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Central & South Asia
Profile: HUJI
Group with bases in Bangladesh and Pakistan have also been active across India.
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2011 15:41
HUJI has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's bomb attacks in Delhi, [EPA]

The Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HUJI) group, with bases in Bangladesh and Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's bomb attack outside a court in the Indian capital, New Delhi, which killed 11 people and injured at least 45 others.

In an email to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the group called on India to repeal the death sentence of a man convicted in connection with an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001 who was awaiting execution by hanging.

"That mail has to be looked at very seriously because HUJI is a very prominent terrorist group among whose targets India is one," S C Sinha, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief, told reporters.

HUJI is a Sunni group that was founded in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet occupation.

The founder of HUJI, Fazalur Rehman Khalil, claimed his group was the first Pakistani-based organisation during the Soviet-Afghan War.

HUJI first limited its operations in Afghanistan to defeating the Communists, but after the Soviets retreated, the organisation extended its operation to Indian-adminstered Kashmir.

HUJI's footprint was extended to Bangladesh when the Bangladesh unit was established in 1992. Its primary aim was to establish Islamic rule and wipe out Indian and Western influence in Bangladesh, reportedly supported by Osama Bin Laden.

Their main slogan was ‘Amra Sobai Hobo Taliban, Bangla Hobe Afghanistan' (We all will become Taliban, Bangladesh will be Afghanistan). Later, HUJI Bangladesh became part of the International Islamic Front (IIF) set up by Osama bin Laden in 1998.

Pakistan plot

HUJI first shot to international limelight in 1995 when a plot involving the group and some fundamentalist elements in the Pakistan army was uncovered.

The planned coup was designed to terminate the then Pakistan military leadership, overthrow the Benazir Bhutto government and impose Islamic dictatorship on the country.

In India, HUJI announced its presence outside Kashmir in 2002 when the American Centre in Kolkata was attacked, while in 2005 HUJI was implicated in the suicide bombing of the headquarters of the Andhra Pradesh Police's counter-terrorism Special Task Force.

The group has often been suspected of attacks on Indian cities, from the southern city of Hyderabad in 2007 to the northeastern state of Assam.

HUJI has been linked to the plotters behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks as well as the Indian Mujahideen group, an outfit which has claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks on Indian cities. However, till date, no conclusive evidence has emerged.

In 2010 a senior al-Qaeda member and HUJI leader, Ilyas Kashmiri, was killed by a US drone aircraft missile in Pakistan.

HUJI has been known to provide fighters for the Afghan Taliban, who are fighting US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Currently, HUJI operations are based out from Bangladesh and Pakistan, but a strong network has been developed across India as well.

In 2010, Washington banned HUJI and included it in the US list of terror organisations.

Source:
Agencies
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