AL-FARAN Al-Faran, a little-known militant group operating in the Indian part of the state of Kashmir, gained considerable international attention in the summer of 1995 with the kidnapping of Western tourists, including an American The group sought the release of a number of Kashmiri activists who were held in Indian jails The Indian response was clear: They were not prepared to give in to the demands of “terrorist” groups operating in Kashmir With the Indians holding their ground, the group attempted to increase its pressure on the government by beheading one of its captives, a Norwegian tourist The Indian position did not change, and Al-Faran, after months of negotiations with the authorities, continued to hold the tourists as hostages One victim escaped, but the fate of the remaining four remains unknown, although the governments of India, as well as Jammu and Kashmir governments, in 2003 issued death certificates for them Al-Faran faded from prominence as the situation in Kashmir stabilized

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