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  • Lashkar-e-Taiba لشكرِ طيبه

    by Sid (Faisal)
    30th November, 2008 at 2:00 pm    

    Lashkar-e-Taiba (Urdu: لشكرِ طيبه laškar-ĕ ṯaiyyiba, literally Army of the Pure or Righteous, also transliterated as Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba or Lashkar-i-Taiba) is one of the largest and most active Islamic terrorist organizations in South Asia. The group was founded by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in Afghanistan’s Kunar province in the late 1980s becoming especially active after 1993 and has close ties to Al-Qaeda. The aim of the group is the end of Indian rule in Kashmir and establishment of an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia.

    Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is believed to be based near Lahore and is said to operate several militant training camps in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and is believed to receive support from Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). The group also receives support from South Asians Muslims living in the Persian Gulf region and through “Islamic charities.” Lashkar e-Taiba purports to train its hundreds of thousands of young members for an Islamic Jihad in the troubled region of Kashmir & Jammu.

    From the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP):

    LeT has an extensive network that run across Pakistan and India with branches in Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Bangladesh and South East Asia.

    The outfit collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic Non-Governmental Organisations, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen. It receives considerable financial, material and other forms of assistance from the Pakistan government, routed primarily through the ISI. The ISI is the main source of LeT’s funding. Saudi Arabia also provides funds.

    The LeT maintains ties to various religious/military groups around the world, ranging from the Philippines to the Middle East and Chechnya primarily through the al Qaeda fraternal network.

    The LeT has also been part of the Bosnian campaign against the Serbs.

    It has allegedly set up sleeper cells in the U.S. and Australia, trained terrorists from other countries and has entered new theatres of Jihad like Iraq.

    The group has links with many international Islamist terrorist groups like the Ikhwan-ul-Musalmeen of Egypt and other Arab groups.

    LeT has a unit in Germany and also receives help from the Al Muhajiraun, supporter of Sharia Group, (Abu Hamza Masari- of Mosque Finsbury Park, North London) and its annual convention is regularly attended by fraternal bodies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Myanmar, USA, Palestine, Bosnia, Philippines, Jordan, Chechnya, etc.

    It also has links with the International Sikh Youth Federation (Lakhbir Singh Rode).

    From the New York Times:

    American intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Friday that there was mounting evidence that a Pakistani militant group based in Kashmir, most likely Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible for this week’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.

    The officials cautioned that they had reached no firm conclusions about who was responsible for the attacks, or how they were planned and carried out. Nevertheless, they said that evidence gathered in the past two days pointed to a role for Lashkar-e-Taiba or possibly another group based in Kashmir, Jaish-e-Muhammad, which also has a track record of attacks against India.

    Ajmal, the single terrorist arrested alive by Indian security, claims that all of the jihadists were Pakistani citizens. However, this does not fit other accounts that the group were entirely of Indian origin. Ajmal also claimed that the “gang hoped to get away”. From the Times of India:

    Ajmal made another important disclosure: that all terrorists were trained in marine warfare along with the special course Daura-e-Shifa conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in what at once transforms the nature of the planning from a routine terror strike and into a specialized raid by commandos.

    Battle-hardened ATS officials are surprised by the details of the training the terrorists were put through before being despatched for the macabre mission. This was very different from a terrorist attack, and amounted to an offensive from the seam, said a source.

    Ajmal has revealed the name of his fellow jihadis all Pakistani citizens as Abu Ali, Fahad, Omar, Shoaib, Umer, Abu Akasha, Ismail, Abdul Rahman (Bara) and Abdul Rahman (Chhota).


    From there, they mandated to kill indiscriminately, particularly white foreign tourists, and spare Muslims split up into five batches. Two of them Ismail and Ajmal took a taxi to Victoria Terminus. Three other batches of two each headed for Oberoi Hotel, Cafe Leopold and Nariman House. The remaining four went to Taj Hotel. [...]

