PESHAWAR, Dec 28: One of the two suicide bombers, who attacked President Gen Musharraf’s convoy in Rawalpindi last Thursday, had been cleared of involvement in anti-state activities by security agencies in April last year, background interviews and investigations by Dawn revealed.
Security agencies working on the twin-suicide bombings to eliminate President Musharraf have established the identity of one of the bombers, Muhammad Jamil.
His identity was established after security agencies rummaging through the debris and human body parts recovered his torso and national identity card, a source told Dawn.
Dawn’s investigation revealed that Muhammad Jameel, 23, was affiliated with the banned Jaish-i-Muhammad, a militant organization, that had training camps in Rishkore near Kabul in the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and was actively involved in the occupied Kashmir.
Jaish-i-Muhammad was launched by Maulana Masood Azhar in January 2000 when he split up with Harakatul Mujahideen of Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil. President Gen Pervez Musharraf had banned five militant groups including Jaish-i-Muhammad for their involvement in sectarian violence in a televised address to the nation on Jan 12.
Masood was one of three people whose release from Indian prison was demanded by hijackers of an Indian airliner in 1999.
The other two released by Delhi included Khalid Omar Sheikh and Mushtaq Zargar. Sheikh has already been convicted in the murder case of Wall Street reporter Daniel Pearl.
Investigations revealed that Muhammad Jameel, resident of Androot, Police Station, Torarh in Poonch district, Azad Kashmir, had received only primary level education and was a Hafizul Quran (memorized the Holy Book by heart).
Fired by fiery speeches by Jihadi leaders, Jameel went to Jalalabad via Torkham in eastern Nangrahar province in January 2001 through an Afghan cloth merchant in AJ&K. Soon afterwards, he moved to Kabul and lived in Darul Aman area on the outskirts of the Afghan capital.
Jameel, however, was wounded and captured when the US-backed Northern Alliance attacked Kabul later that year. He was shifted to a hospital and remained under treatment for fifteen days. The transitional government in Afghanistan led by President Hamid Karzai handed him over to Pakistani authorities along with 29 other militants that same month and they were flown to Peshawar in a military aircraft.
They were re-arrested by the Pakistani authorities and charged with entering Pakistan without travel documents.
Significantly, though, Jameel was declared “white” by security agencies when interrogated by a Joint Interrogation Team in April last year. The JIT had concluded that the suspect was not involved in any anti-state activities and since nothing adverse had been found against him, the JIT had unanimously declared him “white” implying that his custody was not required by the agencies.