Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were planning “operations... involving a car,” against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, according to a recent secret diplomatic cable of the United States State Department released by WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website.
The cable, created on June 19 2009, was sent from the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “Security Officer, Collective Priority,” and the U.S. embassies in Tripoli, Casablanca and Johannesburg. Some of the information in the cable had been redacted by WikiLeaks, yet it bore Ms. Clinton’s name at the end and was categorised as “Secret,” “No Foreign,” and it was “derived from multiple sources.”
Under the category of “key concerns,” the notes on LeT member Shafiq Khan, and alternatively a person identified only as “Hussein,” said that they continued operational planning on three tasks in early June of 2009.
These plans were associated with a “possible operation against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendar Modi, the establishment of a training camp, and unspecified work involving a car.”
The cable added that Hussein would coordinate his activities with an India-based colleague identified as Sameer.
Providing some geographic information for the operations, the cable further said that the Pakistan-based Shafiq Khafa had been seeking out information on possible training sites for the operations in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. It added that Khafa had an associate identified as “S.J.” with whom he was making these preparations in mid-June.
Quoting a “credible tearline,” or segment of an intelligence source, the cable went on to note that Khafa’s network was “striving to stand up two teams in southern India that rely on the support of LeT members based in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal.”
However it cautioned that although specific details of planned LeT attacks remained unknown, intelligence obtained in late May of that year indicated that “Khafa’s cells were engaged in surveillance activities of potential targets, likely in southern India.”
Reports in May further suggested a Sri Lanka link, explaining that the establishment of a facilitation team in that country might then lead to Kerala or Tamil Nadu being used as a base of operations.
“The estimated time of completion for setting up the facilitation route and camps to be two to three months,” the cable said.