Lashkar-e-Taiba is an Islamic terrorist organization that was involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks as well as attacks on the Indian Armed Forces in Jammu and Kashmir. It operates primarily from Pakistan and runs terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Like other jihadi organizations, Lashkar-e-Taiba does not shrink from recruiting young children as terrorist operatives.
Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times
Srinagar, August 10, 2012
It was an offer they could not refuse. Poorest of the poor – children of vegetable vendors – Rs. 500 meant a lot to them. So when the man handed them two Rs. 500 notes, just for lobbing a few bombs, the two boys just could not say no. The rest was history.
Caught on CCTV cameras, the incident of August 2 gained notoriety overnight – two teenage boys lobbing grenades at a police post in Sopore town. They were pushing a handcart. They took cover while throwing a grenade and then melted away into a narrow lane.
It gave nightmares to security agencies in the Valley. This was the first time Lashkar-e-Taiba used children for terror acts, they said. And the fact that the boys were paid for it – something that has come to light now — has only made matters worse.
“Children from weaker sections can be easily influenced this way,” said Imtiaz Ahmad, superintendent of police, Sopore, who investigated the case and caught the boys.
A few other boys have been identified who are hired stone pelters, he said. In time, they can even take up militancy as a livelihood.
“Children are very vulnerable,” agreed BN Ramesh, inspector general of CRPF based in Srinagar. “There are around 2,000 children in Sopore area alone.”
The boys involved in the Sopore attack were barely in their teens — one of them was 12 years old, the other 13. Sons of vegetable vendors, they never went to school. The two were released after their families gave personal bonds.
“We gave them counselling too,” said Ahmed.
But the bigger question of dealing with children like them, remain.
“We are taking steps. The local police are getting in touch with parents and NGOs are helping us,” said Ramesh.
The Economic Times: Crackdown on terror: One more youth with alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba, HuJI links arrested
NEW DELHI/ BANGALORE: In a crackdown on terror modules operating in the state, Bangalore police arrested one more youth with alleged links to Lashkar-e-Taiba and HuJI, taking the number of those detained to 13.
The central crime branch wing of Bangalore police arrested 22-year-old Mohammed Akram on Saturday night, while he was allegedly trying to flee the city. According to the police, the youths were planning to target vital installations and assassinate several political leaders. Speaking to reporters in Bangalore on Sunday, city police commissioner BG Jyothiprakash Mirji said, “one foreign-made pistol along with 16 cartridges and other incriminating articles have been found in his possession.”
According to the police, during preliminary inquiry it was learnt that he hails from Maharashtra’s Nanded district. He had been to Saudi Arabia for a year and returned to India, Mirji said. “It is also learnt that he was taking shelter in Bangalore city for past several days and along with other arrested accused, he was hatching a conspiracy to execute target killings in Bangalore and elsewhere,” he said. However, after the arrest of the other accused, he had gone into hiding and was trying to escape from the city when the police apprehended him.
The team constituted to investigate this “terrorist case” registered in Basaweshwaranagar police station here is continuing with thorough investigation at an undisclosed place and the investigation is in progress, police officials said. With this arrest the number of arrested in connection with the case has gone up to 13.
Obedulla-Ur-Rehman (21) was arrested in Hyderbad on Friday on the basis of information given by the 11 terror suspects taken into custody in Hubli and Bangalore earlier last week. Obedulla-Ur-Rehman along with others had conspired to kill two corporators and one prominent leader of a Hindu organisation of Hyderabad, police said on Saturday.
City police on August 29 arrested the 11 persons – six from Bangalore and five from Hubli – with alleged links to Lashkar-e-Taiba and HuJI and claimed to have foiled their plan to target MPs, legislators and mediapersons besides leader of a Hindu outfit. The 11 arrested included a journalist, a doctor and a junior research fellow with Defence Research and Development Organisation.
Investigators probing the terror module busted in Karnataka have claimed that the arrested youths were inspired by the contents of an online magazine which glorifies activities of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. According to police, during questioning the youth said they had been apparently indoctrinated to join the terror module by various inflammatory speeches uploaded on the internet and writings in the magazine of the sleeper cell of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Home secretary RK Singh said on Saturday the terror suspects had “links with LeT and people from Saudi Arabia”.
