July 10, 1968 |
|Allegiance||Harkat-ul-Ansar, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad|
Azhar was born in Bahawalpur on July 10, 1968 as one of ten siblings although some sources list his birth date as August 7, 1968 as the third of 11 children. Azhar's father, Allah Bakhsh Shabbir, was the headmaster at a government-run school, and his family operated a dairy and poultry farm. Azhar studied at the Jamia Uloom ul Islamia Banuri Town in Karachi, where he became involved with Harkat-ul-Ansar. After he suffered injuries in the Soviet-Afghan War, Azhar was chosen as the head of Harkat's department of motivation and became an editor for the Urdu-language Sad’e Mujahidin and the Arabic-language Sawte Kashmir.
Azhar later became the general secretary of Harkat-ul-Ansar and visited many international locations to recruit, to raise funds and to spread the message of Pan-Islamism. Among his destinations were Zambia, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, the United Kingdom and Albania.
Activities in Somalia
Azhar confessed that in 1993 he traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with leaders of al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, an al-Qaeda-aligned Somali group, who had requested money and recruits from Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). Indian intelligence officials believe that he made at least three trips to Somalia and that he also helped bring Yemeni mercenaries to Somalia.
1994 arrest – 1999 release
In early 1994, Azhar traveled to Srinagar to ease tensions between Harkat-ul-Ansar's feuding factions of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. India arrested him in February and imprisoned him for his terrorist activities with the groups.
In 1995, foreign tourists were kidnapped in Jammu and Kashmir. The kidnappers, referring to themselves as Al-Faran, included the release of Masood Azhar among their demands. One of the hostages managed to escape but the rest were eventually killed.
In December 1999, he was freed by the Indian government in exchange for passengers on the hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 (IC814) that had eventually landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, which at the time the Taliban controlled. The hijackers of IC814 were led by Masood Azhar's brother, Ibrahim Athar. His release from Kot Bhalwal jail was supervised by an IPS officer, his younger brother Abdul Rauf Asghar had planned this attack. S P Vaid; once Masood Azhar was handed over to the hijackers, they fled to Pakistani territory despite the fact that Islamabad had earlier stated that any of the hijackers would be arrested at the border. The Pakistani government also previously indicated that Azhar would be allowed to return home since he did not face any charges there.
Shortly after his release, Azhar made a public address to an estimated 10,000 people in Karachi. He proclaimed, "I have come here because this is my duty to tell you that Muslims should not rest in peace until we have destroyed America and India."
2001 arrest – 2002 release
Masood Azhar's outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed allegedly carried out a string of deadly attacks against Indian targets, including the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001 that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a full-scale war.
Soon after the Indian parliament attack, Masood Azhar was detained for a year by Pakistani authorities in connection but was never formally charged. The Lahore High Court ordered an end to the house arrest on 14 December 2002, much to the fury of India.
||This section of a biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
He wrote many books on Jihad in Urdu. Some of them are as follows:
• Fazail e Jihad
• Khutbaat e Jihad
• Muskurate Zakhm
• Darus e Jihad
• Zaad e Mujahid
• Azadi Mukammal Ya Adhori
• Fath ul Jawwad
November 2008 Mumbai Attacks
On December 7, 2008, it was claimed that he was among several arrested by the Pakistani government after a military raid on a camp located on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad in connection with the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. He is still living in Bhawalpur. Pakistan's government denied it had arrested Masood Azhar and said it was unaware of his whereabouts  On Jan 26, 2014, Masood Azhar reappeared after a seclusion of six years. He addressed a rally in Muzaffarabad, calling for the resumption of jihad in Kashmir. His group, Jaish-e-Muhammad, claims he is currently in Srinagar, India. 
Sanctioned by US Treasury
The U.S. Treasury is prohibiting Americans from "engaging in any transactions" with three Pakistan-based militants and a front group. Al Rehmat Trust, called "an operational front" for Jaish-e Mohammed, was designated for providing support to and for acting for or on behalf of that group, and Mohammed Masood Azhar Alvi, Jaish-e Mohammed's founder and leader, was designated for acting on behalf of the group.
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- US Department of the Treasury. Treas.gov. Retrieved on 2013-03-14.