Ev­i­dence of Azhar-Saeed Ter­ror Meet

Meet took place on Feb 14, 2013, four days af­ter hang­ing of Par­lia­ment at­tack con­vict Afzal Guru

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Ev­i­dence of Maulana Ma­sood Azhar Alvi’s meet­ing with Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT)chief HafizSaeed — a UN des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist — was among the pa­pers In­dia listed be­fore the UN com­mit­tee, while seek­ing a ban on the Jaish-e-Mo­ham­mad (JeM) chief.

The meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ments, took place on Fe­bru­ary 14, 2013, four days af­ter the hang­ing of 2001 Par­lia­ment at­tack con­vict Afzal Guru.

The rev­e­la­tion comes af­ter China blocked In­dia’s move to get Azhar des­ig­nated as a global ter­ror­ist by the UN com­mit­tee. In its dossier, New Delhi also pro­vided the de­tails of nearly half-a-dozen high-pro­file at­tacks car­ried out in In­dia by the Jaish-eMo­ham­mad, in­clud­ing the re­cent Pathankot at­tack. How­ever, In­dian agen­cies failed to ob­tain Azhar’s na­tional iden­ti­fi­ca­tion or pass­port de­tails, hence the col­umn was left blank. The 2013 meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, “was held at Jaish-eMoha mmad h e a d q u a r t e r s in Rawalpindi, which was at­tended by Ma­sood Azhar Alvi, Hafiz Saeed, the men­tor of Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Syed Salahud­din (not listed), the chief of ter ror­ist g roup Hizbul Mu­jahideen (not listed)”. “A de­ci­sion was taken to avenge the hang­ing of Afzal Guru,” the re­port stated.

The re­port fur­ther said: “Dur­ing the meet­ing, a de­ci­sion was also taken for pos­si­ble co­op­er­a­tion with the Tal­iban to train ter­ror­ists for this pur­pose. There are cred­i­ble in­tel­li­gence re­ports that el­e­ments of JeM have ac­tu­ally re­ceived train­ing in tac­tics, use of weapons and psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare from the Tal­iban.” The Red Cor­ner No­tice by In­ter­pol against Azhar was is­sued in July 2004 based on an ar­rest war­rant by an In­dian court for his in­volve­ment in 2001 Par­lia­ment at­tack, ex­plained a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial. The doc­u­ments be­fore the UN also d e s c r i b e d Ma­sood Azhar a s a “Pak­istan-based in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ist and a leader of JeM, its chief fi­nancier, re­cruiter and mo­ti­va­tor”. In­dia said he had been as­so­ci­ated “with ISIL and al Qaeda for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fi­nanc­ing, plan­ning and per­pe­trat­ing” ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

Azhar, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, first came un­der the radar of In­dian in­tel­li­gence agen­cies in 1993 when he came in con­tact with Al-Iti­haad AlIslmiya (AIAI), an al Qaeda-aligned So­mali ter­ror group that had sought money and re­cruits from Harkat-ulMu­jahid­din (HuM).

Azhar, the re­port stated, vis­ited So­ma­lia at that time and fa­cil­i­tated re­cruit­ment of Ye­meni mer­ce­nar­ies to So­ma­lia. “In early 1994, Azhar sur­faced in Jammu and Kash­mir to me­di­ate be­tween var­i­ous feud­ing fac­tions of ter­ror­ist groups ac­tive in the state. He was ar­rested in Fe­bru­ary 1994 by In­dian se­cu­rity forces and charged for ter­ror­ist link­ages,” the re­port said.

The of­fi­cials said Azhar was in jail till De­cem­ber 1999 and, in be­tween, he was also charged with an at­tempted jail break at Kot Bhal­wal in Jammu. His brothers — Ab­dul Rauf Alvi, Ibrahim Athar Alvi — and brother-in-law hi­jacked an In­dian air­lines plane in De­cem­ber 1999. He was fi­nally re­leased at Kand­har, Afghanistan, in ex­change for hostages on De­cem­ber 31, 1999. His re­lease in Afghanistan also “sig­ni­fies his close link­ages to Tal­iban and con­se­quently to al Qaeda”.

The rev­e­la­tion comes af­ter China blocked In­dia’s move to get Azhar des­ig­nated as a global ter­ror­ist by the UN com­mit­tee

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