Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) launch pads in new locations across the Line of Control have been activated ahead of a possible effort to push militants from the Pakistan-based group into Jammu and Kashmir, top counter-terror officials and senior Jammu and Kashmir police officials said, although the latter added that this is because Indian security forces have eliminated most of the Jaish leadership in the valley.
They added that Mohammad Umair, JeM chief Masood Azhar’s nephew, who was seen around Pulwama in February, when a militant affiliated to it carried out a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy, killing 40, has either been killed or has gone back to Pakistan.
According to the counter- terror and police officials, none of whom wished to be identified, the reason for the activation of the launch pads is to boost the Jaish’s strength and capabilities in the state.
After the Pulwama attack, Indian security forces have been able to eliminate the majority of the Jaish leadership in the valley, they added, with only one commander, who operates under the code name Munna Bihari currently active in the Shopian district.
Previously, Indian forces have gunned down Azhar’s elder brother Ibrahim Athar eldest son Usman Haider and Talha Rasheed. Soon after Pulwama, they gunned down the son of Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Abdul Rasheed Kamran.
In a recent audio clip, broadcast over the Jaish’s Rang-o-Noor channel, Ibrahim Athar indicates that Mohammed Umair may have also been neutralized by the Indian security forces. In the audio clip, Athar is heard telling his cadre that Umair and Kamran have already reached “heaven.”
HT learns that many of these launch pads are in the scenic Lolab Valley, north of Kupwara, and around 114 km north-west of Srinagar.