How Masood Azhar runs a family enterprise in terror

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First Published 3, May 2019, 6:32 PM IST
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Masood Azhar JeM is a family enterprise with siblings sons and brothers in law in key positions
Highlights

You’ve heard of dynastic politics. But Jaish-e-Mohammed is run as a completely dynastic terror corporation with close relatives in every strata of hierarchy, controlling finance to weapons to jihadi education

New Delhi: India’s efforts to get the United Nations Security Council to designate Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), as a global terrorist has finally borne fruit. A key facet of this terrorist’s organisation is that it is a family-owned corporation, a dynastic enterprise.

MyNation accessed the dossier that the Indian authorities had put together on the terrorist, based on which the UNSC action came.

The dossier says that JeM “has always been heavily based on familial ties, with little change in key leadership figures and roles with Maulana Masood Azhar as the strategic leader since its creation”.

The family enterprise

While no significant change has been seen in its structure, owing to increased media heat in the wake of the attack on Indian Parliament and multiple attempts on the life of then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Azhar’s younger brother “Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar assumed a greater role in running JeM…de-facto leader of JeM, as well as its head of Operations since 2007”.

In order to control the hierarchy and finances of the organisation, Azhar, the dossier says, “inducted his brothers and family members including brothers-in-law”.
 
1. Muhammad Tahir (elder brother): A senior JeM functionary
2. Ibrahim Azhar (elder brother): Operational commander incharge of supervising operations in Afghanistan
3. Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar (younger brother): De-facto chief of JeM and also the operational head; he is also the JeM’s “intelligence coordinator” and masterminded several        terror attacks in India and Afghanistan
4. Talha Saif (younger brother): Editor-in-chief of JeM’s publication division and heads JeM’s student wing ‘Al Murabitoon’
5. Mohammad Ammar (younger brother): Runs ‘Al-Qalam’, a weekly publication
6. Maulana Yousuf Azhar (brother-in-law): Heads Markaz Syed Ahmad Shaheed seminary in Balakot
7. Abdul Rasheed (brother-in-law): In-charge of training at Markaz Usman-o-Ali seminary in Bahawalpur
8. Mohammad Annas alias Allah Ditta (brother-in-law): Incharge of stores at Markaz Usman-o-Ali, Bahawalpur
9. Mansoor Ahmed (brother-in-law): Heads the defence wing of Markaz Usman-o-Ali, Bahawalpur;
10.Hafiz Jameel (brother-in-law): Overall head of Markaz Subhan Allah seminary, Bahwalpur.

Terrorist sons

The second generation of Masood’s family has also joined JeM in one or the other capacity, from hardcore jihadi terrorists to preaching and recruiting. Several among the second generation have been gunned down by Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
  
1. Abdullah (Masood’s elder son): Runs operations in Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir;
2. Waliullah alias Wali (Masood’s younger son):  Is undergoing Jihadi training;
3. Eldest son of Masood’s brother Mohammad Tahir Anwar is part of JeM’s Afghanistan operations;
4. Usman Haider alias Usman Ibrahim (son of Masood’s brother Ibrahim Azhar): Indian forces gunned him down in a gun battle in Tral, J&K;
5. Muhammad Umar (son of Ibrahim Azhar): Indian forces killed gunned him down in J&K;
6. Huzaifa (adopted son Ibrahim Azhar): became jihadi terrorist at Markaz Usman-o-Ali, Bahawalpur;
7. Talha Rasheed (son of Masood’s brother-in-law Abdul Rasheed): Gunned down by forces in gun battle in Pulwama, J&K;
8. Osama (son of Masood’s brother-in-law Yousuf Azhar): looks after miscellaneous affairs at Markaz Usman-o-Ali, but before that part of Afghanistan operations;
9. Attaullah Kashif (son of Masood’s brother-in-law Hafiz Jameel): Preacher and motivator.
 
Masood’s wife is Shazia. He has two daughters and six sisters. Zahara Bibi, Abda Bibi, Rabiya Bibi, Sadeya Bibi, Safeya Bibi, Somayra Bibi are the sisters’ names.
Brother Ibrahim Athar was among the masterminds and hijackers of IC814. Brother-in-law Maulana Yusuf Azhar and Masood’s brother Abdul Rauf Asghar had planned the conspiracy. It was in this hostage exchange that Masood was released.

According to the dossier, the Masood family owns “massive properties in Pakistan and PoJK comprising of Markaz and madrassa, training infrastructure and financial corps, collected through its charity front Al Rahmat Trust (ART).”

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