Name of Organization   Al-Rashid Trust (ART)

 

Formation  

Al Rashid trust was formed on February 13, 1996 as a humanitarian organization aimed at carrying out welfare projects throughout Pakistan. The trust had 21 branches across Pakistan. ART also operated in Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Its aim in Afghanistan was to counter western non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as it perceived them to be the ‘enemies of Islam.’ Under the cover of relief activities, ART provided funds to Taliban and other like minded organizations.

 

Leadership   Mufti Muhammad Rashid: Founder
He also taught at Darul Ifta-e-Wal Irshad (a religious seminary).
Mufti Abu Lubaba: Group’s Ideologue
He is an author and also writes for ART’s newspaper ‘Zarb-e Momin.’[1]
Maulvi Sibghat Ullah: Director Al-Rashid Kandhar, Afghanistan
Abdul Hadi Mulla Khel: Al-Rashid trust’s representative in Afghanistan

 

School of Thought   Deobandi Sunni; Sunni

 

Structure of the Organization  

Not much is known about this organization after its proscription in 2001. However, before its proscription it had 21 branches across Pakistan. ART was also carrying out operations in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Kosovo. Its head office was situated in the Gulshan-e Iqbal area of Karachi.[2]

 

Financial Resources  

According to Pepe Escobar “The biggest source of funds for Al-Rashid are the Middle East and everywhere where Pakistanis can be found, especially in Britain. The trust also has a network in South Africa. Al-Rashid also raises a lot of money in Pakistan.” [3]

 

Status  

• U.S. State Department Foreign Terrorist Organizations: September 22, 2001 to Present
• United Nations: October 6, 2001 to Present
• Pakistan: December 1, 2005

 

Recruitment tools & demographics  

The recruitment and selection procedure followed by Al Rashid is not known. However, their activities have greatly helped other terrorist organizations in selection of recruits. The trust runs many madrassahs and mosques in Pakistan. One of the largest madrassahs run by ART is Arabia-Islamia in Mansehra on the Karakoram Highway. The trust also runs a hospital in Muzaffarabad. In Afghanistan, ART coordinates with Wafa Kharia, an Arab NGO formed by Osama bin Laden.[5]


ART has also built a number of madrassahs in Afghanistan. Before the attack by NATO and US forces, ART was building more than 20 mosques on the Kabul-Kandahar Highway and five mosques along Kandahar-Chaman Highway.[6]

 

Ideology  

ART was created as a humanitarian organization aimed at carrying out welfare projects throughout Pakistan. However, ART was proscribed in 2001 after it was suspected for providing funds to Taliban in Afghanistan. It was also involved in providing funds to different groups in Kosovo and Chechnya. It followed an anti-western ideology, as it considered western NGOs to be the “enemies of Islam.”[4]

 

Areas of Operation   21 districts across Pakistan and Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar and Mazar-e Sharif Afghanistan
 
Linkages   Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Jaish-e Muhammad, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, Lashkar-e Jhangvi, Wafa Khairia
Tools   Print Media:

Weekly Zarb-e Momin (Urdu) (proscribed but available online) http://zarbpk.blogspot.com/
Weekly Dharb-e Momin (English) (Proscribed)
Daily Islam:
http://www.dailyislam.pk/epaper/
Khwateen ka Islam (Daily Islam’s magazine for women)
www.dailyislam.pk/dailyislam/khawateenkaislam/‎
Bachoun ka Islam Daily Islam’s magazine for children)
http://www.dailyislam.pk/dailyislam/bachonkaislam/588/index.php
 

    Audio / Video:
Not Available

Social Media
Facebook:

Daily Islam Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/ISLAM.daily.newspaper
Khawateen ka Islam and Bachoun ka Islam Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/Bachonorkhwateenkaislam



 
 

web site   Not Available
Name Variations   Al-Rashid Trust (ART) is referred to the following name variations:

• Al-Amin Welfare Trust
• Al Amin Trust
• Al-Ameen Trust
• Al Ameen Trut
• Al-Madina Trust
• Al Madina Trust
• Maymar Trust (Most recently)

 

     

Who they are

Al-Rashid Trust was created as a welfare organization aimed at carrying out welfare projects within Pakistan. However with the passage of time it expanded its activities in countries like Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Although primarily a welfare organization, ART actively promoted Jihad through booklets written by its prominent leaders. They perceived international NGOs as enemies of Islam and one of their aims in Afghanistan was to oust the international organizations[7].

