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Post 26/11, new terror factories spring up in Pakistan

By Vicky Nanjappa
November 27, 2009 14:34 IST
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Pakistan may have framed charges against seven Lashkar-e-Tayiba members for their involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, but what remains a fact is that certain key personnel of the outfit have been left scot-free. The terror factories continue to crop up without any problem across the border.

A report of the Intelligence Bureau states that since the Mumbai attack, 260 fidayeens (suicide attackers) have managed to sneak in through the Line of Control. Sources told that the LeT and the Hizbul Mujahideen were working in close coordination training the fidayeens at two new locations which again have come up after the 26/11 attacks.

This is a clear indication that key personnel in the Lashkar still continue to operate unhindered and Pakistan's claim of bringing the perpetrators to book is false. While the main leaders of the Lashkar have been arrested and charged, the second string in the outfit still manages to operate openly and continues with their anti-India activities, the IB said.

The two operatives that India must seek more information on are Muzzamil Bhat and Zarar Shah who played crucial roles in the Mumbai attacks. When the likes of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi were arrested in Pakistan, there were reports that even Bhat had been picked up. However latest intel reports suggest that Bhat is still free and has moved into the new Lashkar training facility near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. 

Bhat is now in charge of the operations of the new facility and nabbing him is of prime importance for India since he had coordinated with Ilyas Kashmiri of the 313 Brigade and trained the fidayeens who launched the attack in Mumbai a year ago.

The other person who Pakistan has failed to charge is Zarar Shah. While on paper it may show that he is under arrest, the fact is that this man who has been operating as Abu-al-Qama and Sajid Mir is very much on lose and has been coordinating with the Hizb and ensuring that more infiltrations into India take place. The man who has been arrested by Pakistan is actually a person by the name Wajid and the agencies claim that he is the real Zarar Shah.

The IB says that post 26/11, the Inter Services Intelligence has ensured that crucial players in the terror business have been let off to further their activities. Men like Bhat and Shah have been given key portfolios in the Lashkar and they have been instructed to coordinate with other terror groups in India to increase their chances of spreading terror.

While the Lashkar has opened up a brand new facility away from the original Murdike camp, they are also training fidayeens along with Maulana Masood Azhar of the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Azhar has managed to set up a huge training facility in his home town of Bhawalpur in Pakistan. Post 26/11 he has also been allowed to set up another training facility near Fort Abbas which borders India and training of fidayeens goes on unabated.

The IB says that these training facilities have come up after the Mumbai attack and this is a sign that the ISI has no intention of shutting down the terror factories in Pakistan.

The worrying factor is that the 260 fidayeens managed to slip in to the India so easily. They have not come in separately, but managed to infiltrate in batches.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Mumbai