February 2002 News

J&K ultras getting money from US, UK

2 February 2002
The Daily Excelsior
B L Kak

New Delhi: The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has obtained evidence, clearly suggesting the involvement of ''hundreds'' of Muslims in the United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in raising ''huge'' sums of money for the Jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir. These ''anti- India'' elements, the RAW is said to have found, also include ''dozens of Kashmiri Muslim expatriates'' working in various parts of America, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. RAW is believed to have also compiled information regarding formation of groups in these countries by ''supporters of freedom fighters of Kashmir'' to intensify fund-raising campaign, particularly after Pakistan’s military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf, sought to prevent individuals and organisations in his country from collecting financial contributions and donations for Jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir. RAW’s report to the Cabinet Secretariat says that after reports of ''distress and depression'' among militants in J&K, particularly foreign mercenaries, as a result of depleted financial resources were highlighted, candid signals were sent out from ''hundreds'' of Muslims in various countries informing the Jihadi elements in J&K about arrangements being made for the passage of ''substantial'' financial help to them. One such signal intercepted a few days ago, has divulged that fund raising operations have, in the last one and a half months, yielded ''millions of dollars and pounds'' for ''Kashmir freedom fighters''. Sources in Cabinet Secretariat revealed that intelligence inputs had confirmed that the Muslims in Britain ''are the second largest contributors'', after Kashmiri Muslims living in West Asia, to fund-raising operations for the anti-India Jihadis particularly the ones belonging to the Lashkar- e-Toiba. And if these inputs were any indication, main Kashmiri militant groups have fund-raising networks not only in Britain but also in the US and West Asian countries. Intelligence inputs, sources said, had also confirmed the flow of ''liberal'' financial donations from Muslims in Britain and America to yet another anti-India organisation known as Jaish-e-Mohammad, even after the September 11 terrorist attack on Washington and New York. Ibrahim Azhar, brother of the Jaish supremo, Masood Azhar, had recently travelled to Britain for what the intelligence reports termed as ''fund-raising mission''. Ibrahim Azhar, who has been accused of having taken part in the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar (Afghanistan) in 1999, is among 20 Pakistan-based criminals wanted by the Government of India. RAW’s ‘assessment’ note is also said to have pointed out that like several other militant organisations, the Jaish-e-Mohammed though banned, continues to be a significant recruiter and fund- raiser in Britain particularly in Central England, for the sustenance of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The number of Kashmiris living in Britain has been put at around 6 lakh. Majority of these Kashmiri Muslims are from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). The British Government, significantly, has not denied reports that many Kashmiris born in Britain have taken an ''active'' role in the raising of funds for ''Kashmiri freedom fighters''. Intelligence reports have also revealed that while Kashmiri Muslims in West Asian countries have promised to make available ''huge'' financial relief for their co- religionists in Kashmir, financiers of the LeT and JeM in Britain have become so motivated that they have assured of ''bigger incentives'' to those who carry out successful attacks against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir.


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