Mujahideen

Mujahideen

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Mujahideen'
Start a new discussion about 'Mujahideen'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral
Triliteral
The roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "radicals"...

 as jihad ("struggle").

Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.

Origin of the concept


The beginnings of Jihad are traced back to the words and actions of Muhammad and the Qur'ān. The people who helped Muhammad during the early periods of his prophethood were referred to as Ansars
Ansar (Islam)
Ansar is an Islamic term that literally means "helpers" and denotes the Medinan citizens that helped Muhammad and the Muhajirun on the arrival to the city after the migration to Medina...

("helpers") and Muhajir
Muhajir
Muhajir or Mohajir is an Arabic word meaning immigrant. The Islamic calendar Hejira starts when Muhammad and his companions left Mecca for Medina in what is known as Hijra. They were called Muhajirun...

s
("immigrants"), but the Ansars participated in armed conflict alongside Muhammad, and are also referred to as Mujahideen.

The earliest known expeditions they participated in were the Caravan raids
Caravan raids
The Caravan raids refer to a series of raids which Muhammad and his Companions participated in. The raids were generally offensive and carried out to gather intelligence or seize the trade goods of Caravans financed by the Quraysh,...

, where they were given the task of intercepting Quraysh
Quraysh
The Quraysh or Quraish were a powerful merchant tribe that controlled Mecca and its Kaaba upon the appearance of the religion of Islam.Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe.-Early history:...

 caravans. They also participated in other battles, such as the Battle of Badr
Battle of Badr
The Battle of Badr , fought Saturday, March 13, 624 AD in the Hejaz region of western Arabia , was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca...

 and Uhud
Battle of Uhud
The Battle of Uhud was fought on March 19, 625 at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud, in what is now northwestern Arabia. It occurred between a force from the Muslim community of Medina led by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and a force led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca, the town from...

.

Middle Ages


  • Almohad dynasty
  • Saladin
    Saladin
    Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

  • Timur Lenk
  • Ulubatlı Hasan
    Ulubatli Hasan
    Ulubatlı Hasan was a Timarli Sipâhî in the service of Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire who achieved legendary status as a heroic Turkish martyr at the successful Siege of Constantinople....


Early Modern period

  • Suleiman the Magnificent
    Suleiman the Magnificent
    Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

  • Babur
    Babur
    Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

  • Aurangzeb
    Aurangzeb
    Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

  • Barbary pirates
  • Sheikh Mansur
    Sheikh Mansur
    Sheikh al-Mansur was a Chechen leader who led the resistance against Catherine the Great's imperialist expansion into the Caucasus during the late 18th century. He remains a legendary national hero of the Chechen people....

  • Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud

19th century


  • Fulani jihads
    Fula jihads
    The Fula or Fulani jihads, were a series of independent but loosely connected events across West Africa between the late 17th century and European colonization, in which Muslim Fulas took control of various parts of the region...

  • Jahangir Khoja
  • Muhammad Ahmed Al Mahdi
    Muhammad Ahmad
    Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah was a religious leader of the Samaniyya order in Sudan who, on June 29, 1881, proclaimed himself as the Mahdi or messianic redeemer of the Islamic faith...

  • Mehmed V
    Mehmed V
    Mehmed V Reshad was the 35th Ottoman Sultan. He was the son of Sultan Abdülmecid I. He was succeeded by his half-brother Mehmed VI.-Birth:...

  • Imam Shamil
    Imam Shamil
    Imam Shamil also spelled Shamyl, Schamil, Schamyl or Shameel was an Avar political and religious leader of the Muslim tribes of the Northern Caucasus...


Modern Jihadism


The modern phenomenon of jihadism, i.e., the movement within radical Islamism
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 that presents jihad (offensive
Offensive jihad
Offensive Jihad is armed Jihad meant to expand the realm of Islam at the expense of the House of War . Although these world divisions was derived by jurists, they are not mentioned in the Qur'an and hadith....

 or defensive
Defensive jihad
There are two types of armed religious warfare in Islam, namely the defensive jihad and the offensive jihad. This article discusses defensive jihad as a concept in Islamic law...

) as the casus belli
Casus belli
is a Latin expression meaning the justification for acts of war. means "incident", "rupture" or indeed "case", while means bellic...

for insurgencies, guerilla warfare and international terrorism, arises from the 1960s, drawing on early to mid 20th century Islamist doctrines such as Qutbism
Qutbism
Qutbism is a strain of Sunni Islamist ideology and activism, based on the thought and writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist and former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed in 1966. It has been described as advancing the ideology of jihadism, i.e...

.

Afghan civil war


The best-known mujahideen were the various loosely aligned Afghan
Demographics of Afghanistan
The population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugees living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between...

 opposition groups, which initially rebelled against the incumbent pro-Soviet Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a government of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. It was both ideologically close to and economically dependent on the Soviet Union, and was a major belligerent of the Afghan Civil War.- Saur Revolution :...

 (DRA) government during the late 1970s. At the DRA's request, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 intervened. The mujahideen then fought against Soviet and DRA troops during the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. After the Soviet Union pulled out of the conflict in the late 1980s the mujahideen fought each other in the subsequent Afghan Civil War.

