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Lashkar's new ally: Dawood Ibrahim

Vicky Nanjappa | January 02, 2009 16:49 IST

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After the November 26 attacks on Mumbai [Images] brought the Lashkar-e-Taiyba's India-based modules under the Indian intelligence and law enforcement agencies's special scrutiny, the Lashkar has changed its game plan.

Months before the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence directed fugitive Indian gangster Dawood Ibrahim [Images], who now lives in Karachi under the ISI's protection, to help carry out terror strikes in India.

Intelligence Bureau agents had earlier told that Ibrahim -- the prime accused in the March 12, 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai -- played a key role in funding and identifying prospective targets for the November 26 attacks.

The Lashkar has instructed its local modules to lie low and steer clear of the Indian law enforcement agencies's radar. IB sources say members of Ibrahim's criminal gangs will now be involved in terror strikes in India for the forseeable future.

In the meantime the Lashkar plans to expand its operations in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala [Images]. It had relied on the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India to conduct terror operations, but the crackdown on SIMI [Images] members across India has forced the Lashkar to make Ibrahim an ally, with the ISI's assistance.

IB sources say Ibrahim -- a native of Maharashtra -- has no option, but to agree to the ISI's diktat, since he needs its help and protection.

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