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Masood Azhar runs JeM like a ‘family enterprise’

May 04, 2019 04:58 AM

courtesy  MIRROR  MAY 4

Masood Azhar runs JeM like a ‘family enterprise’
16 of his relatives, including two sons, are part of Jaish operations, according to an intelligence dossier shared by India with China and US, among others
| Abhishek | TWEETS @MumbaiMirror

Maulana Masood Azhar, the Pakistan-based chief of Jaishe-Mohammed (JeM), runs his terror outfit like a “family enterprise”, to retain control over its operations and burgeoning finances, according to a recent intelligence dossier shared by India with several countries, including China and the US, to get him designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations (UN). According to the dossier, as many as 16 of Azhar’s close relatives – including his sons Abdullah and Waliulah alias Wali – are currently part of JeM’s operations, which extend to Afghanistan in an alliance with the Taliban, and fundgathering/radicalisation/communication activities in Pakistan with an aim to support violence in Kashmir. Three of Azhar’s nephews have so far died in encounters with Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the dossier, which has been accessed by Mumbai Mirror. According to the document, while the Pakistani authorities took no action against Azhar after the Pulwama attack in February, he was put under “house arrest at Markaz Subhanallah in Bahawalpur”, a key JeM facility, after the Indian Air Force bombed his training establishment in Balakot in retaliation. Azhar was “recently” moved to a “safe house in Islamabad”, the dossier said.

In a huge diplomatic win for India, the UN on Wednesday designated Azhar as a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him under the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee. A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

The dossier said that the JeM’s activities and organisational structure “leads to the conclusion that it is fully controlled by family members of Masood Azhar as senior functionaries”. It said: “The second generation of Masood’s family also joined the rank and file of JeM in its operational and administrative hierarchy, which include its massive properties in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, comprising of Markaz Subhanallah and a madrassa, training infrastructure and financial corps, collected through its charity front Al Rahmat Trust”.

Among the key Azhar relatives in decision-making roles at JeM are his brothers Mufti Abdul Rauf and Ibrahim Azhar, and his brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar.

The trio, along with other Pakistani accused, allegedly orchestrated the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane, IC-814, in December 1999. The hostage crisis lasted seven days and ended after India agreed to release Azhar and two other top terrorists. Soon, Azhar surfaced in Bahawalpur to float JeM, with support from Al Qaeda’s Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban’s late founder, Mullah Omar. According to the dossier, Abdul Rauf is the de-facto “Amir (Head) of JeM”, Ibrahim is an “operational commander and supervises Afghanistan operations” of JeM, while Yusuf heads the Balakot facility bombed by India, Markaz Syed Ahmad Shaheed.

Azhar’s elder brother, Mohammad Tahir, is a senior JeM functionary, four other relatives are associated with its key Bahawalpur establishment, named Markaz Usman o Ali. Brother-in-law Abdul Rasheed is in charge of administration and training at Markaz Usman o Ali. Another brother-in-law, Mohammad Annas, is its stores in-charge. A fourth brother-in-law, Mansoor Ahmed, heads JeM’s “defence wing”.

Other relatives with key functions are brother Talha Saif (chief editor of the publication wing and head of the JeM’s student wing, Al Murabitoon), brother Mohammad Ammar (supervisor, Al-Qalam weekly) and brotherin-law Hafiz Jameel (administrator of JeM’s facility, Markaz Subhanallah).

Among the “second generation” members of Azhar’s family, son Abdullah is allegedly involved in “operations” in Kashmir and Afghanistan, son Waliullah is undergoing “jihadi training”, nephew Huzaifa took terror training at Markaz Usman o Ali, nephew Osama looks after the affairs of Markaz Usman o Ali and was involved in Afghanistan operations, while nephew Attaullah Kashif works as a “preacher/motivator”. Three of Azhar’s nephews were earlier killed in Kashmir in gun-battles with security forces: Usman Haider, Muhammad Umar and Talha Rasheed.

“Azhar decides on deployment of terrorists along with his brother and operational commander of JeM, Rauf. On their direction and supervision, ‘high value operatives’, particularly trained terrorists belonging to their family, are infiltrated into J&K to conduct spectacular terror attacks,” the document said. “The killings of such high value targets by Indian security forces are then projected as shahadat and leveraged for aggressive recruitment and fund collection activities in Pakistan and PoJK.”

Azhar also heads a new course on sea-based terror operations, Samundari Jehad, which was started at JeM’s Markaz Subhanallah facility in Bahawalpur in mid-2018

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