    Kasab told the police that he and 9 others got off a vessel about 10 nautical miles from Mumbai and shifted to two boats hijacked from fishermen.

    One source in ATS familiar with the details of the interrogation quoted him saying that in all 16 fidayeens came to Mumbai on Wednesday. A native of Faridkot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), 21-year-old Kasab told police they had done a reccee of Mumbai few months ago. He said he had come along with eight of the operatives to Mumbai as students and lived in a rented room at Colaba market, a stone’s throw away from Nariman House.

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    Filed in: Current affairs,India,Pakistan,South Asia,Terrorism

    11 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Britblog Roundup No 198 - Philobiblon

      [...] Mumbai: Sid on Pickled Politics assembles what’s know about the alleged attacking group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, while Sunny on the same site contemplates what India might do [...]

    1. Rumbold — on 30th November, 2008 at 6:16 pm  

      Really detailed piece. Thanks for this Sid. But even if they wanted to, I doubt that Pakistan could reign them in.

    2. Golam Murtaza — on 30th November, 2008 at 8:05 pm  

      What a delightful bunch of characters. Nice one, ISI. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

    3. Bert Rustle — on 1st December, 2008 at 8:25 am  

      Doctors shocked at hostages’s torture

      … “Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing,” a doctor said.

      … another doctor said: “It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim’s body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words,” he said.

      Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood,” one doctor said.

      The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: “Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said.

      The doctors … said the bodies of the terrorists were beyond recognition. … There was no way of identifying them,” … “The security forces that brought the bodies told us that those were the bodies of the terrorists. …

    4. Bert Rustle — on 1st December, 2008 at 8:40 am  

      Mumbai photographer: I wish I’d had a gun, not a camera. Armed police would not fire back

      … Sebastian D’Souza, a picture editor at the Mumbai Mirror, … “I ran into the first carriage of one of the trains on the platform to try and get a shot but couldn’t get a good angle, so I moved to the second carriage and waited for the gunmen to walk by,” he said. “They were shooting from waist height and fired at anything that moved. I briefly had time to take a couple of frames using a telephoto lens. I think they saw me taking photographs but theydidn’t seem to care.”

      … “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”

      … Mr D’Souza added: “I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point if having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera.” …

    5. platinum786 — on 1st December, 2008 at 12:14 pm  

      LeT have denied responsbility for the attack, not something they tend to do if they’ve carried our an attack.,0,6241039.story

      Also LeT are free to move within India, they have plenty of operatives in India, why would they need to approach by sea?

      This should be simple enough to prove. If you want to get into a shipping vessel that travels international waters, you need a passport. If you need a passport you need an National ID card (in Pakistan). If you have one of those, your details as well as biometrics are on a national database.

      all we need from India, is the dead bodies to prove/disprove whether they are Pakistani citizens or not.

      Unless of course the Indians now decide that 10 men paddled 500km in a rubber dingy laden with explosives and guns.

      Kind of similar to know they beleived that upto 7 of the ten men were British and how 2 British suspects had been captured and then it turns out there is only 1 guy captured and nobody is British.

      Then there is the issue of the Malaysian passports and Mauritian ID cards.

      How far did these guys paddle in their dingys?

    6. Ashik — on 1st December, 2008 at 1:12 pm  

      How much credibility can Sid’s SATP report re: LeT hold? It eminates from Pakistan’s arch-enemy India:

      ‘The South Asia Terrorism Portal is a project conceived, executed and maintained by the Institute for Conflict Management, an autonomous, non-governmental, non-profit society set up in 1997, based in New Delhi, India’.

      Levels of professionalism amongst South Asian NGO academics and experts reporting on highly partisan political subjects like this are usually suspect. The US State Dept and Home Office are more reliable. Is LeT banned over here and the US? What do they have to say about perpetrators of Mumbai?

      Let’s wait and see if any evidence is submitted regarding the various speculations posited.

