| INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST SYMBOLS DATABASE
Description: This black and white symbol features a black circle at its center with the Arabic word “akbar,” which translates into English as “greatest.” To the left of the circle are three vertical black lines.
Explanation: The Arabic at the center of the symbol alludes to the exaltation “allahu akbar,” or “Allah is the greatest.” The three vertical lines refer to the stripes on the flag of Kashmir and represent the mountainous region where the group operates, as well as the three distinct regions of the disputed Kashmir territories: Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Ladakh. The integration of the Kashmiri flag affirms the group’s commitment to establishing an independent Kashmir. The black coloring of the central circle and stripes evokes death and militancy.
| Name Variations | Overview | Focus of Operations | Major Attacks | Leaders | Ideology | Goals | Methods | Sponsors | U.S.- Related Activities |
Jaish-e-Mohammed, Army of Mohammed, Army of the Prophet, Jaish-e-Mohammed Mujahideen E-Tanzeem, Mohammed’s Army, Jamaat ul-Furqan, Tehrik ul-Furqaan, Khuddam ul-Islam
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM), Arabic for “The Army of Mohammed,” is a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist group that carries out terrorist operations against Indian interests, installations of the secular Pakistan government, sectarian minorities and civilians. The group seeks to overthrow Indian rule in Kashmir and unite the province with Pakistan under shari’a, or Islamic law. Masood Azhar, former leader of the Pakistan-based militant group Harakat ul-Ansar, founded JEM in February 2000 shortly after he was released from an Indian jail in exchange for 155 hostages of a hijacked Indian Airlines airplane on New Years Eve in 1999.
Soon after his release from prison, Azhar reportedly traveled to Afghanistan and met with Osama bin Laden, who, along with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and several Sunni sectarian groups in Pakistan, reportedly assisted Azhar in setting up the new terrorist organization. JEM, which has openly declared war against the U.S., maintained training camps in Afghanistan before the U.S. expelled Al Qaeda from the region at the end of 2001. During that time, some Al Qaeda operatives joined forces with JEM and other Pakistani terrorist groups.
Azhar renamed the group Tehrik ul-Furqan following its attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001. The group was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department in January 2002 and was banned by the Indian government a month later. Following the bans, JEM splintered into two offshoots: Khuddam ul-Islam, headed by Azhar, and Jamaat ul-Furqan, led by Abdul Jabbar. Despite the existence of these two factions, which were both banned by Pakistan in November 2003, the group is typically regarded as a singly entity and referred to as Jaish-e-Mohammed.
JEM’s several hundred armed supporters and thousands of followers are predominantly Pakistani and Kashmiri, though some Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war against the Soviets also support the group, according to the U.S. State Department.
JEM operates camps throughout Pakistan that provide religious instruction and guerrilla training to its Kashmir and Pakistan-based members, as well as to international terrorists. According to the Australian government, JEM may have connections with the British-born suicide bombers of the July 7, 2005, London terrorist attacks, as well as with at least one of the British nationals who allegedly coordinated an August 2006 plot to bomb a British trans-Atlantic plane.
Focus of Operations
Kashmir, Pakistan and Afghanistan
- July 2008:: JEM claimed the killing of 47 Indian troops in Kashmir on a Web site commonly used by Islamic militants.
- May 30, 2006: Grenade attack on a police vehicle escorting a Human Rights Commission vehicle in Srinagar, the capitol of Indian-administered Kashmir: one killed, ten injured.
- May 31, 2005: Suicide bombing at the Madinatul Ilm Imambargah mosque in eastern Karachi: five killed, 20 wounded.
- August 9, 2002 Grenade attack at a Christian hospital in Taxila: four killed, 20 injured.
- August 5, 2002: Shooting at a Christian school near Murree: six killed, at least two wounded.
- December 13, 2001: Gunmen attacked the Parliament of India in New Delhi in coordination with the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba: nine dead, 18 injured.
- October 1, 2001: Suicide bombing of a hijacked government jeep laden with explosives outside the Legislative Assembly complex in Srinagar: more than 30 killed.
- Founder and Leader: Masood Azhar
- Leader: Mufti Abdul Rauf
- Commander: Abdul Jabbar (arrested January 2008)
- Former Commander: Shah Nawaz Khan, alias Sajjid Jehadi, alias Ghazi Baba (killed August 2003)
JEM espouses an extremist interpretation of Sunni Islam.
JEM seeks to overthrow Indian rule in Kashmir and unite the province with Pakistan under shari’a, or Islamic law. The group also aims to eradicate Hindus and other non-Muslims from the Indian subcontinent and to expel foreign troops from Afghanistan.
JEM carries out terrorist attacks against Indian interests in Kashmir, Pakistan’s secular government and sectarian minorities using light and heavy machine guns, assault rifles, mortars, improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the U.S. State Department.
Many JEM suicide attacks entail storming a high security target – such as a military base, camp or convoy – in which JEM members fortify themselves and kill as many security personnel and civilians as possible before they themselves are killed by retaliatory actions.
JEM receives the majority of its funding and material resources from Pakistani terrorist groups Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami and Harakat ul-Mujahidin, according to the U.S. State Department. The group also allegedly receives funds from Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and through Islamic charitable foundations like Al Rashid Trust, which the U.S. listed as a financial facilitator of terrorists for raising funds for Al Qaeda and the Taliban in September 2001.
JEM also raises money through legitimate business interests, such as commodity trading, real estate and the production of consumer goods, and collects funds through donation requests in various magazines and pamphlets, according to the U.S. State Department.
- Former Georgia Tech student Syed Haris Ahmed and another U.S. citizen, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, allegedly sent casing videos of landmarks in the Washington, D.C. area for potential terrorist attacks to Aabid Hussein Khan, a British man sentenced to 12 years in prison for encouraging people to train in Pakistan with JEM and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Ahmed was convicted in Atlanta in June 2009 for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists for sending the videos, and Sadequee is facing trial on the same charges.
- Four New York residents who were arrested and charged for an alleged plot to bomb two New York synagogues and destroy military planes in May 2009 reportedly sought to support JEM’s terrorist activities. James Cromitie, the apparent leader of the group, allegedly told an FBI informant that he wanted to join JEM.
- In July 2004, four terrorists affiliated with JEM – Salman Saquib, Fahad Naseem, Sheik Adil and Sheikh Omar Saeed – were found guilty of the January 2002 abduction and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. Sheikh Omar Saeed, who was arrested in 1994 for kidnapping an American and three Britons in India, was sentenced to death, while the other three were sentenced to life in prison.
- JEM militants bombed a church in Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave on March 17, 2002, which killed five people, including the wife and daughter of an American diplomat.
- The U.S. Treasury froze JEM’s assets in October 2001 before it was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department on December 26, 2001. JEM was re-designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on April 8, 2008.