Afghanistan's resistance movement was born in chaos and, at first, virtually all of its war was waged locally by regional warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

s. As warfare became more sophisticated, outside support and regional coordination grew. Even so, the basic units of mujahideen organization and action continued to reflect the highly segmented nature of Afghan society. Eventually, the seven main mujahideen parties allied themselves into the political bloc called Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahideen
Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahideen
The Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahideen was an Afghan organization formed in May 1985 by the seven Afghan mujahideen parties fighting against the Soviet and Democratic Republic of Afghanistan forces in the Soviet-Afghan War...

.

Many Muslims from other countries assisted the various mujahideen groups in Afghanistan. Some groups of these veterans have been significant factors in more recent conflicts in and around the Muslim world. 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...

, originally from a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia, was a prominent organizer and financier of an all-Arab Islamist group of foreign volunteers; his Maktab al-Khadamat
Maktab al-Khadamat
The Maktab al-Khidamat, also Maktab Khadamāt al-Mujāhidīn al-'Arab , also known as the Afghan Services Bureau, is reliably believed to have been founded in 1984 by Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden to raise funds and recruit foreign mujahidin for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan...

 funnelled money, arms, and Muslim fighters from around the Muslim world into Afghanistan, with the assistance and support of the Saudi and Pakistani governments. These foreign fighters became known as "Afghan Arabs" and their efforts were coordinated by Abdullah Yusuf Azzam
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam was a highly influential Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian, who preached in favor of defensive jihad by Muslims to help the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet invaders...

.

US, Pakistani and other financing and support


The mujahideen were significantly financed, armed and trained by the United States [Central Intelligence Agency] (CIA) during the administrations of Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and also by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, 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...

 under Zia-ul-Haq, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 and several Western European
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 countries. Pakistan's secret service, Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI), was used as an intermediary for most of these activities to disguise the sources of support for the resistance. One of the CIA's longest and most expensive covert operation
Covert operation
A covert operation is a military, intelligence or law enforcement operation that is carried clandestinely and, often, outside of official channels. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation...

s was the supplying of billions of dollars in arms to the Afghan mujahideen militants. The arms included Stinger missiles, shoulder-fired, antiaircraft weapons that they used against Soviet helicopters and that later were in circulation among terrorists who have fired such weapons at commercial airliners. Between $3–$20 billion in U.S. funds were funneled into the country to train and equip troops with weapons, including 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...

 surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

s. Some media reports claim up to $40 billion.

Osama bin Laden was allegedly among the recipients of U.S. arms, although this view has been disputed.

Under Reagan, U.S. support for the mujahideen evolved into an official U.S. foreign policy, known as the Reagan Doctrine
Reagan Doctrine
The Reagan Doctrine was a strategy orchestrated and implemented by the United States under the Reagan Administration to oppose the global influence of the Soviet Union during the final years of the Cold War...

, which included U.S. support for anti-Soviet movements in Afghanistan, Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, and elsewhere. Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 praised mujahideen as "freedom fighters".

According to the "Progressive South Asia Exchange Net," claiming to cite an article in , U.S. policy, unbeknownst even to the Mujahideen, was part of a larger strategy of aiming "to induce a Soviet military intervention." The article includes a brief interview with President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981....

, in which he is quoted as saying that the US provided aid to the mujahideen prior to the Soviet invasion for the deliberate purpose of provoking one. Brzezinski himself has denied the accuracy of the interview. According to Brzezinski, an NSC working group
Working group
A working group is an interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers working on new research activities that would be difficult to develop under traditional funding mechanisms . The lifespan of the WG can last anywhere between a few months and several years...

 on Afghanistan wrote several reports on the deteriorating situation in 1979, but President Carter ignored them until the Soviet intervention destroyed his illusions. Brzezinski has stated that the US provided communications equipment and limited financial aid to the mujahideen prior to the "formal" invasion, but only in response to the Soviet deployment of forces to Afghanistan and the 1978 coup, and with the intention of preventing further Soviet encroachment in the region. Two declassified documents signed by Carter shortly before the invasion do authorize the provision "unilaterally or through third countries as appropriate support to the Afghan insurgents either in the form of cash or non-military supplies" and the "worldwide" distribution of "non-attributable propaganda" to "expose" the leftist Afghan government as "despotic and subservient to the Soviet Union" and to "publicize the efforts of the Afghan insurgents to regain their country's sovereignty," but the records also show that the provision of arms to the rebels did not begin until 1980.

The Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 significantly damaged the already tenuous relationship between Secretary of State Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Roberts Vance was an American lawyer and United States Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1980...

 and Brzezinski. Vance felt that Brzezinski's linkage of SALT
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 to other Soviet activities and the MX, together with the growing domestic criticisms in the United States of the SALT II Accord, convinced Brezhnev to decide on military intervention in Afghanistan. Brzezinski, however, later recounted that he repeatedly advanced proposals on how to maintain Afghanistan's "independence" and deter a Soviet invasion but was frustrated by the Department of State's opposition.

According to Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman is an American English teacher, historian, journalist, author, media critic, blogger, and educator. His political weblog named Altercation was hosted by MSNBC.com from 2002 until 2006, moved to Media Matters for America until December 2008, and is now hosted by The...

 of The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

, Vance's close aide Marshall Shulman "insists that the State Department worked hard to dissuade the Soviets from invading and would never have undertaken a program to encourage it" and President Carter has said it was definitely "not my intention" to inspire a Soviet invasion but to deter one.

