On Thursday the United States of America stated that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was capable of launching a 26/11 style attack in Europe and other parts of the world. Indian intelligence agencies have always said this and have warned about the Lashkar's growing capabilities.
The fact that the Lashkar has emerged as a global outfit has often been spoken about and IB officials now say the LeT is ready to strike on behalf of the Al Qaeda, which has been tied down by US pressure and drone strikes on its bases in Afghanistan.
Post 26/11, there has been a ban on both the Lashkar as well as its fund-raising outfit, the Jamaat-ud-Duwa. Despite their movements being restricted a great deal and funds drying up initially, the Lashkar has managed to get back on track.
The Lashkar has launched a new outfit called the Falah-e-Insaniat which acts as the front organisation to raise funds for terror operations. Intelligence officials say this was an expected reaction from the ISI and the Lashkar since they were finding it hard to raise funds in the wake of the ban on the JuD.
Post the ban on the JuD a lot of financing that was pouring in from the Gulf and also sympathisers have completely stopped. The JuD used to raise millions of dollars through donations but following the ban the donors stopped contributing since they would have come under the radar if they had continued to do so.
The IB says for the donors, this new organisation is thus a fresh lease of life. The donors have always wanted to contribute to the Lashkar since they are viewed as freedom-fighters. With the FeI in place, they have vowed to donate more since they want it to remain in circulation and understand that a lot of funding is needed for it to carry on.
Post 26/11, the Lashkar has always aimed at going global, but it was under immense pressure from all quarters and hence had to slow down its operations. There were also issues pertaining to heightened security and funds. The Lashkar needed some time to overcome these obstacles and today it appears that the LeT is ready to strike.
The Lashkar has no dearth of global players. They will derive a lot from the experience of the likes of Sajid Mir, who is known to have cultivated a global network. Mir's network has often been spoken about and he can arrange for many more terror operatives like David Headley in the future.
In addition to this, they also have the Al Qaeda's network to fall back on which is still strong in large pockets in the West.
The IB says the US has managed to keep the Al Qaeda quiet and also busy in Afghanistan. This has only led to the rise of the Lashkar which is all set to become the next Al Qaeda. The Lashkar, which subscribes entirely to the Al Qaeda's view, has started sharing the same ideology called Global Islamic Jihad which seeks to target the West and, especially the United States of America.
Moreover the Lashkar operatives have also been told that they need to rise from just being India-centric and focus on the rest of the world as well.
The IB says this new approach also justifies the ISI working to groom newer home grown outfits since terror operations in India can be taken care of by these outfits while the Lashkar-e-Tayiba grows into a full blown global jihadi outfit.