Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)—also known as the Army of Mohammed, Khudamul Islam, and Tehrik ul-Furqaan among other names—is an extremist group based in Pakistan. It was founded by Masood Azhar in early 2000 upon his release from prison in India. The group’s aim is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan and to expel foreign troops from Afghanistan. JEM has openly declared war against the United States. Pakistan outlawed JEM in 2002, and by 2003 JEM had splintered into Khuddam ul-Islam (KUI), headed by Azhar, and Jamaat ul-Furqan (JUF), led by Abdul Jabbar. Pakistani authorities detained Abdul Jabbar for suspected involvement in the December 2003 assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf but released him in August 2004. Pakistan banned KUI and JUF in November 2003.
JEM continues to operate openly in parts of Pakistan despite the 2002 ban on its activities. Since JEM founder Masood Azhar’s release in 2000, JEM has conducted many lethal terrorist attacks, including a suicide bombing of the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly building in the Indian-administered Kashmir capital of Srinagar in October 2001 that killed more than 30. In July 2004, Pakistani authorities arrested a JEM member wanted in connection with the 2002 abduction and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl. In 2006 JEM claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including the killing of several Indian police officials in Srinagar. JEM members also were involved in the 2007 Red Mosque uprising in Islamabad. Asmatullah Moavia, a militant currently associated with Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, split from the group after the Red Mosque incident because of disagreements over how to react to it. In 2009, Pakistani authorities detained several JEM members suspected of taking part in a
3 March attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team
In June 2008, JEM reportedly was working to resolve its differences with other Pakistani extremist groups and began shifting its focus from Kashmir to Afghanistan in order to step up attacks against US and Coalition forces. Rogue factions of JEM, in conjunction with other regional groups, may conduct attacks against Western interests in Pakistan as well as attack Pakistani Government entities.
JEM has at least several hundred armed supporters located in Pakistan, India’s southern Kashmir and Doda regions, and in the Kashmir Valley. Supporters are mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris, but also include Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war against the Soviets. The group uses light and heavy machine guns, assault rifles, mortars, improvised explosive devices, and rocket-propelled grenades in its attacks. The US State Department designated JEM a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2001.