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Lashkar e Taibba and Al Qaida : Militant Islam will destroy India with in ten years

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Submitted by chandubana (India), Aug 16, 2006 at 14:27

LET & AL QAEDA- International Terrorism Monitor-

In the wake of the bomb blasts in Mumbai on July 11,2006, in which over 180 suburban train passengers were killed and the British discovery of a plot to blow up 10 US-bound aircraft with liquid explosives, I have received a large number of queries from the readers regarding the links between the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and Al Qaeda. These queries have also been triggered off by reports of the discovery in Jammu and Kashmir of CDs produced by the LET, which contain recorded messages of Osama bin Laden, and by an interview given by Shri M.K.Narayanan, the National Security Adviser, to the NDTV's English channel in which he has spoken of the links between the LET and Al Qaeda. I was also interviewed on the subject by the Hindi channel of NDTV. In response to these queries, I am giving below extracts from articles on this subject written by me since 2002.

Extract from the article titled "THE TERRORIST METEORITES & THE PAKISTANISATION OF AL QAEDA" written by me on June 21,2002, which is available at http://www.saag.org/papers5/paper480.html :

Osama bin Laden wears two hats. He is the head of the Al Qaeda and, simultaneously, of a united front of like-minded Islamic terrorist organisations called the International Islamic Front.

The Al Qaeda is a Saudi-centric organisation consisting exclusively of about 500 to 600 Arabs, mostly Saudi and Yemeni tribes plus some Egyptians, Algerians, Moroccans, Palestinians and others. Its objectives are the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy, the withdrawal of the Western troops from Saudi territory and assistance to the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel. It is also responsible for the physical protection of bin Laden.

To make the organisation penetration-proof, bin Laden deliberately kept its strength small and did not recruit non-Arabs into it. Before October 7, 2001, it had its own training camp in Afghan territory run by its so-called 055 Brigade to which non-Arabs were not admitted. Latest reports from Afghanistan indicate the Western---essentially US--- assessment of the Al Qaeda having thousands of members to have been highly over-estimated.

In the absence of centralised direction emanating from a single source (bin Laden), the various Arab, Pakistani and other non-Arab foreign components have been operating increasingly autonomously against targets of opportunity identified with the US. In the apparent absence of the guiding hand of bin Laden, Pakistani terrorist leaders close to him and Mulla Mohammad Omar such as Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai of the Binori madrasa and Qari Saifullah Akhtar of the HUJI have been increasingly exercising a leadership role over these terrorist meteorites. All the terrorist incidents since January in Pakistan---the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, the American journalist, the grenade attack in an Islamabad church, the murder of French experts who were mistaken for Americans and the explosion outside the US Consulate in Karachi on June 14, 2002, ---carry their signature and not that of bin Laden.

Extracts from articles titled "Al Qaeda & Lashkar-e-Toiba" written on May 3,2003, available at http://www.saag.org/papers7/paper678.html and article titled "LET: Al Qaeda's Clone" written by me on July 2,2003, available at http://www.saag.org/papers8/paper729.html :

In the past, the LET had kept its activities confined to its jihad in India and its assistance to the Jemmah Islamiyah and other pro-bin Laden elements in Indonesia. It did not utter any threats against the USA or target American nationals or interests. As a result, American intelligence officials based in Pakistan did not pay the same attention to monitoring its activities as they did to the activities of Al Qaeda and other Pakistani organisations , despite the fact that Abu Zubaidah, then No. 3 in Al Qaeda, was arrested in March last year from the house of an LET leader at Faislabad in Pakistani Punjab.

It has thus managed to retain its infrastructure and source of funding intact. Though it has changed its name to Jamaat-ud-Dawa to escape the consequences of the order banning it issued by Gen.Pervez Musharraf on January 15,2002, it continues to be referred to by many Afghans, Pakistanis and Arabs as the LET. Since the beginning of this year (2003), it has been trying to perform the role previously played by Al Qaeda as the co-ordinator of pro-bin Laden networks all over the world, as the financer of funds to the networks in different countries and particularly in South-East Asia and of suicide volunteers, arms and ammunition and explosives to the surviving Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan etc.

It has reportedly re-organised its structure on the pattern of Al Qaeda and has vastly expanded its activities to the business field in order to augment its sources of income. The "Friday Times" (January 17-23), the prestigious weekly of Lahore, reported as follows: "The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JD), formerly known as Lashkar-e-Toiba, is snapping up properties across Pakistan. Sources told the weekly that recent real estate purchases by the JD amount to about Rs.300 million. It has reportedly bought four plots of land in Hyderabad division (of Sindh) and six others in various Sindh districts. The total price tag is about Rs.200 million. Recent purchases in Lahore have cost it Rs.100 million."

