New Delhi: To escape global scrutiny and international pressure, Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed has renamed itself. Now they are called -- Majlis Wurasa-e-Shuhuda Jammu wa Kashmir, which roughly translates to ‘Gathering of the descendants of martyrs of J&K’.
Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, the younger brother of bedridden chief Masood Azhar, now leads and controls the jihadi training of the terror outfit, Hindustan Times reported.
Masood Azhar is suspected to have kidney problems and is under regular dialysis at an army hospital in Rawalpindi. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan Foreign Minister, also had said the JeM chief is ‘unwell’.
In May this year, United Nations declared Azhar a global terrorist, a major diplomatic win that came to India after a decade long efforts.
The name is new but leadership and terrorist cadre are the same, according to counterterror agencies in India.
The terror outfit was previously known as Khuddam ul-Islam and then it re-branded itself as a charity -- Al-Rehmat Trust.
Jaish’s new avatar Majlis Wurasa-e-Shuhuda Jammu wa Kashmir is operating under the same old flag of its mother outfit, however, the word “Al-Jihad” has been replaced with “Al-Islam”.
At one of its Kashmir rallies this year, Maulana Abid Mukhtar, one of the leaders of JeM, had called for jihad against India, US and Israel.
Pakistan watchers have warned of the terror group's intention of carrying out attacks in India, particularly installations in military cantonments and convoys of Indian security forces in Jammu & Kashmir, Hindustan Times reported. The Jaish has constituted a group of 30 suicide attackers to execute the plan.
On Monday, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said Pakistan reactivated Balakot very recently and about 500 men were waiting to infiltrate into India.
"Balakot has been reactivated by Pakistan very recently. That shows that Balakot has been affected. It had been damaged and destroyed. And that is why people have got away from there and now it has been reactivated," he had said.
He also said around 500 infiltrators were waiting to infiltrate into the country.
"...some action had been taken by Indian Air Force and now they have got the people back there," he had said.
The decision came in the backdrop of India's decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two Union territories.
Indian national security establishment had confirmed the reactivation of the Balakot facility that is training 40 jihadists. The top levels of government were informed too.
According to intelligence sources, JeM may not only target J&K but also Gujarat and Maharashtra under a new name to avoid international scrutiny, Hindustan reported.
Indian Air Force (IAF) had launched the pre-emptive air strike on Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 26 February.
12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets launched an airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in retaliation against Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred.
According to Indian counter-terror operatives, anti-India terror groups that remained dormant since Pulwama and its aftermath were reactivated after August 5, when India decided to read down Article 370.
Moreover, the very next day, JeM commander Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar met his contacts in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, and drafted a jihadist response to India's move in Kashmir.
To create unrest in the Valley, Pakistan-based terror outfits have been asked to use Kashmiri-origin terrorists, say analysts. Few sleeping outfits like the Al Umnar Mujahideen led by Mushtaq Zargar alias Latram were also revived in this context.
People, who were closely observing Pakistan's action, said JeM has started advanced daura tarbiya courses, a religious programme, for 50 jihadists.
News agency IANS had reported that Islamabad reactivated nearly a dozen terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), close to the International Border along Jammu and Kashmir after New Delhi announced to scrap Kashmir's special status.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed has been banned in Pakistan since 2002, but it continues to train terrorists in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and provide them weapons to create troubles in Jammu and Kashmir.
Having maintained close relations with the Taliban and al Qaeda, it has carried out several attacks primarily in Jammu and Kashmir, news agency ANI reported.