JI and Lakshkar- An everlasting bond

The investigation into the incident where phone lines were hacked to fund terror is underway. At Philippines four persons were arrested recently for allegedly hacking into phone lines of the AT&T. What investigators have said as of now is that the funds were being used for terror operations by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which in turn used it to fund the 26/11 attack.

The National Investigating Agency is keeping a close watch on these investigations which will be largely looked into by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However there is one thing for sure and that is that the Lashkar had a connection with this incident considering the fact that this operation in question was more to do with an outfit by the name Jemmah Islamiah.

Zamir, the JI operative was arrested in the year 2007. This man was running a call centre through which he purchased information on cell numbers from hackers. After this his team hacked into phone lines and the money obtained from this was being passed on to terrorist outfits.

The JI and the Lashkar have a very close bond. In fact the JI is the regional branch of the Al-Qaeda and often sends most of its operatives to the Lashkar in Pakistan to train its operatives. Although the relationship until the horrific Bali bombings between the two groups was restricted to training operations, today one could say that the relationship is more deep rooted.

JI in return for the training operated in favour of the Lashkar and raised funds for it. The biggest fund raising done by the JI for the Lashkar was for the latter’s Kashmir battle. This relationship started off in the year 2007 and since then most of the funding for the Lashkar has come through the JI.

Indian intelligence agencies say that the tie up with the JI was part of the global plan of the Lashkar. Today there are operatives of the JI spread out across Europe and also South East and apart from setting up modules and recruiting cadres for the Al-Qaeda it also takes care of the funding for the Lashkar. The ISI has a very ambitious plan of making the Lashkar a global outfit and hence it would continue to use the resources of the Al-Qaeda modules and the funds by the JI to achieve this goal.

The primary target of the JI has been students across the globe. These persons are in turn sent into Pakistan for training and are kept at the Lashkar camps until their training is complete. Indian agencies point out that the JI has shown in the past that it is capable of picking up very capable youth for terror and this has only helped enhance the bond with the Lashkar.

Looking at this bond, Indian agencies say that there is nothing surprising if the JI could have raised funds for the 26/11 attacks as well. Zamir who was in Italy when he was arrested had been running a call centre. This was nothing but a shadow operation in order to avoid the heat on him and go about dishing out funds. While a large part of the funds for the 26/11 operation could have been transferred before his arrest, the fact remains that his men continued with their operation even after his arrest. Zamir during his interrogation had spilled the beans about how telephone lines were being hacked. Investigators took a while to act on this information and were waiting for something more concrete before they could swoop in on his operatives. It was finally based on the tip off by the FBI, that the police in Phillipines arrested the four youth who were allegedly raising funds for terror operations.

Author: Vicky Nanjappa

just a reporter

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