"During the recent Eid festival in Pakistan, it was reported to have received charity contributions worth Rs. 710 million, mostly in the form of the hides of the sacrificed animals. It has also been in receipt of large funds from overseas Pakistanis," the "Friday Times" said..

Al Qaeda has been trying to use the organisational infrastructure of the LET in Pakistan, its network in the Islamic world and its large funds for stepping up acts of terrorism against the USA and Israel. The LET's close access to senior officers of the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment could be exploited by Al Qaeda to prevent any action against its surviving cadres in Pakistan. Many members of Pakistan's scientific community in the nuclear and missile fields regularly attend the conventions of the LET. By making use of this, Al Qaeda should be able to seek the assistance of LET sympathisers in the scientific community for acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

Waleed bin Atash, the Al Qaeda suspect in the case relating to the attack on the the US ship USS Cole at Aden in October, 2000, who was arrested by the Pakistani authorities on April 29 last and handed over to the FBI, is reported to have told the Pakistani authorities during the interrogation that last year about 75 Arab operatives of Al Qaeda had fled from Afghanistan and the bordering areas of Pakistan and taken shelter at different places in Karachi. According to him, of these, about 50 were still in hiding in Karachi. However, he denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of bin Laden. He is also reported to have stated that he and his associates were recruiting Pakistani volunteers for undertaking suicide missions against American targets and that they had already recruited 12 from the LET.

In another article of May 14 titled "RIYADH BLASTS: THE TERRORISM TRIANGLE" I had stated as follows:" The international community is yet to take serious notice of the emergence of the LET as a co-ordinator of the activities of the various constituents of the IIF to make up for the present organisational disabilities of Al Qaeda. Next to Pakistan, where the headquarters of the LET are located (in Muridke, near Lahore), the second most important infrastructure of the LET is in Saudi Arabia. Despite being a Wahabi organisation, it has been critical of the Saudi ruling regime and shares bin Laden's anathema for the Saudi ruling family. In the past, it was not very articulate in its criticism of the US, but has in recent months been increasingly virulent in its attacks on the US. It has been collecting funds in Pakistan for its "martyrs" who, it claims, died in the jihad against the Americans in Iraq.

While the LET's headquarters in Pakistan co-ordinate its activities in North India, including J&K, the Central Asian Republics (CARs) and Russia (Chechnya and Dagestan), its headquarters in Saudi Arabia co-ordinate its activities in Mumbai and South India, the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka and in the countries of S. E.Asia. Since 2001, there have been a number of arrests of LET cadres in Mumbai and South
India, who reportedly claimed to have been trained, funded and directed by the LET set-up in Saudi Arabia and not directly by the LET headquarters in Pakistan.

Thus, Al Qaeda as well as the LET have a separate organisational presence in Saudi Arabia, which has evaded detection and neutralisation by the Saudi authorities.

In my latest article of June 17 titled "India & the Desert Scorpions", I had stated as follows: "A stream of jihadi volunteers from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon and other countries have started moving into Iraq to join what is promised as the mother of all jihads against the USA. Before the occupation, there was no evidence of any links between the Saddam Hussein regime and Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and International Islamic Front (IIF), despite apparently fabricated US evidence to the contrary. After the occupation, there are increasing reports of attempts to bring the dregs of Al Qaeda and the IIF from Afghanistan and Pakistan and of Saddam Hussein's Army and Baath Party together for what is described as a new jihad, the like of which the world has not seen before. Initial meetings in this regard have already been held in Al Qaeda and IIF hide-outs in Pakistan. There are claims, as yet unsubstantiated, of Saddam being alive and of he and bin Laden soon issuing a joint fatwa against the US and the UK."

The LET has been collecting funds and recruiting and training volunteers in different parts of Pakistan for assisting the Iraqi fedayeen in their jihad against the US troops in Iraq. Some former members of the Baathist party are already reported to have returned to Iraq after undergoing a crash training course in the LET's camps in Pakistan.

Unless the US itself acts to neutralise the LET leadership, cadres, training camps and bases in Pakistan, instead of depending on Musharraf to do this which he never will, its troops will continue to die in Iraq and the war against international terrorism will not be won. The LET has become as great a threat to regional and international peace and security as Al Qaeda.

Submitting....

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