Bob Gates, in his book Out Of The Shadows, wrote that Pakistan had actually been pressuring the United States for arms to aid the rebels for years, but that the Carter administration refused in the hope of finding a diplomatic solution to avoid war. Brzezinski seemed to have been in favor of the provision of arms to the rebels, while Vance's State Department, seeking a peaceful settlement, publicly accused Brzezinski of seeking to "revive" the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

The Black Book of Communism argues that it was absurd to blame the provision of communications equipment and other non-military supplies to the mujahideen for the Soviet invasion, claiming that the campaign to eradicate the public influence of Islam by the Communist government caused a fierce insurgency.

The Soviet invasion and occupation killed up to 2 million Afghans. Brzezinski defended the arming of the rebels in response, saying that it "was quite important in hastening the end of the conflict," thereby saving the lives of thousands of Afghans, but "not in deciding the conflict, because actually the fact is that even though we helped the mujahideen, they would have continued fighting without our help, because they were also getting a lot of money from the Persian Gulf and the Arab states, and they weren't going to quit. They didn't decide to fight because we urged them to. They're fighters, and they prefer to be independent. They just happen to have a curious complex: they don't like foreigners with guns in their country. And they were going to fight the Soviets. Giving them weapons was a very important forward step in defeating the Soviets, and that's all to the good as far as I'm concerned." When he was asked if he thought it was the right decision in retrospect (given the Taliban's subsequent rise to power), he said: "Which decision? For the Soviets to go in? The decision was the Soviets', and they went in. The Afghans would have resisted anyway, and they were resisting. I just told you: in my view, the Afghans would have prevailed in the end anyway, 'cause they had access to money, they had access to weapons, and they had the will to fight." The interviewer then asked: "So US support for the mujahideen only begins after the Russians invade, not before?" Brzezinski replied: "With arms? Absolutely afterwards. No question about it. Show me some documents to the contrary." Likewise; Charlie Wilson said: "The U.S. had nothing whatsoever to do with these people's decision to fight ... but we'll be damned by history if we let them fight with stones."

In an interview with The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor is an international newspaper published daily online, Monday to Friday, and weekly in print. It was started in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. As of 2009, the print circulation was 67,703.The CSM is a newspaper that covers...

, in March 1981, Jimmy Carter's Vice-President Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

 declared: "I cannot understand -- it just baffles me -- why the Soviets these last few years have behaved as they have. Maybe we have made some mistakes with them. Why did they have to build up all these arms? Why did they have to go into Afghanistan? Why can't they relax just a little bit about Eastern Europe? Why do they try every door to see if it is locked?"

In a 2007 movie
Charlie Wilson's War
Charlie Wilson's War is a 2007 American biographical comedy drama film recounting the true story of U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson who partnered with "bare knuckle attitude" CIA operative Gust Avrakotos to launch Operation Cyclone, a program to organize and support the Afghan mujahideen in their...

 based based on George Crile's 2003 book Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History, it is alleged that the KGB murdered the Afghan President, Mohammed Daoud Khan
Mohammed Daoud Khan
Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan or Daud Khan was Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963 and later becoming the President of Afghanistan...

. But it wasn't until 2008 that Khan's body was even found. In Val Wake's novel When the Lions are Drinking there is a further spin about the British propaganda war to force the Red Army out of Afghanistan. The government information film referred in Charlie Wilson's War was produced by the British film unit that is the main subject of Val Wake's novel.

Hekmatyar


More than a half billion dollars of U.S. funding through Pakistan went to the Hizb party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

, making Hekmatyar the recipient of the highest percentage of covert American funding through the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

. Hekmatyar had "almost no grassroots support and no military base inside Afghanistan." Hekmatyar also received the lion's share of aid from Saudi Arabia. The CIA allegedly also gave Hekmatyar immunity for his illegal drug trade activities.

The main base station of mujahideen in Pakistan was the town Badaber, 24 km from Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

. The base served as a concentration camp for Soviet and DRA P.O.W.s as well. In 1985, a prisoner rebellion
Badaber Uprising
Badaber Uprising was an armed uprising by Soviet Union and Republic of Afghanistan captives held at the Badaber fortress-jail in Pakistan on April 26 and 27, 1985, against much larger units of Pakistan's regular army accompanied by Afghan mujahideen. The attempt of the captives to liberate...

 destroyed the base, but the incident was concealed by the Pakistani and Soviet governments until the dissolution of the USSR.

Mujahideen forces caused serious casualties to the Soviet forces, and made the war very costly for the Soviet Union. Thus in 1989, the Soviet Union withdrew its forces from Afghanistan. Many districts and cities then fell to the mujahideen; in 1992 the DRA's last president, Mohammad Najibullah
Mohammad Najibullah
Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai , originally merely Najibullah, was the fourth and last President of the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is also considered the second President of the Republic of Afghanistan.-Early years:Najibullah was born in August 1947 to the Ahmadzai...

, was overthrown.

However, the mujahideen did not establish a united government, and many of the larger mujahideen groups began to fight each other over power in Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

. After several years of devastating fighting, a village mullah
Mullah
Mullah is generally used to refer to a Muslim man, educated in Islamic theology and sacred law. The title, given to some Islamic clergy, is derived from the Arabic word مَوْلَى mawlā , meaning "vicar", "master" and "guardian"...

 named Mohammed Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...

 organized a new armed movement with the backing of Pakistan. This movement became known as the Taliban ("students" in Arabic), referring to the Saudi-backed religious schools
Madrassas in Pakistan
Madrassas in Pakistan are Islamic seminaries in Pakistan that teach mostly Islamic subjects leading to graduation as a cleric...

 known for producing extremism. Veteran mujahideen were confronted by this radical splinter group in 1996.

