Ahmed Zargar of the Al-Umar-Mujaheedin may be a forgotten name in India today. Just to recall, he was one of the terrorists who was released in exchange during the Khandahar hijack incident along with Maulana Masood Azhar.
While Azhar returned to Pakistan and launched the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Zargar was told to lie low. Today the man responsible for killing 40 Kashmiri Pandits is back in business after being told by the ISI to relaunch his activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The officials who are well-versed with terrorism in the Valley say that this man is dangerous. He may be a forgotten name today and that is why the ISI, with an intention of creating an element of surprise, is planning on activating him and his network.
He is responsible for the killing of nearly 40 Kashmiri Pandits. After his arrest in 1992, he was released in 1999 in exchange for the hostages aboard the IC-814. Zargar's operations are well known in Jammu and Kashmir.
He has been involved in large scale recruitment and had worked closely with the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front before splitting up.
He formed the Al-Umar-Mujaheedin. He was also responsible for the abduction of Rubaiya Saeed, sister of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti in 1989. Intelligence Bureau officials say that following his release, he was lying low.
However now, he has been told to step up operations in Jammu and Kashmir. He has been trying to activate his old contacts in the Valley. Residing in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Zargar was recently contacted by the ISI and told to relaunch the outfit and operations in the Valley.
Further, the IB has also intimated security forces to be on the watch out for groups such as the Al-Badr, Ikhwan-ul-Mujahiddin and Al-Jihad. These are small groups that are present in PoK. They too would be launched into the Valley.
This is being done as there is too much heat on the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad who are finding it difficult to operate in the Valley today.
IB officials say that the ISI is known to launch unknown groups into India when the heat on their main proxies in very high.