January 09, 2012

THE LASHKAR-E-TOIBA ( LET ) AND AL QAEDA

B.RAMAN

( Replies sent by me on January 10,2012, in response to E-mailed questions from a Japanese journalist in Tokyo working for "Newsweek")
1.The LET is very active even now in Pakistan in ideological propaganda, running of training camps and charity work. It continues to be protected by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). However, it has not carried out any act of mass fatality terrorism in the Indian territory after the 26/11 terrorist strikes of 2008 in Mumbai.In view of the adverse publicity against the ISI after 26/11, the ISI has not used it for any act in Indian territory after 26/11.

2.The LET's first target is India and Indian nationals and interests in Afghanistan and other countries. Its next target is Israel and Israeli nationals and interests wherever they are. Its third target is US nationals and interests. It has the same capability and ideological motivation as Al Qaeda, but it is not trying to replace Al Qaeda, which continues to be a largely Arab organisation. The LET is largely a Pakistani organisation.Al Qaeda and the LET help each other and co-ordinate their operations, but they maintain their respective independent existence.

3.Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed and bin Laden strongly shared the Wahabi-Deobandi ideology.They supported the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by Muslims to protect their religion.Both called for the destruction of Israel.Both called for a jihad against India and the US.But bin Laden was strongly anti-Shia and anti-Iran, but Sayeed is not.bin Laden was strongly against the Saudi monarchy and sought to organise a jihad in Saudi Arabia to overthrow the monarchy.Sayeed is supportive of the Saudi monarchy.The LET has a base in Saudi territory which has been allowed to function by the Saudi intelligence.Its operations in India are carried out some times from Pakistan and sometimes from Saudi Arabia. Its base in Saudi Arabia is used fror recruiting Indian Muslims from the large number of Indian Muslims going to Saudi Arabia for Haj/Umra pilgrimage.

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