Hizbul Mujahideen chief: Pakistan allows terror group to run ‘hundreds of training camps’


Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi [center], the military commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba who has been implicated in the November 2008 terror assault on Mumbai, prays with Syed Salahuddin [right], the leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, just two weeks after the Mumbai attack. Associated Press photograph.

The leader of a terrorist alliance that operates in Kashmir and includes groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed said the Pakistani military allows it to operate freely and run hundreds of training camps.

Syed Salahuddin, the leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, admitted that the Pakistani military permits his fighters to move freely and run training camps in the region.

“Our mujahideen can come and go at their own will,” Salahuddin told a local news agency, according to The Times of India. “There is no question that the army can stop us.”

“And we have hundreds of training camps in the state where we recruit and train the mujahideen,” Salahuddin continued. He did not say if the camps were located inside Pakistan or in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Salahuddin, whose real name is Mohammed Yusuf Shah, is also the chairman of the United Jihad Council, an alliance of 16 terrorist groups that are fighting in Jammu and Kashmir. The United Jihad Council is supported by the Pakistani military and its Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, two groups which are on the US and the United Nation’s lists of terror organizations, are part of the United Jihad Council.

Salahuddin has close links to both terror groups. Less than two weeks after the November 2008 terror assault on Mumbai, Salahuddin was photographed praying with Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the military commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba who has been implicated in the deadly attack in India.

For decades, Pakistan has sponsored jihadist groups to attack Indian security forces, the government, and civilians in an attempt to liberate the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Salahuddin routinely advocates violence against the Indian state, without incurring repercussions from the Pakistani state. In March 2010, Salahuddin said that “[t]he only way to liberate Kashmir is jihad,” during a rally that was attended by top leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Pakistan continues to support terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2009, Indian intelligence estimated that Pakistan had expanded to 62 the number of terror camps that train terrorists to carry out attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. This occurred during the year after the Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out the terror assault in Mumbai that killed more than 165 people.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • gerald says:

    The Pakistanis have sewn and nurtured the seeds of their own destruction. It is only a matter of time before the Taliban realize that they are an easier target than Afghanistan.

  • Caratacus10ad says:

    Its goodbye the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its hello to the new Islamic Emirate of Pakistan, a vassal state of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan!
    Shocking to see a nation in so much denial…
    Its a danger to its self and all around it!
    Have no idea what one does with such a lost cause, but whatever it is(?) The Paks seem unable to put into motion a plan of action to stop themselves sliding towards failed state status…

  • blert says:

    With all of that indoctrination potential — where are the ‘students’ ending up?
    At this time, it would seem that the ISI is creating its own ‘clone army’ George Lucas style.
    Since there is no realistic way that such fanatics can move the Indian ‘elephant’ off the border; perhaps the Pakistani government will wake up to this internal threat they’re creating.

  • WitchDoctor says:

    Does this really come as a surprise to anyone? In the not too distant future the ISI may be listed as a terrorist group themselves as they seem to be doing a fairly decent job at ruining any credibility they may have had if they ever did, and ruining what remains of their own country.
    Seeing the headline today that UBL may have considered striking a deal with the Pakistani leadership makes me wonder what kind of deal Musharraf might have made despite the influx of American dollars into his country.
    As the insurgents integrate more closely with the people and the Pak. government a very watchful eye must be kept on the nuclear weapons in that country. I imagine this is ramping up as we read LWJ.

  • Mike says:

    Bill, have you seen any evidence of Pakistani extremist/militant groups releasing statements particularly designed to sour the US/Pak govt relationship? Although I don’t doubt the validity of this particular statement, I’m interested to learn if any of the groups highlight their relationship with the Pakistani government (although risking retribution from the Pak govt) to hurt relations with the US.

  • Tim says:

    Bill, I realized that you referred to ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir’ (like the Indians) and not ‘Pakistan administered Kashmir’ (like the foolishly ‘neutral’ Western countries).
    This is a good ploy to subtly back India and frustrate the Jihadis. It goes to show that after all the mayhem Pakistan has created with their Jihadi infrastructure for the past 22 years, they have only made J&K a more integral part of India, even in the eyes of Western countries. We in the West should adopt exactly this line when referring to J&K….explicitly stating it to be integral part of India. This will frustrate all efforts of the terror groups and make them turn against the Pak Army ISI for not backing them with diplomacy. The biggest slap on their face would be if Google-Earth/Google-Maps would stop showing J&K as disputed and entirely as part of India….
    Since war with Pakistan is out of the question because ‘it is a big country’ and because of ‘its nukes’, we have to turn the Jihadis against Pak Army ISI. Only this will get the two poisonous snakes to kill each other.

