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LeT expanding influence in South Asia: US military commander

world Updated: Mar 27, 2010 13:42 IST

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Pakistan-based LeT, which is responsible for Mumbai attacks, is predominantly a threat to India but dangerously expanding its influence to other parts of South Asia like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives, a top US military commander has warned.

The expansion of operations of the terrorist outfit is an issue of concern for the Obama Administration, Admiral Robert Willard, Commander of the US Pacific Command, said in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Right now our concern is the movement of Lashkar-e Taiba, the terrorist group that emanates from Pakistan that was responsible for the Mumbai attacks in India, and specifically their positioning in Bangladesh and Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka," Willard said in response to a question from Senator George Lemieux.

He said the US was working "very closely with the Indians" and within to develop the necessary plans to counter LeT and its movement into the Asia-Pacific region.

Asked specifically if the LeT is a regional threat or a threat to India, Willard said as of now it is predominantely a threat to India.

"We're attempting to develop a further understanding of the extent to which they're a regional threat. If you'll recall, Lashkar-e-Taiba was evidenced in Chicago with the arrest of (David) Headley," he said.

"And we have certainly knowledge of their influence within the region beyond the countries that I just mentioned. The extent of that influence is what we're taking under study," he said.