Favorable portrayal in Western films


The mujahideen militants were also portrayed favorably in several mainstream American and Western films:
  • Spies Like Us
    Spies Like Us
    Spies Like Us is a 1985 American comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon...

    (1985
    1985 in film
    -Events:* 3 December - Roger Moore steps down from the role of James Bond after twelve years and seven films. He is replaced by Timothy Dalton.* The Academy Award for Best Picture was won by Out Of Africa, while the highest grossing film was Back to the Future.* Bliss wins AFI Award for best Movie...

    )
  • The Living Daylights
    The Living Daylights
    The Living Daylights is the fifteenth entry in the James Bond series and the first to star Timothy Dalton as the fictional MI6 agent 007. The film's title is taken from Ian Fleming's short story, "The Living Daylights"...

    ,
    (1987
    1987 in film
    -Events:*January 31 - The Cure for Insomnia premieres at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois, to officially become the world's longest film according to Guinness World Records....

    ), a James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

     film
  • Rambo III
    Rambo III
    Rambo III is an American Action film released on May 25, 1988. It is the third film in the Rambo series following First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II...

    (1988
    1988 in film
    -Top grossing films :- Awards :Academy Awards:* Act of Piracy* Action Jackson, starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone* The Adventures of Baron Munchausen* Akira* Alice...

    )
  • The Beast (1988
    1988 in film
    -Top grossing films :- Awards :Academy Awards:* Act of Piracy* Action Jackson, starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone* The Adventures of Baron Munchausen* Akira* Alice...

    )
  • Charlie Wilson's War
    Charlie Wilson's War
    Charlie Wilson's War is a 2007 American biographical comedy drama film recounting the true story of U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson who partnered with "bare knuckle attitude" CIA operative Gust Avrakotos to launch Operation Cyclone, a program to organize and support the Afghan mujahideen in their...

    (2007
    2007 in film
    This is a list of major films released in 2007.-Top grossing films:Please note that following the tradition of the English-language film industry, these are the top grossing films that were first released in the USA in 2007...

    )

Post-Soviet international fighters



By 1996, with backing from the Pakistani ISI, Pakistani Armed Forces, and al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, the Taliban had largely defeated the militias and controlled most of the country. The opposition factions allied themselves together again and became known as the Northern Alliance
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
The United Islamic Front , known in the West and Pakistan as the Northern Alliance, was a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 under the leadership of Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud...

. In 2001, with U.S.-NATO intervention, the Taliban were ousted from power
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and a new Afghan government was formed. Many of the former mujahideen gradually were incorporated into the new Afghan National Army
Afghan National Army
The Afghan National Army is a service branch of the military of Afghanistan, which is currently trained by the coalition forces to ultimately take the role in land-based military operations in Afghanistan. , the Afghan National Army is divided into seven regional Corps. The strength of the Afghan...

 and Afghan National Police
Afghan National Police
The Afghan National Police - ANP - is the primary national police force in Afghanistan. It serves as a single law enforcement agency all across the country. The Afghan police force was first created with the establishment of the Afghan nation in the early 18th century...

.

At present the term "mujahideen" is sometimes used to describe insurgents groups (including Taliban and al-Qaeda) who are fighting NATO troops and the Military of Afghanistan
Military of Afghanistan
The military of Afghanistan is composed of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Army Air Force . Being a landlocked country, Afghanistan has no navy, and the private security forces who are sometimes seen wearing military uniforms are not part of Afghanistan's military...

 and Pakistan.

Afghan mujahideen also participated in the 1992 Civil war in Tajikistan.

Bosnian war


During the Bosnian war 1992-1995, some foreign Muslims came to Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 as mujahideen. The war had been depicted in the international press as an attack on Muslims. Serb
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 forces attacked Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) communities indiscriminately, and committed substantial atrocities against the Bosniak population (see Bosnian Genocide
Bosnian Genocide
The term Bosnian Genocide refers to either the genocide committed by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica in 1995 or the ethnic cleansing campaign that took place throughout areas controlled by the Bosnian Serb Army during the 1992–1995 Bosnian War....

, Srebrenica Massacre
Srebrenica massacre
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing, during the Bosnian War, of more than 8,000 Bosniaks , mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska under the command of...

, Serbian War Crimes in the Yugoslav Wars). This moved Muslims who shared mujahideen beliefs to come to the aid of oppressed fellow Muslims, and also presented an opportunity to strike at "infidels". The number of foreign Muslim volunteers in Bosnia was estimated at about 4,000 in contemporary newspaper reports. Later research estimated about 400 foreign volunteers. They came from places such as Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, 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...

, 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...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and the Palestinian Territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

; to quote the summary of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 judgment:

The evidence shows that foreign volunteers arrived in central Bosnia in the second half of 1992 with the aim of helping their Muslim brothers against the Serbian aggressors. Mostly they came from North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, the Near East and the Middle East. The foreign volunteers differed considerably from the local population, not only because of their physical appearance and the language they spoke, but also because of their fighting methods. The various foreign, Muslim volunteers were primarily organized into an umbrella detachment of the 7th Muslim Brigade
7th Muslim Brigade
The 7th Muslim Brigade was a brigade in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina . It was often misinterpreted by Serb and Croat media, which confused it with the squad of Arab volunteers known as El-Mudžahid - foreign fighters from various Islamic countries that fought during the...

