July 2007 News

Elimination Of Rahman In Doda A Big Setback To LeT

19 July 2007
The Hindu

New Delhi: The elimination of Khalid-ur-Rahman, the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba chief operational commander of Jammu, in an encounter carried out by troops in coordination with the Special Cell of the Delhi police at Doda in Jammu & Kashmir on Wednesday has come as a big setback for the banned outfit. By all accounts Rahman was one of the trusted lieutenants of Abu Alqama, the LeT chief of operations in India, and used to be in touch with him through one Ahmed of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The intelligence agencies believe that Rahman was launched probably in 1998 in the inhospitable mountainous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir through the Hindu Kush range. A resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, Rahman gradually became important for the outfit as apart from carrying out daring attacks he succeeded in creating a wide network of terrorists and sympathisers in and outside the Valley. Intelligence agencies have inputs indicating that he had links in other States like Madhya Pradesh. Hence they are also trying to find out if he was in any way involved in the blasts on board the Samjhauta Express in Haryana earlier this year. Rahman had worked as a trainer at LeT camps. After being launched in Jammu and Kashmir, he started training locals, in small groups, in handling of weapons in the dense forests and motivated young men to carry out terrorist strikes. Money was never a problem for Rahman as he used to get huge amounts through hawala channels, diverted mostly via West Asia. One of the reasons why he managed to evade detection for such a long time was that he spent generously on his contacts. 'Most militants maintain their contacts by either giving them money or articles like mobile phones and clothes,' said a police officer. On Wednesday morning when the security agencies zeroed in on him, Rahman was living in the house of a local, who has now been arrested along with his son on charges of harbouring a terrorist. Interestingly, when he realised that he had been surrounded, Rahman alerted fellow militants hiding in nearby mountains. They opened fire from there to divert the attention of the raiding team, but the ploy did not work. It is learnt that Rahman had been under the surveillance of Central intelligence agencies for the past couple of years but he came under the direct scanner of the Special Cell of the Delhi police following the arrest of three alleged LeT terrorists - Mohammad Hasan from Pakistan, and Shafqat Iqbal Mir and Shabbir Ahmed from Doda in Jammu and Kashmir - outside Dilli Haat in the Capital on April 26. The alleged militants had been asked to target the celebrations organised in the Capital to mark the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence.


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