Links between Harkut-ul- Mujahideen (HUM) and Bin Laden, Al Qaeda
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By B Raman
Issue Net Edition | Date : 24 Jun , 2011

“¦the FBI requested the Pakistani authorities to arrest Khalil once again and hand him over to the FBI for interrogation.

The same paper reported further on September 22, 2005, as follows:   ” Law enforcing agencies have pressed the leadership of the Herkatul Mujahideen cover-named Jamiatul Ansar to disclose the whereabouts of its former commander Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, Daily Times has learnt. Sources said the law enforcers were in touch with Farooq Kashmiri, a prominent figure at the Jamiatul Ansar, seeking the information about Khalil who went underground three months back. They said the agencies might re-arrest Khalil to investigate about his alleged links with the Taliban leadership. Farooq Kashmiri, who had been working with Khalil since the organisation set forth, had told the law enforcers that he was not aware of where Khalil was.

The sources said Khalil had also contacted Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the opposition leader in the National Assembly, seeking his help to make a deal with the agencies. “Khalil approached the opposition leader following his name was echoed during the investigation of Hamid Hayat and Umer Hayat who were arrested in the US. Both of them were allegedly trained as militants at a camp run by Khalil in Rawalpindi,” the sources said. The US was pressurising Pakistan to enhance the scope of investigation into the terror acts, they said, and that Khalil wanted the opposition leader to broker a deal with the government. They said Khalil had sent a message to Maulana Fazlur Rehman that he was in crisis and needed his help, urging him to mediate with the government. They said that Maulana had also talked with the agencies on the matter and defended Khalil, saying that he was not involved in any terrorist activities in or outside the country.”

They said Khalil had sent a message to Maulana Fazlur Rehman that he was in crisis and needed his help, urging him to mediate with the government.

Before the visit of then President George Bush to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan from March 1 to 3,2006, the Karzai Government had told the Pakistani authorities that fresh information received by them indicated that Khalil and his JUA continued to train the jihadi terrorists of the Taliban, the Hizbe Islami and the IMU. They requested for his arrest and handing over to them for interrogation. They also brought this information to the notice of President Bush, who subsequently brought it to the notice of Musharraf.

In its issue of March 30,2006, the “Daily Times” of Lahore reported as follows: ” Six people on Tuesday evening picked up Maulana Fazalur Rehman Khalil, the former chief of banned militant group Harkatul Mujahideen, from Tarnol, thrashed him and dumped him on Fateh Jang road. They also severely beat up Abdur Rehman, Khalil’s driver , said Sultan Zia, the information secretary of the banned organisation. Golra police have registered an FIR against unidentified men. “Six unidentified people badly thrashed Maulana Khalil and his driver with rifle butts inflicting serious head injuries to them, Zia said. Maulana Kahlil left his residence along with his driver on Tuesday evening to attend a congregation at Tarnol, sources said. He made a stopover to offer Maghrib prayers near Tarnol railway crossing, where unidentified men put cloth over the heads of Khalil and his driver, tied them up with rope and took them to Fateh Jang road in a vehicle. Later, the men started beating them. Khalil was severely injured and received wounds on his head and other parts of his body, the sources added. They said at midnight on Tuesday, when Khalil returned to his senses, he made a phone call to his home.”

It is suspected that Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had itself instigated the attack on Khalil in order to have him killed to avoid handing him over to the FBI for interrogation

After this incident, I had written as follows: “ It is suspected that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had itself instigated the attack on Khalil in order to have him killed to avoid handing him over to the FBI for interrogation. He seems to have survived the serious injuries sustained by him. The FBI should insist on his being immediately handed over to it so that it could have him flown out for medical treatment and interrogation. He may be able to give them information not only about the training camps and the HUM’s sleeper cells in the US, but also about bin Laden.”

On the basis of information from well-placed Pakistani sources, I had reported earlier as follows in December 5,2006:

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), who is a close associate of Osama bin Laden and who had disappeared from public circulation since March last, is back in circulation. He has been visiting mosques and madrasas controlled by the HUM in Pakistan and addressing religious congregations. He has been appealing to the Muslims to step up the jihad against the American and British forces in Iraq, against the NATO forces in Afghanistan and against the Indian security forces in India’s Jammu and Kashmir. He has been claiming that Osama bin Laden is hale and hearty and preparing another major terrorist strike in the US homeland. He has been calling for a united jihad against the NATO forces in Afghanistan under the leadership of Mulla Mohammad Omar, the Amir of the Taliban.

“It is learnt from reliable sources that the Maulana was kept all these months in a safe house of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) and was released on November 19, 2006. According to the “Post”, a daily of Peshawar, ( November 21, 2006), “with a new vigour, his followers plan to regroup themselves for helping their Afghan brothers and free the neighbouring Islamic State from the US-led NATO forces.” With the HUM joining the Taliban, Gulbuddin Heckmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami and Al Qaeda, an intensification of acts of jihadi terrorism, including suicide terrorism, in Afghanistan is likely. The HUM is also expected to assist the Hizbul Mujahideen in J&K in stepping up acts of terrorism.”

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

B Raman

Former, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai & Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat. He is the author of The Kaoboys of R&AW, A Terrorist State as a Frontline Ally,  INTELLIGENCE, PAST, PRESENT & FUTUREMumbai 26/11: A Day of Infamy and Terrorism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

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