Listed in Australia 14 November 2002, re-listed 5 November 2004, 3 November 2006, 1 November 2008 and 29 October 2010
(Also known as: Al-Faran, Al-Hadid, Al-Hadith, Harakat ul-Ansar, Harakat ul‑Mujahideen, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, HuA, HuM)
The following information is based on publicly available details about Jamiat ul‑Ansar (JuA), formerly known as Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HuM), the name that is still commonly used for the group. To the Australian Government’s knowledge, these details are accurate and reliable and have been corroborated by classified information.
Basis for listing a terrorist organisation
Division 102 of the Criminal Code provides that for an organisation to be listed as a terrorist organisation, the Attorney-General must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation:
- is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur); or
- advocates the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur).
Details of the organisation
JuA wants to unite all of Kashmir with Pakistan and establish a caliphate based on Sharia law. JuA has advocated the use of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons against India, and opposes efforts to normalise relations between the two countries.
JuA also has pledged support for Afghan militants fighting Coalition forces in Afghanistan. Some elements within JuA have wanted to re-focus their activities and bring them more into line with Usama bin Laden’s global jihad against the US and Israel and their allies.
The leader of JuA is Fazlur Rehman (sometimes Rahman) Khalil (also known as Maulana Farzul Ahmed Khalil and Maulana Ahmed Khalil).
In 1991, Khalil and his followers split from Harakat ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI), a group that fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and later turned its attention to Indian‑administered Kashmir to form Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HuM). In 1993, HuM reunited with HuJI under the name Harakat ul-Ansar (HuA).
As a consequence of reports that link the group to al-Qa’ida, HuA was proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the United States in 1997. The group re‑adopted the name HuM to escape the ramifications of proscription.
HuM was banned by both the US and Pakistan following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks and adopted the name Jamiat ul-Ansar (JuA). JuA also was subsequently banned by Pakistan in November 2003.
JuA has been reported to have strength of no more than a few hundred but exact membership numbers cannot be determined with accuracy. The majority of JuA’s membership is drawn from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir.
JuA also has attracted recruits and provided training to Islamist militants from around the world, including Bangladesh, South-East Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Terrorist activity of the organisation
Directly or indirectly engaged in terrorist acts
- December 1999: an Indian airliner was hijacked en route from Nepal to India; one passenger was stabbed to death.
- 23 January 2002: US journalist Daniel Pearl was abducted and subsequently murdered on this date. Four people, including JuA member Ahmed Omar Sheikh, were convicted of Pearl’s murder.
- 26 May 2004: JuA trained members were among a number of militants drawn from several Pakistani extremist groups responsible for the twin car bomb attack near the US Consulate in Karachi.
- 9 June 2004: the same terrorist cell was involved in an attack against a convoy carrying Karachi’s military commander and resulted in seven deaths.
- February 2007: the kidnapping and subsequent beheading of a Hindu businessman in Pakistan’s Sindh Provence.
- February 2009: members of a terrorist cell with links to JuA and reportedly responsible for six attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan, were arrested.
- 23 February 2010: two JuA members were among five militants killed by Indian security forces in Sopore, Kashmir; the militants blew up two houses in the battle with security forces.
Directly or indirectly preparing and/or planning terrorist acts
- 19 June 2005: several JuA trained individuals were arrested in Afghanistan as they were preparing to carry out acts of terrorism.
- June 2005: two American citizens were arrested for suspected participation in an al-Qa’ida plot to attack the US. Both claimed to have attended a terrorist training camp run by JuA leader Khalil.
- December 2008: UK national Rangzieb Ahmed, who had confessed to membership in JuA, was convicted on terrorism charges.
Directly or indirectly assisting in the doing of terrorist acts
- JuA operated terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan prior to their destruction by Coalition air strikes in 2001.
- JuA camps in Pakistan have provided both religious instruction and military training and support to terrorist organisations and individuals from around the world.
- In 2004, individuals trained by JuA were arrested for their involvement in separate suicide car bomb attacks outside the US Consulate and the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi in May and June 2002, respectively.
- Also in 2004, individuals trained by JuA were arrested for a failed attempt to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf with a remote-controlled car bomb in April 2002.
- Individuals trained at JuA facilities have engaged in terrorist operations in Tajikistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s.
- JuA reportedly helped facilitate training by members of the Pakistani diaspora in the UK in June 2003, some of whom may have intended to return home to conduct terrorism related activities.
Directly or indirectly fostering and/or advocating the doing of terrorist acts
- Following his release from Pakistani detention in 2006, JuA leader Khalil reportedly visited JuA-linked mosques and madrassas in Pakistan where he advocated jihad against Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
- On 16 December 2006, leaders of JuA and Pakistani sectarian terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) called for a joint strategy and pledged to cooperate with Afghan insurgents to target Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
- On 4 February 2009, a death threat reportedly attributed to JuA was posted on the website of India’s leader of the opposition and prime ministerial candidate L K Advani.
In view of the above information, ASIO assesses JuA is continuing to directly and indirectly engage in, prepare, plan, assist in and foster the doing of terrorist acts, and advocates the doing of, terrorist acts. This assessment is corroborated by information provided by reliable and credible intelligence sources, as well as by the terrorist acts conducted by JuA in the past.
In the course of pursuing its objective of uniting Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan under a radical interpretation of Islamic law, JuA is known to have engaged in or advocated actions that:
- are aimed at advancing JuA’s political and religious causes;
- are intended to, or do, cause serious damage to property, the death of persons or endangerment of life; and
- are intended to cause, or have caused, serious risk to the safety of sections of the public globally.
Other relevant information
Links to other terrorist groups or networks
JuA has cooperated with other militant groups operating in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Pakistan such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e‑Muhammad, and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.
JuA leader Khalil has strong ties to the Taliban and al-Qa’ida and in 1998 signed Usama bin Laden’s fatwa calling for attacks on the US and its allies.
Proscription by the UN and other countries
JuA is listed in the United Nations 1267 Committee’s consolidated list and by the governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Pakistan.