History

ART was created in February, 1996 with the aim of carrying out welfare projects in Pakistan. Mufti Muhammad Rashid is the founding leader of this organization. Mufti Abu Lubaba was the organization’s ideologue. Maulvi Sibghat Ullah was Director Al-Rahid Trust in Kandahar, Afghanistan[8].

ART was headquartered in Karachi’s Gulshan-e Iqbal area. It had more than 21 branches across Pakistan. In addition, it had its branches in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It was listed as proscribed by the US right after September 11 attacks for allegedly providing support to Al-Qaeda and other militant organizations in Afghanistan. ART’s bank accounts were frozen by the State Bank of Pakistan after its listing by the US government[9].

Organization's Message

ART’s main aim is to provide all kinds of support to jihadist organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. So its main aim is to support jihad and jihadist activities. It promotes its ideology through its publications (Weekly Zarb-e Momin and others). It is a Deobandi organization similar to Al-Qaeda, Taliban and many other militant organizations. ART also provided recruits to the militant organizations working in Pakistan and Afghanistan through madrassahs and mosques established by them[10].

Target Audience

ART’s target audience includes wealthy businessmen and individuals that support jihadist activities. According to South Asian Terrorism Portal, “the biggest source of funds for Al Rashid Trust is the Middle East and Pakistan.” in addition, it also has a network in South Africa. However, all the bank accounts linked to ART were frozen after its proscription. ART, however, claims that all its activities are humanitarian[11].

Tools

Jihadist organizations are well aware of the importance of communications and for that matter they employ a series of tools to target their audience and to convey their messages to everyone. ART before its proscription was running two newspapers namely weekly Zarb-e Momin (Urdu), Dharb-e Momin (English) and Daily Islam. Zarb-e Momin was considered as Taliban’s mouth piece. Mufti Muhammad Rashid is also the Chief Editor of Daily Islam. Islam group of newspapers also publish magazine targeting women (Khwateen ka Islam) and children (Bachoun ka Islam).
Mufti Muhammad Rashid has a longstanding relationship with Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish-e Muhammad (JeM). Maulana Masood Azhar is also a regular contributor in Weekly Zarb-e Momin. Daily Islam and Zarb-e Momin although banned are still being published and are easily available both online and in print. ART doesn’t have a footprint on the social media.

 

 
 

Splinter Groups

N/A

 

 

 

References:

 [1] Al-Kalam. Accessed online from: http://www.alkalam.pk/ebooks_htm/ebooks_02.htm  date of access: October 9, 2013.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Pepe Escobar. The Roving eye, Anatomy of a ‘terrorist’ NGO: Online Asia Times. October 26, 2001. Accessed online from: http://www.atimes.com/c-asia/CJ26Ag01.html date of access: October 9, 2013.
[4] Objectives: Al Rashid Trust. Accessed online from: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/Al-Rashid_Trust.htm  Date of access: October 9, 2013
[5] Activities: Al Rashid Trust. South Asian Terrorism Portal. Accessed online from: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/Al-Rashid_Trust.htm  Date of access: October 10, 2013.
[6] Pepe Escobar. The Roving eye, Anatomy of a ‘terrorist’ NGO: Online Asia Times. October 26, 2001. Accessed online from: http://www.atimes.com/c-asia/CJ26Ag01.html. date of access: October 9, 2013.
[7] Al Rashid: SATP. Accessed online from: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/Al-Rashid_Trust.htm  date of access: October 10, 2013.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Al Rashid Trust: Mapping Militant Organizations. Accessed online from: http://www.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/117#note1  Date of access: October 10, 2013.
[11] Al Rashid Trust: SATP. Accessed online from: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/Al-Rashid_Trust.htm  Date of access: October 10, 2013.
[12] Zarb-e Momin Facebook page. Accessed online from: https://www.facebook.com/ZARB.E.MOMIN.weekly  date of access: October 10, 2013.

[13] Daily Islam. Accessed online: http://www.dailyislam.pk/epaper/  Date of access: October 10, 2013.
[14] Khawateeen ka Islam. Accessed online from: www.dailyislam.pk/dailyislam/khawateenkaislam/‎  Date of access: October 10, 2013.
[15] Bachoun ka Islam. Accessed online from: http://www.dailyislam.pk/dailyislam/bachonkaislam/588/index.php  date of access: October 10, 2013.
[16] Khawateen ka Islam and Bachoun ka Islam Facebook page. Accessed online from: http://www.dailyislam.pk/dailyislam/bachonkaislam/588/index.php  date of access: October 10, 2013.