Country Report on Terrorism 2019 - Chapter 5 - Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT)

Aka al Mansooreen; Al Mansoorian; Army of the Pure; Army of the Pure and Righteous; Army of the Righteous; Lashkar e-Toiba; Lashkar-i-Taiba; Paasban-e-Ahle-Hadis; Paasban-e-Kashmir; Paasban-i-Ahle-Hadith; Pasban-e-Ahle-Hadith; Pasban-e-Kashmir; Jamaat-ud-Dawa; JUD; Jama’at al-Dawa; Jamaat ud-Daawa; Jamaat ul-Dawah; Jamaat-ul-Dawa; Jama’at-i-Dawat; Jamaiat-ud-Dawa; Jama’at-ud-Da’awah; Jama’at-ud-Da’awa; Jamaati-ud-Dawa; Idara Khidmate-Khalq; Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation; FiF; Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation; FalaheInsaniyat; Falah-i-Insaniyat; Falah Insania; Welfare of Humanity; Humanitarian Welfare Foundation; Human Welfare Foundation; Al-Anfal Trust; Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool; TehrikeTahafuz Qibla Awwal; Al-Muhammadia Students; Al-Muhammadia Students Pakistan; AMS; Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir; Kashmir Freedom Movement; Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir; Tehreek-e-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir; TAJK; Movement for Freedom of Kashmir; Tehrik-i-Azadi-i Kashmir; Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Jammu and Kashmir; Milli Muslim League; Milli Muslim League Pakistan; MML

Description:  Designated as an FTO on December 26, 2001, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) is an anti-India-focused terrorist group.  LeT was formed in the late 1980s as the terrorist wing of Markaz ud Dawa ul-Irshad, a Pakistan-based extremist organization and charity originally formed to oppose the Soviet presence in Afghanistan.  LeT is led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.  Shortly after LeT’s FTO designation, Saeed changed the group’s name to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) and launched humanitarian projects to circumvent sanctions.  LeT disseminates its message through JUD’s media outlets.  Since the creation of JUD, LeT has repeatedly changed its name in an effort to avoid sanctions.

Elements of LeT and Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) have combined with other groups like Hizbul Mujahideen to mount anti-India attacks.  The Pakistani government banned LeT in January 2002 and temporarily arrested Hafiz Saeed following the 2008 Mumbai attack.  On January 30, 2017, Pakistan placed Saeed under house arrest; however, he was released in November 2017 after a Lahore High Court judicial body rejected a government request to renew his detention.  In July 2019, Pakistani police again arrested Saeed and charged him with financing terrorism.

Activities:  LeT has conducted operations, including several high profile attacks, against Indian troops and civilian targets since 1993.  The group also has attacked Coalition Forces in Afghanistan.  LeT uses assault rifles, machine guns, mortars, explosives, and rocket-propelled grenades.

LeT was responsible for the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai against luxury hotels, a Jewish center, a train station, and a popular café that killed 166 people – including six U.S. citizens – and injured more than 300.  India has charged 38 people in the case; most are at large, however, and thought to be in Pakistan.

In March 2010, Pakistani-American businessman David Headley pled guilty in a U.S. court to charges related to his role in the November 2008 LeT attacks in Mumbai and to charges related to a separate plot to bomb the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten.  Headley testified in the trials of other LeT supporters in 2011 and 2015.

LeT was behind a July 2015 attack in Gurdaspur, Punjab, which killed seven people.  In August 2015, operatives affiliated with LeT attacked Indian security forces in Udhampur, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.  In December 2015, LeT carried out an attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy after it left Srinagar, Kashmir, injuring one civilian and seven Indian military personnel.

From February to May 2016, LeT was suspected of engaging in at least three firefights with Indian security forces in Kupwara district, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, injuring two Indian personnel.  In June 2016, LeT was suspected of conducting an ambush on an Indian security force convoy in Pulwama district, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, killing eight and injuring 20.  Some media reports alleged the group’s involvement in the September 2016 attack on an Indian army camp in Uri, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which killed 20 soldiers.

In June 2017, LeT conducted an attack in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that left six police officers dead.  In July, LeT militants attacked a bus of pilgrims returning from the Amarnath Yatra shrine, killing seven people.  In June 2018, LeT claimed responsibility for a suicide attack against an Indian army camp in the state of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district that killed three soldiers.  LeT did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2019.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan

Funding and External Aid:  LeT collects donations in Pakistan and the Gulf as well as from other donors in the Middle East and Europe – particularly the UK, where it is a designated terrorist organization.  In 2019, LeT and its front organizations continued to operate and fundraise in Pakistan.