1,613. 12/24/1999

“On Christmas Eve 1999, five terrorists hijacked Air India flight 814 in Katmandu, Nepal. The terrorists were Pakistanis from the group Harakat ul Mujahedin (HuM), long supported by bin Laden… The plane refueled in Amritsar, India, then in Lahore, Pakistan, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates before finally settling in at Kandahar [Afghanistan] on December 25 for negotiations with India on the terms for the hostages’ release. …The terrorists murdered one passenger… With the Kandahar airport under Taliban control, al Qaeda was able to set up an office there, as the 9/11 Commission later reported, with Osama bin Laden behind the scenes directing the negotiations and the plot. According to the Indian government, the ISI [Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence], which had helped the hijackers procure weapons in Nepal, was in constant contact with them by satellite phone from its headquarters in Rawalpindi. The cabal demanded the release of three Kashmiri terrorist leaders held in India: Maulana Masood Azhar…Sheikh Amer Omar Saeed, and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar. India’s foreign minister, Jaswant Singh, flew to Kandahar and arranged the deal. After the exchange, the ISI took the three freed terrorists to Pakistan, where they participated in a fund-raising tour for a new terrorist group founded by Azhar, Jaish-e-Muhammad.”

 – Bruce Riedel, Deadly Embrace, Pages 58-59

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