The explosions on the India-to-Pakistan passenger train late Feb. 18, 2004 were caused by timed incendiary devices (TIDs), rather than by much more commonly used improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Although this appears to be the first TID attack against India's rail system, the technology in these timers is not new. German army plotters, for example, used a similar device in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944. Furthermore, similar attacks using TIDs were attempted on trains traveling in western Germany in August 2006, though the devices failed to ignite. Four people were taken into custody in Lebanon and Germany in connection with the potentially devastating plot. Although the attack in Germany failed, this latest firebombing sets a potentially dangerous precedent, especially since TIDs can be more easily constructed -- and with more readily available materials -- than more complex high-explosive IEDs.
Lashkar-e- Taiba was the first organization to carry out suicide attacks in Kashmir. It claimed to have carried out more than fifty suicide missions against security forces, while the Jaish-i-Mohammed, which followed its example, was supposedly responsible for thirty such missions since 2001.( Azmat Abbas, "The Making of a Militant;' Herald (Karachi), July 2003, p. 58).
Although it has changed its name, Lashkar-e- Taiba has remained a prominent jihadi organization of Ahl-e-Hadith persuasion. There are differences among and within Islam's two schools of thought on the meaning, purpose, and means of carrying out jihad. Many organizations of the Ahl-e-Hadith sect support only "greater jihad:' which calls for self-purification. They consider militant jihad a "lesser" struggle, which, in the case of Kashmir , can only be justified if "the oppression of the Kashmiri people will be alleviated and an Islamic state will be established there .... However, when it is evident to any sensible person that our struggle will not yield the above results, why should we waste our resources and energy there?" (Abu Fattada, "Open the Lock with the Key;' Siratul Mustaqeem, June 1995, p. 22).
At the other end of the spectrum is Jamaat-al-Dawa and its military wing, Lashkar-e- Taiba, which considers militant jihad "absolutely obligatory:' It vows to do jihad until certain objectives are achieved:
Muslims should fight as long as a dispute persists; it is obligatory for Muslims to fight till Allah's kingdom is established in the world; and till they finish all governments by infidels and extract jeziya [tax] from them; if oppression is going on in any part of the world, Muslims should fight it till it is removed; if any infidel kills a Muslim, we should fight to avenge it; if any nation perpetrates a breach of contract against Muslims, it is obligatory to fight with that nation; when any nation takes an aggressive posture on Muslims, we should fight in self-defense; if the infidels encroach upon any part of a Muslim land, it is obligatory to fight them and restore it. The last point identifies such lands that must be reclaimed. It includes Andalusia ( Spain ), Palestine and the whole of India (including Kashmir, Hyderabad , Assam , Bihar, Junagarh), and Nepal and Burma . It also mentions other countries such as Bulgaria , Hungary , Sicily , Russian Turkistan, and Chinese Turkistan. Abdul Salam bin Mohammad, Why We Do Jihad? (Department of Communication and Publications of AI-Dawa, May 1999).
Nonetheless, dominant jihadi organizations of both schools of thought practice militant jihad and share a pan-Islamic agenda, which has shaped their political discourse. The proponents of a transnational Islamic identity define the millat as the world's entire Muslim population. Their self-professed goal is to establish a grand Islamic state stretching across the Middle East, Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia, similar to the Islamic Caliphate of medieval times. (Riyaz Punjabi, "The Concept of Islamic Caliphate: The Religious and Ethnic Pulls of Kashmir Militant Movement;' United Kashmir Journal, May-June 1994, p. 2).
The Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami manifesto, for instance, states that "the prime purpose of this Jamaat is dominance of Islam all over the world . . . . [W] e will never rest content until we attain a threefold objective: freedom of all occupied Muslim areas, complete protection of all Muslim minorities and the regaining ofIslamic glory:' It offers to serve as "a second line of defence of each Muslim country."A political pamphlet of Harkat-ul-Ansar (n.d.). See also Kamran Khan, "Harkatul-Ansar: Pakistan 's Islamist Commandos Engaged in jihad Worldwide," News ( Lahore ), February 13, 1995. According to Abu Jindal, a Harkat-ul-Ansar member apprehended by the army at Charar-i-Sharif, "Jihad means to kill all those who are not Muslims. Only Muslims who practice the religion truly should live, [and the] rest [of] all the people should be put to death." An army officer's conversation with Abu Jindal as told to the author. See also his interview in Kashmir Times, May 17, 1995.
