The Lashkar Women


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The first time news regarding the creation of a full fledged women’s wing to carry out attacks on India came out was during the interrogation of Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative, Riazuddin Nazir. Yesterday the military intelligence put out a report which suggested that the Lashkar was training 12 women to carry out terror strikes on Indian soil.

The Hadees makes it very clear that women cannot be used for warfare for various reasons such as they are a weaker sex and their general job would be for household work.

However the Lashkar does not mind using women for terror attacks as it believes that women could provide that element of surprise during an attack. Intelligence agencies in India have their eyes fixed on organisations such as the Duktharam-e-Millath and the Daur-e-Sofa. While the DeM has only shown signs of religious extremism, the DeS has shown signs of having dedicated training camps for women to undertake terror operations.

The concept of a women’s wing has been mooted way back in the year 2008 by main stream terror outfits. The DeS is a concept mooted by the Lashkar while the Shaheen force was something that falls under the ambit of the Indian Mujahideen. These wings were originally created to spread religious sentiments witnessed an aggressive change in the past couple of years. The DeM for instance turned into a moral policing outfit. There were incidents where women from this outfit went to colleges and other public places and were found beating up women who were not following Islamic rules. The Shaheen force on the other hand stuck to the job of influencing youngsters to take up the cause of Islam. However there was a change post the crack down on the Indian Mujhaideen. There were many incidents which caused heart burn among a particular set of the community. The arrests after the Mecca Masjid case and the firing was a turning point and women were seen telling the youth to become more aggressive and also rise against the system.

Riazzuddin Nazir who originally hails from Hyderabad was arrested and lodged in a Karnataka jail. He had trained with the Lashkar according to the police and during his interrogation he had spoken about how the outfit was training women under the banner of the DeS. He said that women in the age group of 19 and 23 were being trained for terror strikes. As per the revealations of Khalida Akthar a Lashkar operative nabbed by the Indian forces the DeS was being provided training by a lady by the name Umi Hammad, who is the chief of the Lashkar’s women’s wing. She had also said that each of the women who are picked are made to undergo a rigorous three month camp before they are asked to lie low following which they would be intimated when the need arises.

It has been three years since he made that statement to the police. Today it appears that the Lashkar is readying itself to carry out an all women attack. Intelligence Bureau officials however state that women are more likely to be used first in the valley. They would be tested in the Valley before they are roped in for operations in other parts of the country.

Would terror strikes by women mean gun trotting terrorists? That is not likely although there are intercepts suggesting that women have been training in gun battle as well. The more likely use of women in terror strikes would be as cover operations and also suicide bombings.

It is not only the Lashkar which has a women’s wing. In fact the Al-Qaeda too had a similar wing which it has been very selective while using. The Al-Qaeda has however used women to carry out surveys of possible targets as it is believed that the eye of suspicion is less on them when compared to the men. The Lashkar could be doing the same, Indian security agencies believe.

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