Afghan Forces Arrest Kashmir Resident for Training Militants

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New Delhi: Afghan forces have arrested a Kashmiri man who fled in early 1990s and was since believed to have joined Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group, prompting security agencies to review their strategy in Jammu and Kashmir as intelligence inputs suggest that militants for Kashmir are being trained at Taliban camps, officials said here.

Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar alias “Abu Usman Al Kashmiri”, a resident of central Kashmir’s Budgam, was captured by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Kandahar province in an operation earlier this month along with the chief of Islamic State “Khorasan Province” (ISKP) Aslam Farooqui.

ISKP finds a mention in an FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency to probe the shootout at a gurdawara in Kabul last month.

The 55-year-old is said to be chief recruiter of the Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir, a group which recently claimed responsibility for the attack on a CRPF party in south Kashmir’s Anantnag which left a trooper dead and another injured.

The arrest of the Ahangar, who had fled Kashmir in early 1990s to Pakistan via Bangladesh, followed another successful operation by the Afghanistan forces in a province that led to the arrest of a Pakistani militant affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit.

The questioning of the militant revealed the plan of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) which is fully backing the JeM to train the outfit cadre with Taliban for operations against the Indian forces in Kashmir, the sources said.

The security agencies are looking at the arrest of Ahangar as a setback to the Islamic State to set up a foothold in Jammu and Kashmir. A few militants, who switched sides to be part of the global militant group, were killed by the state forces in various operations in the past few years in the valley.

According to the sources, Ahangar’s son Abdullah Umais was fighting in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar a few years ago, while his son-in-law Huzafa-Al-Bakistani was killed in a US drone strike in the same province on July 18, 2019.

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