For the Jaish-e-Mohammad it is all in the family
New Delhi, Mar 07: For the Jaish-e-Mohammad, one of the most lethal terror groups in the world, it is all in the family. The outfit was created following the release of its chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, following the Kandahar IC-814 hijack.
In the year 1994, the Indian agencies detained a 26 year old in Srinagar, who had claimed to be a journalist. At the time of his arrest, he had on him a Portuguese passport. Little did anyone guess that Masood Azhar, the man who had been detained would go on to become one of the world's most dangerous terrorists.
Back in the day, he had no outfit of his own, but the ISI taking advantage of his oratory and organisational skills sent him to Kashmir to oversee the operations of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.
After his arrest, he spent five years in custody, following which he was released following the IC-814 hijack. Following his return, India had asked Pakistan to reign in on him. However despite an assurance by then president, Pervez Musharraf, Azhar was allowed to launch the Jaish-e-Mohammad. The official announcement came following the attack on Parliament in 2001.
While Azhar remained a driving force, his ailments forced him to take a back seat. Intelligence agencies tell OneIndia that he has been in hospital for sometime now battling spinal cancer. However, with Azhar lying low, the operations of the outfit had not subsided. It continues to be lethal and with several members of Azhar's family taking a front seat, the outfit has gone to carry out big strikes, such as the ones we witnessed in Pathankot, Uri, Nagrota and Pulwama.
The Balakot terror facility is one of the biggest that the JeM runs apart from the one in Bahawalpur. With the Balakot facility being hit, it moved a major part of its operations to a new facility is located at Markaz Usman-o-Ali Railway Link Road in Bahawalpur.
The JeM runs its operations like a family business. It has always relied on family members as it feels that none of them would go rogue or compromise on the ideology of its founder, Azhar.
The current facility at Bahawalpur houses a modern building apart from state of the art terror camps that can house up to 400 terrorists. JeM also runs camps in Balochistan and also in strongholds of the Taliban that include, Khyber and Spin Boldak passes. With Azhar in hospital, the man in command for the Afghan operations today is Ibrahim Azhar. Being in charge of the Afghanistan operations of the JeM, he works closely with the Taliban.
It may be recalled that Ibrahim's son Usman Hyder was killed in an encounter n Jammu and Kashmir's Tral on October 30 2018. His younger son, Mohammad Umair is currently in the Valley and was the mastermind of the Pulwama attack.
Apart from Ibrahim, the outfit is also being run by Masood Azhar's sons Abdullah and Wali. India's dossier says that both sons play an active role in radicalising cadres for the JeM.
The India operations of the JeM are today largely overseen by Abdul Rauf Asghar, who is the brother of Maulana Masood Azhar. It may be recalled that he was detained in Pakistan along with 44 others.
His other two brothers, Maulana Ammar and Talha Saif too play key roles in the running the outfit. Masood Azhar's brother-in-law, Yusuf Azhar who was in charge of the Balakot operations is said to have lost his life in the air strike.