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 Jamiat ul-Ansar (JuA)

(Also known as: Al-Faran; Al-Hadid; Al-Hadith; Harakat ul-Ansar; Harakat ul-Mujahideen; Harakat ul-Mujahidin; HuM; JuA)

This statement is based on publicly available information about Jamiat ul-Ansar, formerly known as Harakat ul-Mujahideen, a name that is still commonly used for the group. To the Australian Government’s knowledge, this information is accurate and reliable and has 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 (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur); or
  2. advocates the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur).

Background to this listing

The Australian Government first proscribed Jamiat ul-Ansar as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code in 2002, and relisted Jamiat ul-Ansar in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013.

Terrorist activity of the organisation

Objectives

Jamiat ul-Ansar seeks to unite all of Kashmir with Pakistan and establish a caliphate based on Islamic law. Jamiat ul-Ansar has advocated the use of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons against India, and opposes efforts to normalise relations between the two countries.

Jamiat ul-Ansar has also pledged support for Afghan militants fighting Coalition forces in Afghanistan. This may have involved indirect assistance such as training militants or the travel of Jamiat ul Ansar affiliated fighters to Afghanistan. Some elements within Jamiat ul-Ansar have wanted to re focus their activities to bring them more into line with global jihad inspired by al-Qa’ida against the US and Israel and their allies.

Jamiat ul-Ansar has undertaken the following to advance its ideology and achieve its objectives:

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

Jamiat ul-Ansar has directly or indirectly engaged in a number of terrorist attacks, although not for a number of years. Incidents reliably attributed to Jamiat ul-Ansar include:

  • 23 February 2010: two Jamiat ul-Ansar 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;
  • February 2009: members of a terrorist cell with links to Jamiat ul-Ansar, reportedly responsible for six attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the preceding two years, were arrested;
  • February 2007: a Hindu businessman was kidnapped in Pakistan’s Sindh Province and subsequently beheaded;
  • In 2004, individuals trained by Jamiat ul-Ansar 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;
  • 9 June 2004: Jamiat ul-Ansar-trained members were involved in an attack against a convoy in Karachi, carrying Karachi’s military commander, resulting in seven deaths;
  • 26 May 2004: the same Jamiat ul-Ansar cell was among a number of militants drawn from several Pakistani extremist groups responsible for a twin car bomb attack near the US Consulate in Karachi;
  • 23 January 2002: US journalist Daniel Pearl was abducted and later murdered (on 1 February 2002) in Karachi, Pakistan. Four people, including Jamiat ul-Ansar member Ahmed Omar Sheikh, were subsequently convicted of Pearl’s murder; and
  • December 1999: An Indian airliner was hijacked by Jamiat ul-Ansar members en route from Nepal to India; one passenger was stabbed to death.

Jamiat ul-Ansar members and individuals trained by Jamiat ul-Ansar, including individuals from Western countries, have been implicated in various disrupted terrorist attacks, including:

  • 23 January 2016: Five Jamiat ul-Ansar militants were arrested by Indian security forces in the Sopore area of north Kashmir India for planning attacks against Indian dignitaries and security forces.
  • 21 February 2013: three British nationals were convicted in London on terrorism charges for plotting to carry out terror attacks in the UK. Two of these individuals undertook terrorist training with Jamiat ul-Ansar in Pakistan in 2009 and later trained with al Qa’ida in Pakistan in 2011.
  • December 2008: UK national Rangzieb Ahmed, who had confessed to membership in Jamiat ul-Ansar, was convicted on terrorism charges;
  • 19 June 2005: several Jamiat ul-Ansar trained individuals were arrested in Afghanistan in possession of explosive devices preparatory to carrying 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 Jamiat ul-Ansar’s leader, Fazlur Rehman Khalil;
  • In 2004, individuals trained by Jamiat ul-Ansar were arrested for a failed attempt to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf with a remote-controlled car bomb in April 2002.

