Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) (Army of Mohammed)
The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) is an Islamic extremist group based in Pakistan that was formed by Masood Azhar upon his release from prison in India in early 2000. The group's aim is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan. It is politically aligned with the radical political party, Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F). The United States added JEM to the Foreign Terrorist Organization list as well as the list kept by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), which includes organizations that are believed to support terrorist groups and have assets in U.S. jurisdiction that can be frozen or controlled. The group was banned and its assets were frozen by the Pakistani government in January 2002.
Organization activities. The JEM's leader, Masood Azhar, was released from Indian imprisonment in December 1999, in exchange for 155 hijacked Indian Airlines hostages. The 1994 HUA kidnappings by Omar Sheikh of U.S. and British nationals in New Delhi and the July 1995 HUA/Al Faran kidnappings of Westerners in Kashmir were two of several previous HUA efforts to free Azhar. On October 1, 2001, the JEM claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly building in Srinagar that killed at least 31 persons, but later denied the claim. The Indian government has publicly implicated the JEM, along with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba for an attack on the Indian Parliament that killed nine and injured 18.
JEM is based in Peshawar and Muzaffarabad, but members conduct terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. They have several hundred armed supporters located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and in India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions, including a large cadre of former Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM) (Movement of Holy Warriors) members. Supporters are mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris and also include Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war. JEM uses light and heavy machine guns, assault rifles, mortars, improvised explosive devices, and rocket grenades. The JEM maintained training camps in Afghanistan until the fall of 2001.
Most of the JEM's cadre and material resources have been drawn from the militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI) and the HUM. The JEM had close ties to Afghan Arabs and the Taliban. Osama Bin Ladin (also known as Usama Bin Ladin) is suspected of giving funding to the JEM. The JEM also collects funds through donation requests in magazines and pamphlets. In anticipation of asset seizures by the Pakistani government, the JEM withdrew funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and production of consumer goods.
Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ > (April 16, 2003).
Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001. Annual Report: On the Record Briefing. May 21, 2002. < http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rm/10367.htm > (April 17,2003).
U.S. Department of State. Annual reports. < http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/annual_reports.html > (April 16, 2003).