Pakistan helping 'unwell' JeM-chief Masood Azhar to recover?

World

02 Mar 2019

Masood Azhar, afflicted with renal failure, being treated in Army-hospital?

Masood Azhar, the founder of the dreaded terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), is suspected to be afflicted with renal failure and is under regular dialysis at an army hospital in Rawalpindi in Pakistan, officials in New Delhi said today.

This suggestion of security officials came after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the JeM chief is "unwell".

Read the details here.

Statement

He's really unwell, can't leave his house: Pakistan Foreign Minister

He's really unwell, can't leave his house: Pakistan Foreign Minister

"Recent reports indicate that Masood Azhar is now afflicted with renal failure and is under treatment and regular dialysis at the army hospital in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistan Army," a senior security official said.

Qureshi said on Thursday, "He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can't leave his house, because he's really unwell."

Azhar was a close associate of Osama bin Laden

The Jaish-e-Mohammad chief was a close associate of Osama bin Laden, terror motivator in several African countries and also known by many as the Pakistani cleric who brought jihad into the religious discourse at mosques in the UK, the official said.

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Initial release

India released Azhar in exchange of hijacked flight in 1999

The influence of the 50-year-old overweight terrorist mastermind was so huge that, when he was released by India in exchange for freeing the hijacked Indian Airlines aircraft IC-814 on December 31, 1999 in Kandahar, Laden even hosted a banquet for him the same night.

In the banquet, Laden recalled how he and Azhar had first worked together in 1993, the official said.

Ploy

HuA kidnapped western tourists to secure Azhar's release

HuA kidnapped western tourists to secure Azhar's release

Azhar was arrested for preaching jihad in Jammu and Kashmir in 1994.

One of his British recruits, Omar Shaikh, as a member of the terrorist-group Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), kidnapped four western tourists in India in 1994 in order to secure the release of Azhar.

However, security agencies succeeded in releasing the hostages and arresting Shaikh.

Demanding release of Azhar, HuA again kidnapped tourists in 1995.

JeM's attack

JeM carried its first attack in April 2000 in Srinagar

The western tourists kidnapped in 1995 by HuA were eventually killed in order to gain the release of Azhar.

Almost immediately after Azhar's release, Jaish-e-Mohammad was formed and it carried out its first suicide attack in J&K in April 2000 by striking the Badami Bagh cantonment in Srinagar.

The 24-year-old bomber, Asif Sadiq, was one of Azhar's earliest recruits and student from Birmingham.

Leadership

Azhar became head of HuA's department of motivation in 1979

Azhar became head of HuA's department of motivation in 1979

During the Srinagar attack, Azhar also began using several al-Qaeda recruits, another official said.

In 1979-1989, after he suffered injuries in the Soviet-Afghan War, Azhar was chosen as the head of Harkat-ul-Ansar's department of motivation.

In the early 1990s, Azhar became the general secretary of Harkat-ul-Ansar and visited international locations to recruit, raise funds and spread the message of pan-Islamism.

International tours

The terrorist visited international locations to recruit and raise funds

Among his destinations were Zambia, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, the United Kingdom, and Albania.

Azhar went to Kenya to meet an al-Qaeda affiliate of Somalia in 1993. In August 1993, Azhar entered the UK for a speaking, fund-raising, and recruitment tour with the message of jihad.

He made contacts in Britain with people who helped to provide training and logistical-support for terrorist plots.

Formation

Azhar formed JeM in 1999 after his release from India

Azhar formed JeM in 1999 after his release from India

In January 1993, Azhar visited Bangladesh along with Sajjad Afghani, a terrorist leader to facilitate the intrusion of Afghanis to India.

Azhar was part of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen or Harkat-ul-Ansar, when he was arrested in 1994 in India for spreading hate.

He formed Jaish-e-Mohammad after his release in 1999 when Indian Airlines flight IC 814 was hijacked and taken to Kandahar.

Attacks

JeM carried out attacks on Indian Parliament and Pathankot airbase

Since then, the JeM has been involved in various terror attacks in the country.

The terror group was responsible for the attack on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, in which 9 security personnel and officials were killed.

On January 2, 2016, a heavily armed group of JeM attacked the Pathankot airbase in which 7 security personnel were killed.

40 CRPF-soldiers got killed in a terror attack by JeM

The JeM also carried out the attack on Uri brigade headquarters on September 18, 2016, killing 17 soldiers and injuring 30 others. On February 14 this year, it carried out a suicide attack on a CRPF bus in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir killing 40 Jawans.

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