Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Afghan Connection (Bellum)
Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Afghan Connectionby: Jeffrey Dressler, June 16, 2010 Bellum
The New York Times reported today that the Pakistani-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has expanded its operations in Afghanistan. For analysts who follow this region closely, this is not a surprise. In fact, LeT has been sending fighters and resources to the fight in Afghanistan since at least 2006. Yet, none of this could take place without the active assistance of a preexisting network of facilitators, logisticians and local knowledge of notoriously difficult Afghan tribes and terrain. The Haqqani network, operating in Afghanistan’s southeast, is the main conduit for LeTs Afghan endeavor.
The Haqqani network maintains a sophisticated insurgent network that stretches from Pakistan’s North Waziristan agency, through the southeastern provinces of Afghanistan, all the way to Kabul. The expansion of this network from Afghanistan’s southeast to the Afghan capital of Kabul has provided the Haqqanis with the ability to stage spectacular suicide attacks in the city. Many of these attacks have focused on Indian targets, such as the Indian embassy, attacked twice in a fifteen-month span between 2008 and 2009. LeT is believed to have been involved in these attacks, in addition to the attack on a United Nations guest house in Kabul in October 2009.