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1,800 Lashkar terrorists waiting to strike India: IB

October 01, 2009 17:04 IST

With the foreign media reporting a continued Lashkar-e-Tayiba threat to India, Indian intelligence agencies say that this dreaded outfit has at least 1,800 men on standby all set to enter into India and spread terror.

Intelligence Bureau sources told rediff.com that the reports coming in from foreign intelligence agencies were correct and the Lashkar in fact has regrouped in the past year, after it was bogged down following the Mumbai terror attacks last year.

The IB report on the Lashkar suggests that at least 600 terrorists have been kept on standby along the Line of Control and are awaiting orders to enter India. The rest are still in the Lashkar camps in Pakistan ready to follow suit.

The IB says that the Lashkar, since the past couple of months, has been on a recruiting spree and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence too has been playing a vital role in helping the recruitment process. The arrest of the top leaders by the Pakistan government had lowered the outfit's morale. However, the Lashkar has been quick to regroup and commence its recruitment process.

The IB says that the Lashkar has increased its attacks recently in the Kashmir Valley. These incidents are only aimed at infiltrating and also testing the strength of the outfit. Moreover, they also need to show that they are still interested in Kashmir -- while the actual intention is to spread mayhem in India.

How they regrouped

IB sources, who have submitted a report to the home ministry, the Lashkar regrouped with the help of various other outfits. Since there was a lot of pressure on the Pakistan administration to crack down on the outfit, it was not easy to do things as openly as they used to do before.

Since the Mumbai attacks, both the United States and the Indian agencies have been keeping a close watch. The US agencies were more worried about Lashkar teaming up with Al Qaeda.

The ISI has advised all terror outfits operating out of Pakistan to work as one. Their training centres are the same and the training programme is the same. During this time, when the Lashkar was under scrutiny, it was the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Jaish-e- Mohammad and the Hizbul Mujahideen recruiting on behalf of the Lashkar.

IB sources say that there has been a drastic change in policy and all these outfits have started to share a common ideology so that a common recruiting ground could be set up.

Thanks to this change in strategy all these outfits put together have nearly 15,000 members of which 1,800 have been kept ready to strike India. It is said that the Lashkar is desperate to show its strength and hence the outfit is getting desperate to carry out a major strike in India.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru