20 years after IC-814 hijack, Masood Azhar designated a global terrorist
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday designated Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. This is a huge diplomatic victory for India which has been pushing for the same for a decade.
Released after IC-814 hijack
Masood Azhar was released, along with Mushtaq Ahmed and Omar Sheikh, after Pakistan-based terrorist hijacked Indian Airlines flight 814 and took it to Taliban controlled Kandahar. All three found safe houses in Pakistan after the release and in subsequent years masterminded many terror attacks in India and the killing of South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl.
Founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed
After his release, Azhar founded terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) which carried out several attacks in India as well as other countries. LeT has ties to other militant groups such as Lashka-e-Taiba (LeT) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. It was banned in Pakistan in 2002 but US authorities say it still operates there openly.
Born in Bahawalpur
Born in the southern Punjab district of Bahawalpur in 1968, Azhar was educated at Karachi's Jamia Binoria, a madrasa, or religious school, known for recruiting fighters for the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Media reports and Indian intelligence sources have suggested that a walled headquarters, as well as another large premises on the outskirts of Bahawalpur, are still used to recruit and train youngsters from the impoverished region.
Used to write propaganda speeches
Azhar fought in Afghanistan, but really made his mark in writing propaganda and making speeches in support of the cause.
Founder of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
He became a leader of the Pakistani militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. In 1994 he was captured in Jammu and Kashmir, and tried for terrorism. Although acquitted, he spent six years in jail until he was sprung by the hijacking. After returning to Pakistan, Azhar formed Jaish in 2000.
Pulwama attack mastermind
JeM said it was responsible for the February 14 attack in Pulwama that killed 40 personnel of India's paramilitary police, the CRPF, increasing tensions between Pakistan and India.