Country Report on Terrorism 2018 - Chapter 5 - Hizbul Mujahideen

Aka HM, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

Description: Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was designated as a FTO on August 17, 2017. The group was formed in 1989 and is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. HM is led by Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin, and officially supports the liberation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from Indian control and its accession to Pakistan, although some cadres are pro-independence. The group focuses its attacks on Indian security forces and politicians in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and has conducted operations jointly with other Kashmiri militants. HM reportedly operated in Afghanistan through the mid-1990s and trained alongside the Afghan Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) in Afghanistan until the Taliban takeover. The group is made up primarily of ethnic Kashmiris.

Activities: HM has claimed responsibility for several attacks in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. On April 17, 2014, HM launched two grenades into an area where preparations were taking place for an election rally in Beerwah of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The attacks injured 17 people. Later that year, HM killed two and injured 24 others after launching a grenade in a crowded market in south Kashmir. In May 2015, HM claimed an attack on Indian security forces in Kupwara that killed three Indian troops, according to the targeted forces. HM launched additional attacks against Indian security forces in 2015 and 2016. On May 1, 2017, HM killed seven people – including five policemen – when it attacked a bank van carrying cash in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

HM continued conducting attacks in 2018. On August 29, 2018, HM reportedly killed four policemen in the Shopian district of south Kashmir. In addition, on September 21, 2018, HM claimed responsibility for abducting and killing three police officials in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Strength: Exact numbers are unknown, but there may be several hundred members in Pakistan and in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Location/Area of Operation: HM conducts operations primarily in India, including the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Funding and External Aid: HM’s sources of support are unknown, but it is suspected to receive funding from sources in Pakistan.