December 2001 News

Pak deploys LeT, JeM along border

21 December 2001
The Pioneer
Pramod Kumar Singh

New Delhi: Buoyed by the US statements in the wake of the December 13 attack on Parliament, Pakistan, in a tactical shift, has started deploying Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Al Badr militants in the border areas. The dreaded militants constitute what Pakistan calls ''Border Action Teams.'' Having trained with Osama bin Laden''s Al- Qaeda in Afghanistan, their brief is clear: Destroy the Indian Communications network, power plants, and of course, take on the Indian Army. Well-placed sources said, ISI-sponsored ''Border Action Teams'' are currently being given ''advanced training'' in Pakistan''s Army camps. Post-September 11, Pakistan has converted most of its terrorist bases into regular Army camps. Hence, the battle-hardened militants now don Pakistani Army fatigues with their resolve to wage jehad and ''balkanise India'' firm as ever. According to an Intelligence estimate, the Pakistani Army''s Special Operations Group (SOG) has formed five battalions of Border Action teams. One battalion consists of 700 mercenaries. Indian security agencies have clinching evidence of the existing teams. Meanwhile, security agencies here have launched intensive combing operation to nab the elusive Ghazi Baba alias Doctor, the JeM supremo in the Kashmir Valley. The dreaded militant, also known as Shahnawaz Khan, is next only to Masood Azhar in the JeM hierarchy. He is said to be hiding in the snow-capped hills of Pahalgam and has bases in Kupwara, Bandipore, Pulwama and Taral sectors. He uses satellite phones to keep in touch with his masters. The Delhi Police and intelligence agencies in the Capital, meanwhile, spent the better part of the day decoding the laptop recovered from Mohammad Afzal and his co- conspirator Shaukat Hussain. The duo was sent to Delhi by Ghazi Baba. The laptop contained maps of Delhi and 23 pictures of the Parliament House. The laptop was to be given back to Ghazi Baba at his Udi Hills base near Pahalgam. The Delhi Police has also identified Dubai-based Hawala operators who supplied money at the behest of Ghazi Baba.


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