, which was a brigade of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the military force of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina established by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 following the outbreak of the Bosnian War...

, based in Zenica
Zenica
Zenica is an industrial city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the capital of the Zenica-Doboj Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity...

. This independent subdivision colloquially known as El-Mudžahid, was composed exclusively of foreign nationals and not Bosnians (whereas the 7th Muslim Brigade was entirely made up of native Bosniaks) and consisted of somewhere between 300 to 1,500 volunteers. Enver Hadžihasanović
Enver Hadžihasanovic
Enver Hadžihasanović was a general of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as chief of staff.-Military History:...

, Lieutenant Colonel of the Bosnian Army's 3rd Corps
3rd Corps of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The 3rd corps of the Bosnian Army was one of five, later seven. It was established by the order of the Commander of Main Staff of the Bosnian Army Sefer Halilović on 9 November 1992...

, appointed Mahmut Karalić (Commandant), Asim Koričić (Chief of Staff) and Amir Kubura (Assistant Chief for Operational and Curricula) to lead the group.

Some of the mujahideen funnelled arms and money into the country which Bosnia was in dire need of due to a United Nations-sanctioned arms embargo
United Nations Security Council Resolution 713
United Nations Security Council Resolution 713, adopted unanimously on September 25, 1991, after receiving representations from a number of Member States and commending the efforts of the European Community in the region, the Council decided to impose, under Chapter VII, an arms embargo on the...

 restricting the importation of weapons into all of the republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

. However, many of the mujahideen were extremely devout Muslims of the strict Salafi
Salafi
A Salafi come from Sunni Islam is a follower of an Islamic movement, Salafiyyah, that is supposed to take the Salaf who lived during the patristic period of early Islam as model examples...

 sect, which contrasted sharply with the widely renowned secular society and liberal attitudes Bosnian Muslims
Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina are a little under two million in number and constitute 40 percent of the country's population . The modern Bosniaks, often referred to as Bosnian Muslims, descend from Slavic speakers who converted to Islam in the 15th and 16th centuries. Bosniaks are...

 harbored. This led to friction between the mujahideen and the Bosniaks. Furthermore, some mujahideen wanted to fight a war of extermination, or use Bosniak territory as a base for terrorist operations elsewhere. This was contrary to the war goals of the Bosnian government, who was primarily oriented towards fighting for national independence.

Foreign volunteers in Bosnia have been variously accused of committing war crimes during the conflict. However, the ICTY has not ever issued indictments against mujahideen fighters. Instead, the ICTY indicted some Bosnian Army commanders on the basis of superior criminal responsibility. The ICTY acquitted Amir Kubura and Enver Hadžihasanović of the Bosnian 3rd Corps of all charges related to the incidents involving mujahideen. Furthermore, the Appeals Chamber noted that the relationship between the 3rd Corps and the El Mujahedin detachment was not one of subordination but was instead close to overt hostility since the only way to control the detachment was to attack them as if they were a distinct enemy force.

The ICTY Trial Chamber convicted Rasim Delic
Rasim Delic
Rasim Delić was the Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was a career officer in the Yugoslav National Army but left the army when Yugoslavia dissolved.- Yugoslavian National Army :...

, the former chief of the Bosnian Army General Staff. The ICTY found that Delic had effective control over the El Mujahid Detachment. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for failure to prevent or punish the cruel treatment of twelve captured Serb soldiers by the Mujahideen. Delic remained in the Detention Unit while appellate proceedings continued.

Some individual members of the Bosnian Mujahideen, gained particular prominence within Bosnia as well as international attention from various foreign governments, such as Abdelkader Mokhtari
Abdelkader Mokhtari
Abdelkader Mokhtari is an Arab commander who became a "sacred legend" for the Bosnian mujahideen in the Bosnian War.-Life:...

, Fateh Kamel
Fateh Kamel
An Algerian-Canadian, Fateh Kamel was arrested in 1999 on charges of supporting a terrorist plot against attacks against French targets in Paris, and was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.He was released early for good behaviour, and returned to Canada....

, and Karim Said Atmani
Karim Said Atmani
A Moroccan living illegally in Montreal since 1995, Karim Said Atmani was alleged to be a document-forger for the Groupe Islamique Armé, and shared an apartment with Ahmed Ressam....

, all of whom were North African volunteers with well established links to Islamic Fundamentalist groups before and after the Bosnian War.

Arakan uprising (Burma)


A sizable number of mujahideen are present and concentrated in the province of Arakan
Rakhine State
Rakhine State is a Burmese state. Situated on the western coast, it is bordered by Chin State in the north, Magway Region, Bago Region and Ayeyarwady Region in the east, the Bay of Bengal to the west, and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh to the northwest. It is located approximately between...

, Burma. They were much more active before the 1962 coup d'etat
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 by General Ne Win
Ne Win
Ne Win was Burmese a politician and military commander. He was Prime Minister of Burma from 1958 to 1960 and 1962 to 1974 and also head of state from 1962 to 1981...

