June 2002 News

We were trained by the ISI at Kotli Camp

1 June 2002
The Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

Srinagar: My code name is Mehar-ul-Islam, but my real name is Anjum. I am 21 years old, and I belong to Sensa village near Kotli township in Azad Kashmir (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). My fatherís name is Yunus Sohal. I am the eldest son. I love my family, but somehow the idea of jehad appealed to me. It was a fever I shared with my brother Ameer. Three of my associates died in the encounter in Rajouri. I strongly felt that there was no point in continuing to fight, so I surrendered to the army. I was motivated to become a mujahid by the riyasat ameer (local council chief), the village priest and the head of the village Jamiat-i-Islami who told me about the virtues of jehad. I was losing interest in studies. I could not clear the metric (class 10) exams. I started visiting the priest regularly and he told me that the best way to participate in jehad was to visit Kashmir where Muslims were being barred from performing their religious duties. My brother and I had seen many young boys from the area going to Kashmir and even coming back with the stories of their exploits. One day, I met Omar Mukhtiar, a commander of the Harkat-Ul-Mujahideen. That was the turning point. I finally decided to undergo training to become a mujahadeed. I was trained at Kotli camp with cadres of the Hizb-ul- Mujahadeen, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizb-e-Islami. There were about 400 of us young boys from various groups staying in 40 tents. Colonel Musa of the Special Operations intelligence unit of ISI and his two officers, Major Umar and Captain Hussan, supervised the training. We were taught to fire AK rifles, plant IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and use solar-activated switches. I was at the training camp for three months from January to March last year with approximately 60 others of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. After the training, I along with three others crossed over from Pak Nala Post, crossing Panjani Nala near Manjakote in Rajouri, Jammu. We crossed over in the dead of night and reached the Manjakot forests. The guides were Mohd. Manhas from Taxila and Manzoor from Hajira. Our group reached Manjakot the same night. We then crossed the main Bhimber Ghali road and went to Dudhasan Bala. At Dudhasan Bala, Yusuf was there to help. He gave me Rs 60,000- for the group and one radio set, AK 47s and five magazines each. There were also some IEDs and solar activated switches as well as radio activated switches. We were told we would get orders from Pakistan to get into action, in code. We participated in three actions on the instructions of the commanders from Pakistan. Our first hit was the attack on Darhal Army unit in July 2001. I conducted a recce of the Rajouri army camp in civil dress and without weapons. After this we were joined by three other groups of three each in Fatehpur village in Rajouri. Though the planned offensive fell much short of the intended target, one guard was killed and another wounded in the small arms fire. The second time we were activated was approximately two months ago. This time we attacked the Divisional HQ of 25 Infantry Division. Then on May 25, we planned an attack on the temple of Bartila Baba at Rajouri town. This time we were stopped. There was an encounter with the security forces, and three of us were killed. I was captured and five others ran away. Anjum is a member of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. He was captured on May 25. His associates included Mohd Said alias Abu Bilal of the Harkat- Ul-Jehad Islami, Tipu Sultan alias Osama of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Javaid of the Tanzeem-Al-Badr. He told his story in Urdu and Pahari, the language spoken in the Poonch-Mirpur-Kotli belt.


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