An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Sri Lankan Team Attacked in Pakistan – an analysis

Srilankan team has been attacked in Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium. 12 gunmen ambushed the team’s convoy close to the cricket stadium with rockets, hand grenades and automatic weapons. They killed 8 pollicement, and 5 Srilankan players were hurt, but not critically. All the gunmen fled the scene after the ambush. The team members ducked on the floor when the attack happened. The van was bullet ridden, the tires were blasted, and radio system disabled. One rocket fired by the terrorist barely missed the bus and a few hand grenades thrown under the bus failed to explode. So, what could have been a terrible and bloody tragedy was somehow avoided. Importantly and intriguingly, none of the gunmen was caught despite the open area and forces guarding the Sri lankan team.

Let us understand who could be the players involved.

In 1999, an LTTE operative, Subhalakshmi, was arrested at the Kolkatta airport. She was trying to go through to Bangladesh to target Sheikh Hasina. The entire plot had unravelled as the Indian intelligence got the whiff of it at the last moment. Days before this arrest, owner of a software company was killed in a car acciddent. He was “selling” software products with a “decent” margin to a former military officer, Col. Munirul Islam Chowdhury “Munna”, who ran a software company in North Virginia in the US. The money that “Munna” deposited in the Indian Bank in Kolkatta was frozen as the owner died and no one could operate it. It was then that Harkat-ul-Jehad of Bangladesh went to Plan B and detonated RDX in a Sheikh Hasina rally.

In 1993, as B. Raman – an ex-Indian intelligence officer – cites [1], an Indian Coast Guard caught hold of an LTTE ship carrying arms and ammunition gifted by Harkat ul Mujahideen (HuM) [the Pakistan counterpart of HuJI] in presence of ISI and Pak Army officers. This gift was for help that LTTE gave to HuM in smuggling arms to Jehadis in Philippines.

Also read:  The threat of Taliban and why the next few weeks are critical

Let us understand the relationship between the three main terror organizations – Lashkar-e-tayibba, Harkut-ul-Mujahideen, and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Lashkar e Tayyibba: It was founded by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Zafar Iqbal in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, and is currently based near Lahore, Pakistan and operates several training camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. It has been in the news for the Mumbai Attacks recently.
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen: It was established in 1985 initially opposing the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. The founders of the group had splintered from Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. This organization was banned in 2005. Its three main leaders were arrested by the Indian forces in 1993-94: Nasrullah Mansur Langaryal, chief of the former Harkat-ul Mujahideen in November 1993; Maulana Masood Azhar, General Secretary in February 1994, and Sajjad Afghani (Sajjad Sajid) in the same month in Srinagar.
Jaish-e-Muhammad: Arrested in February 1994, Masood Azhar was released by India in an infamous swap in December 1999. Most of the cadres and infrastructure of HuM folded into JeM.

In December 13, 2001 the attack on the Indian Parliament was attacked in New Delhi by a joint group of LeT and JeM.

It is very possible that LTTE is in some way involved in this. But in my personal view, it is continuation of the “journey” that Taliban/LeT/AlQaeda and the “Terror Minds” in ISI/Pak Army started last year – Marriott, Benazir Bhutto’s death, Mumbai Attack and now this attack are simply milestones in this series. The aim is COMPLETE TAKEOVER of Pakistan by the Jehadis to create a Taliban like haven that will likely stretch from Pakistan all the way to Iraq. And of course, with Pak Nukes in their back-pockets.

Again, whatever I am saying is not what I want should happen.. but what I think will happen. My reading of the situation points in that direction. The more Indian and US forces delay in neutralizing Pakistan Nukes, the more the world will regret these months and days just a few years from now.

As for Pakistanis, I think the common man has lost the time now. It is not possible anymore for its citizens to stop the Jehadi juggernaut from taking them over. Again, I hope I may be wrong, but the truth is that the ruthless honesty required to bring out a fearless “champion of change” is completely absent. There is too much insistence and revelation by the citizens in conspiracy theories and in oneupmanship and the vision required is completely missing.

Reference Links:

1. Harkat repays an old debt to LTTE in Lahore?

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8 Comments
  1. morris says

    Desh
    If it is that bad how do we know that the Nukes are not already in the hands of jihadis or their sympathisers? Is their any evidence that the contol is in the hands of the civilian governmet? Just wondering.