Muhammad Amir Rana’s ,in A to Z Of Jehadi Organizations In Pakistan ( 2004) details:
Organizational network of Lashkar-e- Taiba: Punjab 30; Sindh 7; Azad Kashmir 2; and Jhelum, Kabirwala, Kehrorpacca, Tonsa, Moro, Shehdadpur, Dadoo, Jafarabad, Badain, Jaam Nawaiz Ali, Obaaro (Ghotaki), Rawalkot, Bhamber, Kotli, Wailamgarh, and Muzaffarabad. Total 55. Training camps: After the closure of camps in Afghanistan and Manshera, only five LT camps were working: Tayyaba, Aqsa, Ummul Qura, Abdullah bin Masood, and Markaz Muhammad bin Qasim. It also has ten madaris.
Sources of funding: Funds are collected within Pakistan and abroad. About Rs 20 crores were collected in 2001 as follows: External Affairs, 2 crore; profit of Dar-al Andalus, 80 lakhs; Students' Department, 35 lakhs; hides of sacrificed animals, 2.5 crore; Department of Women, 70 lakhs; Department of Peasant and Labor Wing, 45 lakhs; miscellaneous, 6 crore. It also gets contributions from Arab states. Saudi Arabia , in particular, and its units in European countries send substantial contributions to the jihad fund every year.
Sources of recruitment: It has a wide network of recruitment in Pakistan , which is concentrated in Sindh and southern Punjab . Among LT's 1,106 mujahideen killed in Kashmir , 365 were from Sindh. Organizational networkof Lashkar-e- Taiba: Punjab 30; Sindh 7; Azad Kashmir 2; and Jhelum, Kabirwala, Kehrorpacca, Tonsa, Moro, Shehdadpur, Dadoo, Jafarabad, Badain, Jaam Nawaiz Ali, Obaaro (Ghotaki), Rawalkot, Bhamber, Kotli, Wailamgarh, and Muzaffarabad. Total 55. Training camps: After the closure of camps in Afghanistan and Manshera, only five LT camps were working: Tayyaba, Aqsa, Ummul Qura, Abdullah bin Masood, and Markaz Muhammad bin Qasim. It also has ten madaris. Sources of funding: Funds are collected within Pakistan and abroad. About Rs 20 crores were collected in 2001 as follows: External Affairs, 2 crore; profit of Dar-al Andalus, 80 lakhs; Students' Department, 35 lakhs; hides of sacrificed animals, 2.5 crore; Department of Women, 70 lakhs; Department of Peasant and Labor Wing, 45 lakhs; miscellaneous, 6 crore. It also gets contributions from Arab states. Saudi Arabia , in particular, and its units in European countries send substantial contributions to the jihad fund every year. Sources of recruitment: It has a wide network of recruitment in Pakistan , which is concentrated in Sindh and southern Punjab. Among LT's 1,106 mujahideen killed in Kashmir, 365 were from Sindh.
The Lashkar-e- Taiba was renamed Jamaat -al- Dawa (Party of Preachers) and its magazine Jihad was retitled Ghazwa ( Battle ). The Jaish-i-Mohammed and the TJP renamed themselves Khuddam-ul-Islam and Millat-i-Islami, respectively. The Jaish-iMohammed Bookstore was now called the Reformatory Library, and its magazine Jaish-e-Muhammad was now al-Islah (Reform). For details, see Behera and Mathew, Pakistan in a Changing Strategic Context, p. 30. General Musharraf's comments were made in a January 12 speech, which Mazari describes as "basically a tactical operational shift in Pakistan 's Kashmir policy." Shireen Mazari, " Pakistan in the Post -9/11 Milieu," Strategic Studies 22 (Autumn 2002): 7. Also, Karl Vick, "Sceptics Question Sincerity of Crackdown by Musharraf," Washington Post, April 28, 2002; "Pak Advises Militant Outfits to Keep Low Profile," Indian Express (New Delhi ), December 17,2001.
