LeT Islamic terrorists using Sri Lanka as base to attack India
Posted by jagoindia on September 19, 2010
US terror alert: Lashkar using Lanka as base to attack India
Pranab Dhal Samanta
Sep 19 2010
Days after it was revealed that German Bakery blast-accused Mirza Himayat Baig allegedly met his Lashkar-e-Toiba contact in Sri Lanka to avoid detection, US agencies have passed on intelligence inputs to India that the LeT already has some 200 cadres present in the island nation who plan to use the country as a “staging ground” to enter India.
It’s learnt that Washington has also informed Colombo about this after Lankan authorities denied that LeT had training facilities there. As per New Delhi’s assessment, the threat could be aggravated if remnants of the LTTE cadre are engaged in logistics for LeT.
Contrary to initial claims that Baig was trained in Sri Lanka, what has been confirmed is that he traveled there in 2008 where he met a contact from LeT. Sources said investigations are on to find out whether he undertook more visits and if LeT operatives are using Sri Lanka as a rendezvous to avoid detection.
According to US inputs, LeT’s 200 cadres in Sri Lanka were possibly “planners and facilitators” currently engaged in laying a network before more operatives can be sent for specific attacks in India. In fact, these inputs suggest that LeT operatives were being specifically trained to be sent to Sri Lanka.
Sources said efforts are on to “sensitise” Lankan authorities at the highest levels to take the threat seriously and help pre-empt any major plans. With India extra cautious along its western coast after 26/11, using Sri Lanka as a staging ground is seen as a “fresh innovation” which can translate into a specific threat with local help.
The US assessment, in fact, suggests that LeT is looking to strengthen its presence in Nepal and Maldives, too. While Nepal has been used to carry out attacks in India, Maldives provides new options if operatives have to reach peninsular India where many “high-value targets” are.
While cautioning against being alarmist about this development, high-level sources said the concern is serious because terror outfits like the LeT seem to have only increased their resources and there is no check on their spread and growth despite the international pressure on Pakistan.