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South India: Lashkar's next terror target

September 09, 2009 16:49 IST
Central intelligence agencies have picked up intercepts that militants groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba have come up with a new plan to target cities in the south of India.

The intercepts have been picked up on the basis of the movement of some cadres from Kerala and Karnataka in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Intelligence Bureau sources told rediff.com that it is clear that these men were sent in from the southern states so that they could be trained in order to carry out strikes in this part of the country. The cops have also been intimated and asked to keep a thorough vigil to ensure that LeT cadres do not regroup in the south. The Lashkar leadership is interested in regrouping in the south, the IB says.

This is the reason that is the modules down south are directly connected to the Gulf modules which are a major money spinner for the militant groups.

Why South is important?

It is now a confirmed that many southern modules carried out the serial blasts in the country. Following the blasts there was a major crackdown on the cadres and sleeper cells. Even the interrogation of various terrorists revealed that the southern module carried out the blasts.

The most important factor that came out during the interrogation was that the entire southern module was directly linked to the Gulf module. However,  the recent crackdown has had a disastrous effect on the Lashkar's plans. Sources say that the south modules were being majorly financed by the Gulf module.

IB sources say that the main link between the southern and the Gulf modules was Sarfaraz Nawaz. He was primarily in charge of money transfer and was doing so until he was apprehended with the help of the Research and Analysis Wing and brought down to Bengaluru.

The IB says that the link between the Gulf modules and the southern modules has almost snapped following the recent spate of arrests. The biggest concern for the Lashkar was that the monetary link was snapped.

Prior to the arrests, modules in the Gulf were able to send in several crores of rupees into India and this was coordinated by the members of the southern module. However now, the monetary transcation has come down drastically and hence it is becoming difficult for these groups to operate the modules.

In the next phase of the plan, the Lashkar aims at rebuilding the southern module. Not only does the Lashkar need men in the south to carry on monetary transactions, but also wants the cadres to undertake recruitment on a largescale. The recruitment, according to security agencies, will help them undertake operations both in the Kashmir valley as well the rest of the country.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru