Intelligence agencies draw a list of terror outfits that pose the gravest threat to India. Vicky Nanjappa reports
Monday’s terrorist attack in Kashmir is a grim reminder that no leader in Pakistan can ever put an end to this menace. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may have claimed that he would put an end to terrorism, but the fact is it really is not in his control.
Reports by the Indian Intelligence Bureau and the American agencies suggest that there are 15 terror groups active in Pakistan of which five are aimed specifically at India. These groups have 20,000 members in all and each of them is trained to undertake terror activities in different parts of the world.
The five groups that have a focus on India have an active strength of around 11,000 members, of which 2,500 are in Pakistan while the rest are in India. Pakistan has allocated Rs 61 million to the Jamaat-ud-Dawa -- the parent body of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which agencies in India and the US say is being used for terrorist activities and not philanthropic work.
Following are the terror groups that pose the gravest threat to India. The list has been prepared by Indian and US investigating agencies.
The IM is a homegrown outfit aimed at carrying out subversive activities in India. According to the IB, the IM has around 5,000 members spread across the country. They also have a formidable force based out of countries like Saudi Arabia who control the operations in India. The IM is a creation of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and carries out work for the outfit in India.
The most dangerous terror group today, the LeT has capabilities of carrying out a strike in any part of the world. The main target for the Lashkar has always been India; Kashmir in particular.
It began its operations in Kashmir in 1993 and has been the most loyal outfit of the Inter-Services Intelligence, which guides it. But of late the focus has moved from Kashmir to other parts of India. The 26/11 Mumbai attack is a testimony to that. Considered a global terror outfit, the LeT with its manpower, money and technological advancement can carry out an attack anywhere in India. The ISI, however, would not permit it to go out of control and would want it to focus only on India.
The HuJI first came into existence in 1980 to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the war it moved out of Afghanistan and on the instructions of the ISI and the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence it built its capabilities in Bangladesh. The main focus of the HuJI was southern India and its earliest bases were seen in Kerala and Hyderabad. It has been responsible for several terror attacks in India which include the cities of Hyderabad and New Delhi. It has a powerful leader in Ilyas Kashmiri, who manages its operations.
This group is focused only in Kashmir and believes in the fidayeen form of war against Indian agencies. It has a force of 500 odd persons. It had fallen out of favour with the ISI in the year 2003 but today is a back up outfit for the ISI. It continues to cause minor problems or irritants for the Indian army in Kashmir.
One of the deadliest outfits that has waged war in Kashmir, this group is part of the Harkat-ul Mujahideen. Although its chief Maulana Masood Azhar has taken a back seat, the group is still active in the Valley. After the arrest and later release of Azhar in 1999, the ISI had instructed the group and its members to slow down as it did not want any sort of international pressure on the IC 814 (hijacking of IA aircraft that ended after India released three militants) incident.
Today agencies express concerns as the group is making a comeback in the Valley. It has some 800 odd members and the ISI is planning on putting the group back on track in the Valley. The ISI does realise that the Lashkar is needed for other battles across the world and in other parts of India. This makes the JeM an obvious choice to carry forth the Kashmir battle.