Terrorizing World – "Enough is enough"

Time to ACT tough . Now !

Terror fear? China city bans beards, veils in buses

Posted by mymyboli on August 8, 2014

Source-  Saibal Dasgupta – TNN
In perhaps the first such instance in China, a city in the country’s restive Xinjiang region has banned beards and burqas or veils worn by Muslim women within days of a major terrorist attack and subsequent police action that killed nearly 100 people in the bordering Kashgar area.Authorities in Karamay banned “five groups of people” — those who wear burqa, head scarves, veils or hijab, any clothing bearing the cres

cent moon and star, as well as those with long beards, statecontrolled media reported on Wednesday . The ban disallows people in this group from using facilities like bus es and other means of public transport and has been effective since Monday. This is in view of a local sports competition on August 20, the newspaper said, and may be extended beyond that.Even more controversially, state leaders in Xinjiang are working on a proposal to amend existing rules on family planning. So far, Muslims are exempt from the country’s one-child policy, which has now been relaxed to allow up to two children.

Southern Xinjiang will “implement family planning

policy equally on all ethnic groups, to lower and stabilize an appropriate birth rate”, a Communist Party leader, Zhang Chunxian, wrote in the August edition of Qiushi, an official magazine of the Communist party. More than 45% of Xinjiang’s 22 million people are Uighur Muslims who speak Turkic language.Chinese authorities have earlier discouraged Muslim government employees from fasting during the holy month of Ramzan on the grounds that it can affect their health and performance.

 

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7,00,000 people listed by US as `terror suspects’

Posted by mymyboli on August 8, 2014

Source – TOI – Chidanand.Rajghatta @timesgroup.com -
“If everything is terrorism, then nothing is terrorism.” This eloquent quote by former senior FBI special agent David Gomez speaks to what is now emerging as an “out of control” surveillance program initiated by the Obama administration in its overarching effort to monitor terrorist links.That the US is engaged in unprecedented snooping is known for some time now thanks to Edward Snowden.

But fresh disclosures from a new source, based on classified files leaked to the website Intercept, suggests that Washington may be running amok, putting under surveillance hundreds of thousands merely on suspicion.

The disclosures, which could cause fresh consternation in world capitals that have not signed on to the program, reveal that the CIA uses a previously unknown program, codenamed Hydra, to “secretly access databases maintained by foreign countries and extract data to add to the US watchlists”.

According to the disclosures, there are around 7,00,000 people caught up in

the US’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSD) — a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments. Of them, more than 40%(2,80,000) are described as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation”, dwarfing the number of people suspected of ties with al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.According to the documents, the Obama administration has also boosted the number of people on the nofly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000.

The government adds information to the database at a rate of 900 records each day.

The second-highest concentration of people designated as “known or suspected terrorists” is in Dearborn, Michigan, a city that has the largest percentage of Muslims in the country.

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India Data Sheets

Posted by mymyboli on July 22, 2014

Source – http://satp.org/

(Updated till July 13, 2014)


  India Fatalities 1994-2014
  Cumulative Fatalities by Conflict Theatres: 2005-2014
  Fatalities in Terrorist Violence in India’s Northeast 2005-2014
Fatalities in Left-wing Extremism : 2005-201420142013201220112010,  20092008200720062005 
  Fatalities in Terrorist related Violence in Punjab 1981-2014
  Fatalities in Terrorist Violence in Jammu and Kashmir 1988-2014
  Map: India Conflict Map
  Terrorist attacks outside Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Northeast since 2000
  Internecine clashes between Naga militant outfits beyond Nagaland
Terrorist Attack in Delhi since 1997
  Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai since 1993
Terrorist Attacks and Threats on Indians in Afghanistan since 2003
Terrorist Attacks on Railways in India since 1996
ISI-related modules Neutralised outside J&K and Northeast since 2004
  Terrorism related incidents in Andhra Pradesh since 2007
Terrorism related incidents in Karnataka since 2007
Terrorism related incidents in Kerala since 2008
Terrorism related incidents in Arunachal Pradesh since 2007
Terrorism-related incidents in Delhi since 1997
Terrorism related Incidents in Gujarat since 2007
Terrorism related incidents in Madhya Pradesh since 2007
  Terrorism-related Incidents in Maharashtra since 2006
Terrorism related incidents in Rajasthan since 2007
Terrorism related incidents in Tamil Nadu since 2007
Terrorism related incidents in West Bengal since 2007
Terrorism related incidents in Uttar Pradesh since 2001
Mumbai Blasts Judgement
Maoist Documents
  India’s Offer of Cease-fire
India: Police Organisation in Different States
Police – Population Ratio
State and Theatre Assessments– 2014
 

 

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Iraq government traces location of 40 Indian kidnapped men

Posted by mymyboli on June 21, 2014

source- india today

Mail Today Bureau  New Delhi, June 20, 2014 | UPDATED 10:18 IST

India was on Thursday grappling with the task of establishing contact with those responsible for the abduction of 40 Indian construction workers in the war- torn Iraqi city of Mosul, which has become the first foreign policy challenge of the new NDA government.

People from Iraqi Shiite Turkmen families who have fled the violence in Iraqi city of Tal Afar.

 

The Iraq government has traced the location of the kidnapped men, who mostly belong to Punjab and other parts of northern India, but there was little clarity on who was holding them. In an indirect expression of concern about the well- being of the men, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said there was ” no safety in captivity”. Crisis management group formed by the foreign ministry met twice on Thursday – with both meetings personally chaired by External Affairs MinisterSushma Swaraj – to take stock of the options and to assess the safety and security of all the Indians in Iraq.

 

As more details emerged from Iraq, it became apparent that the Indian workers, employed by the Baghdad- based Tariq Noor Al- Huda Construction Company, were abducted on Sunday. This was a full three days before the government confirmed the kidnappings.

Sources said the men were captured while they were apparently being moved out of the second largest city of Mosul, overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS) last week.

The families of several kidnapped men from Punjab, too, have said that their last contact with them was on Sunday. Though media reports claimed the abducted men were safe and would even be handed over to any representative of the Indian government, the foreign ministry said the Iraqi government had confirmed they were in custody.

The initial information, based on inputs from the Red Crescent, about the kidnappings had been ” reconfirmed by the Iraq government”, foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. Asked if the Indians were safe, he said: ” There is no safety captivity. Safety is when people are places where they are welcome.” He added: ” We have been informed by Iraq’s foreign ministry that they have been able to determine the location where these abducted Indian nationals are being held captive with workers of a few other nationalities.” Though he did not give details, sources said the other detained persons included Turkish and Bangladeshi nationals.

He refused to provide details of the location where the Indians are being held ” or what the Iraqis have shared with us in terms of possibilities”. Suresh Reddy, India’s former envoy to Iraq, arrived in Baghdad on Thursday to reinforce efforts to secure the release of the kidnapped men and to facilitate the evacuation of Indian nationals.

Reddy, believed to have key contacts in the government and local tribal leaders, participated in several meetings during the day.

Saleh Dabbakeh, spokesperson of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Iraq, told Mail Today that there was little information about the Indians in Mosul.

 

He said the 46 nurses from Kerala stranded at a teaching hospital in Tikrit were ” fine”. The parties to the conflict included the ISIS, other armed groups and tribal leaders, he said.

There are an estimated 10,000 Indians living across Iraq, but the External Affairs Ministry says only a little over 100 are in areas affected by violence, including the 40 kidnapped men.

MEA APPOINTS SPECIAL TEAM

The crisis management group, formed by the External Affairs Ministry to oversee efforts to rescue the 40 Indians abducted in Iraq and to arrange the evacuation of other Indians, is headed by Secretary ( East) Anil Wadhwa.

 

It was formed on Tuesday after reports emerged that nearly 90 Indians were stranded in Iraq. On Thursday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj personally chaired two meetings of the group.

The other members of the crisis management group are Joint Secretary ( Gulf) Mridul Kumar, Joint Secretary ( WANA) Sandeep Kumar and Joint Secretary ( Americas) Vikram Doraiswami.

For more news from India Today, follow us on Twitter @indiatoday and on Facebook at facebook.com/IndiaToday

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Iraq conflict: Forty Indians abducted in Mosul

Posted by mymyboli on June 21, 2014

Source – BBC

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant supporters chant pro al-Qaeda slogans in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq, Monday, June 16, 2014Fighters from militant Sunni groups have seized a number of Iraqi towns and cities, including Mosul, in the past week

India has confirmed that 40 of its citizens have been kidnapped in the violence-hit Iraqi city of Mosul.

The men were construction workers, a ministry of external affairs spokesman said. India had not received any ransom demand, he added.

A 24-hour helpline has been set up for the families and a special envoy is being sent to Baghdad.

On Tuesday, the government said it was in touch with 46 Indian nurses stranded in a hospital in Tikrit.

Tikrit and Mosul are under the control of the militant Sunni group ISIS. They are among a number of Iraqi towns and cities seized in the past week.

“Forty Indian workers of the Tariq Noor Al Huda company in Mosul have been kidnapped,” foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in Delhi.

“We have not received any calls of any nature asking for ransom… and it is not known where they are being held,” he added.

The workers are mostly from northern India.

Earlier on Wednesday, India had said it was unable to contact the men, leading to speculation that they had been abducted.

Meanwhile, the nurses stranded in Tikrit have told BBC Hindi that they are safe, but a new management which has now taken over the hospital has refused to pay their salary arrears that have been pending for two to four months.

The nurses said they were confined to a dormitory within the hospital and had had no work for the last few days because only the emergency department at the hospital was working.

While a group of 14 nurses want to return home, the others say they want to work in other safer parts of Iraq.

India says it is in contact with the Red Crescent and the United Nations, but it is safer for the nurses to stay put in the hospital since it is not safe to travel by road at the moment.

India has issued a travel advisory telling its citizens to not travel to Iraq, and those already there to leave.

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Militants post grisly images of mass killing in Iraq

Posted by mymyboli on June 21, 2014

Source – CBS

Last Updated Jun 15, 2014 8:15 PM EDT

BAGHDAD – As the Iraqi government bolstered Baghdad’s defenses Sunday, the Islamic militant group that captured two major cities last week posted graphic photos that appeared to show its fighters massacring dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers.

 

The pictures on a militant website appear to show masked fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, loading the captives onto flatbed trucks before forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch with their arms tied behind their backs. The final images show the bodies of the captives soaked in blood after being shot.

They’re not the only images showing how ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, punishes captured Iraqi soldiers. CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward reports from Baghdad that a video appears to show Iraqi special forces soldiers being interrogated by Sunni militants.

The soldiers are denounced as unbelievers and shot one by one in the back of the head.

 

The grisly images could further sharpen sectarian tensions as hundreds of Shiites heed a call from their most revered spiritual leader to take up arms against the Sunni militants who have swept across the north. ISIS has vowed to take the battle to Baghdad and cities further south housing revered Shiite shrines.

Late Sunday, the State Department announced it will move some U.S. Embassy workers out of Baghdad because of the violence.

The workers will be temporarily relocated to consulates in Basra and Erbil and to a support unit in Amman, Jordan, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The embassy will remain open, and additional U.S. security personnel will be added to the embassy’s staff, Psaki said.

 

This image posted on a militant website June 14, 2014, which has been verified appears to show militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leading away captured Iraqi soldiers dressed in plain clothes after taking over a ba

This image posted on a militant website June 14, 2014, which has been verified appears to show militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leading away captured Iraqi soldiers dressed in plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.
 AP PHOTO VIA MILITANT WEBSITE

 

 

 

While the city of seven million is not in any immediate danger of falling into the hands of the militants, Sunday’s bombings could raise tensions. Food prices in the city have risen, twofold in some cases, because of disruption to transport on the main road heading north from the capital.

The government bolstered defenses around Baghdad Sunday, a day after hundreds of Shiite men paraded through the streets with arms in response to a call by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for Iraqis to defend their country. ISIS has vowed to attack Baghdad but its advance to the south seems to have stalled in recent days. Thousands of Shiites have also volunteered to join the fight against ISIS, also in response to al-Sistani’s call.

Despite the added security, a string of explosions killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 30 in the city, police and hospital officials said. One car bomb went off in the city center, killing 10 and wounding 21. After nightfall, another explosion hit the area, killing two and wounding five. The third went off near a falafel shop in the city’s sprawling Sadr City district, killing three and wounding seven.

Baghdad has seen an escalation in suicide and car bombings in recent months, mostly targeting Shiite neighborhoods or security forces.

 

This image posted on a militant website June 14, 2014, which has been verified appears to show militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikri

This image posted on a militant website June 14, 2014, which has been verified appears to show militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.
 AP PHOTO VIA MILITANT WEBSITE

 

 

 

Armed police, including SWAT teams, were seen over the weekend manning checkpoints in Baghdad, searching vehicles and checking drivers’ documents. Security was particularly tightened on the northern and western approaches of the city, the likely targets of any advance by ISIS fighters on the capital. The city looked gloomy on Sunday, with thin traffic and few shoppers in commercial areas.

At one popular park along the Tigris river, only a fraction of the thousands who usually head there were present on Sunday evening. In the commercial Karada district in central Baghdad, many of the sidewalk hawkers who sell anything from shoes to toys and clothes were absent.

 

The crisis in Iraq has prompted the United States to order an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf. It also laid out specific ways for Iraq to show it is forging the national unity necessary to gain assistance in its fight against ISIS and other militants.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday ordered the USS George H.W. Bush from the northern Arabian Sea as President Obama considered possible military options for Iraq. Hagel’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said the move will give Mr. Obama additional flexibility if military action were required to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq.

 

This image posted on a militant website June 14, 2014, which has been verified appears to show militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leading away captured Iraqi soldiers in plain clothes after taking over a base in Ti

This image posted on a militant website June 14, 2014, which has been verified appears to show militants from the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leading away captured Iraqi soldiers in plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.
 AP PHOTO VIA MILITANT WEBSITE

 

 

 

Accompanying the carrier will be the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun. The ships, which carry Tomahawk missiles that could reach Iraq, were expected to complete their move into the Persian Gulf by the end of the day. The Bush’s fighter jets also could easily reach Iraq.

In neighboring Iran, the acting commander of the Islamic Republic’s army ground forces, Gen. Kiomars Heidari, said Iran has increased its defenses along its western border with Iraq, though there was no immediate threat to the frontier.

In Baghdad, Iraqi government officials said ISIS fighters were trying to capture the city of Tal Afar in northern Iraq on Sunday and raining down rockets seized last week from military arms depots. The officials said the local garrison suffered heavy casualties and the town’s main hospital was unable to cope with the number of wounded, without providing exact numbers.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters. Tal Afar is mainly inhabited by Turkmen, an ethnic minority.

 

Iraq’s top military spokesman, Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, confirmed that fighting was raging at Tal Afar, but indicated that the militants were suffering heavy casualties. On all fronts north of the capital, he said, a total of 297 militants have been killed in the past 24 hours.

There was no way to independently confirm his claims.

ISIS and allied Sunni militants captured a vast swath of northern Iraq last week, including second city Mosul and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, as Iraqi troops, many of them armed and trained by the U.S., fled in disarray, surrendering vehicles, weapons and ammunition to the powerful extremist group, which also fights in Syria.

The captions of the photos say the killings were to avenge the killing of an ISIS commander, Abdul-Rahman al-Beilawy, whose death was reported by both the government and ISIS shortly before the al-Qaida splinter group’s lightning offensive, which has plunged Iraq into its bloodiest crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.

 

“This is the fate that awaits the Shiites sent by Nouri to fight the Sunnis,” one caption read, apparently referring to Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Al-Moussawi, the military spokesman, confirmed the photos’ authenticity and said he was aware of cases of mass murder of captured Iraqi soldiers in areas held by ISIS.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Friday of “murder of all kinds” and other war crimes in Iraq, and said the number killed in recent days may run into the hundreds, while the wounded could approach 1,000.

Speaking in Geneva, she said her office has received reports that militants rounded up and killed Iraqi soldiers as well as 17 civilians in a single street in Mosul.

 

Her office also heard of “summary executions and extrajudicial killings” after ISIS militants overran Iraqi cities and towns, the statement said.

Most of the soldiers who appear in the pictures are in civilian clothes. Some are shown wearing military uniforms underneath, indicating they may have hastily disguised themselves as civilians to try to escape.

Many soldiers and policemen left their uniforms and equipment behind as the militants swept into Mosul, Tikrit and surrounding areas.

The captions did not provide a date or location, but al-Moussawi said the killings took place in Salahuddin province, the capital of which is Tikrit.

Some of the pictures appeared to show some of the soldiers pleading for their lives, others seemed terrified.

All soldiers appeared in their early 20s, with some wearing the jerseys of such European soccer clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona. Some of the militants wore black baggy pants and shirts, many of them had sandals or flip flops.

Iraqi authorities appear to be trying to limit the dissemination of such images and other militant propaganda being shared through social media and to deny the militants their use for operational purposes.

Martin Frank, the CEO of IQ Networks, an Internet service provider in Iraq, told The Associated Press that authorities have ordered multiple social media sites including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to be blocked. On Sunday, they tightened the restrictions further by telling network operators to halt traffic for virtual private networks, which allow users to bypass Internet filters.

Internet traffic in several areas overrun by militants, including Mosul and Tikrit, was ordered to be cut off altogether, he said.

No timeframe was given for the shutdowns.

Map credit: IBTimes/Long War Journal

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Boko Haram ‘to sell’ abducted schoolgirls

Posted by mymyboli on May 12, 2014

Armed group claims responsibility for kidnapping 276 girls in Nigeria and threatens to “sell them in the marketplace”.

Source – Al Jazeera
Last updated: 06 May 2014 00:24
The Nigerian armed group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the abduction of 276 schoolgirls during a raid in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria last month, the AFP news agency reported, citing a video it had obtained.

“I abducted your girls,” the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau said on Monday in the 57-minute video obtained by the agency, referring to the hundreds of students kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Borno state, on April 14.

“By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace,” he said in the video that starts with fighters lofting automatic rifles and shooting in the air as they chant “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great”.

Boko Haram allegedly stormed the all-girl secondary school, then packed the teenagers, who had been taking exams, onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon.

Boko Haram, now seen as the main security threat to Africa’s leading energy producer, is growing bolder and extending its reach.

The apparent lack of capability of the military to prevent the Chibok attack or rescue the abducted girls after three weeks has triggered anger and protests in the northeast and in the capital Abuja.

Carl Levan, assistant professor at the School of International Service at the American University

Protest leader arrested

In a separate development, a leader of a protest march in support of the schoolgirls has said that Nigeria’s First Lady ordered her and another protest leader to be arrested, expressing doubts that there had been any kidnapping and accused them of belonging to the group blamed for the abductions.

Saratu Angus Ndirpaya said state security service agents drove her and protest leader Naomi Mutah Nyadar to a police station on Monday after an all-night meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja, the capital.

She said police immediately released her but that Nyadar remained in detention.

A national police spokesman referred a journalist to the spokeswoman for police in Abuja. Reached on the phone, the spokeswoman said she was driving and could not immediately respond, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Other reports said three women had been arrested on Sunday night.

‘Abductions fabricated’

Ndirpaya said First Lady Patience Jonathan accused them of fabricating the abductions.

“She [Jonathan] told so many lies, that we just wanted the government of Nigeria to have a bad name, that we did not want to support her husband’s rule,” she said in a telephone interview with AP.

Ndirpaya said other women at the meeting cheered and chanted “yes, yes,” when the First Lady accused them of belonging to Boko Haram.

“They said we are Boko Haram, and that Mrs Nyadar is a member of Boko Haram.”

She said Nyadar and herself do not have daughters among those abducted, but were supporting the mothers of the kidnapped daughters.

Fifty-three of the girls managed to escape from the fighters, who want to introduce Islamic law in the country, but 223 were still being held, state police said last Friday.

The mass abduction and failure to rescue the girls, now in a fourth week of captivity, is a source of deep embarrassment to the Nigerian government, which is accused of insensitivity to the girls’ plight and not doing enough to rescue them.

In a televised “media chat” on Sunday night,  President Goodluck Jonathan promised his administration was doing everything possible and called for international help to find the girls.

On Friday, he created a presidential committee to go to Borno state to work with the community on a strategy for the release of the girls.

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Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?

Posted by mymyboli on May 12, 2014

This screen grab taken on 25 September 2013 from a video distributed through an intermediary to local reporters and seen by AFP, shows a man claiming to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau, flanked by armed men.

Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram – which has caused havoc in Africa’s most populous country through a wave of bombings, assassinations and now abductions – is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

Its followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: “Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors”.

Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.

This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education.

Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president.

A female student stands in a burnt classroom at a school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, on 12 May 2012Boko Haram has attacked many schools in northern Nigeria
Vehicles burn after an attack in Abuja on 14 April 2014The group launched its insurgency in 2009
Burnt vehicles and motorcycles after an attack in Abuja, Nigeria (14 April 2014)It has targeted both civilians and the military

The group’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”.

Recruiting ground

But residents in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, where the group had its headquarters, dubbed it Boko Haram.

Loosely translated from the local Hausa language, this means “Western education is forbidden”.

Boko originally meant fake but came to signify Western education, while haram means forbidden.

Since the Sokoto caliphate, which ruled parts of what is now northern Nigeria, Niger and southern Cameroon, fell under British control in 1903, there has been resistance among some of the area’s Muslims to Western education.

They still refuse to send their children to government-run “Western schools”, a problem compounded by the ruling elite which does not see education as a priority.

Against this background, the charismatic Muslim cleric, Mohammed Yusuf, formed Boko Haram in Maiduguri in 2002. He set up a religious complex, which included a mosque and an Islamic school.

Many poor Muslim families from across Nigeria, as well as neighbouring countries, enrolled their children at the school.

But Boko Haram was not only interested in education. Its political goal was to create an Islamic state, and the school became a recruiting ground for jihadis.

Boko Haram in 60 seconds

In 2009, Boko Haram carried out a spate of attacks on police stations and other government buildings in Maiduguri.

This led to shoot-outs on Maiduguri’s streets. Hundreds of Boko Haram supporters were killed and thousands of residents fled the city.

Audacious

Nigeria’s security forces eventually seized the group’s headquarters, capturing its fighters and killing Mr Yusuf.

His body was shown on state television and the security forces declared Boko Haram finished.

Nigerian soldiers ready for a patrol in the north of Borno state on 5 June  2013 in MaiduguriA state of emergency is in force in three northern Nigerian states

But its fighters regrouped under a new leader, Abubakar Shekau, and have stepped up their insurgency.

In 2010, the US designated it a terrorist organisation, amid fears that it had developed links with other militant groups, such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, to wage a global jihad.

“Start Quote

The deployment of troops has driven many of the militants out of Maiduguri, their main urban base”

Boko Haram’s trademark was originally the use of gunmen on motorbikes, killing police, politicians and anyone who criticises it, including clerics from other Muslim traditions and Christian preachers.

The group has also staged more audacious attacks in northern and central Nigeria, including bombing churches, bus ranks, bars, military barracks and even the police and UN headquarters in the capital, Abuja.

Amid growing concern about the escalating violence, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May 2013 in the three northern states where Boko Haram is the strongest – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

The deployment of troops has driven many of the militants out of Maiduguri, their main urban base and they have now retreated to the vast Sambisa forest, along the border with Cameroon.

Joint Military Task Force (JTF) patrol the streets of restive north-eastern Nigerian town of Maiduguri, Borno State, on 30 April 2013Thousands of reinforcements have been sent to Maiduguri but the attacks continue

From there, the group’s fighters have launched mass attacks on villages, looting, killing and burning properties in what appeared to be a warning to rural people not to collaborate with the security forces, as residents of Maiduguri had done.

Chronic poverty

“Start Quote

Northern Nigeria has a history of spawning militant Islamist groups”

Boko Haram has also stepped up its campaign against Western education, which it believes corrupts the moral values of Muslims, especially girls, by attacking two boarding schools – in Yobe in March and in Chibok in April.

It abducted more than 200 schoolgirls during the Chibok raid, saying it would treat them as slaves and marry them off – a reference to an ancient Islamic belief that women captured in conflict are part of the “war booty”.

It made a similar threat in May 2013, when it released a video, saying it had taken women and children – including teenage girls – hostage in response to the arrest of its members’ wives and children. There was later a prison swap, with both sides releasing the women and children.

Protesters call on the government to rescue the kidnapped school girls in Lagos - 1 May 2014The Chibok abductions caused outrage across Nigeria

At the same time, Boko Haram has continued with its urban bombing campaign, targeting the capital on 14 April, when at least 70 people were killed in an explosion near a car park and on 2 May when 19 people died.

This shows that not only does Boko Haram have a fighting force, but also cells that specialise in bombings.

Analysts say northern Nigeria has a history of spawning militant Islamist groups, but Boko Haram has outlived them and has proved to be far more lethal, with a global jihadi agenda.

The threat will disappear only if Nigeria’s government manages to reduce the region’s chronic poverty and builds an education system which gains the support of local Muslims, the analysts say.

Nigeria: A nation divided

Despite its vast resources, Nigeria ranks among the most unequal countries in the world, according to the UN. The poverty in the north is in stark contrast to the more developed southern states. While in the oil-rich south-east, the residents of Delta and Akwa Ibom complain that all the wealth they generate flows up the pipeline to Abuja and Lagos.

Boko Haram at a glance

Mohammed Yusuf, bare-chested and with a bandage on his arm, surrounded by soldiers
  • Founded in 2002
  • Official Arabic name, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education
  • Nicknamed Boko Haram, a phrase in the local Hausa language meaning, “Western education is forbidden”
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state
  • Founding leader Mohammed Yusuf (above) killed in same year in police custody
  • Succeeded by Abubakar Shekau
  • Military claims to have killed Shekau have turned out to be untrue

More on This Story

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The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan’s Past, Pakistan’s Future

Posted by mymyboli on March 29, 2014

Apoorva Shah

Source – http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/next-al-qaeda-lashkar-e-taiba-and-future-terrorism-south-asia

For more than two decades, from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s, Pakistan had a higher per capita income than India, the country from which it separated in 1947 and against which it has fought four wars. While independent India enjoyed relative political stability and—following its economic reforms in the early 1990s—material progress, Pakistan has regressed. Poverty and violence have ravaged this country of 160 million people, who suffer from the misrule of an impotent civil government, the paranoia of an omnipotent military and intelligence network, and the terror of radical Islam.

Indeed, almost every ruling government in Pakistan’s history has been marred by violence or political tumult—from General Mohammad Ayub Khan’s coup d’état in 1958 to the hanging of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1979 to the ouster of President Pervez Musharraf in 2008. Pakistan’s military and intelligence services, on the other hand, have wielded disproportionate power over the country’s foreign (and often domestic) policies. In their efforts to subvert India and other foreign rivals, the services have even provided covert training and financial support to Islamist militants and terrorists. After 9/11, these linkages made Pakistan the nucleus of the global war on terrorism and earned it the title of the most dangerous place in the world.

Disproportionately more international terrorists hail from Pakistan than from any other place on earth. For 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, and perhaps even Osama bin Laden, this country has served as a refuge or training ground. While radical groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami continue to operate freely in Pakistan and plot attacks against India, the homegrown Pakistani Taliban has become an enemy of the state, responsible for a spate of suicide bombings that have terrorized major Pakistani cities like Karachi and Islamabad. More remote areas of the country such as Swat Valley and Quetta are, or at some point have been, completely under militant rule, devoid of any state control.

Related Essay

What does the news of Osama bin Laden’s death means for Pakistan’s already troubled situation?

What happened? Why has radical Islam become so entrenched in this supposedly secular Muslim state? After all, Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a Scotch-drinking, British-educated barrister, once said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

For many observers, both in South Asia and in the West, Pakistan’s troubles are rooted in specific difficulties: the lack of economic opportunity, political corruption, foreign meddling, or hyper-militarization, for example. By tackling these issues, they say, Pakistan could finally become a “normal” state, saved from the grip of radical Islam. But these ills are effects rather than causes of Pakistan’s troubles. In fact, they underlie a deeper crisis that traces back to the country’s founding movement, a crisis not between the forces of Islamism and secularism—as is commonly perceived among Western policymakers and even secular Pakistani elites—but rather within the nature of the “Islamic Republic” itself.

 

In the late nineteenth century, a growing group of Muslim intellectuals in the Indian independence movement began to push for a separate status for Indian Muslims in the subcontinent. Their motives could be traced to 1857 when, following the first Indian Rebellion against British company rule, the final vestiges of the Mughal Empire were dismantled and the British Crown took control of India. In the minds of the Muslim intellectuals, the end of the Mughal court meant the loss of the South Asian Muslims’ unique culture, language, and kingdom. But by gaining a distinct political status, they could begin to reassert the Muslims’ historical influence and prestige in India.

However, the idea of a separate state for Indian Muslims did not emerge until 1930, when the Muslim poet Muhammad Iqbal, then leader of the Muslim League, began to call for two nations within an independent India. Four years later, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was a member of the Indian National Congress from 1905 to 1930 and held the position of “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity,” returned to India from London to help Iqbal revive the Muslim League and direct the movement for an independent Pakistan. In a lecture in Lahore in March 1940, Jinnah articulated the rationale for this new country with the “two-nation theory”: “Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literatures. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. . . . It is quite clear that Hindus and Musalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history.” This theory would ground the “idea of Pakistan,” positing not only that Hindus and Muslims had distinct cultural traditions, but separate histories. For Indian Muslims, this history harked back to the Mughal era of Muslim dominance in India, which, they argued, was what defined and distinguished them from the other cultures and religions of the subcontinent.

In many ways, the mobilization of Islamic leaders was a valid response to the socioeconomic and political challenges their community faced in the subcontinent. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Muslims were increasingly marginalized from major political structures in the colonial government. But while the average Muslim in South Asia faced discrimination and was generally poorer than his Hindu counterpart (as is still the case in India today), there was little historical precedent for the concept of a discrete Muslim identity founded in Mughal rule. Indeed, through the hundreds of years that the Muslim empire had reigned over South Asia, cultures, cuisines, languages, and even peoples had mixed, creating new and unique identities that were neither “purely” Muslim nor Hindu. As Stephen P. Cohen writes in The Idea of Pakistan: “For all their distinctiveness, Muslims shared many interests with the other populations of India, and on the regional level their cultures were intertwined. Punjabis—whether Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh—had a similar worldview and approach to life. Likewise, many South Indian Muslim communities had more in common with their fellow Tamil or Malayalam speakers than with the Urdu or Punjabi speakers to the north.” But as Muslim leaders of South Asia, legitimately concerned with the economic and social state of their minority in the region, escalated their demand from separate status to separate state, their version of history went from being an intellectual and cultural concept to an important political tool. Much of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Lahore speech in 1940 was concerned with practical issues of constitution formation and electoral power rather than with colonial history or cultural inheritance.

Because of this politicization of Islam, not all Indian Muslims accepted the idea of a separate Muslim state. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a former member of the Muslim League who switched to the Indian National Congress in the 1920s, remained loyal to a free but undivided India for all of his life. For leaders like Azad and the prominent Deobandi scholar Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani, the idea of creating an Islamic nation was erroneous simply because there was no such thing as an Indian Muslim nation separate from the broader global Muslim community, or ummah.

Yet Jinnah, Iqbal, and other Muslim leaders in British India insisted that South Asian Muslims did have a distinct political identity that merited an independent nation. By crafting a revisionist history of Islam in South Asia, in which centuries of cultural, religious, and ethnic mixture were erased in favor of a “pure” Muslim identity, and by wielding this history as a tool for political autonomy, the leaders achieved their dream of an independent Muslim state. On August 14, 1947, Pakistan—an acronym for Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, and Baluchistan—was born.

 

As the dust of the turbulent independence era settled, Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and his fellow leaders needed to continue to consolidate this national identity among the diverse groups and cultures that lived within Pakistan’s new boundaries. While the country was majority-Muslim, Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi, and Pashtun cultures (among many others) were also represented within Pakistan and had their own distinct languages and traditions. It was the job of the elites to instill a unified sense of citizenship among these peoples. The challenges in doing so would become the source of the country’s greatest crises.

A first step was linguistic and ethnic consolidation. Originally encouraged by the Indian Muslim scholar and politician Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as the Muslims’ lingua franca in 1867, Urdu (which did not originate in any of the land that became Pakistan but was rather the mother tongue of the Indian Mohajirs from Uttar Pradesh) became Pakistan’s official language and the country’s language of education immediately following independence. But linguistic rifts had already begun by December 1947, when Bengali students in East Pakistan demanded that Bengali be made an official language as well. By the following March, the students had organized a general strike that led to large rallies and confrontations with police. That month, as the crisis grew worse, Mohammad Ali Jinnah came to Dhaka and accused a “fifth column” of creating a language controversy to divide the Pakistanis and declared that “Urdu, and only Urdu” would remain the state language. Such conflicts would continue between East and West Pakistan for the next two decades.

A second component of the Pakistani consolidation process was public education. As noted by A. H. Nayyar and Ahmad Salim, in a report for the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Pakistan, the educational system in Pakistan was designed “from the very beginning” to reinforce “one particular view of Pakistani nationalism and identity, namely that Pakistan is an Islamic state rather than a country with a majority Muslim population.” Furthermore, the educational system needed to produce an image of a “singular homogeneous majoritarian Muslim identity that could be sharply differentiated from that of India, even though it meant suppressing the many different shades within Pakistan.”

This was done through myth-making and the embellishment of history. In a chapter on “Historical Falsehoods and Inaccuracies” in Pakistani education, Salim observes that many Pakistan Studies textbooks declare that Muhammad-bin-Qasim, an Arab general who led the Umayyad conquest of the Sindh and Punjab regions in the early eighth century, was Pakistan’s first citizen—a full twelve centuries before its independence in 1947. Indeed, one textbook simply declares that “although Pakistan was created in August 1947, . . . the present-day Pakistan has existed, as a more or less single entity, for centuries.”

In addition, the Pakistani public education system developed a strongly anti-Indian and anti-Hindu bias in its curriculum. For example, one social studies textbook from the Punjab Textbook Board declares that “the Hindus in Pakistan were treated very nicely when they were migrating as opposed to the inhuman treatment meted out to the Muslim migrants from India.” A report from the National Commission for Justice and Peace also found that in many textbooks in Pakistan, the word Hindu “rarely appears in a sentence without an adjective such as politically astute, sly, or manipulative.”

All of these observations leave out another aspect of education in Pakistan that has gained international attention in the last decade: privately run, radical Islamic madrassas. Many of these religious schools have been accused of affiliating with organizations like the Taliban and cultivating scores of young terrorists. While these schools are of concern to many observers, it is the state-driven indoctrination that remains the bigger worry. As the SDPI report notes, “the educational material in the government run schools do much more than madrassas. The textbooks tell lies, create hatred, inculcate militancy, and much more.”

Since Pakistan was a state created on the basis of Islamic identity, religion continued to play a critical political role in consolidating nationhood. Indeed, other than Islam, Pakistan only possessed a negative identity: it was Pakistan because it was not India. Thus, religion was the integral tool for cohesion among these disparate and diverse peoples. How exactly this cohesion was to be achieved became a major component of Pakistan’s identity crisis.

 

Following the death of Jinnah in 1948, just one year after independence, Islam in Pakistan remained in limbo. The founding father had never fully articulated the role religion would play in the state. Instead, he had cast a big tent over diverse viewpoints during the process of independence. As Cohen writes in The Idea of Pakistan, Jinnah’s arguments were “deliberately vague” in order to “muster support for independence and opposition to Hindu domination, but not to build a consensus on the kind of state Pakistan was to become.” Subsequently, different interpretations of Jinnah’s intent emerged. Many saw his inaugural speech as a call for secularism and a rejection of overtly pro-Muslim rhetoric. Others, particularly those in the military, began to adopt a more militant and jingoistic view of Islam to suppress what they thought was continued Hindu subversion from India through issues like the Kashmir dispute and the East Pakistani independence movement.

With the rise of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the early 1970s and the “Islamization” of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in the late 1970s, Pakistani secularism, as embodied in Jinnah’s inaugural address, effectively disappeared from the country’s political system. By this point, the struggle for the country’s identity had come down to two rival discourses of Islam. In her book Making Sense of Pakistan, British-Pakistani scholar Farzana Shaikh observes that one of them was communal, and favored the Muslim ruling elites and military, while the second was Islamist, and grounded in a radical reading of Islam. In Shaikh’s perception, this dichotomy, “rather than any disjunction between a ‘secular’ leadership and a ‘religious’ establishment,” has defined Pakistan’s crisis of identity.

Today, we see this conflict continue to play out through the division between Pakistan’s powerful military elite, which still views Indian subversion as Pakistan’s biggest threat and supports radical Islamist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba because they plot against their longtime rival, and Pakistan’s radical clerics and Islamist groups like the Pakistani Taliban, who view domestic political institutions and leaders, as well as India and the West, as enemies. This conflict explains the contradiction in which the Pakistani military is eager to weed out domestic terrorists that assassinate political figures and bomb its major cities, but concurrently funds and supports domestic-based terrorists that further Pakistani strategic interests.

But even in 1944, three years before Pakistan’s independence from the British Empire, there were signs of internecine division—rooted in these conflicting discourses of Islam—in what would become the new Muslim nation. Abul Mansur Ahmed, a writer and president of the Bengal Muslim League, declared that ”Religion and culture are not the same thing. Religion transgresses the geographical boundary but tamaddum (culture) cannot go beyond the geographical boundary. . . . For this reason the people of Purba [East] Pakistan are a different nation from the people of the other provinces of India and from the “religious brothers” of Pakistan.” Such sentiments foreshadowed a future of ethnic discord within Pakistan. Instead of allowing ethnic groups like the Bengali movement to operate within the Pakistani federal framework, it resorted to more centralization, consolidation of power, and even military brutality.

The uncertainty over the correct course for Pakistan created significant political instability, and internal conflicts played out through a similar series of coups and undemocratic power shifts. The first was in 1958, when President Iskander Mirza suspended the 1956 constitution due to political instability and declared martial law, only to be deposed by the military chief he appointed, Ayub Khan. In 1977, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq deposed the ruling Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto during a period of unrest within the ruling Pakistan People’s Party. Two years later, Bhutto was sentenced to death for murder in a shady trial with significant political meddling from Zia-ul-Haq and numerous judges.

Perhaps the most notable example of this political instability is the aftermath of the 1970 elections in Pakistan. With a larger population, Bengali-speaking East Pakistan had been allocated 162 seats in Parliament while the less populated, Urdu-speaking West Pakistan had 138. That year, as the popularity of the pro-Bengali Awami League party in the East reached an apex, it won 160 of the 162 seats in Parliament, while Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) won only 88 out of the 138 seats. So it appeared that parliamentary power would shift over to East Pakistan and that the Awami League would appoint the new prime minister from their party. But Bhutto refused a power-sharing deal and declared that no national government could be formed without the consent of his PPP. As this tension escalated into a general strike across East Pakistan, the West Pakistani–dominated military responded with categorical harshness, and in one particularly violent episode massacred a large number of students at a university that was perceived to be a center of resistance to the regime. Ultimately, these events led to the bloody Bangladesh Liberation War and the independence of East Pakistan from the West in 1971.

By attempting to forcibly create a uniform language, public education, and religion, Pakistan became an unstable society, building a political and economic system over a weak foundation. Tumultuous political transitions have been commonplace in the Pakistani polity since independence, and infighting within political parties has created new parties simply based on the cult of a single personality such as former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. The majority of Pakistani citizens, particularly those in the lower and middle classes, simply have been stuck in the middle of a country struggling to define its raison d’être—and have suffered the consequences: political instability, ideological and cultural persecution, and economic immiseration.

 

In Making Sense of Pakistan, Farzana Shaikh argues that her country’s “problematic and contested relationship with Islam” prevents the country from achieving a coherent national identity and stability as a nation-state. She finds that while this “perennial uncertainty” with Islam created a world “in trouble from the start,” a newly formed civil society, emancipated media, and intellectual community in Pakistan have entered a paradigm shift in which they are reengaging with the common history of South Asia and working to create a more grounded, normal country.

The next challenge for these leaders of public thought, then, will be to justify this social awakening to the political, military, and religious elites in their country, so that they also recognize the multiethnic, multicultural nature of the Pakistani state. Instead of consolidating “Pakistaniness” through an artificial conception of South Asian history or by returning to the ambiguous pseudo-secularism of Jinnah—as some young Pakistanis have pushed for in recent years—Pakistanis can work together to decentralize the country’s governance to pre-existing political structures within states such as Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan, for example. A recognition that Pakistan is nothing more than a confederation of diverse ethnicities, religions, and cultural traditions that just happens to be Muslim-majority will be a difficult but necessary step in the process of renovation.

But it is hard to see how the paradigm shift that Shaikh describes can fully occur until structures such as the military and intelligence services are divested of their centralized power and influence. A confederative system cannot survive in the shadow of a powerful military elite. Nevertheless, the military will retain an important role in eradicating elements within the country that threaten its stability and the stability of its neighbors—in other words, Islamist terrorist groups.

Indeed, as has been noted by Dr. Shaikh, Stephen Cohen, and other observers, Pakistan’s success, in the long run, will require a direct re-examination of the country’s complicated relationship with Islam. Political Islam, which has been a recurring component of the country’s history from the day its “idea” first emerged, does not seem to fit into the new definition of the state’s legitimacy. Rather, this legitimacy will be derived from the simple fact that Pakistan now has its own history, its own cultural tendencies, and its own administrative structure—none of which it had at its founding. As Shaikh concludes, it must reengage with this history (and its extensive ties with “Hindu” India) rather than search for a unique South Asian “Muslimness” that does not exist and never has.

But devolving Islam from the official state apparatus does not mean that Islam itself would be removed from the state. Instead, the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” would merely become the “Republic of Pakistan” that just happens to be Muslim-majority. Stephen Cohen envisions a society that resembles “Catholic Poland or Jewish Israel, or Buddhist Sri Lanka and Thailand, with religion playing an ancillary but ultimately subordinate role.” It would be a society that vindicates the views of Maulana Azad and the other Muslim dissenters in the Indian independence movement who argued that Islam, a universal religion in their minds, should not associate itself with the earthly matters of nationalism or politics.

While these steps may appear far-fetched given the tumult and violence emerging from Pakistan on a daily basis, they are not radical reforms but rather gradual changes based on the existing structure of Pakistani society. They do not re-draw borders, dismantle institutions, or deny the right of existence for the state of Pakistan; they simply stress the need for soul-searching and, ultimately, comfort with a new, reformed “idea of Pakistan” that is neither revolutionary nor reactionary.

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Lashkar-e-Taiba

Posted by mymyboli on March 29, 2014

 Lashkar-e-Taiba
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Lashkar-e-Taiba Description: This symbol features a blue circle enclosed by a black border. The center image includes a black AK-47 rifle, placed against a yellow sun, that extends vertically from an open, green Qur’an. Above the rifle is a black, semi-circular Qur’anic phrase that reads, in Arabic, “And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.” The white, Arabic lettering, which is set against a red background, bears the group’s original name: Markaz al-Dawa wa al-Irshad (the Center for Preaching and Guidance).Explanation: The Qur’an signifies the centrality of Islam to Laskhar-e-Taiba’s ideology and highlights the group’s goal to establish an Islamic caliphate in Kashmir and India. The Qur’an is depicted in green, a color that has represented Islam since the days of the Prophet Muhammad, while the sun represents the wisdom and righteousness that emanate from the Qur’an. The rifle and the Qur’anic inscription above it symbolize Laskhar-e-Taiba’s commitment to violent jihad to establish a society based on Islamic precepts.

Name Variations
Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Al Mansooreen, Army of the Pure, Army of the Righteous, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Pasban-e-Ahle-Hadith, Pasban-e-Kashmir, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq

Overview
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) is a Pakistani-based terrorist organization that seeks to drive out Indian security forces from Kashmir and establish an Islamic caliphate in the surrounding region. In recent years, LET and its leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, have embraced a more global agenda that advocates terrorism and propagates virulent rhetoricagainst the U.S., Israel and other perceived enemies, according to the U.S. State Department.

In November 2008, 10 suspected LET gunmen carried out a series of coordinated terror attacks against several locations frequented by Western tourists in Mumbai, killing more than 170 people and injuring approximately 300 others. Although LET never claimed responsibility for the attacks, one of the gunmen captured by Indian authorities reportedly admitted that he belongs to LET and trained with the other gunmen at LET camps in Pakistan in preparation for the attacks. American citizen David Coleman Headley has also admitted to conducting surveillance of the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement and the other targeted locations and providing members of LET with pictures, videos and descriptions of the various targets. India’s National Investigation Agency and the FBI have reportedly confirmed that LET was planning coordinated attacks against other Jewish targets in 2010 or 2011.
LET was founded in the early 1990s as the armed wing of Markaz al-Dawa wa al-Irshad, an Islamic extremist organization and charity that recruited volunteers to fight with the Taliban against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. LET was established with the aid of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, which also opposes Indian presence in Kashmir and provided LET with funding, weapons and intelligence until the U.S. designated LET as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in December 2001 and Pakistan banned it the following month.

After the ban, LET renamed itself Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) and posed as a charitable organization to evade sanctions. In January 2009, JUD reportedly change its name to Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awal, although the group appears to still have the same leaders and ideology.

According to the U.S. State Department, LET has several thousand members in Pakistan and Kashmir, most of whom are Pakistani and Afghan veterans of the Afghan wars. LET is also strengthened through collaborations with other terrorist groups comprised of non-Pakistanis, and, after a senior Al Qaeda leader was captured in an LET safe house in March 2002, has been linked to Al Qaeda.

Focus of Operations
Pakistan, India, Kashmir

Major Attacks

  • November 26–29, 2008: A series of coordinated attacks against a railway station, a popular restaurant, a hospital, two hotels and a Jewish Center: more than 170 killed, approximately 300 injured.
  • July 11, 2006: Coordinated bombings on Mumbai commuter trains: more than 180 killed, more than 800 injured.
  • October 29, 2005: Three coordinated bombings in New Delhi markets and on a bus: at least 63 killed, more than 200 injured.
  • August 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai: 52 killed, 150 injured.
  • September 24, 2002: Raid on Akshardam Temple in Gujarat: 33 killed, 70 injured.
  • May 14, 2002: Attack on Indian Army base in Kaluchak: 36 killed, 48 injured.
  • December 13, 2001: Gunmen attack the Parliament of India in New Delhi in coordination with the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed: nine dead, 18 injured.

 Leaders

  • Co-Founder and Leader: Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
  • Co-Founder and Chief of Operations: Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi a.k.a. Abdullah Azam
  • Military Commander: Maulana Abdul Wahid Kashmiri
  • Chief of Finance: Haji Muhammad Ashraf
  • Financier: Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq

Ideology
LET subscribes to the strict fundamentalist interpretation of Islam upheld in the Wahhabi theological tradition. Based on this radical interpretation of Islam, which is closely related to that associated with Al Qaeda, LET seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate and has declared the U.S., Israel and India as existential enemies of Islam.

Goals
LET seeks to drive out Indian security forces from Kashmir and establish an Islamic caliphate in the surrounding region. In recent years, LET’s agenda has embraced a more global and anti-Western ideology that considers the U.S., Israel and India its primary enemies. As part of this campaign, LET has vowed that it will plant the “flag of Islam” in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi.

Methods
LET has conducted terrorist operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Kashmir using assault rifles, light and heavy machine guns, mortars, explosives and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the U.S. State Department. LET has also carried out several high-profile attacks against civilian and military targets in India, including suicide bombings and conventional assault tactics.

Sponsors
LET was established with the aid of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), which also opposes Indian presence in Kashmir. The ISI allegedly provided LET with funding, weapons, intelligence and instruction in exchange for promising to confine its attacks to target Hindus in Kashmir. This financial and logistical support seemingly ended in January 2002 when Pakistan banned the group and froze its assets, following the United States designation of LET as a foreign terrorist organization the previous month.

According to the U.S. State Department, LET receives donations from Pakistani expatriate communities in the Middle East and the U.K., as well as from Islamic NGOs and businessmen. Additionally, LET receives funds by siphoning recourses from the charitable activities of its front organizations, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation.

U.S.-Related Activities                  

  • Jubair Ahmad, a legal permanent resident from Pakistan was arrested in September 2011 for providing material support to LET. He had received religious and military training at LET camps in Pakistan prior to moving to the U.S., where he produced a propaganda video for the group on YouTube.
  • In March 2010, American citizen David Coleman Headley pleaded guilty to helping plan the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, in which more than 170 people were killed. Headley conducted reconnaissance of the targeted locations and provided members of LET with pictures, videos and descriptions of the various targets prior to the attacks. Headley has also been implicated in several other apparent LET plots, including a plot to attack the offices and employees of a Danish newspaper, a plot to attack Jewish locations in five different cities in India and a plot to attack the U.S. and Indian embassies in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • American citizen Ahmad Abousamra, who currently remains at large, was charged in November 2009 with, among other things, providing material support to terrorists. He allegedly made two trips to Pakistan in 2002 to join the Taliban and LET, but failed in his attempt. Abousamra was charged in the same indictment as Tarek Mehanna, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Egypt who was arrested in Massachusetts in September 2009.
  • In the summer of 2009, American citizen Ehsanul Islam Sadequee and Syed Haris Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, were convicted of attempting to join LET and of shooting casing videos of U.S. landmarks for potential terrorist attacks in the Washington, D.C. area.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on four senior LET leaders in May 2008 in an effort to stifle LET’s fundraising and operational capabilities. Those designated include Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq.
  • In 2007, American citizen Mahmud Faruq Brent was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring to send aid to LET and attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. Tariq Shah, an American-born Muslim convert who was sentenced in 2007 to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda, trained Brent in martial arts and urban warfare “as part of the conspiracy to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba,” according to court documents.
  • A group of ten men, dubbed the “Virginia Jihad Network” by prosecutors, were convicted in Virginia on terrorism charges related to LET between 2003 and 2005. The leader of the group, Ali al-Timimi, an American-born Muslim cleric, urged the men to train at LET terrorist camps. The men trained with weapons in Virginia and seven of the defendants traveled to Pakistan to train with LET.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department froze LET’s assets in December 2001 before it was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department later that month. In April 2008, the U.S. designated Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) as an alias of LET, blocking all property and interests in property of JUD.
  • Source – http://archive.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/lashkaretaiba.html

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