Jayshi-i Muhammad

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Army of Muhammad. Islamist militant separatist group whose main objective is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan. Emerged in Pakistan in February 2000 under the leadership of Masood Azhar, who was released from Indian detention in 1999 in exchange for 155 hijacked airline passengers in Afghanistan. Based in Peshawar and Mazaffarabad, Pakistan, has generally carried out actions in occupied Kashmir. Suspected to have had close relations with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. Recently outlawed by the Pakistani government under pressure from the West and neighboring countries to more forcefully combat terrorist activity originating within its borders. Membership consists mostly of Kashmiris, particularly youth, but also Pakistani, Afghan, and Arab veterans who fought the 1980s Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Politically aligned with the Jamiatul Ulama-i Islam.

Subjects: Islam.

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