  2. morris says

    Desh
    If it is that bad how do we know that the Nukes are not already in the hands of jihadis or their sympathisers? Is their any evidence that the contol is in the hands of the civilian governmet? Just wondering.

  3. Desh says

    That’s a good question, Morris! I am not sure of that answer myself… it could very well be in the hands of the Al Qaeda operatives – or at least some Nuke device. Just that they havent used it. I am taking the Pakistani line on face value that some “professional” and Government aligned agency has complete control over the Nukes. I could very well be wrong.

  4. Desh says

    That’s a good question, Morris! I am not sure of that answer myself… it could very well be in the hands of the Al Qaeda operatives – or at least some Nuke device. Just that they havent used it. I am taking the Pakistani line on face value that some “professional” and Government aligned agency has complete control over the Nukes. I could very well be wrong.

  5. Rajesh H says

    The attack on cricket player from Sri Lanka by gunmen in Pakistan makes one wonder what the real motif of terrorist could be, if they indeed are from one of the renowned terrorist outfits.

    It’s interesting that a former intelligence officer has tried to connect the dots between LTTE and HuM. Given that LTTE is predominantly Hindu/Christian Tamils fighting for independence, it’s hard for a common man like me to fathom of any partnership between the two unlikely bedfellows.

    It seems to me that the gunmen are hired mercenaries from many commando training camps in Pakistan. Terrorist training camps have become a thriving cottage industry in Pakistan because of illiteracy, unemployment and the country’s failing economy. It’s possible that LTTE may have used the services of one such group of mercenaries. Alternatively, it could be a handiwork of indigenous Islamic terrorist outfit in Pakistan that is trying to frustrate and embarrass the present government by attacking foreigners.

  6. Rajesh H says

    The attack on cricket player from Sri Lanka by gunmen in Pakistan makes one wonder what the real motif of terrorist could be, if they indeed are from one of the renowned terrorist outfits.

    It’s interesting that a former intelligence officer has tried to connect the dots between LTTE and HuM. Given that LTTE is predominantly Hindu/Christian Tamils fighting for independence, it’s hard for a common man like me to fathom of any partnership between the two unlikely bedfellows.

    It seems to me that the gunmen are hired mercenaries from many commando training camps in Pakistan. Terrorist training camps have become a thriving cottage industry in Pakistan because of illiteracy, unemployment and the country’s failing economy. It’s possible that LTTE may have used the services of one such group of mercenaries. Alternatively, it could be a handiwork of indigenous Islamic terrorist outfit in Pakistan that is trying to frustrate and embarrass the present government by attacking foreigners.

  7. Desh says

    Rajesh, although B. Raman, an analyst I have a VERY high regard for, has pointed to LTTE and HuM/LeT relationship (which IS true). I somehow don’t feel that LTTE was linked to this attack.

    In my personal view, this attack is one milestone in a “journey”. Like I had predicted at the beginning of this year, I see complete Talibanization of Pakistan by end of 2009. Given how Taliban and their cohorts – terror minds in ISI/Pak Army (not the complete organizations but what I call the “Terror Minds”), Al Qaeda, LeT etc.. are behaving.. it now seems to be a “Fight to the Finish”. They have started putting up messages in Islamabad for fighting against the Pak Army battalions that are hitting these extremists, and also to join them or perish. In karachi, Taliban seems to have done a deal with Dawood Ibrahim, and they have already taken the Swat Valley.

    I think the goal of this entire group is fairly clear and certain – “the weapon” to complete their full arsenal and might to fight the West, Israel and India.

  8. Desh says

    Rajesh, although B. Raman, an analyst I have a VERY high regard for, has pointed to LTTE and HuM/LeT relationship (which IS true). I somehow don’t feel that LTTE was linked to this attack.

    In my personal view, this attack is one milestone in a “journey”. Like I had predicted at the beginning of this year, I see complete Talibanization of Pakistan by end of 2009. Given how Taliban and their cohorts – terror minds in ISI/Pak Army (not the complete organizations but what I call the “Terror Minds”), Al Qaeda, LeT etc.. are behaving.. it now seems to be a “Fight to the Finish”. They have started putting up messages in Islamabad for fighting against the Pak Army battalions that are hitting these extremists, and also to join them or perish. In karachi, Taliban seems to have done a deal with Dawood Ibrahim, and they have already taken the Swat Valley.

    I think the goal of this entire group is fairly clear and certain – “the weapon” to complete their full arsenal and might to fight the West, Israel and India.

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