If Pakistan does not take strong measures against the fundamentalist forces and terror groups and their influence and power grows, it may lead to the collapse of the state. Presently, Pakistan army does not seem inclined to take action against the terror groups based in Punjab and Sind, hoping to appease them, but the hardliners among them seem in no mood to relent and attacks on government establishment continue in various parts of the country. A collapsing economy and continued political uncertainty are leading to a situation in which radical extremists are gaining influence all over the country, giving them hope to acquire more political power and eventually finding access to the nuclear weapons. Pakistan is paying a high price for nurturing and training terror groups, which are threatening its very existence as a nation state.
It is not clear whether Pakistan is allowing surprise attacks in eastern Afghanistan from its territory or is just a helpless spectator of the attacks being mounted by the Haqqani group across the borders to kill U.S. troops and Afghan forces. Most of these attacks are by car-borne suicide bombers who use well-rehearsed drills. They breach the perimeter security of the bases, and other insurgents waiting in the wings armed with suicide vests, rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns, and hand grenades storm the base. As attacks across the borders from Pakistan have killed and injured a large number of U.S.–NATO troops in the past few months, many U.S. commanders have considered launching joint U.S.–Afghan commando raids into Pakistan to hunt down the attackers. This idea according to U.S. officials comes up every couple of months but has been consistently rejected because chances of successfully rooting out the deadly Haqqani–al-Qaeda group are slim. On other hand, it will lead to an intense diplomatic blowback from Pakistan, inevitably creating more problems for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.1
Al-Qaeda–Haqqani terrorists have been targeted by U.S. drones successfully, but this group attacks targets in eastern Afghanistan from bases that are out of reach of drone attacks. Sending American and Afghan ground troops would be a violation of international laws and lead to serious escalation of tensions between the United States and Pakistan. The U.S. military and intelligence agencies have been urging the Pakistan army to attack the al-Qaeda–Haqqani group to hunt down the terrorists in their base areas, but the Pakistan army seems in no mood to oblige.
The United States is the only country that is actually attacking Pakistan-based terrorists at their bases, but these drone attacks are focused on those terrorist groups that are operating from the frontier areas and targeting U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The other terrorist groups spread across the length and breadth of the country have remained unscathed. The drone attacks kill terrorist leaders but do not destroy their networks or their bases inside Pakistan, and the kind of war on terrorism by the United States in Pakistan has proved ineffective in dismantling terrorist organisations entrenched in Pakistan. Any plan to place boots in the frontier areas of Pakistan faces serious diplomatic and political hurdles in the United States that seem insurmountable in present political environments. The recent gesture by the U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, of offering apology for the inadvertent killing of 24 Pakistan soldiers by NATO helicopters in the frontier area and the subsequent opening of the supply routes to Afghanistan by Pakistan have cooled tempers on both sides, and there is no immediate possibility of the United States using any other means than drone attacks to root out terrorist groups operating from the frontier areas of Pakistan.2
After U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan pull out by 2014, the United States would want India to expand its role in the post-war stabilisation of the Af-Pak region, but this may not be possible as the aversion of Pakistan and the Taliban to the idea of an Indian military presence in Afghanistan remains very strong.3 The international community can, however, join forces to help in the stabilisation the Af-Pak region by helping the people to stand up and fight against the fundamentalist groups.
After the death of Osama bin Laden, there may have been disruption in the centralised control arrangements of al-Qaeda, but this has not affected its ability to plan and launch catastrophic terrorist strikes in Europe or the United States. Its affiliates, Terhrik e Taliban of Pakistan; the Haqqani Network; the LeT; al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen; al-Qaeda based in Algeria and Mali; al Shabaab of Somalia; and Boko Haram, of Nigeria, still retain their capability to attack targets and cause mass casualties.
The deportation of Abu Jundal (real name Zabiuddin Ansari) to India by Saudi Arabia opened a flood gate of information for Indian intelligence agencies as he was an important Indian link in the chain during the 26/11 LeT strike in Mumbai in 2008. He is reported to have revealed plans of LeT to resume terrorist strikes in India and the kind of network they have been able to set up within India for this purpose. Information of sleeper cells and those who are manning them has also been revealed by him, but the identity of the top LeT link in India and his counterpart in Pakistan is not yet known. LeT has been banned as a terrorist organisation by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia. Abu Jundal has made a startling revelation that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) continues to provide intelligence help and protection to LeT leaders despite the ban.
Once more, detailed information about organisations like the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Indian Mujahidin is available. Indian intelligence agencies may be able to penetrate and destroy links with the LeT network. It is important to break the liaison between the LeT and Indian radical groups considering the objectives and ideology of LeT, which pose a manifest danger to India.
