Slain Islamic Terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri Planned to Launch Ghazb-e-Hind’, a Massive Terror Operation Against India, Bigger than the 26/11 Attack in Mumbai
Posted by jagoindia on June 4, 2011
Jun 4, 2011, 13:28 IST
By Vineeta Pandey | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
Ilyas Kashmiri’s death removes a key al Qaeda man who would also keep India in sight while planning terrorist attacks around the world. In a recent interview to slain Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, Kashmiri said United States, Europe, Israel and India remain al-Qaeda’s prime targets. According to Shahzad’s book, Kashmiri believed that India would intervene in Afghanistan and if that happened he planned to launch ‘Ghazb-e-Hind’ — a massive terror operation against India. According to intelligence agencies, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had already begun a large recruitment drive in India to create a force for Kashmiri to train.
Set to take over as the next al Qaeda chief after Osama bin Laden’s death, Kashmiri was recently hobbled by the successive blows to al Qaeda and its marginalisation. The al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan seems to have shrunk to sympathisers in the South Waziristan Tribal Agency. As a result, Kashmiri’s threat to India had also been reduced. Kashmiri could have, however, acted as a motivator and dispatcher of jehadis to Kashmir and elsewhere had he been able to get out of the tight corner which Pakistani Army operations in FATA and US drone attack had put him in.
With the death of Kashmiri, the threat to India of terrorist strikes by a potent organisation such as al Qaeda has considerably gone down. He was giving operational assistance to the LeT for carrying out attacks in India — the most dreaded one being 26/11 attack in Mumbai. Kashmiri was on India’s Most Wanted list that was handed over to Pakistan by the Home Secretary G K Pillai at the Secretray level talks in March. Arrested by the Indian forces in 2005, Kashmiri had escaped prison and was since been on the run.
In an interview to Shahzad, Kashmiri had said that he was planning bigger terror attacks and that the 26/11 attack in Mumbai was “nothing compared to what has already been planned for the future.” He said so with confidence after having personally approved and supervised the Mumbai attacks along with LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
Former Intelligence Bureau chief Ajit Doval, sees Kashmiri’s death as a “very positive development” and believes that his death may weaken the LeT operations in India. “Kashmiri was closely associated with al Qaeda and LeT, whom he assisted in training and carrying out terror attacks. His death is certainly a severe blow to LeT as he supported LeT in its operations in India,” Doval said.
Doval describes him as a good executer of orders and plans.
“Kashmiri was very good in converting ideas and executed them to near perfection on ground. Though he was with al Qaeda, Kashmiri could provide expertise to any group working against India and Pakistan. He was not like Hafeez Sayeed who would go by Islam but an important operational man who would not hesitate in using RDX, detonators, AK47 and modern warfare equipments.
He filled the operational gap in al Qaeda with 313 Brigade, which he headed since he was effective in a combat role,” Doval added.
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