    7. sayoni — on 1st December, 2008 at 2:40 pm  

      we all know that RAW,IB had before had informations about the terrorists.Are they so lazy to do something or they are just the PUPPETS in the hands of our political leaders.
      ….Today so much money is being spend on the luxury of the IAS officers and the leaders etc,why cant the government then spend something on the training of the commandos,their equipments etc.

      Its is reslly irritating,if only 10 trained terrorists need 350 NSG commandos n 400 police officers to be controlled then what will happen when 50-60 of then enter india.

      India shud be governed either by the army or by youngsters and not by the illeterate n OLD leaders,isn’t it????

    8. Imran Khan — on 1st December, 2008 at 10:23 pm  

      There are additional rumours that this may be diaffected locals and a crime feud:

      “These attacks were born of local and regional hostilities, and it seems likely a part was played by a Mumbai crime boss”

      Until some evidence is put forth then everything is hearsay.

      The USA will of course put forth the theory of a global war that they are also fighting. But that may not be the case.

      Too many of these are linked to local disputes and not quite a global war that is being portrayed.

      It doesn’t help those who have been killed by these vile acts but there seems to be a rush to portray all such events as a global jihad and in many cases it is a nationalistic dispute.

    9. draka — on 2nd December, 2008 at 8:00 am  

      @Imran Khan,
      First of all, you are the first Muslim here to refer to these acts as “vile”. I applaud you for that, (unlike platinum786, who I am assuming is Muslim as well).

      Secondly, the crime boss being referred to is Dawood Ibrahim , likely currently in Karachi. If this is a disaffected local, I would like to see who is non-local!
      I think the onus is on Pakistan to prove that its lands are not being used by terrorist operations. Read this speech given by JuD’s head of political affairs in which he states that “the rest of the world is waging an unholy war against Islam”. Where are the moderates in this discussion? I love Sufi music and respect the brotherhood and peace aspects of Islam, but what has happened is beyond pale.

      This is far from being a nationalistic dispute! Will the attacks stop if India gifts the rest of Kashmir to Pakistan? I DONT THINK SO!

    10. ananthchellaram — on 3rd December, 2008 at 4:30 am  

      The character of Prophet Muhammad has been misrepresented, not only
      by many prejudiced non-Muslim critics, but also by the violent, ambitious, and worldly-minded faithful Muslims as well. In his personal life, the prophet shines as a man of high character, integrity, and humanity.
      But, after the Mongolian invasion of the thirteenth century A.D. and the complete destruction of Baghdad in 1258, when many millions were killed, whole areas were laid waste, and political rule in the centre of the Islamic world passed into the hands of barbarian infidels, leaving only Egypt and Spain to nourish Arab culture for another two centuries. There set in the slow and steady erosion of these universal and rational elements and the rising, to dominance, of its dogmatic and intolerant elements. The Mongol invaders, and later the Turks, were soon converted to Islam and became the carriers of Islamic religion, culture, and political power. With some great exceptions, these new Muslim groups came under the influence, less of Islam’s rational and universal, and more of its dogmatic and intolerant elements. This led to the increasing exploitation of the name of Islam by several military conquerors to destroy and rob and pillage other countries and cultures, which has given a bad name to this great religion.
      The stagnation and decay of Islam commenced, as in the case of Sanatan Dharma in recent centuries, with the dominance of the Smrti over the Sruti elements. It was a dominance of the fundamentalist group over the ever-diminishing rational and humanist group which advocated the scientific approach and the stressing more and more of the eternal, universal, spiritual elements and the soft-pedalling of the temporal and local elements, in response to the advance of history.
      Since the destruction of Baghdad, there has been an increasing dominance by its rigid and intolerant Sariah or Smrti elements, and the consequent exploitation of Islam, as referred to earlier, by power-hungry worldly-minded individuals to cover their own greed and bloodthirstiness.
      If Islam is to become creative once again, and help in the human development and fulfilment of its followers, it has to capture once again the rational and universal temper of its early period, by taking inspiration from the spirit of Islam and not from its letter.

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