Aims and Objectives of the LeT
The LeT follows the radical Wahhabi ideology, which advocates global jihad against all infidels and moderate Muslims. Although the primary area of operations of the LeT in India is Kashmir, its main aim is the destabilisation of India and it has not confined its disruptive activities only to Jammu and Kashmir. The LeT has repeatedly claimed through its journals and websites that its main aim is to destroy the Indian republic and to annihilate Hinduism and Judaism. The LeT has declared the Hindus and the Jews to be the “enemies of Islam” and India and Israel to be the “enemies of Pakistan.” The group has defined its objectives in its manifesto, which maintains that jihad must be waged to attain its objectives, these are described as under:
- Restoring Islamic rule over all parts of India
- Waging jihad against India, Israel and the United States as they are the existential enemies of Islam
- Waging violent jihad, which is the duty of all Muslims
- Ending the persecution of Muslims
- Establishing Islam as the dominant religion in the world
- Forcing infidels to pay jizya
- Fighting for the weak and feeble against oppressors
- Taking revenge for the killing of Muslims
- Punishing enemies for violating oaths and treaties
- Defending all Muslim states and recapturing occupied Muslim territory4
The LeT trains and indoctrinates many jihadi groups at its bases, where it is advocated that:
- A caliphate must be established with one flag, one army, where Islamic religious law shariah prevails; all of Allah’s dictates must be implemented; democracy contradicts Islam.
- The caliphate may be established if possible by peaceful means; otherwise, recourse must be taken to violent means.
- All Muslims are obliged to join jihad to make Islam the world’s dominant religion.
- Global jihad must be waged to overthrow the rule of infidels such as the United States, Jews, Hindus and Christians.5
Much more here.
- Long War Journal: US adds 8 Lashkar-e-Taiba members to terrorism list
- Long War Journal: Lashkar-e-Taiba leader’s son added to US terror list
- Money Jihad: Lashkar-e-Taiba’s upper income recruits
On the other hand…and this is important:
Other jihadi organizations in India do not necessarily fit the above profile. For example, the Indian Mujahedeen uses the Internet to recruit educated adult men from prosperous backgrounds – men who may end up working side by side with us in professional roles. Blazing Cat Fur has the story on that. There has also been an upsurge in dacoitry (robbery) to finance the jihad.
The Indian Mujahideen (IM) has links with the international radical group Hizbut Tahrir, Indian intelligence agencies suspect.
Hizbut Tahrir, a Palestinian radical outfit founded in 1953 that believes in an Islamic state, is active in India and trying to radicalise disgruntled Muslim youth, according to recent intelligence inputs.
Possible links between the IM and Hizbut Tahrir has stumped intelligence agencies as the group has had no past history in India.
Hizbut Tahrir’s association with the IM was also established in a recent chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police against IM suspects.
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police, probing an IM module, stumbled upon evidence suggesting an association between the two outfits.
“Although there is no evidence on Hizbut Tahrir’s direct link with any terror activity, it is active in the country and trying to radicalise the youth,” an intelligence officer said.
Counter-terror agencies, meanwhile, are trying to dig up more information on the possible nexus between the two outfits.
Sources in intelligence agencies said that there was credible proof about IM’s links with international groups.
The IM is funded by sympathisers in Europe and West Asia – from a region where the Hizbut Tahrir has a strong presence.
According to the sources, while the IM was initially portrayed to be a homegrown terror group by Pakistan, now the group has established strong links with other radical outfits all over the world.
Intelligence agencies also suspect that IM recruits can be soft targets for a group like the Hizbut Tahrir as the ideologies are similar and most IM cadres are a disgruntled lot eager to walk the path of terror.
Sources said the group works in India in a shadowy manner. Not only do they have a strong presence in the national Capital but also have followers and sympathisers.
“There is information that they have been holding meetings and events to instigate the youth to fight against atrocities against Muslims,” the officer said.
It is suspected that Hizbut Tahrir was responsible for the coup attempt against Sheikh Hasina’s government in Bangladesh last year.
Intelligence agencies believe this was the first time their anti-India agenda was revealed.
The group had blamed the Bangladesh government to be working for the US and India. It identified India as an enemy country.
Hizbut Tahrir is said to be active in West Asia and even some European countries.
Sources said it has a strong presence in countries like Turkey, Austria and even the UK.
In many countries, the group is banned and branded as a terror outfit. Germany, Turkey, Bangladesh and Russia are some of the countries where the outfit features on the list of banned terror groups.