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'The crackdown will not destabilise LeT'

December 09, 2008 20:42 IST

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The crackdown by the Pakistani security forces on the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which has been linked to the Mumbai carnage, will not cripple the banned organisation, a coordinator of the militant group has said.

Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhwi, accused of masterminding the Mumbai terror attacks [Images], is among more than 20 activists of the Lashkar and its front organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawah who have been arrested since the crackdown began on Sunday.

Even as Pakistan is trying to extract mileage from the clampdown, the LeT coordinator stressed they cannot be crippled.

"Were still well-organized and active," a Laskar coordinator told The Washington Times in the paper's front-page exclusive datelined Lahore [Images]. The Lashkar coordinator spoke in a safe house near Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city, on condition of anonymity presumably to avoid arrest, the paper has maintained, with the militant putting the organisation's strength in the "thousands" in Pakistan.

The Lashkar fighter in Lahore said the group has "huge strength" and is concentrated in Pakistan's tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan. The Lashkar organizer told The Times that it should not be surprising that Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the Lashkar terrorist captured in India, is not a recognisable name because those who join his group are given other names.

"All those who join these organizations are given Arabic names," he said.

"Sometimes to make them less conspicuous they are given non-Arabic but purely Muslim names," as also in the fact that names are changed every six to eight months for the fighters. The unnamed militant/organiser has denied that the group had to purchase recruits. 


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