Terrorism Update: Pakistani Islamic group targets India

In response to Israel’s military action in Gaza to stop Hamas rockets from being fired at Israeli towns and cities, several terrorist groups and their supporters have increased their threats against Israel and Jews, like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani-based Islamic terrorist organization.

The threats, which are coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine among others, exhort Muslims to target Israeli civilians, Jews all over the world, Israeli embassies and American forces in Afghanistan.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani-based Islamic terrorist organization, has embraced a more global anti-Western ideology that considers the United States of America, Israel and India to be its primary enemies. LET has vowed that it will plant the “flag of Islam” in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi.

LET demonstrated this new ideology in a series of coordinated terror attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008, that killed over 170 people and wounded approximately 300 others. At least ten armed militants attacked several locations frequented by tourists throughout Mumbai, including a railway station, a popular restaurant, a hospital, two hotels and a Jewish Center.  Although LET never claimed responsibility for the attack, one of the militants captured by Indian authorities reportedly admitted that he belongs to LET and trained with the other gunmen at LET camps in Pakistan in preparation for the attacks.

The front group for LET in Pakistan, Jamaat-ud Dawa, reportedly changed its name in January 2009 to Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awal, or the Movement for the Safeguarding of the First Center of Prayer, which appears to be in reference to Al Aqsa Mosque.  The name change demonstrates an ideological shift to further support and identify with the Palestinians.

LET was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States of America in December 2001; designated by Pakistan in January 2002; and designated by the United Nations in May 2005.

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