. Ne Win carried out some military operations targeting them over a period of two decades. The prominent one was "Operation King Dragon
King Dragon operation in Arakan
The King Dragon Operation, or Naga Min Sitsin Yae, was a large scale military operation in Arakan, Burma carried out during the rule of General Ne Win. The operation focused on rooting out Mujahid rebels in the area. who had been fighting for an Islamic state in Northern Rakhine state. However,...

" which took place in 1978; as a result, many Muslims in the region fled to neighboring country Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 as refugees. Nevertheless, the Burmese mujahideen are still active within the remote areas of Arakan. Their associations with Bangladeshi mujahideen were significant but they have extended their networks to the international level and countries such as 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...

, Malaysia, et al., during the recent years. They collect donations, and receive religious military training outside of Burma.

North Caucasus


The term mujahideen has often been used to refer to all separatist fighters in the case of the First
First Chechen War
The First Chechen War, also known as the War in Chechnya, was a conflict between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, fought from December 1994 to August 1996...

 and Second Chechen War
Second Chechen War
The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the War in the North Caucasus, was launched by the Russian Federation starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade ....

s. However, in this article, mujahideen is used to refer to the foreign, non-Caucasian
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 fighters who joined the separatists’ cause for the sake 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...

. They are often called Ansaar
Ansar (Islam)
Ansar is an Islamic term that literally means "helpers" and denotes the Medinan citizens that helped Muhammad and the Muhajirun on the arrival to the city after the migration to Medina...

 (helpers) in related literature dealing with this conflict to prevent confusion with the native fighters.

Foreign mujahideen have played a part in both Chechen wars. After the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the subsequent Chechen declaration of independence
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzokhar Dudayev, and fought two devastating wars between separatists and the Russian Federation which denounced secession...

, foreign fighters began entering the region and associating themselves with local rebels (most notably Shamil Basayev
Shamil Basayev
Shamil Salmanovich Basayev was a Chechen militant Islamist and a leader of the Chechen rebel movement.Starting as a field commander in the Transcaucasus, Basayev led guerrilla campaigns against the Russian troops for years, as well as launching mass-hostage takings of civilians, with his goal...

). Many of the foreign fighters were veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

 and, prior to the Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n invasion, had used their expertise to train the Chechen separatists. The foreign mujahideen were notorious and feared for their guerilla tactics during the First Chechen War
First Chechen War
The First Chechen War, also known as the War in Chechnya, was a conflict between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, fought from December 1994 to August 1996...

, inflicting severe casualties on the poorly prepared Russian forces. The mujahideen also made a significant financial contribution to the separatists’ cause; with their access to the immense wealth of Salafist charities like al-Haramein, they soon became an invaluable source of funds for the Chechen resistance, which had few resources of its own.

Most of the mujahideen decided to remain in Chechnya
Chechnya
The Chechen Republic , commonly referred to as Chechnya , also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria , is a federal subject of Russia . It is located in the southeastern part of Europe in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny...

 after the withdrawal of Russian forces. In 1999, foreign fighters played an important role in the ill-fated Chechen incursion
Dagestan War
The invasion of Dagestan, also known as the War in Dagestan and Dagestan War, began on August 7, 1999, when the Chechnya-based Islamic International Brigade , an Islamist militia led by warlords Shamil Basayev and Ibn al-Khattab, invaded the neighbouring Russian republic of Dagestan in support of...

 into Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

, where they suffered a decisive defeat and were forced to retreat back into Chechnya. The incursion provided the new Russian government with a pretext for intervention. Russian ground forces invaded Chechnya again in December 1999.

The mujahideen were deemed responsible for the decapitation of six young Russian conscripts caught in Dagestan during a rebel incursion. The beheading was depicted in a video that was posted online. The six Russian conscripts were caught behind enemy lines after the small and unprepared Russian unit retreated during a rebel advance onto Dagestan. The mujahideen were then killed by Russian special forces during a gunfight a short time later.

The separatists were less successful in the Second Chechen War. The Chechens were unable to hold their ground against better prepared and more determined Russian forces. Russian officials claimed that the separatists had been defeated as early as 2002. The Russians also succeeded in killing the most prominent mujahideen commanders, most notably Ibn al-Khattab
Ibn al-Khattab
Samir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem , more commonly known as Emir Khattab meaning Commander Khattab, or Leader Khattab, and also known as Habib Abdul Rahman, was a Muslim guerilla fighter and financier working with Chechen Mujahideen in the First Chechen War...

 and Abu al-Walid
Abu al-Walid
Abu al-Walid , was a Saudi-born Arab of the Ghamid tribe who fought as a "mujahid" volunteer in Central Asia, the Balkans, and the North Caucasus...

.

Although the region has since been far from stable, separatist activity has decreased, though some foreign fighters remain active in Chechnya. In the last months of 2007, the influence of foreign fighters became apparent again when Dokka Umarov proclaimed the Caucasus Emirate
Caucasus Emirate
The Caucasus Emirate also known as the Caucasian Emirate is a self-proclaimed virtual state entity, partially successor to the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and was officially announced on October 31, 2007 by former President of Ichkeria Dokka Umarov, who became the first Emir...

 being fought for by the Caucasian Mujahadeen
Caucasian Front (Chechen War)
The Caucasian Front also called Caucasus Front or the Caucasian Mujahadeen, was formally established in May 2005 as an Islamic structural unit of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria's armed forces by the decree of the separatist President of Chechnya Abdul-Halim Sadulayev during the Second Chechen...

