The Shawai Nala camp of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba has been home to several high ranking terrorists. Based in Muzzafarabad, Pakistan, this camp is one of the top most training camps of the Lashkar which has produced the likes of David Headley, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Abu Jundal among others.
The camp at Shawai Nala is today run exclusively to train militants who are sent to carry out attacks in Kashmir. The name Shawai Nala which has come up yet again during the interrogation of Mohammad Naved, the accused in the Udhampur attack.
The deadliest Lashkar camp:
While the Lashkar has camps at Murdike which produce deadly terrorists, the Shawai Nala camp has more or less focused on producing terrorists to stage attacks in Kashmir.
While a large part of the 26/11 attackers had been trained at the Murdike camp, today the Lashkar relies more on the Shawai Nala camp to send in young recruits to Kashmir.
There are already reports of several youth from Kashmir indicating that they wanted to take up arms.
An Intelligence Bureau report even suggested that several educated youth had joined the ranks of the Lashkar and most of them were in fact being sent to the Shawai Nala camp to train.
Over the years, it has become one of the most important camps for the Lashkar. Many operatives who are training for important missions in India are often sent to Shawai Nala as the best minds and trainers work out there.
The David Headley link to Shawai Nala:
While it is clear that the all important Lakhvi trained initially at Shawai Nala, it is also pertinent to mention that David Headley too was part of this same camp.
Headley the man who surveyed targets for the 26/11 attack had done a stint at the Shawai Nala camp, as per the confession of Abu Jundal.
During his questioning, Jundal an accused in the 26/11 attack said that he met Headley for the first time at the Shawai Nala.
The Lashkar-e-Tayyeba runs one of its most important camps in this area of Shawai Nala and a majority of the operations which take place in this camp are related to Kashmir, Jundal had informed.
Headley too had claimed that he had shown interest in the Kashmir issue and had visited the same camp. It was at this camp that he interacted with Lakhvi and spoke about the targets to be surveyed for the 26/11 attack.