LeT Commander Feels The Heat, Seeks Pakistan Return7 June 2010
New Delhi: Wireless intercepts between militants in Kashmir and their Pakistani handlers reveal that Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abdullah Ooni is making desperate attempts to run away from the valley as Indian security forces turn the heat on cross-border militants. Widely considered to be behind the resurgence of insurgency in Kashmir, Ooni is believed to have given the security forces the slip at least half a dozen times in the last six months when police and army almost zeroed in on him during various anti-militant operations. Ooni, who masterminds the joint operations of the terror syndicate of the LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, has been pleading with his handlers across the border to allow him to return to Pakistan-administered Kashmir as he finds the going too hot for him, the officials say, citing wireless intercepts. 'We have intercepted their messages where they are desperately pleading to their handlers that they want to return safely. Ooni is desperately trying to run away,' an intelligence official, privy to the communication intercepts, told IANS. The official could not be identified as he is not supposed to speak to the media. Ooni's desperation is attributed to the fact that Indian forces have killed many militant commanders in Jammu and Kashmir in the last few months, among them two of Ooni's close aides in the terror network - Hizbul Mujahideen's divisional commander Lateef Dedeer and battalion commander Rafiq Ahmad Gujri. His 'desperation to flee for safety' stems from the pressure security forces have maintained on militants in the north of the valley, the official said. 'Almost all the top commanders of the LeT except for two - Furqaan and Abdullah Ooni - have been killed. Now they want to run away. The place has become too hot for them,' the official said. A Pakistani national, he is one of the notorious LeT commanders in Kashmir and took over as the Lashkar's valley chief in 2008 after Hafiz Nasir was killed in a north Kashmir gunbattle. Security agencies believe he has been the brain behind the resurgent terror in Kashmir, particularly in the north of the valley where he has regrouped his cadres. Besides luring young men to jehad, he has also been successful in building a close network with other militant groups for joint operations against security officials. North Kashmir has virtually emerged as the capital of the new insurgent movement in Kashmir as fighters have been surprising security forces with frequent attacks. There have been some 20 gunfights and other militancy-related incidents in the area since the beginning of this year.