India for weeding out Afghan, Pak terror schools

India will cite the attack on a shopping mall in Kenyan capital Nairobi to reemphasise the need for sustained global efforts to close down Af-Pak terror schools, where several leaders of Al Shabaab—the group that carried out the carnage—are believed to have received training.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to call for “a concerted and sustained response from the global community” against transnational terrorism, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday (Sept 28). He is also expected to stress dismantling terrorist infrastructure in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

The issue may also figure in Singh’s meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday, when India will ask for “more clarity” on US approach to the security, political and economic transition of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force from the war-torn country by the end of 2014.

India, according to the sources, will ask the US and rest of the international community to ensure that the progress in war on terrorism made in Afghanistan since 2001 is not ruined post-transition.

Sources in New Delhi said the Al Shabaab attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi had renewed concerns on transnational terrorism.

“Not only Al Shabaab, but many terrorist organisations in Africa have leaders who were either trained in or drew inspiration from the terror schools in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region,” an official told Deccan Herald on Wednesday. “We will definitely like to remind our partners that the terror incubated in Af-Pak infrastructure has footprints around the world and it is important that the incubator is dismantled completely.”

Al Shabaab has publicly vowed its allegiance to al-Qaeda in February 2012, although the two are suspected to have been associated for a long time. Many ideologues and military commanders of Al Shabaab received training in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

The outfit’s founder and supremo Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed was educated in Pakistan and trained in Afghanistan. His close associate Ibrahim Haji Jama spent several years in Afghanistan as Al-Afghani. Sheikh Abu Mukhtar Robow, a spiritual leader and spokesman of the organisation, too, was trained in Afghanistan.

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