LeT plan to strike in five cities foiled
5 May 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU: With the elimination of senior Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Abu Kasha in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces have achieved major success in foiling a LeT plan of striking several cities and vital installations across the country. Thirty-one years old, Abu Kasha alias Bashir Ahmad Khan, resident of Okara in Pakistan, was one of the senior most commanders of LeT outfit entrusted to engineer terror strikes in five Indian cities besides targeting top political leaders and vital installations in the country, top defence sources said here today. Documents recovered from the terrorist, slain on April 14, revealed the plans of the outfit to spread terror not only in J and K but across the country as far as Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Hyderabad and Bangalore, they said. Kasha had plans to carry out some major terrorist acts with his four sucide squads in the near future as he had recently threatened the people to boycott elections or face consequences, they said. Kasha, who was operating as commander J&K, south of the Pir Panjal range (Jammu division), was responsible for planning and coordinating terrorist strikes against important political leaders, security forces and vital installations across India. In view of severe losses suffered by terrorist outfits in the recent past and considerable decrease in infiltration of fresh terrorists from Pakistan, Abu Kasha was shifted to the Valley as the regional operational coordinator to coordinate Jehadi outfits in the entire Valley, especially in wake of Lok Sabha elections, they said. Responsible for numerous Fidayeen attacks, Abu Kasha escaped after an encounter in Anantnag in south Kashmir on March 27 while two of his close associates were killed. Kasha had earlier created a scare amongst advocates in the State when he accused them of not being appropriately inclined towards the welfare of foreign terrorists, they said. Abu Kasha is reported to have graduated from the Ad-Dawah Science College in Muridke, Pakistan. The institution is being run by Lashkar chief Mohammad Hafeez Sayeed, sources said. He was a responsible for having incited a very large number of youth to join Jehadi outfits. Kasha had been employed as one of the trainers at Muzaffarabad training centre of Lashkar called the Um-al- Qura camp, they said. The movement of Abu Kasha was monitored from the time he left Jammu for carrying out attacks to disrupt the political process in the Valley, sources said and added that on receiving information of a meeting of senior LeT commanders, a hideout in Malpura Hajan was raided. A detailed search of the area led to the recovery of weapons and provisions as well some clues in a letter addressed to Abu Kasha. The terrorist was consequently cornered and killed near Jhelum river close to Malru-shalateng in Parimpora in early hours of April 14. The killing of Abu Kasha, the third most dreaded and experienced commander of LeT is yet another major blow to his own outfit and to the hierarchy of terrorists in J and K, especially at a juncture when they were joining hands to coordinate their activities prior to the Parliamentary elections.