Masood Azhar was so chubby that he flunked out of jihadi training camp. He once got stuck in a tunnel in an attempt to get him out of an Indian prison, where he'd been locked up for carrying out terrorist activities in Kashmir. However, the Pakistani cleric managed to get out in December 1999 after five men hijacked an Indian Airlines flight and secured Azhar's release—along with two other terrorists—in exchange for the passengers and crew they had taken hostage. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee's story traces how Azhar and the group he founded became a key asset for the ISI in Pakistan's efforts to wrest Kashmir from India by orchestrating terrorist strikes against its neighbor.
Twenty years ago, India let Masood Azhar go. Now he and his jihadist group may be one of the greatest obstacles to resolving the crisis in Kashmir.
How did the Pakistani cleric, Masood Azhar, become one of the ISIS's most valued assets in its campaign to organize terrorist strikes against India?