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LeT's global ambitions



“While the U.S. remains focused on hunting down Al Qaeda’s original leadership along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, a lesser-known Islamic militant group has emerged as potentially the most dangerous terrorist outfit on the planet. For more than 15 years Lashkar-e-Taiba, known widely as LeT, has been targeting Indian interests, particularly in the disputed territory of Kashmir. But Western and Indian intelligence experts say LeT now has a growing interest in attacking foreigners and expanding its reach on a global scale—and that the group has the capability to carry out devastating attacks beyond India. At a U.S. Senate intelligence—committee hearing in February, Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, said LeT is now “becoming more of a direct threat,” and “placing Western targets in Europe in its sights.” Its “willingness to attack Jewish interests and locations visited by Westerners,” he said, “raise[s] concerns that either the group itself or individual members will more actively embrace an anti-Western agenda.”

To some analysts, LeT may be an even greater threat than Al Qaeda because of its technological sophistication, its broader global recruiting and fundraising network, its close ties to protectors within the Pakistani government, and the fact that it is still a less high-profile target of Western intelligence. Since about 2003 its fingerprints have been found on anti-Western attacks and plots from Afghanistan to Iraq, Dhaka to Copenhagen. And the choice of targets in LeT’s most spectacular operation to date—the carefully choreographed November 2008 assault on Mumbai, including luxury hotels popular with Western travelers and a Jewish center—have been cited by Blair and other top U.S. officials as a sign of LeT’s increasing interest in attacking the West. “In Mumbai the targets they went after were the targets of the global jihad,” says terrorism expert and former CIA officer Bruce Riedel. Shortly after Mumbai, Pakistani authorities arrested alleged LeT communications specialist Zarar Shah and reportedly discovered on his laptop a list of 320 potential targets, most of them outside India. They included sites in Europe, says a Western intelligence official."

by teru kuwayama at 2010-03-02 06:09:47 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

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teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States


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