November 1999 News


Briton sends Email to Launch Jihad in Kashmir

1 November 1999
The Asian Age

London: A senior executive at top British firm Railtrack has been using the company’s computers to enlist recruits and raise funds for the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Harkat-ul Ansarand other groups operating in Kashmir, Kosovo and Chechnya.

An investigation has revealed that Mohammed Sohail, who is responsible for the security of information technology at the Rail company, also works for an organisation called the Global Jihad Fund, which "aims to facilitate the growth of various jihad movements around the world by supplying them with sufficient funds to purchase weapons and train their individuals."

Sohail, who uses the code name "Little Spear," has been using a Railtrack e-mail address to recruit volunteers for active service in Kashmir, Pakistan, Kosovo and Chechnya, reported the Telegraph.

He has set-up and maintains an Internet site called the "Islamic Gateway" where he posts his messages and keeps in touch with recruits and donors.

The sister site of "Islamic Gateway" is managed from Pakistan.

An intercepted e-mail, sent by Sohail read, "Currently jihad training is being done in Muzzaffarabad in Pakistan. It is on for 21 days and is of beginners level. It is organised by Lashkar-e-Toiba... Then there are special courses. If anyone wants to go to Afghanistan I can also do this by arrangement."

A spokesman for Railtrack said, "There will be an immediate investigation into this man’s actions. It is an act of gross misconduct to use work equipment for personal or business gain."

Sohail never reveals his home address or real name in his e-mails and his modus operandi involves meeting the would-be recruits and donors at a London Underground Tube station.

"It is true that I am connected with both the Global Jihad Fund and the Islamic Gateway. I work as a volunteer helping with things such as fund-raising and recruitment for organisations involved in jihad," Sohail told the Telegraph.

"We are involved only with struggles abroad. we see it as a form of self-defence. We have a duty to help brothers who are fighting oppression overseas. You only live once and I don’t believe you should live your life as a coward."

Regarding his use of a company e-mail address, he said, "It is only like someone else making a personal phone call from their office." But shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe remarked: "There is a world of difference between receiving the odd personal telephone call at work and running an operation like this. The fact that this man is doing this at work is probably less important than the activity itself."  

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