The 21st Century Phenomenon




Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami – HUJI (Movement of Islamic Holy War) is a Pakistani originated terrorist group operating also in Bangladesh. While the exact formation date of the group is not known, its origin is traced back to the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, which ended in 1989.

In 1980 Qari Saifullah Akhtar along with two of his associates: Maulana Irshad Ahmed and Maulana Abdus Samad Sial, all seminary students from Karachi in Pakistan, founded a group, Jamiat Ansarul Afghaneen (JAA) – the Party of the Friends of the Afghan People.

After the end of the Afghan war in 1989, with the encouragement of Osama Bin Laden, the JAA merged itself with another Pakistani militant group known as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen to form Harkat-ul-Ansar, led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil and reoriented its strategy to fight for the cause of fellow Muslims in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).  Harkat-ul-Ansar was one of a conglomerate of Radical Islamic organizations, coordinated and orchestrated by the Pakistani notorious intelligence service – ISI.

In order to avoid the ramifications of the USA designation of Harkat-ul-Ansar as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997, it split to two fellow organizations  renamed as Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami –HUJI in certain areas in Pakistan, while its Bangladesh-based unit, formed in 1992, became known as the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami – HUJI in Bangladesh (HUJI-B). HUJI in Pakistan was headed by the former deputee of Maulana Fazlur Rehman – Qari Saifullah Akhtar

HUJI aims to establish Islamic rule in Pakistan by waging war and killing progressive intellectuals. It drew inspiration from Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. HUJI supports, like the other Pakistan-based terrorist groups, the secession of J&K from India and its eventual accession to Pakistan, essentially through violence. It also propagates the idea of Islamic rule over all parts of India and the Islamization of Pakistani society.

After the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami – HUJI lost its base in Afghanistan following the USA military operation Absolute Justice in 12/2001 –most of its leaders, including Qari Saifullah Akhtar, took shelter in South Waziristan in Pakistan’s federally administered Tribal Areas, while an unspecified number of its cadres also made their way into Central Asia and Chechnya to escape capture at the hands of the Americans. Many went into Pakistan to establish themselves in Pashtu ruled regions on the border with Afghanistan.

Bashir Ahmed Mir, the HUJI ‘commander-in-chief’ for operations across India, was shot dead by Indian police in J&K on 01/24/2008.

There have been reports that today (06/2008) the HUJI operations are being handled by Mohammed Amjad after the death of the former chief Shahid Bilal on 08/30/2007 in Karachi in unclear circumstances.


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