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Why LeT is recruiting doctors for terror operations

By Vicky Nanjappa
October 28, 2009 14:20 IST
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The arrest of David Coleman Headley, an American national held on terror charges by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Chicago earlier this month, is an indicator of the extent which the Lashkar-e-Tayiba could go up to carry an attack on Indian soil. The Lashkar is adopting new strategies to carry out terror strikes; and the latest one, according to the sources in the Intelligence Bureau, is the appointment of doctors.

The first signs of doctors being inducted into the Lashkar was noticed in Jammu and Kashmir a month ago. The Lashkar had made an appeal through its cadres in the Valley that doctors who wish to join the cause of jihad are welcome to join the Lashkar. The plan was to send in a doctor during a terror attack like the one on Mumbai on 26/11. The doctor could treat the terrorists during the attack.

The IB says that till date, the Lashkar has appointed over 15 doctors and are on the look-out for more. Apart from this, the Lashkar cadres across the country too have been told specifically to include doctors during the recruitment process.

The 15 doctors were sent to Pakistan for training. Out of those, seven have returned and have joined the cadres in the Valley. The IB says that these doctors will accompany cadres all the time and would provide medical aid in times of need.

The second phase of the recruitment process is already underway. The IB says that not all the recruited doctors are fully qualified. The Lashkar has made it clear that the doctors need to be well-versed in dealing with emergency situations. These doctors, apart from providing first-aid, will also have to deal with treating bullet injuries and other problems that may occur during the course of an attack.

It is now a well-known fact that terror groups from Pakistan are planning a bigger attack on India. Ilyas Kashmiri, the chief of the Al Qaeda's 313 brigade, too had claimed in an interview that they -- along with the Lashkar -- had plans to launch Ghazb-e-Hind, a terror operation aimed at creating mayhem in India.

Kashmiri had also stated that what was seen in Mumbai was nothing, and they have something bigger planned. The IB says that this means that they are planning to send a larger force to carry out attacks in India.

Medical experts would back such teams of terrorists, so that the cadres can wage the battle for a longer period.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru