Mumbai attacks raise pressure on a beleaguered Pakistan
While conclusive evidence is elusive, blame is being leveled on a Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, further stressing ties between the neighbors.
Indian officials and foreign observers have started to blame Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for last week's deadly Mumbai terror attacks, turning up the heat on a country faced with rising instability and growing militancy on a number of fronts.Skip to next paragraph
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More than 172 people died in the attacks, in which a handful of armed gunmen attacked the city's main train station as well as luxury hotels and a Jewish community center, taking hostages in a 60-hour-long standoff. More than 300 people were wounded, says Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Responsibility for the Mumbai attacks was initially claimed by a new group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen, but before the standoff was over Indian officials accused Pakistan-based groups of playing a role.
An Indian police official said the only gunman captured alive after the attacks claimed to belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani militant group with links to the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and one long seen as a creation of the Pakistani intelligence service.
Lashkar is suspected of carrying out a daring 2001 attack on the Indian parliament in New Delhi and was legal in Pakistan until the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when it was outlawed, reports the Council on Foreign Relations.
Lashkar-e-Taiba has an extensive network in southern and Southeast Asia. A senior US military intelligence official described the group as "al Qaeda junior," as it has vast resources, an extensive network, and is able to carry out complex attacks throughout its area of operations....
The relationship between al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba is complex, the official noted. "While Lashkar-e-Taiba is definitely subordinate to al Qaeda in many ways, it runs its own network and has its own command structure. The groups often train in each others' camps, and fight side by side in Afghanistan."...
Founded by Hafiz Mohammed Saeed in Afghanistan in 1990, the organization quickly expanded its reach. The Lashkar-e-Taiba has received direct support by Pakistan's notorious Inter-Service Intelligence agency as they serve to destabilize India and wage war in Indian-occupied Kashmir.