India has informed the US that the Pakistan-based proscribed groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), were sending recruits to Syria and Iraq via Saudi Arabia and Turkey to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-led ‘jihad’. New Delhi has also alerted Riyadh about this new challenge, with Saudi Arabia assuring India of all support.
South Block officials say that while India has diplomatically mentioned LeT’s global terror presence to the Obama administration, New Delhi has alerted Washington about the Pakistan-based terror groups changing the theatre from Afghanistan and Kashmir to Iraq in support of Caliphate under Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. According to the information available, LeT terrorists — who share the puritan Salafi ideology with the ISIS — used the Saudi Arabia route to enter Syria and Iraq until January this year.
It is understood that Indian agencies have shared information about the involvement of Pakistan-based “takfiri” (one who attacks fellow Muslims) groups with the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar intelligence. There are fears that, upon their return from Iraq and Syria, these trained guerrillas could replicate the bloodshed in the sub-continent.
The Indian threat perception is that, besides helping the ISIS target expatriate Indians, these Pakistan-based groups could militarily train LeT and JeM cadres to take on the Indian Army in the election-bound Jammu and Kashmir.
While Saudi Arabia has assured India that it will not allow its territory to be used by Pakistani groups to reach Iraq or Syria, the US and UK intelligence have heard out the Indian request without any response.