For an Asia wide overview see our early Case Study P.1:
As more and more mujahideen became available from the Afghan front, the armed struggle in Kashmir became just one stage of a wider, indeed global, jihad. Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan , not even a clash between cultures, but nothing less than a war between two different and mutually opposed ideologies: Islam and kufr (disbelief). On one hand, Muslims of this persuasion dismiss any attempt to apply a statist paradigm to Kashmir 's realities. On the other hand, Geelani and others have argued that Muslims cannot live harmoniously with Hindus without their own religion and traditions coming under a grave threat, thereby necessitating the separation of Kashmir from India . He stops short of following the rational corollary of his argument-that Indian Muslims cannot live as citizens of secular India either. For Lashkar's spiritual head, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, separation is essential because "the Hindus have no compassion in their religion." Or as an interview in Kashmir Times, May 17, 1995 demonstrates: "Jihad means to kill all those who are not Muslims. Only Muslims who practice the religion truly should live, [and the] rest [of] all the people should be put to death."
Hence it is the duty of Muslims to wage jihad against the "Hindu oppressors." Saeed declares:
"In fact, the Hindu is a mean enemy and the proper way to deal with him is the one adopted by our forefathers ... who crushed them by force. We need to do the same.".The old idea of a "Hindu-Muslim divide" thus stands revived. With the induction of Pakistan-based jihadi organizations, the Kashmiri component-its cadre, ideology, and political goals-became eclipsed. For them, the Kashmiris' independence struggle and the right of self-determination are irrelevant. The slogan that Kashmiris should decide the future of Kashmir has given rise to an evil, which was distorting the Islamic identity of the present movement and reducing it to a mere democratic movement. From [the] Islamic viewpoint, the people's opinion has no importance. God and the Prophet's (Peace Be upon Him) law is the supreme one and should be obeyed. Barring this, no group and no individual can decide everything.(Daily Srinagar Times, August 30,1993).
Lashkar's Saeed concurred: "The notion of the sovereignty of the people is anti- Islamic. Only Allah is sovereign." Its slogan, "Jamhhoriat ka jawab, grenade aur blast" (Demands for democracy will be met by grenades and bomb blasts), captured this worldview. (Cited in Praveen Swami, "Terrorism: A Widening Network;' Frontline, January 3, 2003, p. 35).
Kashmiriyat was debunked because Islam does not recognize territorial nationalism, arguing that the only real ideology is the ideology of the Islamic Caliphate, transcending race, gender, and territorial boundaries. (Statement by Tehrik-e-Khilafat-e-Islamia ,The Movement for Islamic Caliphate, in Punjabi, "The Concept of Islamic Caliphate;' p. 4).
The key militant groups also split along a new dividing line, that of Kashmiri versus non-Kashmiri cadre and leadership. Yasin Malik refused to play second fiddle to Azad Kashmir's leadership of the JKLF and in 1995 parted ways with Amanullah Khan, asserting that the "movement cannot be run by remote control as Khan was doing" from Azad Kashmir. (See Yasin Malik's interview with Ramesh Vinayak in India Today, October 15, 1995, p. 80).
Seven years later, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen met the same fate when the Pakistani-based leadership decided to expel Abdul Majid Dar and other Valley-based commanders (Zafar Abdul Fateh and Asad Yazdani) for favoring a dialogue with the Indian government. The bulk of the midlevel command in the Hizb-ulMujahideen's south and central Kashmir divisions threw their weight behind the expelled leader. Zafar Fateh remarked: "Hizb is not anybody's handmaiden .... Those who are sitting across [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir] cannot claim to be representatives of Kashmir and the organization as they have no understanding of the ground situation."(Indian Express ( New Delhi ), May 6, 2002).
Another Hizbulleader, Sayedani, also admitted that militant groups such as Lashkar-e- Taiba (hence called LeT), Jaish-i-Mohammed, and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen should work under local groups as "they have no role in the policy-making of militants." (Times of India ( New Delhi ), November 23, 2001).
Certainly a culmination for the LeT was the December 2001 attack at the Parliament building in New Delhi . At least up to that point, the LeT was known to have a well-established and military-like structure, with the above mentioned Saeed as its "emir," or supreme commander. The top policymaking body included the emir and his deputies, a finance chief and others with executive functions, while authority at the field level was distributed from chief commander to divisional commanders, district commanders, battalion commanders and so forth.
