Jamaat ud Dawa passed quake donations to Kashmir ultras
14 August 2006
The Daily Excelsior
New York: Pakistani charity and front for a Kashmiri militant outfit, Jamaat ud Dawa is believed to have sent some of the money raised in British mosques for PoK quake victims to support militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir, investigators here said. British and Pakistani investigators are also trying to determine whether those suspected of plotting to blow up US-bound planes may have received money raised for quake relief by Jamaat ud Dawa, the front for Lashkar-e- Toiba, the New York Times reported. Jamaat ud Dawa, which is active in the mosques of Britain's largest cities, had played a significant role in carrying out relief efforts after last October's earthquake in PoK. According to a former British security official familiar with the investigation, the Times said, some of the money raised in British mosques also went to the group's militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Some of those arrested might also have visited Kashmir to help the militants there. It is one of the most militant of the groups battling Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, the paper said. The investigators are looking into the possibility that the group passed the earthquake donations raised in British mosques to the plotters, the paper said quoting two people familiar with the investigation. One former Pakistani official close to the intelligence officials there said Jamaat ud Dawa provided the money that was to be used to buy plane tickets for the suspects to conduct a practice run as well as the attacks themselves. The money is believed to have come directly from the group's network in Britain and was not sent from Pakistan. 'The Pakistanis have been asked by the British to examine the links between Jamaat ud Dawa and the suspects in the airplane attack,' the former Pakistani official told the paper. After the earthquake, which killed some 73,000 people, Jamaat ud Dawa raised funds in British Pakistani areas in London, Birmingham and Manchester. The group also urged British people of Pakistani origin to go to the region to help in the relief efforts, and hundreds did. Several of the 23 suspects still in custody after the arrests by British police on Thursday most of them Britons of Pakistani descent traveled to Pakistan last year, ostensibly to Help with earthquake relief efforts, Nasir Ahmed, a leader among Britain's Pakistanis and a member of the House of Lords, told the paper. Ahmed said he was not sure how many of the suspects rounded up last week had gone to Kashmir to help, but among those who had gone were the suspects arrested in High Wycombe, west of London. He said it was possible that those who went came into contact with the militant Islamic organizations that were doing the relief work in PoK. Jamaat ud Dawa was welcomed by people in the area for stepping in where the Pakistani Government had failed. 'In the first few days, it was only religious organizations, the militant organizations, that were prepared to dig out people and provide relief supplies,' Ahmed said. 'It is possible that young people, many people, who have gone from UK, may have fallen into hands of organizations like Jamaat Ud Dawa.'