Exactly two years before the 2008 Mumbai attacks, American officials pressured the Pakistan government to crack down on the Lashker-e-Taiba and its front Jamaat-ud-Dawah but were unable to make much headway, according to a secret U.S. diplomatic cable.
A cable sent on November 27, 2006 by former US Ambassador to Pakistan Ryan C Crocker, one of the hundreds released by WikiLeaks, said the U.S. embassy had raised the operations of the two groups with “contacts throughout the Government of Pakistan” after the LeT was designated a terrorist organisation under U.N. Security Council resolution 1267 the previous year.
Mr Crocker took up the activities of LeT, Al Akhtar Trust and Al Rashid Trust — all designated under UNSC resolution 1267 — with the then Foreign Secretary Riaz Khan and the then National Security Advisor Tariq Aziz while other U.S. officials engaged the Foreign Ministry’s U.N. Directorate and the Information Ministry.
“No (Government of Pakistan) official, however, has committed to taking direct action to close the operations of these entities,” Mr Crocker wrote in the cable two years before 10 terrorists launched by the LeT carried out attacks in India’s financial hub killing 166 people.
Following the Mumbai attacks, the U.N. Security Council designated the JuD a front for the LeT and imposed restrictions on its assets and efforts to gain access to weapons.
The Pakistan government launched a limited crackdown on the JuD and its leaders, including its chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.
Saeed and several others were placed under house arrest in late 2008 though they were all freed within six months.
During his meetings with Pakistani officials, Mr Crocker presented “a press report on the declaration of the Ministry of Defence Parliamentary Secretary that he was proud to be a member of LeT and that he seeks to extend support to jihadi organisations when they seek his ‘cooperation’”, the cable said.
Then Foreign Secretary Riaz Khan asked Mr Crocker whether the U.S. had evidence linking JuD to terrorist activity and the envoy “replied affirmatively, noting that the (U.S. Government) has shared such information with (Government of Pakistan) intelligence agencies”.
Mr Crocker wrote that he “advised the Foreign Secretary that there is a growing concern in the (U.S. Government) about LeT/JuD support to the insurgency in Afghanistan”.