NEW DELHI: The Indian intelligence establishment is on high alert after being tipped about a meeting between Jaish-e-Mohammed’s de-facto ‘emir’ Maulana Abdul Rauf Ashgar and two top rank ISI officials at Rawalpindi on August 20. Ashgar’s brother Maulana Ammar was also present at that meeting, says a confidential intelligence note.
After the Balakot strikes, Ammar had released an audio criticizing Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan for releasing IAF braveheart Abhinandan Varthmaan and vowing revenge for IAF targeting Jaish’s Taaleem-Ul-Quran Madrassa.
A senior intelligence officer said the Rawalpindi meeting was preceded by a congregation at the JeM Markaz in Islamabad where Jaish’s operational commander Mufti Ashgar Khan Kashmiri and Qari Zarrar met to discuss endstage intricacies of their plan to intensify attacks on India. This is significant because a similar meeting of the same set of people was held a month before Pulwama happened last year, a security establishment source said.
Asghar Kashmiri, a former Guerrilla commander, is an ex-member of Majlis-e-Shura, Harkatul Mujahideen, who later joined JeM along with his team of Mujahideens. Zarrar, a launching commander, was behind the Nagrota army cantonment attack of 2016.
Maulana Abdul Rauf Ashgar, aka MARA, has been at the forefront of handling Mujahideens since his brother Maulana Masood Azhar has been diagnosed with a life threatening ailment. MARA has also been on the top five list of terror outfit leadership which Indian agencies are keeping their eyes on.
The intelligence officials TOI spoke to confirmed that JeM had been making desperate attempts to carry out a big strike as the outfit has been furious and rattled with the intensified action against its terrorists in the valley. Two weeks ago, the intelligence establishment was alerted about an impending strike by a three-member death squad of JeM.


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