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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Lashkar plans to strike in guise of local youth: NIA

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 08, 2013
First Published: 00:47 IST(8/4/2013) | Last Updated: 02:19 IST(8/4/2013)

Two years after getting thoroughly exposed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the brass of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) put another plan in motion. To conceal its footprint, the banned outfit plans to use local youths for its terror activities in India – an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has revealed.

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In June 2012, the NIA had launched a probe against Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, the Hindi teacher of 10 suicide attackers of 26/11, for trying to recruit Indian youth for terror activities with an idea to show to the world that terrorism in India was indigenous in character and content.

Ansari told the NIA investigators that the LeT had decided to recruit Indian youths immediately after the 26/11 attacks but the plan was put on hold after its involvement in the Mumbai strike stood exposed. Therefore, Lashkar started working on it again in early 2010. 

Sajid Mir, one of the top operatives of LeT, who is wanted for the 26/11 strike as well, took Ansari to Rawalpindi's Adiala jail to meet LeT chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Though Lakhvi was put behind bars by the Pakistani authorities in December 2008 for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks, he has unhindered access to his subordinates in Lashkar.

Ansari told interrogators that during the meeting in the jail, Lakhvi stalled the plan. Ansari started prowling on social networking sites look for Indian youths. He put provocative writing on the Internet to attract vulnerable youngsters. In August 2010, Muzammil, another LeT top operative and an accused in the 26/11 attacks, asked him to go to Saudi Arabia to look for Indian Muslims. The NIA has recorded at least three cases wherein Ansari failed to convince the prospective recruits about his idea of jehad.


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