LeT is looking at India through the global lens

29 12 2008

Source: TOI
Were the masterminds and perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage influenced by al- Qaida, the chief proponent of global jihad? In future, will sub-continental terrorists prefer to attack the ‘crusader and Jewish’ target set identified by the global jihadists as opposed to ‘Indian government and Hindu’ targets? The Mumbai attack was unprecedented in target selection; of the five pre-designated targets. Was the target selection influenced by India’s alliance with the US and Israel? The method of operation was classic al-Qaida style – a coordinated, near simultaneous attack against high profile and symbolic targets aimed at inflicting mass casualties. The only difference was that it was a fidayeen attack, a classic LeT modus operandi.

With the US deepening its political, economic and military ties with India, will Muslim extremist groups in the subcontinent come under the operational and ideological influence of al-Qaida? The Mumbai attack was a watershed. It demonstrated the stark departure by the LeT from being an anti-Indian to both an anti-Indian and an anti-western group. LeT’s direct and operational role in Mumbai attack surprised the security and intelligence services of Pakistan, India and other governments. Very much a group founded to fight the Indian presence in Kashmir, LeT has evolved into operating against targets throughout India. Today, it has moved further from a national to a regional and a global group.

Although its rhetoric has been anti-Indian, its anti-western rhetoric has grown significantly since 9/11. The mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi directed LeT military operations even outside the Indian theatre. He dispatched LeT trained Pakistani and foreign operatives to Chechnya, Bosnia and Southeast Asia. And since 2003, they have been sent to assess the situation in Iraq, and later to attack US forces in Iraq. Although LeT operatives have been arrested in the US, Europe, and in Australia, LeT was not a priority group for the international community. It is because LeT did not align itself with al-Qaida and refrained from operating in Afghanistan. But it maintained relations with al-Qaida at an operational level.

Until Mumbai, LeT has been in the category of Islamist nationalist groups. Some groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hizbul Mujahideen remained Muslim nationalist groups. In contrast, groups in Egypt, Algeria and Indonesia that began with local agendas transformed into groups with regional and international agendas.

After the US intervention in Afghanistan, the epicentre of international terrorism has shifted from Afghanistan to tribal Pakistan. The influence of al-Qaida is profound on groups in tribal Pakistan such as Tehrik-e-Taliban and on mainland Pakistani groups. The insurgency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas is spilling to NWFP and beyond. To contain their influence, the Pakistan government proscribed a number of militant groups. By 2008, exploiting the political instability, a number of these banned groups, that adopted new names, began to operate openly.

Over time, both New Delhi and Islamabad are likely to realise the need to fight a common threat, both ideologically and operationally. Mumbai has demonstrated that the pre-eminent national security challenge facing both India and Pakistan is terrorism and not each other.

The writer teaches at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, one of the world’s largest counter-terrorism centre. He is the author of the bestselling Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror

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LeT, Hizb helped SIMI, IM in carrying out blasts’

20 09 2008

Source: CNN IBN

New Delhi: The Delhi Police claim to have cracked the serial bomb blast cases, which rocked different parts of the country over the past few months.

Joint Commissioner of Police Special Cell, Delhi Police, Karnail Singh said the terror module behind the blasts is a deadly cocktail of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen, Indian Mujahideen and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

“LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen provided support to Indian Mujahideen and SIMI, who were directly involved in carrying out the serial bomb blasts in Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, UP courts and Varanasi,” Singh said while addressing the media on Saturday evening in New Delhi.

Singh also said that that the terrorist killed by a Special Cell team in New Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area on Friday morning as been identified as Atif and he was kingpin of the terror network.

“Atif and Junaid planted the bombs in Greater Kailash-i M block Market, Sajid and Zeeshan at Barakhambha Road while Saif and Khalid planted the bomb in Ghaffar Market,” Singh added.

Singh also revealed that all the terrorists came from Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh while the explosive for making the bombs came from Karnataka.

The group behind May 13 Jaipur blasts had gone over from Delhi to Jaipur and planted the bombs while the bombs in Ahmedabad were planted by 13 local operatives.





CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND: Mohammed Hashim’s confession is available with CNN-IBN. CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND: Mohammed Hashim’s confessio

21 08 2008

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND: Mohammed Hashim's confession is available with CNN-IBN.

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND: Mohammed Hashim’s confession is available with CNN-IBN.

New Delhi: That Pakistan trains terrorists and sends them across the border to Jammu and Kashmir is not news to India and the Indian intelligence agencies.

Now a militant owing allegiance to the Harkat-ul-Mujaihdeen has not just confessed to this but has also spoken about the Kashmir focus of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI.

The confession of Mohammed Hashim alias Tarbish who reportedly infilitrated into India from Balochistan in Pakistan is available on tape to CNN IBN.

Hashim was arrested by the Indian army while attempting to cross over into Kashmir last month. During his five hour long interrogation, the militant revealed explosive designs of Pakistan.

Question: Do you get trained to infiltrate only into Kashmir or other palces in India as well?

Answer: We must go to Kashmir is what we are told by them. The focus is Kashmir. Even if we say we want to go to to Afghanistan, they say go to Kashmir, we need more people there.