, a pan-Caucasian Islamic state of which Chechnya was to be a province. This move caused a rift in the resistance movement between those supporting the Emirate and those who were in favour of preserving the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzokhar Dudayev, and fought two devastating wars between separatists and the Russian Federation which denounced secession...

.

India and Pakistan



An outfit calling itself the Indian Mujahideen
Indian Mujahideen
Indian Mujahideen is a terrorist group based in India, known for carrying out several attacks against civilian targets in India....

 came to light in 2008 with multiple large scale terror attacks. On November 26, 2008, a group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility for a string of attacks
2008 Mumbai attacks
The 2008 Mumbai attacks were more than 10 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India's largest city, by Islamist attackers who came from Pakistan...

 across Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

. The Weekly Standard claimed, "Indian intelligence believes the Indian Mujahideen is a front group created by Lashkar-e-Taiba
Lashkar-e-Taiba
Lashkar-e-Taiba – also transliterated as Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Lashkar Taiba or LeT – is one of the largest and most active militant Islamist terrorist organizations in South Asia, operating mainly from Pakistan.It was founded by Hafiz Muhammad...

 and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami
Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami
Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami is an Islamic fundamentalist organization most active in South Asian countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and India since the early 1990s. It was banned in Bangladesh in 2005. The operational commander of HuJI, Ilyas Kashmiri, was reportedly killed in a U.S. Predator drone...

 to confuse investigators and cover the tracks of the Students Islamic Movement of India
Students Islamic Movement of India
The Students Islamic Movement of India is an Islamic student organization that was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, in April 1977. The stated mission of SIMI is the ‘liberation of India’ from Western materialistic cultural influence and to convert its Muslim society to live according to Muslim...

, or SIMI, a radical Islamist movement with aim to establish Islamic rule over India. In the Indian state of 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...

, Kashmiri Muslim separatists opposing Indian rule are often known as mujahideen.

Several different militant groups have since taken root in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Most noticeable of these groups are Lashkar-e-Taiba
Lashkar-e-Taiba
Lashkar-e-Taiba – also transliterated as Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Lashkar Taiba or LeT – is one of the largest and most active militant Islamist terrorist organizations in South Asia, operating mainly from Pakistan.It was founded by Hafiz Muhammad...

 (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed
Jaish-e-Mohammed
Jaish-e-Mohammed is a Pakistani-based, militant Islamic group established by Maulana Masood Azhar in March 2000...

 (JeM), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Hizbul Mujahideen
Hizbul Mujahideen
Hizbul Mujahideen , founded by Ahsan Dar in 1989, is a Kashmiri militant group active in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. Their headquarters are located in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. It is believed the group al-Badr, derived from Hizbul Mujahideen...

 and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen- al-Islami is a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group operating primarily in Kashmir. In 1997, the United States designated Harakat al-Ansar a foreign terrorist organization for links to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and in response the organization changed its name to...

 (HuM). A 1996 report by Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 estimated the number of active mujahideen at 3,200.

The Pakistan Army National Guard known as "Mujahid Force". Unlike the above examples, these are people who are enlisted or commissioned in the army of a nation state and they are thus regular soldiers, and associated with the mujahideen.

The members of the Salafi movement
Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen
Kerala Nadwathul Mujahideen is a Salafi Islamic organization and movement within Sunni Islam in Kerala, India. One faction of the organization is working in co-operation with Ahl al-Hadith , an all-Subcontinental Islahi outfit...

 (with in Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

) in the south Indian state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

 is known as "Mujahids".

Iran


While more than one group in Iran have called themselves mujahideen, the most famous is the People's Mujahedin of Iran
People's Mujahedin of Iran
The People's Mujahedin of Iran is a terrorist militant organization that advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran....

 (PMOI). Currently an Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

-based Islamic Socialist
Islamic socialism
Islamic socialism is a term coined by various Muslim leaders to describe a more spiritual form of socialism. Muslim socialists believe that the teachings of the Qur'an and Muhammad are compatible with principles of equality and the redistribution of wealth....

 militant organization that advocates the overthrow of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's current government. The group also took part in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iraq-Iran War (on the side of Iraqis), and the Iraqi internal conflicts. They were recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States CIA as well as the Iranian government; however, recent investigations by Intelligence Subcommittee, headed by Congressman Rogers [R-MI] have determined there is no factual basis for the terror-group designation. This position is also supported by Senator Stabenow [D-MI].Said position is supported by the NSA and CIA as well.The heads of many foreign State security organizations also concur, as does the United Nations. A Federal District judge has ordered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to act upon this corrected information, but she has been slow to comply.It appears that the improper designation was entirely political in nature.
Their actual mission is to overthrow the Iranian government by any means necessary.

Currently, inside Iran, Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization
Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization
Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization , sometimes abbreviated to MIRO, is a reformist Iranian political organization. It is a small yet influential organization, and participates in political activities similar to a political party...

 is a reformist Iranian political organization. It is a small yet very influential organization within the Iranian reform movement.

Another mujahideen was the Mujahedin-e Islam, an Islamic party led by Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani. It was a component of the National Front (Iran)
National Front (Iran)
The National Front of Iran or Jebhe Melli is a Democratic, political opposition group founded by Mohammad Mossadegh and other secular Iranian leaders of Nationalist, Liberal, and Social-Democratic political orientation who had been educated in France in the late 1940s...

 during the time of Mohammed Mosaddeq's oil nationalization, but broke away from Mosaddeq over his allegedly unIslamic policies.

