Meeting with the Mujahideen [2/2]
ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Thu Jan 11 18:31:30 MST 2001
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and al-Badr. An al-Badr member estimated that the two
groups have a combined membership of about 10,000, only a fraction of which
are active in Kashmir at any given time.
Last July, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen announced a three-month cease-fire in Kashmir.
But a few days later that cease-fire was broken, with a series of attacks
that killed more than 80 people.
Secular Kashmir-based groups, such as the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front
(JKLF), which promote Kashmiri independence rather than accession to
Pakistan, are no longer as active in Kashmir as the Pakistan-based groups,
according to the Indian government.
One reason for this, explains prominent Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid,
is that the Liberation Front is not supported by Pakistan's Interservice
Intelligence Agency. But a Liberation Front splinter group known as al Umar
Mujahideen is likely to reemerge now that its leader, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar,
has been released from prison.
Zargar was one of three militants freed in exchange for the release of the
hostages on the hijacked Indian airliner in December 1999. Indian government
officials describe Zargar as unusually cruel, claiming he has been observed
blowing up the bodies of men already killed by his group.
Jessica Stern is a lecturer at Harvard UniversityÕs Kennedy School of
Government and an adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is
the author of The Ultimate Terrorists (1999) and a Bulletin board member.
©2001 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
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