The organization's physical infrastructure was said to be considerable: a 200-acre headquarters compound at Muridke (near Lahore) comprising a fish farm, a market, a hospital, madrassas and other facilities. The LeT operated several media mouthpieces, a Web site and various monthly and weekly publications written in Urdu, Arabic and English. It also ran schools and health services (such as blood banks and mobile clinics) in Pakistan , with a network of branch offices to collect donations and provide other forms of support.
However comfortable and well-documented the leadership and decision-making processes may have been at one point, the LeT underwent a drastic change after the 2001 Parliament attack. In that strike, which was similar to an assault at the Kashmir state assembly in Srinagar, just two months before, gunmen wearing military fatigues, who apparently had used a fake identity sticker to get past security checkpoints, broke into the area before the government building while the legislative body was in session. One of the attackers, with explosives strapped to his body, blew himself up; the other four were killed in the protracted gun battle that ensued. Six policemen and a gardener also were killed.
Under pressure from the United States and Britain , both of which quickly labeled the LeT a terrorist organization, Islamabad reinvented its relationship with the organization. The ISI severed direct links with the group, which began to splinter into more autonomous groups operating under several names (Lashkar-e-Qahar, al-Arifeen, al-Mansoorain, Al-Nasireen and Al-Qanoon, for example). With the post-9/11 pressure from Washington and London , Islamabad had no choice but to act, but it also needed to retain the geopolitical leverage against its nemesis, India , afforded by the militant groups. Thus, the Musharraf regime outlawed both the LeT and MDI but allowed an MDI successor organization, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, to exist as a "nonprofit" group that collects donations and engages in social, cultural and humanitarian activities. MDI founder Saeed is the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and the organization has taken over, and expanded on, many of the social services previously offered by LeT.
Ideologically Musharraf made an effort to gain legitimacy for the concept of jihad by distinguishing between jihad from terrorism, and justifying the former as a legitimate instrument of the Kashmiris' freedom struggle. He told Prime Minister Vajpayee, "You do not expect me to accept cross-border terrorism. This is wrong. There is nothing going on across the border, it is a Line of Control and also there is no terrorism, there is a freedom struggle going on there." (President Musharraf, interview with Malini Parthsarthy, Hindu, Chennai, April 1,2002).
In fact until Musharraf's peace moves in 2006, the fundamental pillars of the Pakistan Governemt's Kashmir strategy did not change, as was evident from the Musharraf regime's response to India 's total deployment of its forces on the border, in the wake of the Kaluchak massacre in May 2002 and the resulting military crisis. Musharraf was "absolutely confident' that the freedom struggle in Kashmir [had] entered a crucial phase where an Indian q1ilitary adventurism acros the Line-of-Control would trap the Indian army in a Vietnam or Afghanistan-like situation and hasten the freedom process for the Kashmiri Muslims." The Pakistani army had concluded that the military posturing by India might actually push it into a deeper strategic quagmire in Kashmir . And;We are not only on the defensive. We'll take the offensive into Indian territory .... At the moment, if there is anything that they do across the Line of Control, there are thousands, hundreds of thousands of people in Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, our part of Kashmir , who are demanding to be armed .... [and] who are telling me ... [start], we will take Kashmir. (Quoted from "Musharraf: 'There Is Nothing Happening on the Line of Control,' Washington Post, May 25, 2002 ).
Furthermore after the LeT, changed its name it actively attempted to create the impression that it has splintered -- into a number of smaller groups that appear to operate with great autonomy and to use a variety of names, likely in efforts to keep security authorities confused. Though it is possible that special cells within the ISI still dispatch liaisons on occasion to have tea with "former" LeT operatives and "suggest" future operations, the net effect of the changes was to drive the militant organization underground and make its financial and organizational links to Islamabad much harder to trace. (The Musharraf government does, however, retain enough contact with LeT-linked figures to suit the political needs of the moment. For instance, to offset political pressure following the July 11 bombings, officials placed Saeed under house arrest in August, only to free him again in mid-October.)
