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Author Tankel, Stephen

Title Lashkar-e-Taiba : past operations and future prospects / Stephen Tankel
Published Washington, DC : New America Foundation, 2011


Description 1 online resource (32 pages)
Series National Security Studies Program policy paper
National Security Studies Program policy paper
Notes April 2011
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 24-30)
Notes Title from p.1 screen (viewed on Apr 29, 2011)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (the Army of the Pure or LeT) is one of Pakistan's oldest and most powerful jihadi groups. Yet despite its long and bloody history, LeT only began generating significant attention outside South Asia after launching a multi-target attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008. This paper seeks to explain how LeT became so powerful, as well as to address the evolving nature of the threat that LeT poses and, more broadly, to provide a general overview of the group. It argues that to understand LeT, one must recognize the two dualities that define it. The first is that it is a missionary and a militant organization that for most of its history has placed an equivalent emphasis on reshaping society at home (through preaching and social welfare) and on waging violent jihad abroad. The second is that its military activities are informed both by its pan-Islamist rationale for jihad and its role as a proxy for the Pakistani state. LeT was able to grow into a powerful and protected organization in Pakistan as a result of its ability to reconcile these dualities. Jihad against India to liberate Muslim land under perceived Hindu occupation aligned with LeT's ideological priorities and also with state interests. This enabled the group to become Pakistan's most reliable proxy, which brought with it substantial benefits including the support needed to construct a robust social welfare apparatus used for missionary and reformist purposes. The first part of this paper discusses LeT's ideology and strategic approach. In the course of doing so, it also briefly surveys the group's evolving relations with the state and with other Pakistani jihadi outfits. Part two details LeT's non-violent activism in Pakistan, recounting the growth of its social welfare activities and propaganda operations, the use of training for missionary activism, and the benefits that accrued from maintaining a legal, above-ground wing during this decade. The third part of this paper focuses on the group's military activities outside Pakistan and explores how the group expanded its operations in Kashmir while building transnational networks that today threaten India and the West, its increased focus on terrorist attacks against India during this decade, the group's growing involvement in al-Qaeda's global jihad after 9/11, and the calculus behind the Mumbai attacks. The fourth entails a discussion of LeT's post-Mumbai activities, which signal an expansion of the group's jihad in terms of both an increased focus on the United States and its allies and a concomitant widening of its geographic footprint. However, there are indications the group has not expanded enough to suit some of its more extreme members. As a result the threat to America and its allies (in some cases including Pakistan) comes from LeT proper as well as from factions within it and elements connected to it that are able to leverage the organization's capabilities for attacks the leadership might not approve. The paper concludes with a brief look ahead toward what the future might hold for LeT
Mode of access: World Wide Web
System requirements: Adobe Reader
Subject Lashkar-i-Taiba (Organization)
Qaida (Organization)
SUBJECT Qaida (Organization) fast (OCoLC)fst00763708
Subject Terrorism -- Pakistan -- Religious aspects
Terrorism -- India -- Religious aspects
Terrorism -- Religious aspects -- Islam.
Islamic fundamentalism -- Pakistan
Islamic fundamentalism.
Terrorism -- Religious aspects.
Terrorism -- Religious aspects -- Islam.
Form Electronic book
Author New America Foundation.