Objective The LeT's professed ideology goes beyond merely challenging India's sovereignty over the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Lashkar's agenda, as outlined in a pamphlet titled "Why are we waging jihad", includes the restoration of Islamic rule over all parts of South Asia, Russia and even China, establishing a Muslim caliphate. Further, the outfit is based on a sort of Islamist fundamentalism preached by its mentor, the JuD. It seeks to bring about a union of all Muslim majority regions in countries that surround Pakistan. In its history the organisation has shown scant respect for human life and has carried out violent activities.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (literally Army of the Good, translated as Army of the Righteous, or Army of the Pure) — also transliterated as Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Lashkar-i-Taiba, or LeT — is one of the largest and most active militant organizations in South Asia. It was founded by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Zafar Iqbal in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, and is currently based near Lahore, Pakistan operating several training camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. It started as the armed wing of Markaz ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (Proselytization and Guidance Center). The latter has since been renamed as Jama'at-ud-Da'wah and is described as a charity. Lashkar-e-Taiba members have carried out major attacks against India and its objective is to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to 'liberate' Muslims residing in Indian administered Kashmir. Some breakaway Lashkar members have also been accused of carrying out attacks in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, to mark its opposition to the policies of President Pervez Musharraf. The organization is banned as a terrorist organization by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia.
 History This article or section has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page. (December 2008)
Lashkar-e-Taiba received backing in the 1980s by the CIA and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in order to fight against the Soviet Union-backed government of Afghanistan, with the CIA building sprawling bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan to train thousands of radical Islamic guerrilla fighters. While the CIA allegedly ceased its support after the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, many sources claim the ISI has continued secretly to support LeT. Formed in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, the Lashkar-e-Taiba is the armed wing of the Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI), an Islamic fundamentalist organization of the Ahle-Hadith sect in Pakistan. The MDI is based in Muridke near Lahore, Pakistan. It has subsequently changed its name to Jama'at-ud-Da'wah and is headed by Prof. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is also the amir of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Jama'at-ud-Da'wah is suspected of financing the LeT. Its first presence in Jammu and Kashmir was recorded in 1993 when 12 Pakistani and Afghan mercenaries infiltrated across the Line of Control (LoC) in tandem with the Islami Inquilabi Mahaz, another Islamic military organization then active in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Following the U.S. classification of LeT as a foreign terrorist organization, which put pressure on the Pakistani government to curb overt activities of the organization, the top leadership of MDI initiated a reshuffle of the parent organization. Presently, the MDI claims that it has been reorganized into two independent wings, one exclusively devoted to preaching of Islam with Prof. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed as its chief, the other to carry on its violent campaign in Kashmir under the leadership of Kashmiri scholar Maulana Abdul Wahid Kashmiri.
Unlike other militant groups in Pakistan, it was not responsible for sectarian violence in Pakistan until it was officially banned by the Government of Pakistan. Though banned in 2002, clandestine support by Pakistani army and intelligence officers is often mentioned in media reports. The Pakistan government categorically denies providing any support to LeT. The party JUD is legal in Pakistan, although it was banned by the United States in April 2006. The head was arrested by Pakistan, possibly under pressure from the United States.
The declaration of LeT as a terrorist organization by the United States Secretary of State in 2003 preserves the U.S. Government's ability to take action against them in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, making it illegal for persons in the United States or areas subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide material support to this terrorist group. It requires U.S. financial institutions to block assets held by them; and it enables them to deny visas to representatives of this group. But as with various other militant organizations LeT continues their operations, accounts and other activities through sister organizations that have not come under the scrutiny of the U.S. and Pakistani governments.
The LeT's professed ideology goes beyond merely challenging India's sovereignty over the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Lashkar's agenda, as outlined in a pamphlet titled "Why are we waging jihad", includes the restoration of Islamic rule over all parts of South Asia, Russia and even China. Further, the outfit is based on a sort of Islamist fundamentalism preached by its mentor, the JuD. It seeks to bring about a union of all Muslim majority regions in countries that surround Pakistan. In its history the organisation has shown scant respect for human life and has carried out violent activities. Many of its objectives are inspired by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. With the American presence and military pressure in Afghanistan, the ISI lost its protégé organisation – the Taliban's strategic utility.[clarification needed] Organisations like the LeT have been used to absorb the resilient remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives in the region.
The outfit had claimed that it had assisted the Taliban militia and Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan during November and December 2002 in their fight against the US-aided Northern Alliance.
 Key current personnel Hafiz Muhammad Saeed - Living in Pakistan - Founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and amir of its political arm, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi - In custody of Pakistan military - Senior member of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Named as being one of the masterminds of the Mumbai attack. Yusuf Muzammil - Status Unknown, Presumed living in Pakistan - Senior member of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Named as mastermind of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks by surviving gunman Ajmal Kamal.. Zarrar Shah - presumed living in Pakistan - one of Lashkar-e-Taiba's primary liaisons to the ISI. "He's a central character in this plot," (November 2008 Mumbai attacks) an American official said.
 Leadership and command structure This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (November 2008)
The outfit's headquarters was located in the MDI's complex at Muridke near Lahore until late 2001 when they had to shift its headquarters from Muridke to Muzaffarabad; this was undertaken mainly for political reasons (including detachment from Jama'at-ud-Da'wah and pressure from the Pakistan government) for a free Kashmir state, although the MDI has claimed that the LeT has shifted all its facilities and offices because the outfit needed more space and since it formed a new General Council.
The new Council comprises Maulana Abdul Wahid (the Supreme Leader), with Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi as the "Supreme Commander" within Jammu & Kashmir. Other members of the General Council are: Abdullah of Anantnag (Islamabad), Haji Mohammad Azam of Poonch, Muzammil Butt of Doda, Mohammad Umair of Baramullah, Chaudhri Abdullah Khalid Chauhan of Bagh, Rafiq Akhtar of Muzaffarabad, Aftab Hussain of Kotli, Faisal Dar of Srinagar, Chaudhri Yusuf of Mirpur, Maulana Mohammad Sharif Balghari of Baltistan
Until these new organisational changes, the organisational level of the Lashkar-e-Taiba was led by its Amir, Prof. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and the operational chief of the outfit was reported to be 'commander' Saifullah. Organisation's field structure in Jammu & Kashmir is organised at district levels with 'district commanders' in charge. Within Pakistan, the outfit has a network of training camps and branch offices, which undertake recruitment and fundraising.
While the organisation receives increasing inspiration from Al-Qaeda, it also has close links with rogue elements in the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. This owes its roots in the policy of successive Pakistani elements using terrorism, particularly against India, with strategic flexibility.
 Funding Until 2002 the group collected funds through public fundraising events, usually using charity boxes in shops and mosques. They assisted victims after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. In many instances, they were the first on the scene, arriving before the army or other civilians.
A large amount of funds collected for charities within Europe, mostly by misleading the Pakistani-Muslim community in Britain, are funneled for the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba. There have been countless investigations indicating the aid given for earthquake victims was directly involved to expand Lashkar-e-Taiba's activities within India. Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives have been apprehended in India, where they have been obtaining funds from sections of the Muslim Community. The outfit also collects donations from the Pakistani immigrant community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic Non-Governmental Organisations, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen.
 Activities The group actively carries out attacks on Indian Armed Forces in Kashmir and Jammu and still operates in the jungles in Pakistan. It is considered a well-trained group.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba group has repeatedly claimed through its journals and websites that its main aim is to destroy the Indian republic and to annihilate Hinduism and Judaism. LeT has declared Hindus and Jews to be the "enemies of Islam", as well as India and Israel to be the "enemies of Pakistan".
The group reportedly conducts training camps and humanitarian work with regards to the earthquake. These camps have long been trained by the Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency because of their usefulness against India and in Afghanistan, though they have reportedly been told not to mount any operations for now. Lashkar-e-Taiba had links to Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, however Jama'at-ud-Da'wah publicly retracted any association with them after the United States Department of State declared Lashkar-e-Taiba to be a terrorist organisation.
Several American Muslims, including members of the so-called "Virginia Jihad Network," were convicted of training at LeT camps in Kashmir and Pakistan.
 Designation as terrorist group On March 28, 2001, in Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 1261, British Home Secretary Jack Straw designated the group a Proscribed Terrorist Organization under the Terrorism Act 2000.
On December 5, 2001, the group was added to the Terrorist Exclusion List. In a notification dated December 26, 2001, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, designated Lashkar-e-Taiba a Foreign Terrorist Organisation.
It is banned in India as a designated terrorist group under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
It was listed as a terrorist organisation in Australia under the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002 on 11 April 2003 and was re-listed 11 April 2005 and 31 March 2007.
On 2 May it was placed on the Consolidated List established and maintained by the Committee established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 as an entity associated with al-Qaeda.
Lashkar-e-Taiba was banned in Pakistan in 2002.
 Operational strategies Compared to other groups in J&K, the LeT has commanded significant attention primarily due to two reasons. First, for its well planned and executed attacks on security force (SF) targets in the State and second, for the dramatic massacres of non-Muslim civilians. After the Kargil War of May-July 1999, (when Pakistani troops and insurgents, including those of the Lashkar, were forced to withdraw from peaks on the Indian side of the Line of Control - LoC), the outfit launched its 'suicide attacks' strategy whereby small groups (2-5 members) of fidayeen (suicide squads) would storm a security force camp or base. In another frequently used strategy, groups of Lashkar insurgents, dressed in SF fatigues, would arrive at remote hill villages, round up Hindu or Sikh civilians, and massacre them. These two strategies have been designed to achieve maximum publicity and extract public allegiance, mainly out of fear. On December 8, 2001, two LeT fidayeen managed to penetrate inside a security force convoy and opened fire killing one personnel. They were able to generate adequate confusion to escape from the convoy after the attack but were later killed in an encounter with another SF unit.
In some fidayeen attacks launched by the LeT, the fighters entrenched themselves inside the camp, killing as many SF personnel as they could, before they were themselves killed. In one such instance, two Lashkar fidayeen stormed an SF base at Wazir Bagh in Srinagar, on March 26, 2001, and shot dead four personnel before being killed. In certain incidents, members of the squad are reported to have successfully fled after the initial attack. Such was the case at Mendhar in Rajouri district, on December 16, 2000 as also at Mahore, Udhampur district, on November 5, 2000.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to a news report of December 17, 2001, was responsible for 35 of the 42 such suicide attacks carried out since 1999. More than the number of casualties of the security forces, it is the psychological impact of these attacks that has led to the Lashkar gaining widespread attention.
LeT cadres, unlike other militants, are known to prefer death in an encounter with the security forces rather than be arrested. For instance, in 1997, the largest group of militants killed in clashes with the security forces belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Majority of the massacres of unarmed Hindus and Sikhs between March 1997 and October 2001 have reportedly been carried out by the LeT. One instance is the murder of 23 persons in Wandhama on January 23, 1988. A second instance is the June 19, 1998, massacre in which 25 members of a wedding party in Doda, Jammu were killed. The extreme level of brutality, which sets Lashkar-e-Taiba apart from other rebel outfits that operated in Kashmir before, is evident in the Wandhama massacre, where children as young as one year old were killed along with women and defenseless men.
 Role in India-Pakistan relations Pakistan denies giving orders to Lashkar-e-Taiba's activities. However, the Indian government and many non-governmental think-tanks allege that the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence is involved with the group. The situation with LeT causes considerable strain in Indo-Pakistani relations, which are already mired in suspicion and mutual distrust.
 Area of operation While the primary area of operations of the Lashkar-e-Taiba's militant activities is the Kashmir valley, the outfit is also active in the Jammu region besides having undertaken isolated attacks in other parts of India. The Lashkar is reported to have conducted several of its major operations in tandem with the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. The Kashmiri cadre of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen provides vital knowledge of the ground conditions in the target zone, while the highly trained and motivated LeT insurgents undertake the attack.
The LeT was also reported to have been directed by the ISI to widen its network in the Jammu region where a considerable section of the populace comprised Punjabis. The LeT has a large number of activists who hail from Pakistani Punjab and can thus effectively penetrate into Jammu society.
News reports, citing security forces, said that the latter suspect that in the December 13, 2001 attack on India's Parliament in New Delhi, a joint group from the LeT and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) were involved. The attack precipitated the 2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff. The LeT was also held responsible by the government for the December 23, 2000 attack in Red Fort, New Delhi. LeT confirmed its participation in the Red Fort attack and its involvement in the Parliament attack.
LeT cadres have also been arrested from different cities of India. On May 27, a LeT militant was arrested from Hajipur in Gujarat. On August 15, 2001, a LeT militant was arrested from Bhatinda in Punjab. The LeT has also built contacts with other Islamist militant outfits active in India. An arrested activist of the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), is reported to have confessed during interrogation on August 21, 2001, that two LeT militant had held discussions with SIMI's Malegaon unit in Mumbai on August 6, 2001 to carry out subversive activities in the State of Maharashtra.
 External linkages Links with other Terrorist outfits The Lashkar-e-Taiba was created to participate in the Mujahideen conflict against the Najibullah regime in Afghanistan. In the process, the outfit developed deep linkages with Afghanistan and has several Afghan nationals in its cadre. The outfit had also cultivated links with the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan and also with Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network. Even while refraining from openly displaying these links, the LeT office in Muridke was reportedly used as a transit camp for third country recruits heading for Afghanistan. A news report in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the U.S. has indicated that the outfit provides individuals for the outer circle of bin Laden's personal security. The LeT maintains ties to various religious/military terror groups around the world, ranging from the Philippines to the Middle East and Chechnya primarily through the MDI fraternal network.
External Fund Sources The outfit collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen. Reports also indicate that the LeT receives considerable financial, material and other forms of assistance from the Pakistan government, routed primarily through the ISI. Pakistan's security agencies are reported to be providing training to the outfit. A December 13, 2001 news report cited a LeT spokesperson as saying that the outfit wanted to avoid a clash with the Pakistani Government. He claimed, even though the government has been an ardent supporter of all Muslim freedom movements, particularly that of Kashmir, in the present conditions a clash was possible because of the sudden wedge that appeared between the interests of the government and those of militant outfits active in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the declaration of LeT operatives, the Pakistan Army, particularly in the borders with India (the International Border and the Line of Control - LoC) aids members of the outfit in their infiltration, extraction and clashes with Indian security forces near the borders by providing covering fire..
Support to Foreign Terror Outfits in Pakistan While the primary focus for the Lashkar is the operations in Indian Kashmir , it has frequently provided support to other international terrorist outfits. Primary among these is the Al-Qaeda Network in Afghanistan. Lashkar operatives have been known to have participated in terrorist operations in Afghanistan and several other regions. A leading Al-Qaeda operative Abu-Zubayadah[] who was the operational chief of Al-Qaeda after the death of Mohammed Atef was caught in a Lashkar safehouse at Faislabad in Pakistan. The Markaz campus at Muridke in Lahore, its headquarters, was used as a hide-out for Ramzi Yousef and Mir Aimal Kansi, who was convicted and sentenced to death for killing two Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers outside the CIA's headquarters in Washington in January 1993.
 Role in Afghanistan Guantanamo detainee Khalid Bin Abdullah Mishal Thamer Al Hameydani's Combatant Status Review Tribunal said that he had received training via Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Combatant Status Review Tribunals of Taj Mohammed and Rafiq Bin Bashir Bin Jalud Al Hami, and the Administrative Review Board hearing of Abdullah Mujahid and Zia Ul Shah allege that they too were members or former members of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Also, the Lashkar is claimed to have operated a military camp in post-Sept 11 Afghanistan, and extending support to the ousted Taliban regime.
 Recent focus on Lashkar-e-Taiba In March 2000, Lashkar-e-Taiba militants are claimed to have been involved in the Chittisinghpura massacre, where 35 Sikhs in the town of Chittisinghpura in Kashmir were killed. An LeT militant who was arrested in December of the year admitted to the involvement of the group and had no regret in perpetrating the anti-Sikh massacre. 2005 London bombings: Links to Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al-Qaeda involved. 2005 Delhi bombings: During Diwali, Lashkar-e-Taiba bombed crowded festive Delhi markets killing 60 civilians and maiming 527. 2006 Varanasi bombings: Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in serial blasts in Hindu city in the state of Utter Pradesh. Thirty seven people died and 89 were seriously injured. 2006 Mumbai train bombings: The investigation launched by Indian forces and US officials have pointed to the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Mumbai serial blasts on 11 July 2006. The Mumbai serial blasts on 11th July claimed 211 lives and maimed about 407 people and seriously injured another 768. 2006 blasts at Malegaon: The investigation, presently in its early stages, point to the Lashkar-e-Taiba as suspects. They have had connections with Malegaon's radical Islamist organisations. Alternate theories involving the Bajrang Dal as the perpetrators are also being considered, however, no evidence points to the involvement of Bajrang Dal, and the modus operandi of the attacks are more consistent with Islamist terror outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The recent finding by ATS states an Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharti is the main suspect in the Malegaon attacks. An Indian Army colonel is also involved along with a shadvi[clarification needed]. On September 12, 2006 the propaganda arm of the Lashkar-e-Taiba issued a fatwa against Pope Benedict XVI demanding that Muslims assassinate him for his controversial statements about Muhammad (for details see Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy) On September 16, 2006, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, Abu Saad, was killed by the troops of 9-Rashtriya Rifles in Nandi Marg forest in Kulgam. Saad belongs to Lahore in Pakistan and also oversaw LeT operations for the past three years in Gul Gulabhgash as the outfit's area commander. Apart from a large quantity of arms and ammunition, high denomination Indian and Pakistani currencies were also recovered from the slain militant. On July 31, 2008, Webnewswire, a leading Indian newswire, released 'Undisputed proof that Lashker-e-Taiba is (or was) based in Pakistan.' It lists information available in public sources such as archive.org to prove that the organisation was based in Pakistan. In November 2008, Lashkar-e-Taiba has been suspected but has denied being a part of the Mumbai attacks. According to reports, the lone gunman captured by Indian authorities now admits the attacks were planned and executed by the organization. US intelligence sources have confirmed that there is mounting evidence that Lashkar-e-Taiba is behind the attacks.  On 7th December 2008, under pressure from USA and India Pakistani army launched an operation against LeT and Jamat-ud-Dawa to arrest people suspected of 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
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