Like other Islamist militant groups, LeT is thought to fund its activities through a variety of sources, including charitable organizations scattered through the Muslim world and hawala exchanges. There have been suspicions that its networks spread into the West: In the United States, 11 men convicted on federal charges,who have become known as the "Virginia Jihad Network"--were thought to have trained in LeT camps in preparation for waging war against India . And several of the suspects arrested by British authorities following the Aug. 10 disruption of a plot involving transatlantic airline flights were Pakistani nationals thought to have ties to LeT.
The criminal underworld may provide significant sources of financing for the LeT as well. A prominent Indian mobster, Dawood Ibrahim, is believed to have planned the group's March 12, 1993, attacks in Mumbai. In those strikes, which claimed 247 lives, making them the most deadly terrorist attacks in Indian history, more than a dozen improvised explosive devices and grenades exploded at the city's stock exchange, several hotels, markets, an airport and other targets.
Thus even today, LeT is widely networked. Members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), along with sympathizers in Bangladesh and elsewhere, are believed to act as local guides and provide safe-houses for operatives deploying from Kashmir or Pakistan . Bangladesh ,where the government for the most part turns a blind eye to the activities of Islamist militant groups, may well serve as a safe-haven. LeT operatives likely mask their meetings with authorities in Pakistan by routing their travel from India through Bangladesh or sneaking across the border to Nepal , and thence to Kashmir or other key locales.
Significantly, LeT's strategic goals overlap with those of al Qaeda in many ways, and today, the group shares al Qaeda's beliefs in a radical strain of Wahhabi/Salafi ideology. Bin Laden clearly has placed India in al Qaeda's targeting scopes, having espoused the cause of Kashmiri Muslims and referring in an April 2006 recording to the "Crusader-Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims." Moreover, the subcontinent is a strategic linchpin in the grand U.S. geopolitical strategy (used as a lever for containing China ), and its economy has become linked to that of the United States in significant ways. From bin Laden's standpoint, the financial centers in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore constitute politically and economically meaningful targets, within convenient striking distance. Only days after the train bombings, al Qaeda claimed to have established itself in Jammu and Kashmir , a claim the Indian government deemed credible, and it is known to have been actively recruiting among Kashmiri groups formerly controlled by Islamabad .
But to say that the LeT is controlled by al Qaeda, or even learning most of its current tactics from it, might be going too far. To be fair, both groups seem to have learned from each other over time: LeT's use of government decals to slip past security in the 2001 Parliament attack, for example, far predates the use of similar tactics by al Qaeda cells in Saudi Arabia. The multiple target strikes in the 1993 Mumbai attacks also serve as a precedent.
Historically, the LeT has struck the same types of targets al Qaeda has chosen in its war against the United States : government sites, economic symbols (as signified by the Mumbai Stock Exchange hit) and transportation systems, as well as "soft targets" like cinemas and places of worship. However, unlike al Qaeda, the LeT and its successor groups thus far have shown little interest in striking directly at the West. Rather, they seem particularly focused on fighting India 's Hindu majority, stirring up sectarian strife and reprisal attacks in hopes of producing high body counts and weakening the government in New Delhi .
In 2003 the LeT then instead, merged with larger groups in Kashmir. In fact this is what caused the fragmentation of the Hurriyat Conference mentioned in our Case Study about Kashmir as a whole.
When it split in 2003, The Hurriyat Conference became fragmented as well. When it split in 2003, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq demanded that, the Muzaffarabad-based conglomeration of militant groups, should stop interfering in the Hurriyat's affairs. (Praveen Swami, "Danger Signals from the Valley;'Frontline, September 20October 10, 2003, p. 35). Abdul Ghani Bhat, former Hurriyat chairman, fumed: "We never thought a symbol of political unity would be broken up by its mentor." He told a team of Pakistani journalists visiting Srinagar in November 2004 that he had torn up an earlier will in which he had expressed a desire to be buried in Pakistan. (Rehana Hakim, "Kashmir's Endless Autumn;' Newsline (Karachi), November 2004, p. 50).
Showing the administrative vacuum in the part of Pakistan where the famous 2005 Azad Kashmir earthquake hit, it was not the Pakistani Armies or/and Governement but the Azad Lashkar-e- Taiba; operating under the name Jamaat-al-Dawa, that spearheaded the rescue and relief effort-- removing the debris from collapsed buildings and providing first aid to the injured within two hours of the earthquake: