Why US fears a LeT terror strike on India
Any fresh terrorist strike in India by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba would hurt the United States' national security interest and its counter-terrorism interests in the region, a top Obama administration intelligence official has told lawmakers.
Testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Michael Leiter, director of the National Counter-terrorism Centre, said Lashkar has enough capabilities to launch a Mumbai-type terrorist strike in Europe and other parts of the world.
Image: The Taj Mahal Hotel burns during the 26/11 attacks
Photographs: Arko Dutta/Reuters
'They can be a very destabilising factor'
"What we have not yet seen is a history of them doing so. We are certainly concerned by some indicators we see of them expanding their horizons beyond the region. Certainly they have the capacity -- it's a large organisation," he said.
"What they did in India could theoretically be launched elsewhere. But we have not yet seen those steps occur. I think the additional point that I would stress is they can still be a very destabilising factor in the region," he said.
Image: Remembering the victims of 26/11 terror strikes
'A further attack by LeT in India would hurt'
"So even without striking in the US or Europe, a further attack by Lashkar-e-Tayiba in India would very much hurt our national security and our counterterrorism interests in Pakistan," Leiter said in response to a question from US lawmakers.
With respect to the terror situation in Pakistan, he said the US still sees Al Qaeda in Pakistan at its weakest point since the 9/11 attacks.
Image: A file photgraph of a car blast in Stockholm in December, 2010
'We have really hurt Al Qaeda's core'
Image: Arms and ammunition seized from LeT militants displayed at Kupwara in Kashmir
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters