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Lashkar's terror budget for India: Rs 23 crore!

Last updated on: December 8, 2010 08:34 IST

Lashkar's terror budget for India: Rs 23 crore!

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The annual military operations budget of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba is a whopping $5.2 million (Rs 23 crore), according to a secret United States document, which gives details about the outfit's fund raising activities, some of which come through Jamaat-ud-Dawah's charitable networks.

The information is contained in a non-paper prepared by the American intelligence community, and shared with Pakistan in August 2009 at the direction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and gives a deep insight into the fund raising, financing and other activities of LeT.

The document says that Hafiz Saeed continues to lead both the LeT and its front organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawah and that some of the funds collected in the name of charitable activities have also been used for planning terror attacks.

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Image: The family members of Lateef Ahmad, a Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant, pray during his funeral in Wagub, 40 km north of Srinagar
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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Saeed and Lakhvi run the LeT

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The fund is raised through a variety of sources mainly from private donations, NGOs, madrassas and businesses spread throughout South Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The non-paper says that the US intelligence community assesses that Hafiz Muhamad Saeed is leader of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is LeT's operations commander. They continue to run the organisation despite being detained for their role in the Mumbai attacks.

"We also judge that they have planned, directed, and executed LeT attacks throughout south Asia and have used some funds collected in the name of JuD's charitable activities to support multiple LeT terrorist operations, including the November Mumbai attacks," it said.


Image: A file photo of Mohammed Akhtar-ul-Islam and Mohammed Yasin, suspected to be LeT militants
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
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LeT's 'army budget'

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"The community assesses that Saeed continues to lead both organisations. However, the community is unable to assess to what extent senior JuD leaders such as Saeed are involved in specific terrorist operations or the level of detail to which they are knowledgeable about specific past and pending attacks," it said.

It says as of mid-July, Lakhvi was responsible for the LeT's military operations budget of Pakistani Rupees 365 million, that is approximately $5.2 million per year.

He reportedly used the money to purchase all material required for LeT operations other than weapons and ammunition, according to a source claiming direct and ongoing access to LeT leaders, the non-paper said.


Image: Kashmiris participate in funeral prayers for a civilian killed by Lashkar militants
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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'Some of JuD's budget is dedicated to social services'

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"The community assesses that JuD fundraising has relied heavily on private donations, non-governmental organizations, madrassas, and businesses spread throughout South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

"Some of JuD's budget, using funds raised both from witting donors and by fraud, is dedicated to social services or humanitarian relief projects, while some is used to finance LeT operations," it said.

"In December 2005, an official of Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq forwarded JuD donation receipts to a probable LeT front company in Saudi Arabia where an LeT finance official may have been closely associated with the general manager, possibly acting as a front for moving LeT funds, according to intelligence reporting," the documents say.


Image: An effigy representing terrorism burns during a protest
Photographs: Sucheta Das/Reuters
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'JuD will rely more on covert fundraising'

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It said to demonstrate results to donors, the JuD would finance the cost of building a new school or upgrading facilities at a madrassa, but would inflate the cost to siphon money to LeT.

Noting that there is not sufficient intelligence to determine if or how the Mumbai attacks have affected donations to JuD, it said some donors may be dissuaded from supporting

JuD if they become aware that their funds may be used for additional terrorist attacks, whereas other donors may support the attacks.

"As public and government scrutiny increases in the wake of the attacks and subsequent designation of JuD as an alias of LeT by the United Nations, we assess that the JuD will rely more on covert fundraising efforts," it noted.


Image: A file photo of policemen escorting alleged Pakistani militants belonging to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba
Photographs: Reuters
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'LeT and JuD share many senior leaders'

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According to the non-paper, the US intelligence community assesses that LeT, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, uses the JuD name as an alias.

JuD is a religious, educational, and humanitarian organisation that the community assesses provides cover and protection for LeT's militant activities in Pakistan, it said.

"LeT and JuD share many senior leaders; LeT falls under the authority of JuD leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed; and JuD supports and facilitates LeT's violent activities.

"The LeT and JuD stem from the same original organisation -- Markaz-ud-Dawawal-Irshad that was founded in1986. The LeT served as its armed, militant wing," it said.


Image: A soldier takes pictures of seized ammunition from Lashkar militants
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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'The LeT transferred most of its assets'

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MDI, it said, was renamed JuD in December 2001 and in January 2002 the LeT was declared a terrorist organisation, prompting MDI to publicly divest itself of the group.

"The LeT transferred most of its assets and personnel under the newly formed JuD," it said.

Some of the money to finance LeT operations is obtained by the JuD by fraudulently redirecting donations intended for humanitarian work.


Image: A madrassa run by the JuD on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad in Pakistani-occupied-Kashmir
Photographs: Amiruddin Mughal/Reuters
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'Pak has resisted pressure to act'

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"The JuD and the LeT have branch offices with different names and have adopted a number of aliases as a denial and deception tactic," it said.

Islamabad 'watchlisted' JuD in 2003, "but the government has resisted pressure to take action against the group, particularly after the JuD's popular earthquake relief efforts in 2005 and 2006 in response to the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan," it said.

According to the non-paper, the LeT has used JuD facilities as a public front for its activities and shared offices, phone numbers, leaders, and bank accounts.

"LeT members identified themselves as JuD when in Pakistan and as LeT when in Kashmir. LeT/JuD purportedly raises funds for the Palestinian people in response to Israel's attacks on Gaza," claim the documents.


Image: A BSF trooper during a gun battle with Lashkar militants
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
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'They rallied under TAK to avoid arrest'

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"The community judges that as of January, the JuD may also be operating under the alias Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool.   LeT's political affairs coordinator Khalid Waleed identified himself in late December as the chief organiser for a conference for Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool, according to intelligence reporting," it said.

The document noted that on February 6, 2009, the JuD held a Kashmir Solidarity Conference at which JuD renamed itself the Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir.

"At JuD's first public protest since December, supporters used old JuD banners and chanted JuD slogans, but rallied under the name TAK to avoid arrest," the non-paper said.


Image: The United Nations Security Council
Photographs: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
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'LeT will continue to use aliases'

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The US intelligence community assesses that the LeT and the JuD, in an attempt to evade restrictions following United Nation's sanctions, have established branch offices with different names and adopted a number of aliases.

"One branch, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq, is a publicly acknowledged charitable arm of JuD and has its own web page with photos of hospitals and ambulances. Other aliases include

Paasbaan-e-Ahle-Hadith, Paasban-e-Kashmir, Al-Mansoorian, and Al-Nasaryeen.

"We assess that the LeT and LeT-associated militants will continue to use aliases in order to circumvent restrictions on their movement and operations," said the non-paper, which was shared with Pakistan in August 2009.


Image: A man wades through floodwaters as he returns to his village in Sindh province
Photographs: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters
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