It is not just Muridke near Lahore in Pakistan that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operates from. Abu Jundal has allegedly told investigators of LeT's transnational network spread across Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Saudia Arabia and other Gulf countries.
The terrorist organisation had set up these bases to pursue its anti-India campaign after the Mumbai 26/11 attack. The change in LeT's tactic was devised after pressure was mounted on Pakistan's government, from India and the US, to crack down on the outfit, said police sources.
These LeT bases are being used to recruit youth, and also to launch attacks in India in the future, sources said. Jundal told investigators that Shafiq Khafa, a Pakistan-based LeT commander, played a key role in setting up LeT's base in Sri Lanka.
Muzzamil Bhat alias Yusuf, a top LeT commander who oversees the outfit's India operations, had initiated the plan to set up the base in Sri Lanka with the help of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Muzzamil later handed over the responsibility to Shafiq, said police sources.
Similarly, LeT has a widespread network in Bangladesh which is used to infiltrate and exfiltrate operatives. The Bangladesh unit was set up by Afghan war veterans Maulana Mohammad Monsur Ali alias Maulana Habibullah and Mufti Sheikh Obaidullah, a former Indian Railways employee.
LeT suffered a major blow when the detective branch of Dhaka police arrested Habibullah and Obaidullah in 2009. But Jundal has told investigators that despite the loss, LeT has revived the Bangladesh operations because of its strong association with Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami (Bangladesh). The set up now has the capability to train LeT's operatives in all facets, said police.
While Nepal happens to be a transit point for LeT men, the bases in Saudi Arabia, and Gulf countries have been set up as safe houses or to gather finances.