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How Lashkar will benefit from Osama's death

Last updated on: May 5, 2011 17:51 IST

How Lashkar will benefit from Osama's death

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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

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There has always been a conflict between the ISI and the Al Qaeda over global operations. The ISI always wanted the Lashkar to go global and had gone out of its way to ensure that its contacts across the globe soared.

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

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India will always be Lashkar's Enemy No 1

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The Indian intelligence points out that ISI's attempt to promote the Lashkar will not make much of a difference to India which will continue to be on the latter's radar, and Kashmir in particular will be their primary objective.

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

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Dawood to play a bigger role in terror ops

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In this changing scenario, Dawood Ibrahim will have a bigger role to play according to the IB. With the killing of bin Laden, he has been positioned as the second-most wanted man in the world. His drug syndicate, which is taken care of by over 5000 men worldwide, will get into terror franchises and this would be used by the ISI to help the Lashkar.

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

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ISI hijacked the 26/11 plan from Kashmiri for LeT

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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'
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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

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