LeT more dangerous than al Qaeda: Ex-CIA officer

Abu Jundal
Bangalore, Jul 10: Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) has become the most dangerous terror outfit in the world now that al-Qaeda is on the ropes. This is the assessment of a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Bruce Riedel.

"The November 2008 attack by ten Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorists on multiple targets in Mumbai was the most significant and innovative terrorist attack since 9/11. It marked the maturation of LeT from a Punjabi-based Pakistani terror group targeting India exclusively to a member of the global Islamic jihad targeting the enemies of al Qaeda: the Crusader West, Zionist Israel, and Hindu India," Riedel wrote in an American blog The Daily Beast.

"LeT has a global presence with cells throughout South Asia, the Persian Gulf, Europe, Australia and North America. It operates freely in Pakistan and has continuing connections with the Pakistani intelligence service and army. LeT used cell phones and GPS technology to terrorise an entire city and grab global attention for three days. LeT's masterminds ran the operation in real time from a headquarters in Pakistan, even issuing death sentences to innocents," he noted.

According to Riedel, the arrest of Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jindal at New Delhi on Jun 21 is a major breakthrough in the investigation of the Mumbai terror attacks as he was not only one of the masterminds, Jundal also was in the control room in Karachi in 2008 talking on the phone to the ten terrorists. "He is already confessing to his role and implicating Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate directly in controlling the attack as it went down," Riedel said citing Indian media reports.

Describing the Saudi role in capturing Abu Jindal as "significant", he pointed out that Riyadh is Islamabad's closest ally and the ISI has very strong links with its Saudi counterparts. "The Pakistani community in the Kingdom and the Gulf states has long been a major source of the LeT's finances. If the Kingdom is now ready to act against LeT then the group will face some financial trouble," Riedel wrote.

Since six Americans were killed along with 160 persons from other nations in the Mumbai attacks, he added, "If the press reports about Abu Jundal's accusations are confirmed then the ISI was involved directly in the decision to murder Americans."

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