The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen Al-alami (HuMA; Al-alami, meaning International) is an offshoot of the proscribed Deobandi terrorist group, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), and was formed sometime in the year 2002 after parting ways with the latter on a dispute over organizational affairs. According to The Friday Times, there was reportedly some pressure on the HuM after its proscription in Pakistan in November 2001 to merge with the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, another Jehadi group based in that country. However, this plan met with stiff resistance from within the HuM and reportedly, the dissent led to a group breaking away from the parent outfit and calling itself the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen Al-alami. It is based in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Objectives and Activity
Pakistani officials reportedly told a US delegation in Islamabad in September 2002 that the HuMA was involved in some of the attacks on Christians and Westerners in the country since 9/11. Officials reportedly pointed out to the American delegation led by Undersecretary for Defence, Douglas J. Feith, that the group had the potential to carry out high-intensity attacks, as it was equipped with sophisticated weapons, including rocket launchers and detonators.
It is suspected to be involved in the failed attempts to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf and the former Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider. Sharib alias Asadullah led a group of eight HuMA terrorists in the failed plot to assassinate President Musharraf in Karachi on April 26, 2002. Rangers Director-General (DG) in Sindh, Maj. Gen Salahuddin, was quoted as saying in a July 2002 report that two cadres of the HuMA group had parked their vehicle near the Falak Naz Centre on Sharea Faisal on April 26 when the President was scheduled to visit the Army House from the airport. However, the remote control to set-off the device failed. The DG also said that Inspector Wasim of the Rangers had abetted the accused in their attempt and was subsequently arrested.
Sindh Police has suspected the involvement of the group, among others, in the US Consulate bombing case, the April 26 conspiracy to assassinate the President, the May-8 Sheraton Hotel blasts and the Aga Khan flats blast in the limits of Pirabad.
The HuMA cadres reportedly decide upon their targets after consultations at the meetings of an ‘consultative committee’ headed by Muhammad Imran, who was arrested on July 7, 2002.
Among other objectives, the group has declared that it intends to damage the United States, its interests and all those who are friendly to the US.
Leadership and Cadre
Most of its activists and its top leadership are currently under arrest. While Muhammad Imran functioned as the Amir (chief) of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen Al-alami, Muhammad Hanif was the deputy chief and in charge of its Askari (military) wing. Both Imran and Hanif were arrested on July 7, 2002, for their alleged involvement in the plot to assassinate President Musharraf. Subsequently, on April 14, 2003, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi held both guilty and sentenced them to death. "This death sentence is a blessing for me, although our deaths have been planned by the government to please America," said Imran in response to the judgment.
Zubair Mufti, arrested on September 18, 2002, in connection with the assassination attempt on President Musharraf, has been described by the Sindh Police as a technical mastermind of the group. Mohammad Ashraf Khan, arrested by the Karachi police on July 24, 2002 in connection with car-bomb explosion near the US Consulate on June 14, functioned as the treasurer of the organization.
The group reportedly consists of approximately 60 cadres working independently in their respective areas. None of them was responsible to a central body but a ‘consultative committee’ led by Mohammad Imran decided the implementation of terrorist strikes. The Daily Times reported on April 15, 2003, that security agencies had arrested 24 HuMA terrorists and at least 40 were still at large.
Reports of October 2002 pointed out that the Federal Government had found evidence of the involvement of some tribal leaders supplying weapons to the Al Qaeda fugitives and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Alami in Karachi. Further, interrogation of eight HuMA terrorists arrested on September 18, 2002, has revealed that they had bought arms and ammunition in the tribal areas of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Saud Memon in the Sindh province is reported to be one of the prominent financiers of the HuMA. The Sindh Government had declared him among their 10 most-wanted terrorists on June 29, 2002. Reportedly, it was on the land owned by Memon that the body of murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl was discovered. Till April 2003, according to the Daily Times, Memon was at large.
The HuMA has links with the Al Qaeda, which has been established primarily through the proscribed Sunni group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), and other terrorist groups like the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and with some Arab nationals individually. Official sources in Sindh province were quoted as saying in a April 2003 report that despite having de-linked themselves from the public as an independent outfit, the HuMA continued to maintain contacts with its parent outfit, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen as also the LeJ. Some of the HuMA cadres reportedly also have close links with the Taliban militia.
April 4: A HuMA cadre was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Babar Kanta area of Karachi. According to the Police, the deceased, Jamal Iqbal, was sitting with some friends when two unidentified assailants opened fore on him and managed to escape.
February 10: The Anti-Extremism Cell of the Sindh Police’s CID arrested a ‘commander’ of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen Al-alami and recovered weapons and Jihad (holy war) literature from his possession. Official sources said Saifullah was arrested near the Sindh High Court in Karachi. One TT pistol was recovered from his possession on the spot while an 8mm rifle and literature were later found from the place, he had pointed out during interrogation.
April 14: Muhammad Imran and Muhammad Hanif, chief and deputy chief of HuMA respectively, and accused in the US Consulate bomb attack case, are held guilty and sentenced to death by an Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi.
September 18: Eight HuMA terrorists are arrested in Karachi in connection with the May 8-attack on the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi and the June 14-Karachi US Consulate attack.
September 11: Five HuMA terrorists are remanded to police custody in the President Musharraf assassination-plot-case
September 9: Five HuMA terrorists accused of a second plot to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf in April 2002 are arrested in Karachi.
August 22: Three HuMA terrorists are indicted by a Karachi Anti-Terrorism court in the June 14-car bomb explosion outside the US Consulate in Karachi in which 10 persons, including five women, were killed and 51 others injured.
August 19: An Anti-Terrorism court in Karachi declares six HuMA terrorists, allegedly involved in the June 14-car-bomb attack outside the US Consulate in Karachi and an attempt on the life of President Musharraf, as absconders.
August 15: Karachi Anti-Terrorism Court orders release of three HuMA terrorists in a case pertaining to the attack on an American franchise restaurant in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Karachi.
July 24: Mohammad Ashraf Khan, a HuMA terrorist, is arrested by the Karachi police in connection with car-bomb explosion near the US Consulate on June 14.
July 17: Chief and Deputy Chief of the HuMA confess before a judicial magistrate in Karachi that they were involved in a conspiracy to kill President Pervez Musharraf on April 26 in Karachi.
July 7: Muhammad Imran and Muhammad Hanif, chief and deputy chief of HuMA respectively, are arrested for their alleged involvement in the plot to blow up President Musharraf's car near the Karachi airport on April 26.
April 26: An attempt by HuMA terrorists to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf in Karachi is foiled.