On Pakistan’s intelligence ISI

Answer: The agency helps the tanzeemm a lit but not in front of everyone.

On trainees in terror camps

Answer: There are Arabs, Bangaladeshis, Pathans and Punjabis. People who speak all languages.

On the routes being taken to infiltrate

Answer: They are coming from Tutniyal side. Different routes are operated upon so if one gets caught others can carry out the mission

At the end of the interrogation, Hashim also shows how to assemble a bomb. His confession makes Pakistan’s sinister designs in Kashmir obvious.





CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND: Mohammed Hashim’s confession is available with CNN-IBN.

21 08 2008

Mohammed Hashim's confession is available with CNN-IBN.

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND: Mohammed Hashim’s confession is available with CNN-IBN.

New Delhi: That Pakistan trains terrorists and sends them across the border to Jammu and Kashmir is not news to India and the Indian intelligence agencies.

Now a militant owing allegiance to the Harkat-ul-Mujaihdeen has not just confessed to this but has also spoken about the Kashmir focus of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI.

The confession of Mohammed Hashim alias Tarbish who reportedly infilitrated into India from Balochistan in Pakistan is available on tape to CNN IBN.

Hashim was arrested by the Indian army while attempting to cross over into Kashmir last month. During his five hour long interrogation, the militant revealed explosive designs of Pakistan.

Question: Do you get trained to infiltrate only into Kashmir or other palces in India as well?

Answer: We must go to Kashmir is what we are told by them. The focus is Kashmir. Even if we say we want to go to to Afghanistan, they say go to Kashmir, we need more people there.

On Pakistan’s intelligence ISI

Answer: The agency helps the tanzeemm a lit but not in front of everyone.

On trainees in terror camps

Answer: There are Arabs, Bangaladeshis, Pathans and Punjabis. People who speak all languages.

On the routes being taken to infiltrate

Answer: They are coming from Tutniyal side. Different routes are operated upon so if one gets caught others can carry out the mission

At the end of the interrogation, Hashim also shows how to assemble a bomb. His confession makes Pakistan’s sinister designs in Kashmir obvious.





Tricolour at 8 am, rebel flags at 4 pm Avijit Ghosh|

16 08 2008


Courtesy: Times of India Epaper

Avijit Ghosh|TNN


Srinagar: At exactly 8am, CRPF hoisted the Indian tricolour at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar on Independence Day. At 3.45pm, Lal Chowk wore a totally different look. Hundreds of slogan-shouting protesters swarmed the area and at 4pm planted the flags of Jamaat-e-Islami (which looks like the Pakistani flag) and the terrorist outfit, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, on top of the same tower where the Indian flag had been hoisted.

If one were to go by the symbolism of the spectacle at Lal Chowk, the Valley’s a l i e n at i o n from the Indian Union seemed complete. One of the slogans of the protesters drove the m e s s a g e home— “Jiyo, jiyo Pakistan, hum hain Pakistani.” Other slogans included “Islam Zindabad,” “Lad ke lenge azadi” and “Allah-u-Akbar.”

The crowds had a free hand through much of Friday. They were aggressive in their gestures, but did not resort to violence. Driving around the city, it was obvious that CRPF’s presence was vastly reduced, especially in old Srinagar area. Police too remained mere onlookers as the protesters kept jumping and screaming slogans at Lal Chowk for at least 20 minutes.
In the evening, there was news of police firing in the Habba Kadal area in which more than 20 protesters were injured. Between 8pm and 9pm, the city observed a blackout— rather was forced to do so as activists went around enforcing it at buildings where lights were switched on. What happened to the Indian national flag at Lal Chowk? Prabhakar Tripathi, the CRPF PRO, said the national flag was
taken off around 10.00am to protect it from rain. Apart from Lal Chowk, the national flag was also hoisted by governor N N Vohra at Bakshi Stadium.

In the afternoon after the namaz, the demonstrators spilled out into the streets from nooks and crannies of Srinagar. Many protesters carried black flags; a few wore black armbands. A majority of them were young—in the 15-30 age group. Women and children too marched in the procession raising slogans for “azadi’’.

Around 1pm in the Safa Kadal area, loudspeakers blared out from mosques, “humko chahiye azadi’’. A procession on M a u l a n a Azad Road a ro u n d 3.30pm had at least 5,000 p e o p l e. A ro u n d 2.45pm, before the namaz at Jamia Masjid in old S r i n a g a r town was over, a bunch of 15 women in burqas burned the tricolour.

T he women shouted: “Bharat teri maut aye, Millat aayee, Millat aayee.’’ When asked, one of them identified herself as a member of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, a pro-separatist women’s organization. Their action spurred the young. They danced shoulder to shoulder. And they shouted pro-Pakistan slogans at the top of their voices.

In his speech at the mosque, APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said the protests would continue till Monday. Which means shops will continue to remain closed. On Saturday, there is a ceremony called Rasm-e-Chahram (fourth day of mourning) at Pampore, about 15km from Srinagar, for Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was killed in police firing. People from different parts of the state are expected to reach there, making it another massive gathering.