Earlier this month Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a surprise catch, arrested Abu Usman al Kashmiri aka Aijaz Ahmed Ahangar from Kandahar, a Kashmiri militant who had been on the run for 25 years.
Born in Budgam on the outskirts of Srinagar, Abu Usman al Kashmiri was arrested in the 1990s with links to militancy. Released on bail, he traveled to Pakistan via Bangladesh and was the chief recruiter for Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir, reports the Hindustan Times.
ISIS is pressing to increase its presence in Jammu and Kashmir and has so far enjoyed little success. The Islamic State claimed to have established a new “province” in India — Wilayah of Hind, the first of its kind announcement that came after clashes between militants and security forces in Kashmir in May 2019.
According to HT reports, the Afghan security agencies did not pay much heed to Kashmiri as they were awestruck with their golden catch, Aslam Farooqui, the chief of the Islamic State ‘Khorasan Province’ who had claimed responsibility for the recent Kabul Gurdwara attacks.
Earlier, as the EurAsian Times reported the Afghan security forces had carried out a massive security operation and announced that they have captured ISKP chief along with 19 other fighters. The Afghan Vice President and former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh has applauded the arrest of Aslam Faroqi and called it a massive victory for the NDS.
In the early rounds of his questioning, Kashmiri identified himself as Ali Mohammed from Islamabad. According to counter-terrorism officials in Kabul and New Delhi, the real identity of Ali Mohammed was realized much later and his capture was labeled a ‘surprise’.
Kashmiri was not the only one from his family that has links to terrorism. Aijaz Ahangar’s trip to Pakistan via Bangladesh rather than crossing at the Line of Control reflected the family’s links with the Pakistani agencies, according to an official.
Once in Pakistan, Kashmiri was accommodated with the help of ISI and even married a local from Pak-controlled-Kashmir. He briefly joined Al-Qaeda before moving to ISIS and during his years in Khorasan. Kashmiri lost his son and son-in-law while fighting for the ISIS in Afghanistan.