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The Rediff Special/ Vicky Nanjappa

9 factors which make a Lashkar terrorist

January 30, 2009

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When Ajmal Kasab and his co-murderers were handpicked for the Mumbai [Images] terror operation nine factors were taken into consideration.

An Intelligence Bureau officer told rediff.com that these factors are abided by when a terrorist is being recruited.

Arrested terrorists, Sabahuddin and Fahim Ansari have confirmed during their interrogation that a strict procedure is followed while recruiting likely terrorists into the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

The most important factor is commitment to the Lashkar's ideology. When the Lashkar recruits youth the latter are told they will undertake a military operation and there is absolute need to be committed to the organisation's ideology in order to succeed.

The second factor is, obviously, that the recruit is Muslim.

The third factor is the maturity of the recruit. The IB says the recruitment process begins at the age of 10. However when it comes to waging war the Lashkar ensures that the minimum age of the terrorist is at least 15. The Lashkar gives priority to hard work, mental and physical fitness over age.

The next aspect deals with sacrifice; the recruit should be willing to give up his life in order to achieve his goal.

Another important aspect which the Lashkar takes into consideration is concealing information. Talkative recruits are dumped. Likely terrorists are told they should not discuss the mission even with their closest friends or family. If a Lashkar commander discovers that the mission is being discussed, the recruit runs the risk of losing his life.

The Lashkar lays a lot of emphasis on obedience. This aspect has been picked up from the Pakistani military. During the training programmes recruits are told not to ask questions and only to follow orders.

While being recruited, the recruits undergo regular medical check-ups to establish that they are physically and mentally fit. Should any recruit not fulfill these conditions, he is dropped from the terror programme.

Finally, the recruit should be patient by nature and more important, be able to endure psychological trauma.

Likely terrorists are told over and over again that they should be patient and fight till the end, and not abandon their path even if they are overwhelmed by the enemy.

Overcoming psychological trauma is most important. The terrorists are expected to remain calm when they witness bloodshed, when they are arrested or even when they are about to be overwhelmed by their adversaries.


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