Pulwama terror attack: What is Jaish-e-Mohammed

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Maulana Masood Azhar created Jaish-e-Mohammed in 2000
Maulana Masood Azhar created Jaish-e-Mohammed in 2000

New Delhi : Jaish-e-Mohammed is a militant Islamic group which is believed to be responsible for Pulwama terror attack on 14 Feb 2019. The militant group was founded by Maulana Masood Azhar in March 2000. Azhar had created the group with the purpose of separating Kashmir from India and merging it with Pakistan.

The Jihadist group, ‘Jaish-e-Mohammed’ (JeM) is making headlines after it claimed to have carried out a massive explosion targeted at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in south Kashmir’s Awantipora. At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed in the terror attack and several others were wounded.

Since the formation of Jaish-e-Mohammed group, it has targeted several Indian officials, government buildings, soldiers as well as non-Muslim civilians in both India and Pakistan. The group is believed to have carried out the suicide bomb attack outside the J&K state assembly building in October 2001 which led to the death of 38 people. While the JeM had first claimed responsibility for the attack, it had later denied it. The Jihadist group is also accused of having carried out the attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001.

The Pakistan government banned the JeM along with few other such groups in 2002.  Since then it has began making presence under different names.  Intelligence services in India consider the group to be the ‘deadliest’ and ‘the principal terrorist organisation in Jammu and Kashmir’.  India has repeatedly asked for listing Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’ by the United Nations. However, in 2018 China blocked the move stating that the issue lacks ‘consensus’ among members of the UN Security Council.

The Pulwama terror attack on Thursday afternoon is known to be the biggest terror attack on the soldiers of India after 2016 Pathankot airbase attack.  Pakistan was also accused of having assisted the organisation; however, the country’s government denied the allegations.