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Lashkar poses serious threat to US, India: Report

By Lalit K Jha
July 01, 2011 02:56 IST
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Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba poses serious threat to both India and the United States and a global effort is required to eliminate its menace, a White House report has said.

"In South Asia Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the organisation responsible for the rampage in Mumbai in 2008 that killed over 100 people, including six Americans constitutes a formidable terrorist threat to Indian, US, and other Western interests in South Asia and potentially elsewhere," says the National Strategy for Counter-Terrorism released by the White House on Wednesday.

US counter terrorism efforts against LeT will continue to focus on ensuring that the group lacks the capability to conduct or support operations detrimental to US interests or regional stability, including escalating tensions between Pakistan and India, the White House said in its 19-page report.

"Much of our effort against LeT will continue to center on coordinating with, enabling, and improving the will and capabilities of partner nationsincluding in South Asia, Europe, and the Arabian Gulfto counter the group and its terrorist activities," the White House said in its report which for the first time makes public key aspects of its policy to defeat terrorism in the world.

The report is mainly focused on Al Qaeda and its other affiliated terrorist groups. "Even if we achieve the ultimate defeat of Al Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater, an expanded and diverse network of terrorist groups determined to focus beyond their local environments is likely to persist," it said, and referred to LeT as the most dangerous terrorist groups.

"To defeat Al Qaeda, we must define with precision and clarity who we are fighting, setting concrete and realistic goals tailored to the specific challenges we face in different regions of the world," US President Barack Obama wrote in his forwarding note to the report.

"From its base of operations in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Al Qaeda continues to pose a persistent and evolving threat to the US Homeland and interests as well as to Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Europe, and other targets of opportunity," the report said.

"Sustained pressure against Al Qaeda in Pakistanin particular since 2008has forced the group to undergo the most significant turnover in its command structure since 2001 and put al Qaeda on a path to defeat," it said.

"Despite these losses, Al Qaeda is adapting. It is using its safe haven to continue attack planning as well as to produce propaganda; communicate with and convey guidance to affiliates and operational cells in the region and abroad; request logistical and financial support; and provide training and indoctrination to new operatives including some from the United States and other Western countries," the report said.

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Lalit K Jha in Washington, DC
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