How Lashkar will benefit from Osama's death
Post Osama, Lashkar-e-Tayiba's clout is expected to grow with the support of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Vicky Nanjappa reports
A testimony before the United States Congress subcommittee indicates that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba will only become stronger with the death of Osama bin Laden. The committee was also told that the Lashkar has already started to recruit former soldiers of the Pakistan army to further its operations.
This testimony coincides with a report by the Intelligence Bureau which goes on to suggest that the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Lashkar will be relying more on fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim to ensure that their reach is strengthened globally.
It is a worrisome development says the IB, as the ISI will cling on strongly to the Lashkar in the future as it finds itself losing control over the Al Qaeda or the Taliban post-bin Laden.
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ISI encourages Lashkar to promote white terror
In this regard the Lashkar had also roped in the likes of operatives such as David Coleman Headley so that terror activities could be conducted worldwide. However, the Al Qaeda always thought of the rest of the world other than India to be its frontier and there were tussles between the two regarding this.
The ISI now sees itself being cornered by the Al Qaeda and the Taliban following the death of bin Laden, as these outfits feel betrayed the spy agency will use this opportunity to further the global cause of the Lashkar. The ISI is well aware that the Al Qaeda is likely to be down for a while following the death of its leader and hence will use this as an opportunity to further the Lashkar cause.
Image: LeT operative David Headley
India will always be Lashkar's Enemy No 1
While the Lashkar will take part in more global operations, it is essential for them to keep their eyes on India since that is how they manage to muster up sympathy back home. India will always be their enemy number one.
Image: Hotel Taj Mahal during the 26/11 attacks
Dawood to play a bigger role in terror ops
Dawood has been termed as an international terrorist by the United States and there is ample proof to show that he is living in Pakistan under the protection of the ISI, say insiders.
Image: Fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim
ISI hijacked the 26/11 plan from Kashmiri for LeT
Stephen Tankel, who has written a lot about the Lashkar and who is from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the US committee that the Lashkar may play a larger international role following the death of bin Laden.
He also told the committee that the US must also continue to signal the need for Pakistan to restrain the outfit from launching another major terrorist attack against India. Moreover, the US should continue to press Pakistan to provide intelligence regarding the Lashkar's international networks.
The IB points out that the Lashkar is like ISI's blue-eyed boy, for it has not staged any attack on Pakistan soil and is always following the spy agency's 'guidelines'.
One of the examples of what extent the ISI goes to help out the Lashkar is the 26/11 attack. This was an attack hijacked by the ISI from the Ilyas Kashmiri group and handed out to the Lashkar. This was done with the sole purpose of keeping the Lashkar united. This only goes on to show the lengths up to which the ISI can go to appease this outfit.
Image: Ilyas Kashmiri