Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI)

From: "Chapter 8; Other Groups of Concern," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.

(Movement of Islamic Holy War)

HUJI, a Sunni extremist group that follows the Deobandi tradition of Islam, was founded in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight in the jihad against the Soviets. It also is affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F) of the extremist religious party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI). The group, led by Qari Saifullah Akhtar and chief commander Amin Rabbani, is made up primarily of Pakistanis and foreign Islamists who are fighting for the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir and its accession to Pakistan. The group has links to al-Qaida. At present, Akhtar remains in detention in Pakistan after his August 2004 arrest and extradition from Dubai. HUJI's operations in Kashmir were led by Commander Ilyas Kashmiri, a former commander in the Afghan jihad, under the group HUJI 313. Kashmiri was arrested in October on charges of attacks against President Musharraf in 2003.

The group has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir. It is linked to the Kashmiri militant group al-Faran that kidnapped five Western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir in July 1995; one was killed in August 1995, and the other four reportedly were killed in December of the same year. Recent reporting indicates that HUJI is active in South India and has been linked with the December Bangalore attack at the Indian Institute of Technology. A former member of HUJI was arrested by Pakistani police in September for his alleged role in planting explosives for the 2002 suicide car bomb that killed 11 French engineers near the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi.

Exact numbers are unknown, but there may be several hundred members in Kashmir.

Location/Area of Operation
Pakistan and Kashmir. Trained members in Afghanistan until autumn of 2001.

External Aid
HUJI operatives have received training at Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID)-sponsored camps in Pakistan.