Devesh K. Pandey

Leadership relies mostly on Pakistani nationals for carrying out operations

  • Each task delegated to a particular member
  • Young energetic men targeted for recruitment
  • Rigorous training for recruits

    NEW DELHI: If revelations by the recently arrested Pakistani militant Abu Anas are anything to go by, the Lashkar-e-Taiba has now become an "organised" terrorist outfit with links in the Pakistan Army.

    During interrogation, Anas reportedly disclosed that as personal security guard to Zaki-ur-Rehman, second-in-command in the LeT hierarchy, he witnessed frequent meetings of his master with Pakistan Army officials and those from the Inter-Services Intelligence.

    "It is very natural that an outfit working in coordination with members of a disciplined force will in due course learn to function in an organised and disciplined manner. It will also be inclined to bring in some kind of an order into its functioning," said a senior police officer.

    According to the officer, these characteristics are visible in the functioning of the LeT, in which each task has been delegated to a particular person. Zaki-ur-Rehman is in charge of operations in India and recruitment of "jehadis" from different countries. Anas has purportedly revealed that Hazi Ashraf manages the outfit's finance, Yusuf Taabi heads its madrassas and Abdul Rehman Maki has been given the job of raising funds. Abu Al-Kama has been made the head of operations in the Kashmir Valley, while Azam Cheema and Muzammil have the command of operations outside the Valley. The LeT leadership relies mostly on Pakistani nationals in carrying out operations.

    The police investigations have revealed that funds for the outfit are being clandestinely raised in Pakistan, the Middle East as also some Western countries.

    Modus operandi

    Anas' disclosures also throw light on the modus operandi employed by LeT to rope in teenagers from different parts of Pakistan, particularly from villages in the Sindh and Punjab provinces. They mostly target young energetic men not inclined towards studies. The LeT preachers meet the students in schools and colleges and motivate them to join regular LeT meetings.

    Those who fall into their trap are made to undergo 21-day "Daura-e-Aam" training and proper arrangements for their stay are made.

    The trainees, at both the "Daura-e-Aam" and the 90-day "Daura-e-Khas" programmes, are woken up at 4 a.m. after which they undergo rigorous physical training. Then they attend "routine" classes. As the main emphasis of the training is on brainwashing the trainees, they are incited to take up arms.