Press Esc to close
Friday 31 October 2014
News updated at 1:56 AM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Lashkar recruits best and brightest from Pakistan: report

Washington, April 5, 2013, (IANS):

Terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) recruits from Pakistan's elite, contradicting "a lingering belief that Islamist terrorists are the product of low or no education or are produced in madrassahs", a media report said Friday quoting an exhaustive study.

Lashkar is "a group whose well-educated recruits defy the idea that poverty and ignorance breed extremism. A group whose fighters include relatives of a politician, a senior army officer and a director of Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission", said ProPublica, an investigative news site, citing the study.

The study released by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy in West Point helps explain why Pakistan has resisted international pressure to crack down on Lashkar after it slaughtered 166 people in Mumbai in 2008, it said.
The findings are based on 917 biographies of LeT fighters killed in combat.


They illuminate "Lashkar's integration into Pakistani society, how embedded they are", said co-author Don Rassler, the director of a research programme at the centre that studies primary source materials.

"They have become an institution," Rassler was quoted as saying.

The 56-page report "The Fighters of Lashkar-e-Taiba: Recruitment, Training, Deployment and Death" refrains from policy suggestions, but there are implications for US counterterror strategy.

Lashkar's popularity and clout defy conventional approaches to fighting extremism, said co-author Christine Fair, a Pakistan expert at Georgetown University.

"When you have an organization that enjoys such a degree of open support, there are no options for US policy other than counterintelligence, law enforcement and counter-terrorism targeting," Fair said.

The study says that recruits often become holy warriors with the help of their families, which admire Lashkar's military exploits in India and Afghanistan and its nationalism and social service activities at home.

Most recruits joined at about age 17 and died at about 21, generally in India or Afghanistan.

Their backgrounds contradict "a lingering belief in the policy community that Islamist terrorists are the product of low or no education or are produced in Pakistan's madrassas", the report said.

In fact, the fighters had higher levels of secular education compared to the generally low average for Pakistani men.

Relatively few studied at religious schools known as madrassahs. They joined Lashkar because they wanted more meaningful lives, admired its anti-corruption image and felt an obligation to help fellow Muslims, the study said.

"These are some of Pakistan's best and brightest and they are not being used in the labor market, they are being deployed in the militant market," Fair said.
"It's a myth that poverty and madrassahs create terrorism, and that we can buy our way out of it with US aid."

At least 18 fighters who were killed had immediate family members who served in Pakistan's armed forces.

Although most recruits were working or lower middle-class, some "had connections to elite Pakistani institutions and Pakistani religious leaders and politicians".

The study cites Abdul Qasim Muhammad Asghar, son of the president of the Pakistan Muslim League's labour wing in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Another case: a fighter known by the nom de guerre of Abdul Razzaq Abu Abdullah. His 2003 obituary describes his maternal uncle as "a director of Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission".

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523