Indian security agencies, in a bid to strengthen their proposal to ban the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), are collating new details of the terror outfit being a threat not only to India but also to the West, reports The Hindu.
The agencies would highlight how the JeM’s parent outfit, Harkat-ul-Ansar, which was included by the United States in its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations in 1999 had been rechristened as Jaish-e-Mohammed and continued to train terrorists for attacks against the US troops in Afghanistan, a senior official was cited in the report as saying.
The report cited another senior official as saying that JeM’s Balakot training camp, which was recently hit by Indian air strike, was established following the collapse of Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.
“The primary aim of the establishment of this camp was to train people to go to Afghanistan to attack the U.S. troops there. Their next objective was to train fidayeen [suicide bombers] and then the local militants. As many as two-thirds of the militants trained here were sent to Afghanistan,” the senior official was quoted in the report as saying.
The official said that the creation of the Jaish could be linked to the popularity surrounding Masood Azhar post his release from India in 1999. He was released in exchange of the passengers of an Indian Airlines aircraft IC 814 which was hijacked from Nepal.
“He 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 11 February the same year. After he was released [in 1999], the HuA was included in the US list which compelled the outfit to rename itself as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). Azhar decided to float a new outfit, JeM. He received assistance from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the then Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden and several Sunni sectarian outfits of Pakistan,” said the official.
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