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Meet the next Osama bin Laden

Last updated on: November 12, 2010 10:03 IST

Ilyas Kashmiri, the next Osama: US

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Ilyas Kashmiri, the one-eyed rabid anti-India leader of a Pakistan-based terror group Harkat-ul-Jehad-Islami, is suspected by counter-terrorism officials to be fast emerging as a new international jihadist plotter, planning fresh strikes in Europe and America.

Considered the 'world's most wanted man' by counter terrorism organisations across three continents, the 40-year-old Kashmiri, is seen as a terror successor to Osama bin Laden, CNN reported quoting top United States intelligence officials.

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Image: 40-year-old Ilyas Kashmiri heads the Pakistan-based terror group Harkat-ul-Jehad-Islami
Photographs: Mian Kursheed/Reuters
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Kashmiri's next target: 26/11-style attack in Europe, US

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The United States television network said the bearded man, who sports aviator style dark glasses, is now masterminding 26/11-style attacks in Europe and US, and threat of these attacks has not subsided despite leakages of the plot, CNN reported.

Now, American and European security agencies believe that Kashmiri is trying to infiltrate highly-trained terrorists into Europe and US to launch coordinated 26/11 attack in cities Paris, Berlin and London, CNN said.

Image: Kashmiri is suspected to have masterminded the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
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10,000 militants trained for another 26/11

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Kashmiri may be determined to go ahead with the execution of the plots in spite of leaks and heightened vigil," the network said quoting August Hanning, a former head of Germany's foreign intelligence service.

The TV network said that as many as 10,000 foreign fighters were in Pakistan's tribal territories who were been trained to carry out suicide attacks.

In a rare interview with Asia Times Online last year in north Waziristan, Kashmiri boasted that Mumbai attacks were nothing compared to "what has already been planned for the future".

 


Image: Terror camps have been set up in Pakistan's tribal areas to train terrorists to carry out suicide attacks

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Kashmiri's role in German Bakery blast

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Kashmiri brands India as his enemy number one and his group Harkat-ul-Jehad-Islami was suspected to be behind bombing of the German Bakery blast in Pune in 2009. But he has made it public that he has ambitions beyond south Asia, CNN said.

Image: Kashmiri wants to spread terror beyond south Asia
Photographs: Reuters
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Did Kashmiri want to eliminate Musharraf?

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Born in Mirpur in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Kashmiri was once considered to be working for Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, but is reported to have turned rouge to join and form close relationship with the Al Qaeda.

CNN said Kashmiri was a veteran jihadist who in early years infiltrated into Kashmir and also fought Russians in Afghanistan, where he lost his eye.

After falling foul of his ISI sponsors, Kashmiri was arrested in connection with a plot to assassinate Pervez Musharraf in 2003, but was strangely released short time later.

Image: Kashmiri was held for plotting Pervez Musharraf's assassination in 2003
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters
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Al Qaeda's friend, world's foe

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The American intelligence believes he was part of Al Qaeda core team, which plotted and carried out the raid on the Central intelligence Agency base in Khost on Afghan-Pak border in which eight top personnel of the agency were killed.CNN said

European intelligence officials are now anxious "the future" may be imminent and Kashmiri who has been prescribed "outlaw" by US security agencies may be directing the new terror strikes.


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