Iraq



The term mujahideen is sometimes applied to fighters who joined the insurgency after the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

.
Some groups also use the word mujahideen in their names, like Mujahideen Shura Council (an umbrella group run by al-Qaeda in Iraq
Al-Qaeda in Iraq
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a popular name for the Iraqi division of the international Salafi jihadi militant organization al-Qaeda. It is recognized as a part of the greater Iraqi insurgency....

) and Mujahideen Army
Mujahideen Army
The Jaish al-Mujahideen is a prominent Sunni resistance group operating inside Iraq. The group first emerged in late 2004...

.
Currently individuals identified with the organization are held in death camps, and an international effort to have the survivors freed is a cause celebre among Iranian resistance groups; who call the situation a human rights issue.

Kosovo war


According to the Serbian and other European press several hundred to a few thousand Mujahideen fighters from the Middle East and other parts of the world later joined the Kosovo Liberation Army
Kosovo Liberation Army
The Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA was a Kosovar Albanian paramilitary organization which sought the separation of Kosovo from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s....

 to fight against Serbian forces in the Kosovo war
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 1997–1999. Allegedly some of them formed their own units with Albanian leaders who spoke Arabic fluently. The greatest involvement was in the conflicts along the border with Albania as well as in the Battle of Košare
Battle of Košare
The Battle of Košare was fought during the Kosovo war between the military forces of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on one side and the KLA. The battle was fought around Rasa Koshares on the border between FR Yugoslavia and Albania from 9 April until 10 June during the NATO bombing of FR...

. After the war most of the foreign volunteers went back to their home lands, while some of them remained in Kosovo where they became citizens.

The Kosovo Liberation Army
Kosovo Liberation Army
The Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA was a Kosovar Albanian paramilitary organization which sought the separation of Kosovo from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s....

 included in its ranks foreign volunteers from Belgium, the UK, Germany, the US and France.

Philippines



Between the acquisition of the Philippines after the Spanish American War and a treaty with Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram II the Sultan of Sulu in 1915, the United States and the government of the Philippines were involved in a period known as the Moro Rebellion
Moro Rebellion
The Moro Rebellion was an armed military conflict between Moro revolutionary groups in the Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan and the United States military which took place in the Philippines as early as between 1899 to 1913, following the Spanish-American War in 1898...

. During this period, religious rebels supported by the Sultan fought for removal of the Christian-dominated Philippine government from the Sulu Archipelago
Sulu Archipelago
The Sulu Archipelago is a chain of islands in the southwestern Philippines. This archipelago is considered to be part of the Moroland by the local rebel independence movement. This island group forms the northern limit of the Celebes Sea....

 and Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

 and for the independence of the Sultanate of Sulu. During this period there were volunteers who were willing to commit themselves to hand-to-hand combat and probable death, which was called by these oathtakers in Spanish juramentados. These religious rebels have been compared with Mujahideen.

Abu Sayyaf
Abu Sayyaf
Abu Sayyaf also known as al-Harakat al-Islamiyya is one of several military Islamist separatist groups based in and around the southern Philippines, in Bangsamoro where for almost 30 years various Muslim groups have been engaged in an insurgency for an independent province in the country...

 is an Islamic separatist group in the southern Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. The group is known for their kidnapping
Kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

s of Western nationals and Filipinos, for which it has received several large ransom
Ransom
Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it can refer to the sum of money involved.In an early German law, a similar concept was called bad influence...

 payments. Some Abu Sayyaf members have studied or worked in Saudi Arabia and developed relations with the mujahideen members while fighting and training in the war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Abu Sayyaf proclaimed themselves as mujahideen but are not supported by many people in the Philippines including its Muslim clerics. The Abu Sayyaf is thought to number around an estimated figure of 400 militants.

Somali civil war



In July 2006, a Web-posted message purportedly written by Osama bin Laden urged Somalis to build an Islamic state
Islamic State
An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

 in the country and warned western states that his al-Qaeda network would fight against them if they intervened there. Foreign fighters began to arrive, though there were official denials of the presence of mujahideen in the country.
Even so, the threat of jihad was made openly and repeatedly in the months preceding the Battle of Baidoa
Battle of Baidoa
The Battle of Baidoa began on December 20, 2006 when the Somali Transitional Federal Government's forces allied with Ethiopian forces stationed there attacked advancing Islamic Courts Union forces along with 500 alleged Eritrean troops and mujahideen arrayed against them.The battle began with...

. On December 23, 2006, Islamists, for the first time, called upon international fighters to join their cause. The term mujahideen is now openly used by the post-ICU resistance against the Ethiopians and the TFG.

Al-Shabaab



Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen is said to have non-Somali foreigners in its ranks, particularly at its leadership. Fighters from the Persian Gulf and international jihadists were called to join the holy war against the Somali government and its Ethiopian allies. Though Somali Islamists did not use suicide bombing tactics before, the foreign elements of Al-Shabaab are blamed for several suicide bombings. UN's 2006 report stated Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and others in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 region as the main backers of the Islamist extremists. Egypt has a longstanding policy of securing the Nile River flow by destabilizing Ethiopia. Similarly, recent media reports also cited Egyptian and Arab jihadists as the core elements of the Al-Shabaab, who are training Somalis in sophisticated weaponry and suicide bombing techniques.