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 Jaish-e-Mohammad

Also known as: Afzal Guru Squad, Army of Mohammed, Army of the Prophet, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jaish-e-   Muhammad, Jaish-e-Muhammed, Jaish-i-Mohammad, Jaish-i-Mohammed, Jaish-i-Muhammad, Jaish-i-Muhammed, Jaish-e-Mohammad Mujahideen E-Tanzeem, Jamaat ul-Furqan, Jeish-e-Mahammed, Jesh-e-Mohammadi, JuF, Khudamul Islam, Khuddam ul-Islam, Kuddam e Islami, KuI, Mohammed's Army, National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty and Army of the Prophet, Tehrik ul-Furqan.

Listed 11 April 2003, re-listed 11 April 2005, 31 March 2007, 14 March 2009, 10 March 2012, 3 March 2015 and 3 March 2018.

The following information is based on publicly available details about the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). 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:

  1. is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, or assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act; or
  2. advocates the doing of a terrorist act.

For the purposes of listing a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code, the doing of a terrorist act includes the doing of a specific terrorist act, the doing of more than one terrorist act and the doing of a terrorist act, even if a terrorist act does not occur.

Terrorist activity of the organisation

Objectives

JeM is a Pakistan-based fundamentalist Sunni Islamist organisation which primarily conducts terrorist attacks in the Indian Administered region of Jammu Kashmir. It uses violence in pursuit of its stated objective of forcing the withdrawal of Indian security forces from Indian Administered Kashmir with the goal of placing Jammu Kashmir under the control of Pakistan.

Directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering  the doing of terrorist acts

JeM is directly engaged in preparing, planning and undertaking terrorist acts. Since 2015, JeM has been responsible for an increasing number of terrorist attacks and is regarded as having a more aggressive strategy than other terrorist groups in the region.

  • 26 August 2017: JeM militants were suspected of conducting a terrorist attack on Indian police in Pulwama, Jammu Kashmir. The attack left eight Indian security force members dead. 
  • 29 November 2016: three members of the JeM sub-cell Afzal Guru Squad, attacked and killed seven Indian army soldiers in Nagrota, Jammu Kashmir.
  • 2 January 2016: JeM conducted an attack on an Indian air force base in Pathankot, located in the Indian state of Punjab. The attack left seven Indian security force members dead. The attack was planned by senior JeM figure Rauf Asghar, the brother of the JeM's leader, Masood Azhar.  JeM's involvement in the attack was identified through forensic examination of the site, including DNA testing of the assailants. Online chat information indicates a JeM handler was in contact with the assailants during their attack on the airbase.

Advocating the doing of terrorist acts

  • JeM publishes the online journal, al Qalam Weekly, which contains extremist material and advocates terrorist attacks against India. The publication praises JeM attacks against Indian security forces and includes contributions from JeM's leader Masood Azhar.
  • JeM held numerous rallies in early 2017, encouraging youths to conduct terrorist attacks against India.

26 January 2014: Azhar addressed (via telephone) a large rally in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan calling for a renewed jihad against India. During his address he launched a book based on diary entries of Afzal Guru - executed by Indian authorities in 2013 for his role in the 2001 JeM attack against the Indian parliament. Guru's diary includes exhortations for violent jihad and terrorist attacks in Kashmir.  The rally and speech reportedly focused on Guru's execution and the struggle in Indian Administered Kashmir, with the crowd responding by chanting slogans favouring renewed jihad to liberate Kashmir.

Details of the organisation

JeM adhere to a radical interpretation of Sunni Islam and supports establishment of Islamic rule not only in Jammu Kashmir, but beyond. JeM has called for attacks against all nations identified to have violated the rights of Muslims, in particular, Israel and the United States.

Leadership

JeM was founded in 2000 by Maulana Masood Azhar, a radical Islamist scholar and jihadist leader, following his release from an Indian jail in exchange for 155 hostages hijacked aboard an Indian Airlines aircraft on 31 December 1999. Azhar reportedly formed JeM with the support of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, the Afghan Taliban, Osama bin Laden and several Sunni extremist organisations in Pakistan. Azhar remains the leader of JeM.

Membership

There is no reporting on current membership numbers for JeM; however, reporting from 2014 estimated its numbers at several thousand supporters, 300–400 of which are active fighters. Media reporting from August 2017 states nearly two dozen cadres of JeM fighters were present in Jammu Kashmir—no further details of the size of a cadre was given.

Recruitment and funding

JeM has a good financial base with income derived from both legitimate business interests and Islamic charitable foundations.

  • the Al-Rehmat Trust is the principal source of income for JeM and continues to operate despite being sanctioned by several countries.
  • JeM supports over 300 Islamic institutions in Pakistan and gathers donations from attendees at these institutions. Publically, the donations are stated to provide “cash and medicine to students of servants of religious schools and centres; orphans, widows and those afflicted with disaster; and migrants on the path to God.”

Links to other terrorist organisations

JeM has extensive links to other terrorist groups including al Qa'ida, Lashkar-e-Tayibba and the Afghan Taliban.

Links to Australia

There are no known direct links between JeM and Australia.

Threats to Australian interests

JeM has not made statements specifically threatening Australians or Australian interests; however, it would consider Westerners—including Australians—to be legitimate targets for attack. Further, JeM has conducted attacks indiscriminately to achieve its objectives, including targeting foreigners.

Listed by the United Nations or like-minded countries

JeM is listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation in the United Nations 1267 Committee's consolidated list and by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Engagement in peace or mediation processes

JeM is not engaged in any peace or mediation process.

Conclusion

On the basis of the above information, ASIO assesses that JeM continues to be directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of terrorist acts or advocates the doing of terrorist acts.

In the course of pursuing its objectives, the JeM is known to have committed or threatened actions that:

  1. cause, or could cause, death, serious harm to persons, serious damage to property, endanger life (other than the life of the person taking the action), or create a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public;
  2. are intended to have those effects;
  3. are done with the intention of advancing JeM's political, religious or ideological causes;
  4. are done with the intention of intimidating the government of one or more foreign countries; and
  5. are done with the intention of intimidating the public or sections of the public.