded.

  • December 13, 2001: Gunmen attacked the Parliament of India
    Parliament of India
    The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

     in New Delhi
    New Delhi
    New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

     in coordination with the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba: nine dead, 18 injured.

  • October 1, 2001: Suicide bombing of a hijacked government jeep laden with explosives outside the Legislative Assembly complex in Srinagar: more than 30 killed.


See also

  • Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Islamic terrorism
  • Terrorist front organization
    Terrorist front organization
    A terrorist front organization is created to conceal activities or provide logistical or financial support to the illegal activities.-See also:...

  • Terrorism in Pakistan
    Terrorism in Pakistan
    Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in recent years. The annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed as of 2010. According to the government of Pakistan, the direct and indirect...


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