Reporting indicates Jamiat ul-Ansar has encouraged, inspired, assisted and fostered like-minded individuals. Examples of this assistance include:

  • In August 2014, the US State Department confirmed that Jamiat ul-Ansar continued to operate terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan;
  • In June 2003, Jamiat ul-Ansar reportedly helped facilitate training by members of the UK Pakistani Diaspora who reportedly travelled to Afghanistan for instruction in bomb making—some of whom may have intended to return home to conduct terrorism-related activities;
  • Jamiat ul-Ansar terrorist training camps in Pakistan have provided both religious instruction and military training and support to terrorist organisations and individuals from around the world; and
  • Individuals trained at Jamiat ul-Ansar facilities engaged in terrorist operations in Tajikistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s.

Advocating the doing of terrorist acts

Jamiat ul-Ansar has made statements advocating the conduct of terrorist attacks against Coalition forces in Afghanistan and at least one political figure in India:

  • On 4 February 2009, a death threat was posted on the website of India’s leader of the opposition and prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, likely by an India-based person inspired by Jamiat ul‑Ansar.
  • Following his release from Pakistani detention in 2006, Jamiat ul-Ansar’s leader, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, reportedly visited Jamiat ul-Ansar-linked mosques and madrassas in Pakistan, advocating jihad against Coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Details of the organisation

Jamiat ul-Ansar is a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan. In 1991, Jamiat ul-Ansar leader, Fazlur Rehman 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. In 1993, Harakat ul-Mujahideen reunited with HuJI under the name Harakat ul-Ansar (HuA).

As a consequence of reports linking the group to al-Qa‘ida, HuA was proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the US in 1997. The group re-adopted the name Harakat ul-Mujahideen to escape the ramifications of proscription.

Harakat ul-Mujahideen was listed as a terrorist organisation by both the US and Pakistan following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, and adopted the name Jamiat ul-Ansar. Jamiat ul-Ansar was also subsequently banned by Pakistan in November 2003.

Jamiat ul-Ansar associates itself with the Deobandi revivalist movement within Sunni Islam. It adheres strictly to Islamic law and adopts an anti-Western outlook.

Leadership

The leader of Jamiat ul-Ansar is Fazlur Rehman (sometimes, Rahman) Khalil, also known as Maulana Farzul Ahmed Khalil, and Maulana Ahmed Khalil.

Membership

Jamiat ul-Ansar has been reported to have a likely strength of no more than a few hundred, but exact membership numbers cannot be determined with accuracy. Jamiat ul-Ansar’s membership is mostly drawn from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. However, Jamiat ul-Ansar also has attracted recruits and provided training to Islamic militants from around the world, including Bangladesh, and South-East Asia, the UK and the US.

Recruitment and funding

Jamiat ul-Ansar’s funding is likely sustained through charitable donations via front organisations and Islamic charities in South Asia and the Middle East.

Links to other terrorist organisations

Jamiat ul-Ansar has cooperated with other militant groups operating in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Pakistan such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah‑e‑Sahaba Pakistan.

Jamiat ul-Ansar’s leader, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, has strong ties to al-Qa’ida, and in 1998, he signed Usama bin Laden’s fatwa calling for attacks on the US and its allies.

Links to Australia

There are no known Australian links to Jamiat ul-Ansar.

Threats to Australian interests

Jamiat ul-Ansar does not specifically target Australian interests.

Listed by the United Nations or like-minded countries

Jamiat ul-Ansar is listed by the United Nations Security Council 1267 (al-Qa’ida) Sanctions Committee and as a proscribed terrorist organisation by the governments of Canada, the UK, the US and Pakistan.

Engagement in peace or mediation processes

Jamiat ul-Ansar is not engaged in any peace or mediation processes.

Conclusion

On the basis of the above information, the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation assesses Jamiat ul-Ansar 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, involving threats to human life and serious damage to property.

In the course of pursuing its objectives, Jamiat ul-Ansar is known to have committed or threatened actions that:

  • cause, or could cause, death, serious harm to persons, serious damage to property, endangered 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;
  • are intended to have those effects;
  • are done with the intention of advancing Jamiat ul-Ansar’s political, religious or ideological causes;
  • are done with the intention of intimidating, the government of one or more foreign countries; and
  • are done with the intention of intimidating the public or sections of the public.