  • Syed Hussein El-Edroos says:

    With all due respect to the US Govt, their policies over the past 3 decades have not be commendable. First the US Govt brainwashed the young Muslims from Pakistan and other Muslim countries to fight the infidel Soviets in Afghanistan as freedom fighters. Once the Soviets were defeated they abandoned both Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Afghans were left to fight amongst themselves and the Pakistani people were left with side effects of drugs and guns, which before 1979 were minimal.
    After 9/11 the very people whom the CIA trained to fight the Soviets, turned on the US. We all know what happened to the World after that. Pakistan has been the worst affected. I blame the US Govt for the state the Pakistan nation is in today, however I place a higher blame on our leaders of the past 30 years for foolishly fighting someone else’s war.
    Islamabad, Pakistan

  • Can USA escape responsibility for the creation of these Monsters throughout world through Saudi Arabia?

  • Paul D says:

    There will never be TRUE democracy in a country where the power/Army is Islamist!

  • Neo says:

    More of the same.
    It seems the Pakistani

  • Tyler says:

    The attack on the Naval base was aimed at destabilizing all of Pakistan. Destroying US-made anti-submarine aircraft does nothing to impact the war against the Taliban, it hurts Pakistan’s deterrent capability against India.
    Thats a far cry from where the jihadists were 10 years ago when they held Daniel Pearl hostage and amongst their demands was that the US deliver on a promised sale of F-16s to Musharraf. Back then these jihadists, especially Punjabi/Kashmiri groups like LeT, HuJ, Hizbul clearly still saw Pakistan as a partner against India.
    So now, in the wake of the Bin Laden raid, they’ve made the calculated decision to destroy the US-Pakistan relationship at all cost.
    However the claim of ‘hundreds’ of camps does seem to square with the bit in Woodward’s last book that in the event of another major terror attack on the US traced back to Pakistan, there is a Pentagon/CIA plan to bombard hundreds of terror targets throughout the country, not just in the Northwest territory.

  • Kim says:

    Seeing the headline today that UBL may have considered striking a deal with the Pakistani leadership makes me wonder what kind of deal Musharraf might have made despite the influx of American dollars into his country.

  • villiger says:

    Would really have preferred this picture.
    Bill, really, do you really have to publish pictures of those creeps? Oh well, i guess it does have the added effect to underline their ugliness.

  • Jimmy says:

    Absolutely right! Terror is a two edged sword. If they cannot strike their target, they strike the next soft target – their creators! out of sheer frustration. India’s counter insurgency strategy in Kashmir has been exemplary! This has caused Pakistani terrorists to turn on their masters, the Pak Army ISI. Same is happening with the Taliban and AlQaeda.
    What US, EU and NATO countries need to do is frustrate the designs of the terrorists further. Show the entire J&K (even Pak Occupied Kashmir) as integral part of India in Google Maps, Wikipedia and elsewhere. Additionally, FATA and Balochistan can be shown as disputed (and they are!). This will force Pakistan to look inwards and cause friction between the terror groups and their ISI handlers, diverting their attention away from allies in Afghanistan and India.
    Terrorists main aim is to get world recognition. If instead they get universal de-recognition, THEY JUST CAN’T HANDLE IT!

  • Mauryan says:

    Pakistan’s military cannot be reformed. It is too late. The difference between Pakistan’s military and the militants is beginning to fade. Even their top leaders have no idea what the rogue elements are doing. And they are building more nukes. This looks like the mindset of a suicide bomber who takes his own life while taking as many others with him as possible. And China is beginning to make gains slowly.
    It is time to trigger civil war inside Pakistan so that these dangerous elements turn on themselves and leave the rest of the world alone. As the civil war gains momentum, the world powers and neighbors like India should sponsor those groups that fight the radical ones. Pakistan as one nation with nuclear arms and radical elements is a deadly combination. It is time to allow it to collapse and splinter up into smaller nations. That will set up more barriers to the growth of terrorism and the spread of radicalism. And nukes can be removed in the bargain. There is no other way to correct this dangerous nation now. The country is headed that way already.

