Qari Saifullah Akhtar
Qari Saifullah Akhtar was born in 1958 in South Waziristan and is listed as a graduate of the Banuri Mosque in Karachi. In 1980 Qari Saifullah Akhtar along with two of his associates: Maulana Irshad Ahmed and Maulana Abdus Samad Sial, all seminary students from Karachi in Pakistan, founded a group - Jamiat Ansarul Afghaneen (JAA), the Party of the Friends of the Afghan People.
After the end of the Afghan war in 1989, the JAA merged itself with another Pakistani militant group known as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, to form Harkat-ul-Ansar where Qari Saifullah Akhtar was deputee of Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil.
In 1995 Qari Saifullah Akhtar took crucial part in Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai's efforts to get Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Umar together as partners-in-jihad - an effort that paved the way for Osama bin Laden to shift Al Qaeda and all its’ staff from Sudan to Afghanistan at the end of 1996.
Also in 1995 Qari Saifullah Akhtar was suspected by the Pakistani authority that he participated in a would-be army coup attempt of 1995 led by Major-General Zaheerul Islam Abbasi. Qari Saifullah Akhtar went underground. He surfaced in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1996 as an adviser to Mullah Omar in the Taliban government.
In 1997, In order to avoid the ramifications of the USA designation of Harkat-ul-Ansar as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, it renamed itself as Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami –HuJI. Qari Saifullah Akhtar became the acting leader – Amir of HuJI, while Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil attached himself to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Qari Saifullah Akhtar was running a training camp at Rishkor, Afghanistan, before operation Absolute Justice in 12/2001. He had trained 3,500 persons in conventional and unconventional combat. Qari Saifullah Akhtar managed to flee Afghanistan to the tribal region of Pakistan, known as Waziristan, and then to move to the United Arab Emirates –UAE where he was, eventually, arrested in 08/2004, and handed over to Pakistan.
On 05/21/2007 Qari Saifullah Akhtar was released without being officially charged, by ISI in his home town Mandi Bahauddin.
On 02/26/2008 Qari Saifullah Akhtar was rearrested in Lahore for his alleged Involvement in the attempted assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Karachi on 10/18/2007 – known as the Karachi carnage . Qari Saifullah Akhtar was released, under a court order, because of lack of evidence a month later, on 03/26/2008.
Qari Saifullah Akhtar was rearrested for suspicions he was involved in the Marriott Bombing in Islamabad, on 09/20/2008, but since there were no evidence against him he was released once again. Following intensification of US UAV missile attacks in South Waziristan, his homeland Qari Saifullah Akhtar fled the FATA region in summer 2010. He was kept under house arrest, probably as a protective measure, at an undisclosed place near Lahore, Punjab's capital, since 08/2010. The Pakistani authorities have freed, once again, Qari Saifullah Akhtar in late 12/2010.
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