  • villiger says:

    There’s something in what you say….”I blame the US Govt for the state the Pakistan nation is in today, however I place a higher blame on our leaders of the past 30 years for foolishly fighting someone else’s war.”
    Now that we are where we are, what course would you want your leaders to follow?

  • Caratacus10ad says:

    The nation of denial and counter-denial!
    If the US wants to back a dead nag,(?) then all it is doing is flogging a dead horse…
    Af-Pak is a waste of valuable resources and lives.
    Resources centred more on counter-terrorism within the west itself, combined with exceedingly stringent immigration controls and rules would be far better bet in creating security where it matters, than creating catalyst events in Southern Asia adding fuels to the fire.

  • naresh c. says:

    It is a myth that Pakistan fought someone else’s war.
    It only fought it’s war – a war of Jihad against Kafirs.
    Zia was an Islamist and would have Islamized Pakistan regardless. He was happy to happy to get US dollars for waging Jihad, something that he always wanted to do. When the US left, Najibullah (a communist) was still ruling Afghanistan. It was ISI that supported one jihadi after another until Taliban came to power in order to achieve ‘strategic depth’ (without US support). US did not ‘abandon’ Pakistan until Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto ( a supposedly Oxform educated moderate), General Hamid Gul and General Aslam Beg started swapping nukes for missiles with North Korea and Iran and Pressler amendment was invoked. By the way, India had been under similar ‘abandonment’ since 70s because of it’s own nuke program (which it never proliferated) but it does not whine. Pakistan was one of three countries to recognize Taliban in order to ‘achieve strategic depth’. After 9/11, Pakistan accepted 20 billion dollars from US and kept supporting Taliban and allowed them to settle in Pakistan. Did you do it for US or to fight Jihad after US left?
    The mehsud clan and some mullahs like Fazlullah (which were trained by people like Colonel Imam) soon realized that they could conquer large parts of Pakistan because it’s military is weak. Pakistan’s proxy force is turning against them. You can blame others for the actions you choose (Islamization of Pakistan, strategic depth and Khilafat-e-Rashida). Unfortunately, you are going to face consequences for your actions. If your ISI is going to wage Jihad around the world in order to promote strategic depth, be an adult and stop whining like a child when blowback happens.

  • Render says:

    Is that so?
    Syed Hussein El-Edroos –

  • Mohammed Att says:

    Sunni (and Shia) fundamentalist muslims have been practicing state-sponsored JIHAD against both non-Muslim and Muslim nations for centuries. In the 20th Century and in this new 21st Century, Saudi Wahabbists sects have inspired rich Saudi Arabians to contribute billions and billions of dollars for JIHAD against both India (Kashmir) and Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan. When the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were the only two countries to recognize them as the ‘legimate’ rulers of a new Islamic Emirate.
    JIHAD tactics, in general, are nothing more than ‘guerilla tactics’ under a new name. Targeted killings or assassinations of key leaders and public figures are the same tactic that Communist guerillas have used for decades to intimidate, defeat, and then consolidate power by political killings and/or imprisoning all ‘charismatic’ opponents that could potentially ‘inspire’ an opposition group to form. Nothing has changed.
    Senior Taliban and Al-Queda leadership in Pakistan routinely conduct high level planning, organize new training camps, conduct training, and makeup ‘new KILL lists’ of Afghan leaders who oppose them. High level JIHAD planning and suicide/team training occurs during the Winter Season and is executed after re-infiltration into Afhanistan by small groups in time for their normal Spring offensive.
    How to defeat JiHADists. The same way that they operate. Make detailed lists of their key leaders and assassinate them before they assassinate Afghan leaders. If Pakistan elected leadership wants their country to remain a ‘democratic state’ instead of a ‘terrorist state’, they will assist the West in eliminating the dozens of terrorist camps currently operating throughout Pakistan. If not, they should be ignored/treated as an antagonistic.
    The next step is to go after the ‘Islamic schools’ and ‘Mosques’ and determine what is being taught and preached. If the teachers and Imams are preaching or teaching violent JIHAD, they need to be targeted for assassination or imprisoned. There is NO other ‘strategic or tactical’ plan that will work against JIHADISTS. It is as simple as fixing any problem at any level…..you find the ‘root cause’ and either fix it or get rid of it!!!


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram